Tags: The Primary Event

Perry’s Iowa Ad


Rick Perry’s new ad, slated to run in Iowa:

Romney Announces Support for Ohio’s Issue 2


From The Hill:

Mitt Romney sought to overturn his controversial comment on unions Wednesday, saying he supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) “110 percent” in limiting collective bargaining power. …

“I fully support Gov. Kasich’s Question 2 in Ohio,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Virginia Wednesday. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion there.”


UPDATE: The Perry campaign is blasting Romney, e-mailing this message:

The Perry Truth Team awards a 10.0 on the flip-flop scale to Mitt Romney for his less-than-24-hour switch on supporting right-to-work reforms enacted by Ohio Governor John Kasich. …With Mitt Romney finally showing a willingness to flip-flop on his liberal positions, the Perry Truth Team is encouraging Twitter users to suggest other liberal positions Mitt Romney should flip-flop on by using the hashtag #flipflopmitt.

Huntsman, to Rare Cheers, Calls Political Division ‘Un-American’


He may be lagging in the polls, but on Tuesday night, Jon Huntsman, oozing confidence, wowed at least one group beyond New Hampshire moderates: Beltway college students.

After appearing on Fox News’ Special Report, the former garage band pianist and motocross rider walked on stage at George Washington University to fanatical cheers (really!) and “I love you!” cries from coeds.

But they weren’t cheering that Fox News hit, to be sure. Fresh from getting the “Colbert bump,” one night earlier, Huntsman, as ever, was breezy, cheerful, and hopeful. These attendees, at least, mostly fresh-faced College Republicans, appreciated the persona.

Indeed, the former Utah governor, sensing a friendly college crowd, wagged his finger at lawmakers across town with fervor, casting himself as a political outsider in spite of his many past federal posts.

“Being divided as Americans is not natural,” he said. “It’s un-American. It’s not consistent with who we are as blue-sky optimists; we’re problem-solving people,” Huntsman said. “We confront an issue, we confront a challenge, we find solutions, and we move on.”

Huntsman added that fiscal issues, perhaps more than others, will enable Republicans to make a play for the youth vote next year.

“We are about to pass down the greatest nation that ever was to your generation. For the first time, it’s less good, less productive, less competitive and more divided,” he said. “Regardless of where you come from politically, if that doesn’t motivate you enough to get out and learn the issues . . .  the debt, folks, it’s coming your way.”

And on taxes, Huntsman took care to talk about his own flat-tax ideas on the day Rick Perry unveiled his plan.

“[The tax code] is outdated, dilapidated and anachronistic,” he said. His plan includes phasing out loopholes and deductions and creating separate, simplified individual brackets that will run at 8, 14 and 23 percent.

But it was Huntsman, not his policies that made these students swoon. “I’ve lived overseas four times, as I mentioned earlier,” he said. “You’re not going to find any other candidate who has spent any time overseas.”

“Maybe, you know, a trip here or there,” he conceded, but nothing like being U.S. ambassador to China. Before study-abroad aficionados, this clicked. Whether it can connect in Des Moines or Charleston, of course, is another question.

Perry on Romney: ‘You Can’t Change From One Election to Another’


Asked about the apparent tension between himself and Mitt Romney in debates, Rick Perry hit hard at his GOP rival.

“You can’t change from one election to another,” Perry said about Romney. “I think in his own words, he says, listen, I need to say whatever I need to say for whatever office I’m running for.”

It was unclear what specific quote of Romney’s Perry was alluding to there.

“How do you change at the age of fifty or sixty positions on life, positions on guns, positions on traditional marriage,” Perry argued. “I mean, those aren’t minor issues. To change those at the age of 50 or 60 tells you all you need to know about that.”

He also said the debates themselves may have been a “mistake.”

“These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates,” Perry remarked, noting the difficulty of cramming complicated topics into one-minute soundbites. “If there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one of the campaigns [debates] when all they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people about how you going to get us back to work,” he said.

UPDATE: “Rick Perry is a desperate candidate who will say and do anything to prop up his sinking campaign,” e-mails Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. “In trying to deflect attention away from having the same liberal in-state tuition policy for illegal immigrants as President Obama, he has resorted to repeated dishonesty, distortions, and fabrications about Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a conservative businessman who is focused on getting Americans back to work and reviving this economy.”


