The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret BaierThursday, August 16, 2012

On the recent emphasis on Medicare in the presidential race:

I think what is really happened here is the Republicans want the fight on Medicare, not just because I think they will win. In 2010, the election where they swept, they emphasized over and over again the theft of the $700 billion from Medicare to pay for the new entitlement, Obamacare. They won on that issue.

But it’s a deeper issue as well. The one Republican who is the least equipped to fight and argue on Obamacare was Romney, of all those who ran, because of what he did in Massachusetts. But now he can completely engage Obama on Obamacare because we’re not speaking about the individual mandate. We’re not speaking about other similarities. We are speaking about the one stark difference between Romney in Massachusetts and Obama in Obamacare, which is that Obamacare steals from Medicare. Romney had no access to any kind of Medicare so it’s not even an issue. He can state openly on this one issue [of healthcare], the big difference is: You stole from the elderly so you could have your pet project. We didn’t.

So it allows a fight with Obamacare — where Obama knows he is weak. There is a reason he is not running ads on [Obamacare]. He loses in all the polls on Obamacare. There is a reason he had only two lines on it to State of the Union address. He thought he had a patsy in Romney because of these similarities. But now it turned against him and Republicans are relishing the fight on Obamacare because it’s the one area, the stealing from Medicare, where Romney can actually argue toe to toe.

On the possibility of the Obama campaign’s replacing Joe Biden with another running mate:

The reason this sprung up is because of the remark that Biden made a few days ago saying y’all are going to go into chains, speaking to a [racially] mixed audience. The problem is that Obama should and could have simply said “it’s a slip of the tongue, a mistake, it was a little extra enthusiasm.” But he didn’t. He backed him up. And on an issue so sensitive I think it’s a big mistake and the president should have been honest about it. He doesn’t have to drop him on the ticket, but he simply could have said “it was a misstatement and I wish he hadn’t said it.”

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

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