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The Corner

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Krauthammer’s Take



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From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars:

On the debt ceiling debate and a Fox News poll indicating that a plurality of Americans will blame House Republicans more than the president if no agreement is reached:

Well, I think the last poll shows what the importance of the presidency is, what an advantage it gives the incumbent. He controls the debate. He can speak with a single voice.

The Republicans have not done what they should have done months ago, which is to find one plan they could all agree on and present it to the president and to the American people. So right now the plans are all over the place.

The Gang of Six, which rose yesterday, already is receding. A lot of people looked at details of it, and the second half, the part where negotiations over six months are supposed to happen when you get the real cuts in entitlements and the tax reform, appear to have a lot of loopholes in them, and it’s very fuzzy.

The House Republicans have to pass something. And if they do, they seize the initiative. It becomes the only piece of legislation on the table. …

But I don’t agree with the idea of creativity [extraneous issues complicating any short-term extension]. You have to make it simple and make it easy. You don’t want to adorn it with all kinds of stuff. Half a trillion — all in cuts — and a five month extension.

And the beauty of it — it works with the Gang of Six, because the first half of their proposal is short-term. It’s half a trillion. It also has a couple of elements — [such as] changing the cost of living adjustment — all of which is good, all of which is simple, and all of which will be popular. …

On whether Michele Bachmann’s migraines are a serious threat to her candidacy:

If the migraines are so injurious to her performance, how come this hasn’t been an issue up to now? …

What I’ve seen is several incidents over the last five years reported in which she was incapacitated. Is there anyone among us who over the last five years hasn’t been knocked out by some medical condition?

The Pawlenty attack I thought was a cheap shot. By his standard — [the president must be] at the job, all the time, every hour — FDR and Kennedy and Eisenhower would not have been people who should have been president of the United States. Kennedy, in fact, the sainted Kennedy, had Addison’s Disease [for which] he required heavy medication — and back injuries which required even heavier [medication] — and did affect him far more than apparently [the migraine problem] has affected Bachmann.

I think we’re going to — in this day and age, however, she’s going to have to disclose what medication [she is on] and see if any of them have a psychotropic effect.

This is a neurological disease; it’s not psychiatric.

On Rick Perry’s chances of competing strongly if he gets into the 2012 race:

Yes. I think he enters the first tier automatically, and it becomes something of three-way race — Romney and Perry and whoever emerges out of the pack. Looks like Bachmann, but it could be somebody else.



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