No Specifics From Perry on How Much Revenue Would Drop Under His Plan


Rick Perry could not give a specific number of how much revenue would drop if his tax plan was implemented in an interview last night.

“Well, I don’t really worry about what the Feds are going to lose,” he told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in a response to a question about what federal revenue would be under his plan. “What I’m worried about is getting people back to work in this country.”

Noting that the nation had a “spending problem,” Perry pivoted to the goal of his tax plan. “We know what happens when job creators get to keep more of their money, they have the confidence to go out and spend that money to create jobs that in turn create wealth,” he said.


Perry, Paul Support Issues 2 and 3 in Ohio


In light of Mitt Romney’s refusal to take a position on issues 2 and 3 in Ohio (which respectively would ensure that collective bargaining reforms for state employees remain in place and would ban Obamacare’s individual mandate), I’ve reached out to the other GOP presidential candidates’ campaigns to see who does have a position. 

“Governor Perry is with Kasich and would vote with him,” e-mails Perry communication director Ray Sullivan.

Ron Paul spokesman Gary Howard e-mails, “Congressman Paul is a champion of right to work, with a 100 percent rating from the National Right To Work Committee, and a big advocate of allowing citizens to opt out of government programs, so he supports “Yes” on 2 and also issue 3.”

I’ll update this post with other campaigns’ responses as needed.  Sullivan also issued a statement on the topic, saying, “Mitt Romney’s finger-in-the-wind politics continued today when he refused to support right-to-work reforms signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich – reforms Romney supported in June.”

“Americans are tired of politicians who change their beliefs to match public opinion polls,” Sullivan added. “Mitt Romney has a long record of doing this on issues like government-mandated health care and the Obama stimulus. Mitt Romney needs to realize that when you try to stand on both sides of an issue, you stand for nothing.”

UPDATE: Newt Gingrich’s campaign sends along this video from July, when Gingrich filmed a spot endorsing the public employee reforms Kasich was fighting for:

Another Twist


Making Mitt Romney’s silence in Ohio even stranger: when Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was fighting for his union reforms, Romney strongly supported him. From the Boston Globe in February:


Romney, through his Free and Strong America Political Action Committee, said he would contribute a maximum $5,000 to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

“Liberal big government interests are fighting efforts to rein in out-of-control public employee pay and benefits in Wisconsin,” Romney said in a statement. “It is critical that we stand with the Wisconsin GOP as it stands up for the rights of the taxpayer.” …

Romney has slowly become more vocal on the issue, first tweeting about it last week by asking his supporters to support Walker “for doing what’s necessary to rein in out-of-control public sector pay and benefits.” Yesterday, he used his Twitter account again, this time asking supporters to “Donate now to support Governor Walker and WI GOP senators as they attempt to restore fiscal sanity.” Then today, Romney announced his own donation to Wisconsin Republicans.

Cain Chief of Staff Explains Smoking Web Video


The video of Cain chief of staff Mark Block (posted by Bob Costa last night) touting Herman Cain and ending on a lingering shot of Block smoking has gone viral — and created plenty of reactions across the Internet.

“There was no subliminal message,” Block told Fox News host Megyn Kelly in an interview today. “In fact, I personally would encourage people not to smoke. It’s just that I’m a smoker. A lot of the people on the staff said ‘Just let Block be Block.’ That’s what it was all about. To tell people that the Cain message is resonating across America and whether it’s 9-9-9 or whether it’s the new opportunities zones roll-out in Detroit last week. The campaign is on a roll and the momentum is with us.”

So who was Block hoping to appeal to? 

“I tell you, you walk into a veteran’s bar in Iowa and they’re sitting around smoking and you know we are resonating with them,” he said. “I’m not the only one that smokes in America for God’s sake.” 


Perry Calls Romney a ‘Fat Cat’


From CNBC:

Concerning his nomination rival Mitt Romney, who has derided the flat tax in the past as a boon to “fat cats,” Mr. Perry said:

“Well I would said that he ought to go look in the mirror, I guess. I consider him to be a fat cat. I consider what Mitt’s doing kind of nibbling around the edges. I consider what we’re doing bold.”

