The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Friday, August 10, 2012

On the Obama campaign’s “she died of cancer” attack ad on Romney:

I think that it does [tarnish Obama’s reputation]. But in terms of the vote, which all they care about, winning or losing, I think — unfortunately, and it isn’t a great statement of our politics — I think it actually helps him because it takes the oxygen out of any Romney argument about Obama’s stewardship, about his ideology, his ideas, and the failure of this administration.

What have we talked about all week? What has been in the press all week? Those of us on the inside who look at this carefully know it’s scurrilous, the lowest kind of politics, associating Romney, who left Bain six years earlier, with the death of a woman. However, what are the things that people who only casually tune in here hearing? Romney, steelworker, laid off, a person dying. That is exactly what the White House wants.

That is the irony of this and what makes it all the more repulsive. It’s like the Harry Reid McCarthyite charge about the tax returns. It kept the tax story going for a week. . . .

All we hear about — Romney’s taxes and did Romney kill a woman as a result of closing a steel mill? I think the fact that that’s what is happening all week is a week lost for Romney and a week he wasn’t able to make his case. I think they [the Obama campaign] are succeeding, and that is the worst part of it.

On the Romney charge that Obama has gutted work requirements for welfare:

They have entirely undermined [the work requirement]. Chuck [Lane] says the legal foundation [of the work requirement] is long established. The problem with the HHS regulation is that it completely undermines the legal foundation.

The law as written says there can be no waivers from anybody. Work is required. End of story.

That was the triumph of the welfare reform. It had great success. It radically reduced the [welfare] rolls. When it was reauthorized in 2005, liberals tried to gut it, arguing that you ought to able to give waivers. That was rejected by the Congress.

So as it does habitually now, the administration was enacting by regulation what it couldn’t accomplish by legislation — and is saying the [non-]waiver provision, which was supposed to be untouchable, won’t be implemented. It leaves to the discretion of the president or the HHS to decide if something will help or hurt the work requirement.

The whole idea of the law is not to leave it up to anybody’s discretion — but have it embedded. That is why it [the Romney charge] is correct. It’s a gutting of the legal foundation of work requirement… The whole point [of the law] is no waivers ever. And that has now changed.

On fate to the US war in Afghanistan after an Afghan soldier killed three American soldiers:

That is a question we have to ask the commander-in-chief. He tripled the number of troops [in Afghanistan] and he ordered the surge, which of course inevitably increased casualties. And you never hear from him on the subject. Our men are being shot. Our objective of handing it [the security of Afghanistan] over is obviously in jeopardy. Morale is deeply affected when you are shot by your supposed allies. And the commander in chief is AWOL.

On Governor Romney’s choice as running mate:

I used to try to read people’s minds for a living. It’s called psychiatry. I’m now in retirement but [will] give it one last shot. . . . if Romney was hinting [at] something yesterday when he described the attributes of the most appropriate person [to be vice president] that description would fit Paul Ryan.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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