The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret BaierMonday, August 20, 2012

On President Obama’s continued calls for Governor Romney to release more tax returns:

If it’s [the election] on the big issues, he [Obama] loses. If it’s on the big things he did– the stimulus, Obamacare, cap and trade, which he attempted and failed, all these regulations, the moratorium on drilling, Keystone pipeline — he doesn’t want to talk about any of them because he loses on those.

His only hope in the campaign is what a memo leaked in August of last year was headlined: “Kill Romney.” That is all he’s got. The irony is the clip you showed about him answering a question [by talking] about the [Romney] tax returns was in response to a question of: How come you are so negative? “I’m not negative. I’m just attacking him on tax returns.”

We didn’t have the [following] clip, but he said most Americans don’t have a Swiss bank account. That’s complete innuendo. You say the word, you imply a lot, and you move on in answering the question — in which you are denying that you are going negative! It’s almost comical.

And then he was asked about the ad with the woman essentially accusing Romney of killing her. He [Obama] said: “No, I don’t actually think he is responsible for her death.” Well, there is a concession for you.

She died six years after he left Bain. She had health insurance — even after her husband lost it, all these issues. It’s a ridiculous ad, and the great concession he makes is meaningless. What he didn’t do is disavow it or attack the ad or at least distance himself.

So I think he showed in the press conference… [that] he had nothing to say on Syria or Afghanistan, absolutely nothing. And he doesn’t have a lot to go on. All he’s got is the negative.

On Rep. Todd Akin after his gaffe about rape and pregnancy:

He has to leave. He’s toxic. Nobody will touch him. Republicans aren’t going to support him. He’s not going to get money. They tossed away a seat they could have easily won.

It isn’t only that it was offensive and toxic. It was unbelievably stupid. There is enough stupidity in Congress. We don’t need to add to it — in this large amount. The guy has to leave.

On whether the recent spate of attacks against American and allied troops in Afghanistan by Afghani soldiers justifies withdrawal from Afghanistan:

But the question is, where is the president on that question? We heard General Dempsey say the Afghans are now seized with the issue. Fine. And I know General Dempsey and our troops are obviously seized with the issue. Is the president in any way seized with Afghanistan — in any way? Do you ever hear him speaking about it? He had to bring it up today because it’s becoming an epidemic what’s happening to our troops.

It’s not as if it happened overnight. It’s been happening all year. A quarter of all the deaths of NATO troops over there this year are by friendlies. The president now speaks about it, you know, in answer to a question in a press conference. Where is he on this war?

He comes into office and he spends nine months dithering on it. He comes up with a policy, triples our troops — obviously, as a side effect, it increases our casualties — and [then] loses complete interest in the war. Never speaks to the people about a war, which is ongoing, in which our guys are getting shot.

Now he has a policy. I mean, is it even a policy? You ask which way does he want to go? Who knows where he wants to go other than not talk about it?

You can’t conduct a war and expose our troops and not in some way try to explain to the nation what you’re doing, why, and why it’s worth having anyone die over there under your policy — and it’s now his policy.

On Romney’s hardly forceful critique of Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan:

It’s not the job of the opposition to make the commander-in-chief be a commander-in-chief.

If this weren’t an election year and we didn’t have a Romney, you would still be asking: Where is the commander-in-chief when our troops are getting shot, and why are they getting shot under his orders? Where exactly is he going and why?

So, you can have a critique of Romney and Ryan on this, but the real issue today for the Americans who are being shot — as happened yesterday, the Americans train a policeman, hand him a gun and he takes a gun and shoots them right there on the spot. If that is happening, you want a commander-in-chief who is going to explain something. It’s not the Republicans’ job to make him what he ought to be on his own.

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

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