Romney Announces Ohio Endorsements


The Romney campaign announced a slew of endorsements for Mitt Romney from Ohioans today, including Republican House member Jim Renacci and state attorney general Mike DeWine. Full list below the jump.



·         Jim Renacci; U.S. Representative              

·         Mike DeWine; Attorney General  

·         Betty Montgomery; Former Attorney General 

·         Joe Deters; Former State Treasurer and Hamilton County Prosecutor            

·         David Burke; State Senator

·         Chris Widener; State Senator      

·         Marlene Anielski; State Representative 

·         Ross McGregor; State Representative

·         Kirk Schuring; State Representative

·         Karen Gillmor; Former State Senator

·         Lynn Olman; Former State Representative

·         Greg Hartmann; Hamilton County Commissioner

·         Mary Samide; Geauga County Commissioner

·         Nancy Nix; Butler County Treasurer

·         Ron O’Brien; Franklin County Prosecutor

·         Dennis Deters; Colerain Township Trustee

·         Doug Haynam; Sylvania City Councilman

·         Mark Kingseed; Mayor of Centerville

·         George Sarantou; Toledo City Councilman

·         Marilyn Ashcraft; Washington County Republican Chair and State Committee – District 20

·         Sally Florkiewicz; Cuyahoga County Republican Chairwoman

·         Ed Ryder; Geauga County Republican Chairman

·         John Matthews; Marion County Republican Chairman

·         Jon Stainbrook; Lucas County Republican Chairman

·         Jonathan Binkley; State Committee – District 11

·         Curt Braden; State Committee – District 29

·         David Gunning; State Committee – District 21

·         Donna Harter; State Committee – District 12

·         Lisa Hayes; State Committee – District 5

·         Bea Lyons; State Committee – District 4

·         Judy Miller; State Committee – District 1

·         Nancy Suhadolnik; State Committee – District 24

·         Mark Wagoner, Sr.; State Committee – District 2

Romney Declines to Take Stand on Ohio’s SB 5


As Bob Costa recently detailed, Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 — which limits unions’ collective bargaining powers and requires state employees to contribute 10 percent to their pension plans and 15 percent of their health-care costs — is under fire and facing possible repeal. Today, Mitt Romney visited Ohio, and declined to give a position on SB 5, according to CNN’s Peter Hamby, whotweeted, “Romney visits OH GOP phone bank to rally troops opposing SB5 repeal, but refuses to take a position on SB5.”

Asked for comment, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul e-mails, “Gov. Romney believes that the citizens of states should be able to make decisions about important matters of policy that affect their states on their own.”

UPDATE: A reader points out that Romney was comfortable endorsing New Hampshire’s right-to-work legislation in August. From the Boston Globe:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today called on New Hampshire to become a right to work state, meaning non-union members cannot be forced to pay union fees.

The Republican-led New Hampshire Legislature passed right-to-work legislation during its last session, which would make New Hampshire the 23rd right-to-work state in the country. The bill was vetoed by Democratic Gov. John Lynch. Republicans have been struggling to muster the votes to override the veto. …

Romney told reporters, “If I were a voter, I’d encourage state representatives, state senators and the governor to do whatever is necessary to make New Hampshire a right-to-work state to create more jobs for the people of New Hampshire.”  



UPDATE: Politico’s Jonathan Martin notes that back in June, Mitt Romney wrote this Facebook post touting Building a Better Ohio, a group who supports the collective bargaining reforms and pension/health-care contributions that Kasich is fighting to keep in place. “My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low,” Romney wrote on Facebook. “I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit for more information.”

Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller gives this statement to The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent on Romney’s decision to not take a position on the matter:

The big problem many conservatives have with Mitt Romney is that he’s taken both sides of nearly every issue important to us. He’s against a flat tax, now he’s for it. He says he’s against ObamaCare, but was for the individual mandate and susbidies that are central to ObamaCare. He thinks that collective bargaining issues should be left for states to decide if he’s Ohio, but he took the opposite position when he was in New Hampshire. This is just another statement in a long line of statements that will raise more doubts about what kind of President Mitt Romney would be in the minds of many Republican primary voters.

