Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier Monday, December 12, 2011

On the bet Mitt Romney jokingly offered to Rick Perry during Saturday’s debate in Sioux City, IA

On the bet, if he had said $1 million, it would have been understood as not an actual offer but something that is outrageous, meaning this is a slam dunk. But being Romney, he thought well, maybe $1 million is too high and $10 will not be understood. So he chose the middle path, which of course was the wrong thing to do.

On the back-and- forth Monday between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich:

What I thought was remarkable is what Newt did today. It wasn’t just that he went negative. He pulled out the heavy artillery….

What kind of attack is this of one so-called person of the right to another? What conception of capitalism do you have if you’re attacking your opponent for entering the risk taking of capitalism? It’s the old line from Schumpeter, which is that capitalism is creative destruction. This kind of attack is what you’d expect from a socialist….

it makes you wonder about the core ideology of Newt himself.

On how Newt Gingrich should have responded to Mitt Romney’s call for Gingrich to return the money he made  with Freddie Mac:

Defend what he did, which he didn’t do because it is indefensible.

Second, he tries to make a comparison… between what he did, which is essentially peddling influence, and what Romney and others have done to invest in the economy to succeed and [sometimes] fail.

Third, he didn’t have to do it by attacking what is… the essence of capitalism, taking risks.

There were a lot of ways to answer that question. There was a lot of the old Newt here. I’m not sure it was the new, avuncular Newt.

On American forces’ withdrawal from Iraq:

Well, I thought it was remarkable. Here is a president having failed in the job he had, which was in three years to negotiate an agreement with Iraq where there was some U.S. presence. There’s going to be none, which means that our influence will be greatly diminished.

And in fact, we are now going to have 16,000 people in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Well, that would make sense if we were a major influence in Iraq, which we won’t be. And without our own military for protection, do we really want that many Americans out there relying on protection of others? I think they’re going to be sitting ducks….

The generals wanted 20 to 25 [thousand], something comparable to the [US] presence in the countries after the Second World War — in Korea, Germany and Japan and elsewhere. It would have been less [in Iraq], but it would have been effective.

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