Morning Examiner: Conservatives reminded why Romney wasn’t their first choice

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Yesterday should have been dominated by the news that all of President Obama’s top political advisers blatantly lied about their intimate knowledge of the false campaign ad Obama’s Super PAC produced about the death of a former steelworkers wife in Kansas City. When the ad first aired earlier this week, Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser Robert Gibbs, and Obama Campaign Spokesperson Jen Psaki all categorically denied any knowledge about the facts of the incident in question.

But then yesterday, Politico posted the audio of an official Obama campaign conference call, hosted Cutter herself, featuring the exact same steelworker, Joe Soptic. “Thank you, Joe. We really appreciate you and David sharing your experiences,” Cutter says at the end of the call, right after Soptic detailed the facts of his case.

But instead of playing up that story, conservatives were distracted by how the Romney campaign chose to respond to the steelworker ad. Yesterday, Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul told Fox News, “To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care.” This is not the response conservatives wanted to hear. The Washington Examiner‘s Phil Klein explains:

The central difference between conservatives and liberals on health care is that conservative solutions tend to focus on reducing health care costs by removing government policies that create barriers to the free market and distort incentives. Reducing costs and increasing choices, we argue, will in turn increase access. Liberals, on the other hand, believe that more government intervention is needed to correct market failures and make sure everybody is covered.

It isn’t too hard for the Obama campaign and his liberal allies to use Saul’s comments in defense of Obamacare.

After their success running against the law in 2010, Conservatives wanted to run against Obamacare again in 2012. But the obvious similarities between Romneycare and Obamacare make that almost impossible. Romney could have chosen to renounce Romneycare early in the primaries as a failed experiment and a warning to the rest of the country as what not to do, but he chose to embrace it instead.

The scariest part for conservatives is that what Saul said was not a gaffe. It is official Romney campaign policy. The Romney campaign will continue not only to defend, but even to highlight, Romneycare throughout the rest of the campaign.

Campaign 2012
Romney: Campaigning in New Jersey, Romney motorcade reached 90-mph en route to a fundraiser where their presence distracted an Orthodox Jewish wedding party. Romney ended up taking pictures with the bridal party.

Obama: Bill Burton, Obama’s former deputy press secretary and current head of Obama’s Super PAC, refused to back away from an ad accusing Rommney of killing a man’s wife in Kansas City in 2006. “What fact in that ad is wrong?” Burton said on CNN yesterday.

In Other News
The Washington Post, E-mails about clean-energy loans provide new details on White House involvement: Documents provided to The Washington Post by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, show that White House aides asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to deliver a June 27, 2011, presentation to the president on the status of the Solyndra loan program.

The Wall Street Journal, College Debt Hits Well-Off: According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of recently released Federal Reserve data, households with annual incomes of $94,535 to $205,335 saw the biggest jump in the percentage with student-loan debt from 2007 to 2010, the latest figures available. That group also saw a sharp climb in the amount of debt owed on average.

The New York Times, With Rates Low, Banks Increase Mortgage Profit: Interest rates on mortgages and refinancing are at record lows, giving borrowers plenty to celebrate. But the bigger winners are the banks making the loans.

USA Today, Komen president resigning: The president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is resigning and founder Nancy Brinker is moving away from its day-to-day management, the nation’s largest breast cancer foundation said Wednesday, as fallout from its brief decision to end funding for Planned Parenthood reaches the organization’s highest ranks.

Righty Playbook
The Wall Street Journal dismantles Obama’s attack on Romney’s tax plan.

The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost says the election is Romney’s to win.

The Weekly Standard‘s Daniel Halper reports that over 100 million people are now receiving some type of welfare from the federal government.

Lefty Playbook
The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim claims that Romney started Bain Capital with money from people in families allegedly tied to funding death squads in El Salvador’s bloody civil war.

The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein claims the economic research Romney is siting to justify his economic plan doesn’t say what he says it says.

Gawker‘s Hamilton Nolan proposes instituting a national maximum income.

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