Freedomworks’ Brendan Steinhauser struck a similar note, telling Slate’s Dave Weigel, “I’m not happy with Romney about his silence on Issues 2 and 3, but then again, I’m not surprised. He doesn’t believe in what we believe in –- nor is he willing to fight for these ideas. We are working VERY hard in Ohio for these campaigns and he is only interested in his own ambition to be president. Kasich = Courage and Romney = Empty Suit.”

Perry Outlines Tax Plan


In a speech today in Greenville, S.C., Rick Perry laid out his ambitious new tax plan centered on an optional 20 percent flat income tax rate.

“It reorders the way they do business in Washington by reinventing the tax code and restoring our nation to fiscal health through balanced budgets and entitlement reform,” Perry said, according to the prepared remarks provided by the campaign. “Central to my plan is giving every American the option of throwing out the three million words of the current tax code, and the costs of complying with that code, in order to pay a 20 percent flat tax on their income.”

Under Perry’s plan, the mortgage interest and charitable deductions would remain, along with deductions for state and local taxes, as would a $12,500 exemption for individuals and dependents, for those making less than $500,000. The death tax would be axed, as would taxes on capital gains, dividends, and Social Security benefits. The corporate income tax rate would be slashed to 20 percent.  For a preview of how Perry is going to distinguish his plan from Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, this bullet point from his campaign’s summary of his tax plan provides a hint: “No Federal Sales Tax or Value-Added Tax.”

On the entitlement reform front, Perry wants to gradually increase the eligibility age for Social Security,  tie benefits for more affluent Americans to price growth, and give younger employees the option to invest some or all of their Social Security taxes into a personal account. He would also slowly up the Medicare eligibility age, means-test Medicare benefits, and give “Medicare recipients more control to choose the plan that best fits their unique, individual needs through bundled premium support payments directly to the individual or as a credit against the purchase of health insurance coverage offered through the program,” according to his full plan. Medicaid would become more state-centric, with the federal government providing Medicaid block grants.

Spending would be limited to 18 percent of GDP by 2020, and Perry would work to cut $100 billion in non-defense discretionary spending his first year. He supports a Balanced Budget Amendment, and wants to eradicate baseline budgeting.

Perry would order an audit of all regulations passed since 2008, and would have regulations include sunset provisions. (Congress could vote to renew them.) There would also be a searchable database of all regulations currently in force. “Today the Federal Register contains 165,000 pages,” Perry said. “The index alone is eleven hundred pages long. And somehow, despite not having any of these new regulations for our first 219 years, America not only survived, we thrived.” Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and the portions of Sarbanes-Oxley that impact small businesses would all be repealed.

“My plan does not trim around the edges,” Perry stated. “And it does not bow down to the established interests. But it is the kind of bold reform needed to jolt this economy out of its doldrums, and renew American prosperity. Those who oppose it will wrap themselves in the cloak of the status quo.”

Perry argued that Obama “simply offers larger deficits and the politics of class division,” while “others simply offer microwaved plans with warmed-over reforms based on current ingredients.”

“Americans, however, aren’t searching for a reshuffling of the status quo, which simply empowers the entrenched interests,” Perry argued. “This is a change election, and I offer a plan that changes the way Washington does business.”

More details about the plan here. Full speech below the jump.


*Gov. Perry sometimes deviates from prepared remarks


Thank you. It is great to be in the stomping grounds of a great conservative senator, Jim DeMint. I want to thank ISO Poly Films CEO John McClure for opening his business as we discuss my plan to get America working again.

Today I lay before the American People my cut, balance and grow plan. It cuts taxes and spending. It balances the budget by 2020. And it grows jobs and the economy.

It neither reshuffles the status quo, nor does it expand the ways Washington can reach into our pocketbooks.

It reorders the way they do business in Washington by reinventing the tax code and restoring our nation to fiscal health through balanced budgets and entitlement reform.

Central to my plan is giving every American the option of throwing out the three million words of the current tax code, and the costs of complying with that code, in order to pay a 20 percent flat tax on their income.

The size of the current code, which is more than 72,000 pages, is represented by this pallet and its many reams of paper.

The best representation of my plan is this post card, which taxpayers will be able to fill out to file their taxes.

Each individual taxpayer will have a choice: you can continue to pay taxes, as well as accountants and lawyers under the current system, or, you can file your taxes on a postcard, with deductions only for interest on a mortgage, charitable giving, and state and local tax payments.

Under my plan, you will no longer have to worry about paying taxes on social security when you retire, or your family members paying the death tax when you die. And you can wave goodbye to the capital gains tax, as well as the tax on dividends.

We will increase the standard exemption for individuals and dependents to $12,500, meaning families in the middle on the lower end of the economic scale will have the opportunity to get ahead. Taxes will be cut across all income groups in America. The net benefit will be more money in Americans’ pockets, with greater investment in the private economy instead of the federal government.

On the corporate tax side, I am offering equally bold reform. My plan closes corporate loopholes, ends the special breaks for special interests, and stops the gravy train of lobbyists and tax lawyers at the Washington trough.

In exchange for a corporate tax free of carve-outs and exclusions, I offer a much lower rate of 20 percent that represents the average corporate rate among the developed nations, and that will make our corporations more competitive on a global scale.

We will shut down the cottage industry of corporate tax evasion by creating a tax that is broad, fair and low.

And my plan offers incentives for corporations to invest in America again, with two major reforms. First, we will transition to a territorial tax system on corporate income earned overseas. This means companies pay the appropriate corporate tax in the country where income was earned, but aren’t taxed a second time when that income is moved back into the United States.

Second, for all corporate profits currently languishing overseas, I will offer a one-time reduced tax rate of five and a quarter percent for a limited period of time on repatriated earnings.

The U.S. Chamber estimates this one-time tax reduction would bring more than $1 trillion in capital back to the U.S, create up to 2.9 million jobs, and increase economic output by $360 billion.

In other words, it’s the kind of economic stimulus President Obama could have achieved if he wasn’t hell-bent on passing big government schemes that have failed American workers.

Today, America’s combined corporate tax rate of 39.2 percent is the second highest in the developed world. It is time to overhaul our tax code so companies like ISO Poly Films can invest more in their people and their products.

Tax rates have consequences. The liberals myopically ignore the realities of human nature. They think in raising rates they will raise revenue. But they don’t understand large employers have choices, as do wealthy individuals, and that includes moving money off-shore. When they try to take too much, they end up hurting the very people they seek to help: the working class.

We need tax policy that embraces the world as it is, and not what liberal ideologues wish it to be.

The goal of my cut, balance and grow plan is to unleash job creation to address the current economic crisis, while generating a stable source of revenue to address our record deficit and put our fiscal house in order.

My plan should not be viewed in a vacuum, but in comparison to the continuation of the status quo. It provides employers and investors certainty, which is critical to getting capital back into the economy. The president’s plan provides temporary tax relief, which does nothing to encourage long-term investment because it doesn’t provide the private sector certainty.

The way to stimulate the economy is not through temporary tax relief or government spending; it is to stimulate private spending through permanent tax relief.

The flat tax will unleash growth. But growth is not enough. We must put a stop to the entitlement culture that risks the financial solvency of this country for future generations.

The red flags are alarming. Our children are born into $46,000 of federal debt. Our credit was downgraded for the first time this past August, in part because of a lack of seriousness about deficit reduction. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, by year’s end our debt will exceed the size of America’s economy for the first time in 65 years. We are on the road to ruin paved by state serfdom.

Freeing our children from financial disaster requires the courage to reform entitlements. My plan establishes firm principles to preserve Medicare and Social Security for today’s beneficiaries, while saving it for tomorrow’s.

I am putting forward five principles to save Social Security for the long-term. First, we will protect existing benefits for current retirees, and work with Congress on the exact age where those nearing retirement are grandfathered out of changes to the program.

Second, we will end the current pillaging of the Social Security Trust Fund by Washington politicians. Here is the hard truth: the trust fund is full of IOU’s, without a single dime of money left over from what workers have paid in. The politicians have borrowed against it for years. And in order to redeem the IOU’s in the fund, they will have to either raise taxes or cut spending on other programs to replenish it.

Here is the other hard truth: if we don’t act, in 25 years benefits will be slashed 23 percent overnight. Protecting Social Security benefits begins with protecting the solvency of the fund, and stopping all current borrowing from the fund, just as we have done with the highway trust fund.

The third principle of reform is to allow young workers to invest a portion of their payroll taxes into private accounts if they so choose.

I am not naïve. I know this idea will be attacked. But a couple of facts are worth stating: one, the return on investment in Social Security is so small it is like an interest bearing savings account. Over the long-term, the markets generate a much higher yield.

Second, opposition to this simple measure is based on a simple supposition: that the people are not smart enough to look out for themselves. The liberals think the American people cannot be trusted to safeguard even a portion of their own retirement dollars. It is time to end the nanny state and empower our people to exercise greater control over their money.

The fourth principle is to return to pre-1983 law and allow state and local governments to newly opt out of Social Security and instead allow their employees to pay solely into state or locally run retirement programs. This has been done around the country, with better results. We ought to allow it again.

Lastly, we ought to work to raise the retirement age for younger workers – on a gradual basis – to reflect the longer life-span of today’s Americans. I will work with Congress to determine the right formula, beginning at the right age. But this is common sense, and it can help save Social Security for future generations.

We will also reform Medicare to save it for future generations of Americans.  We will do this by working with Congress on several options, including giving patients greater flexibility in choosing the plan that best fits their unique needs through bundled premium support payments to the individual, or as a credit against purchase of health insurance.

Second, we should look at gradually raising the age of Medicare eligibility. Third, we should consider adjusting Medicare benefits to be paid on a sliding scale based on the income of the recipient. And lastly, we must tackle the $100 billion in annual waste and fraud to save this valuable program as Americans live longer.

My plan also restructures Medicaid, returning control over the program and the dollars needed to administer it to states. One-size-fits-all health care doesn’t work for people on private plans in the form of Obamacare, and it doesn’t work with public plans, such as Medicaid. Washington has broken it, and shown no will to fix it. We must give state leaders the flexibility to fix Medicaid and control its costs.

These reforms are essential to balancing the budget. My plan balances the budget as fast as any serious plan offered, in the year 2020, with reforms to entitlements, with greater economic growth, and with cuts to discretionary spending.

I do not take the tack of the current President, with arbitrary cuts to defense spending. The question we must ask is not what we can afford to spend on our national defense, but what does it cost to keep America secure.

At the same time, we will reform the way we spend money in Washington so we can balance the budget in eight years. But to truly protect taxpayers, we need the extra protection of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I will reduce spending in the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the EPA, and a whole host of other agencies, returning greater control to the states.

My plan reduces non-defense discretionary spending by $100 billion in year one, and builds on those savings in the years to come.

I will also institute several principle reforms to the budgetary process, which are contained in my Cut, Balance and Grow Plan on my website.

It is not the length of a “War and Peace” novel, and is easy to understand, yet bold in its approach.

Included in my budget reforms are elimination of baseline budgeting that assumes previous expenditures are sacrosanct, an end to non-emergency spending in emergency bills, and a permanent stop to “bridge to nowhere” projects through the elimination of earmarks. I will couple these budgetary reforms with an overhaul of the regulatory process.

When federal agencies like the NLRB are dictating to companies where they can create jobs and where they cannot, they have over-stepped their bounds and undermined our free market system. On my first day in office, I will freeze all pending federal regulations and immediately begin a review of all new regulations since January of 2008.

Today the Federal Register contains 165,000 pages. The index alone is eleven hundred pages long. And somehow, despite not having any of these new regulations for our first 219 years, America not only survived, we thrived.

The federal nanny state’s heavy-handed regulations are keeping our economy in the ditch. It is time to review and scrap regulations that harm jobs and growth.

Lastly, one of the greatest impediments to investment in America are the Dodd-Frank banking regulations, and I will lead the charge to eliminate them.

Dodd-Frank is killing small banks, and freezing access to credit just when small businesses need it most. It enshrines bailouts and the notion of “too big to fail” in federal law, benefitting Wall Street while killing Main Street. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. It must go.

My plan does not trim around the edges. And it does not bow down to the established interests. But it is the kind of bold reform needed to jolt this economy out of its doldrums, and renew American prosperity. Those who oppose it will wrap themselves in the cloak of the status quo.

America is under a crushing burden of debt, and the president simply offers larger deficits and the politics of class division. Others simply offer microwaved plans with warmed-over reforms based on current ingredients.

Americans, however, aren’t searching for a reshuffling of the status quo, which simply empowers the entrenched interests. This is a change election, and I offer a plan that changes the way Washington does business.

The great issue facing this nation is whether we have the courage to confront spending and the vision to get our economy growing again. We need a tax code that unleashes growth instead of preventing it; that promotes fairness, not class warfare; that sparks investment in America instead of overseas interests.

It is time to create incentives for American companies to invest in American workers. It is time to end the corporate loopholes, end the special tax breaks for special interests, end the gravy train for lobbyists and tax lawyers.

It is time to pass a tax that is flat and fair, that frees our employers and our people to invest, grow and prosper.

We will set our employers and our people free by slashing the cost of government, cutting taxes for middle class families, balancing our budget and growing our economy.

The future of America is too important to be left to the Washington politicians. To get America working again, we must cut taxes and spending, balance the federal budget, and grow our economy and jobs.

My plan unleashes American ingenuity for a new American Century.  Restores the hopes and dreams of our people. Renews our great promise. And entrusts the fate of this nation into the hands of our People, setting them free.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Huntsman on Colbert Report


Jon Huntsman’s interview with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert:

ABC News reports that a brief portion of the interview was cut:

When Colbert played a sound effect of a stereotypical Chinese riff, Huntsman joked, “When’s the delivery food coming?” After a few seconds of awkward silence, Colbert replied, “Did that go over well in Beijing?” This portion of the interview was cut for time from the broadcast.

Perry Camp: Romney Should Release His Tax Returns


The Perry campaign is pushing Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, reports Politico’s Ben Smith:



“Governor Perry has always released his tax returns and Mitt Romney and the other candidates should do the same,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner told POLITICO. 

But Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said his candidate wouldn’t even consider releasing them until next Spring.

“We’ll take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season,” he said.

Perry regularly releases his tax returns, most recently last Friday. They showed him and his wife paying $51,000 in federal taxes on $217,447 in adjusted gross income in 2010.

Gingrich on Flat Tax Bandwagon



In an op-ed for Iowa newspaper the Quad-City Times, Newt Gingrich touts his own flat tax proposal:

At the same time as we liberate capital to create new jobs, we must liberate taxpayers from the IRS tax code, which is why my jobs proposals also call for an optional flat tax of 15 or less%. All workers and businesses would have the freedom to choose each year to file their income taxes either under the new flat tax option with limited deductions or under the current U.S. income tax code. Anyone who strongly favors a deduction or credit under the federal government’s current complex income tax system would have the choice to keep filing that way.

Cain Maintains Lead


In a poll conducted during the maelstrom over Herman Cain’s comments on abortion, the Godfather’s Pizza mogul continued to lead the pack.

Cain made in the initial remarks in an October 19 interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. In a New York Times/CBS News poll released today, conducted October 19 – 24, Cain was backed by 25 percent of Republican primary voters. Mitt Romney came in second, at 21 percent. Among the rest of the field, Newt Gingrich was backed by 10 percent, Ron Paul 8 percent, Rick Perry 6 percent, Michele Bachmann 2 percent, and Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum 1 percent. Fourteen percent are undecided or do not know.

Among Tea Party Republicans, the candidates were in the same order, but Cain and Gingrich had significantly more support, and Romney lost a few points. Results from Tea Party Republicans: Cain (32 percent), Romney (18 percent), Gingrich (15 percent), Paul (9 percent), Perry (7 percent), Michele Bachmann (2 percent), and  Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum (1 percent).

Club for Growth Raves Over Perry Plan


Chris Chocola, Club for Growth president, called Rick Perry’s new tax plan “massively pro-growth” in a statement today.

“Rick Perry’s plan for tax reform would be massively pro-growth. A Flat Tax like the one proposed by Perry would unleash years of economic growth if it is passed into law,” Chocola said in a statement. “Furthermore, eliminating the tax on dividends and capital gains would immediately add trillions of dollars in new wealth to the economy, benefiting all Americans. Perry clearly understands that revitalizing  the economy should start with a complete overhaul of a tax code that has nearly choked economic growth to death. Conservatives looking for a champion to carry the banner of a pro-growth tax reform will surely rally behind this bold proposal.”

Chocola also took a jab at Mitt Romney in his statement, saying he was “disappointed that Governor Romney has yet to embrace a flat or fair tax.”

“He would be wise to avoid using class warfare when comparing his current proposals to those of Governor Perry or Herman Cain,” Chocola added. 

Perry Wades into Birtherism Again


In an interview published this weekend, Rick Perry would not say President Obama’s birth certificate was definitively authentic. In an interview this morning, the topic came up again. 

“I haven’t seen his grades,” Perry told CNBC in an interview this morning, referring to Obama. “My grades ended up on the front pages of the newspaper, so if we’re going to show stuff, let’s show stuff. But look, that’s all a distraction. I mean, I get it.”

“I’m really not worried about the president’s birth certificate,” he added. “It’s fun to poke at him a little bit and say, how about let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.”


Romney, Perry Camps Spar Over Medical Benefits Given to Illegal Immigrants



The Romney campaign pushed back today against the Los Angeles Times story that reported a provision in Romney’s health-care program had allowed illegal immigrants access to health-care.

“To the extent that illegals are receiving some kind of care under the Health Safety Net, that would be a function of what the current governor, Deval Patrick, put into place,” said Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on MSNBC today.

“Federal law requires emergency medical care for illegal immigrants.  And if illegal immigrants are getting access to additional healthcare in Massachusetts, it’s liberal Gov. Deval Patrick that has made it easier for them to do so.  All of the regulatory activities involving the Health Safety Net Fund, including who could get care, were made long after Mitt Romney left office. Mitt Romney’s record on illegal immigration is clear: as governor, he vetoed an in-state tuition bill for illegal immigrants and authorized his state troopers to detain people based on their immigration status. On the other hand, liberal Gov. Patrick has the same position on illegal immigration as Rick Perry – he favors in-state tuition and reversed an executive order to detain illegal immigrants – and neither can be trusted to deal with such an important issue,” said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul in a statement.

But the Perry campaign is insisting that during Romney’s tenure, the Bay State provided some free medical care to illegal immigrants, sending out rules from 2004 for free medical care in Massachusetts that do not appear to require proof of citizenship to qualify for. The campaign also sent out a saved webpage from 2006 that, on the second page, explicitly notes that you do not have to provide any citizenship proof to received medical care. The Perry campaign is arguing that the medical benefits given exceeded the benefits federal law requires illegal immigrants receive (i.e., care in emergency rooms), since community health centers (not merely hospitals) were able to apply for reimbursement for care given.  

“Governor Romney’s government-mandated health care plan provided free care for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts, establishing just the kind of illegal immigration magnet Governor Romney claims to oppose. Program rules established by the Romney Administration in 2004 clearly state that citizenship is not required for free health care and subsidies and health centers cannot consider citizenship before rendering that free care,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner in a statement.

“When faced with the illegal immigrant benefits this morning, the Romney campaign tried to deny indisputable facts and to cover their tracks by blaming Gov. Patrick,” Miner added. “The truth is Gov. Romney’s plan intended to provide free health care to illegal immigrants, and the law and rules he approved were clear about providing free health care to illegal immigrants.”  

But the Romney campaign also argues that Texas provides medical care for illegal immigrants, too.  Among the examples cited include $62 million the care of illegal immigrants cost the Texas Emergency Medicaid fund and the $33 million the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Perinatal Coverage is estimated to have spent on illegal immigrants. 

Daniels Talks 9-9-9, Perry’s Flat Tax



The enthusiasm behind Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, Mitch Daniels suggested today, has to do with a growing awareness about America’s fiscal situation

“I think people are saying that they like candor, that they like specifics, that they sense —  even though no candidate, certainly not the president and not yet our own — has fully leveled with people about the extremity of the situation we’re in, but they can sense it,” Daniels told Fox News host Neil Cavuto in an interview today.

“Therefore, when somebody speaks forthrightly about a very big, bold departure that has jobs and has economic growth of the private sector at its core, like Mr. Cain has, I think there’s an audience for that. I think probably Gov. Perry’s going to find a receptive audience with his somewhat similar suggestion this week,” Daniels said, referring to the flat tax plan that Perry will introduce in a speech tomorrow in South Carolina.


Subscribe to National Review