The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On the Obama administration’s rejection of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline:

The president saying, “this is not in the national interest” was extremely cynical. That statement he made [in 2007] about [America turning to] Canada and Mexico [for oil] is the real key here. It’s not just that it [Keystone] creates tens of thousands of jobs, but that, in a world where our sources of oil are unstable and unfriendly, like from the Middle East… this [oil] would be coming from our nearest neighbor and reliable ally.

And that oil would go to China [if Keystone is not built]. The Canadian prime minister made it clear when he was here a few months ago that if it doesn’t head south, it will head west. And the Chinese will have access to a really important strategic asset.

This idea we heard from [Obama Press Secretary Jay] Carney about the arbitrary deadline — [it is] the president [who] imposed an arbitrary deadline or timeline. He had to make a decision at the end of last year and he decided arbitrarily it [Keystone] needed 12 months of study.

That number gets past the election. It’s all about the election: Not angering his base on the left. It has nothing to do with studies. This is the most studied pipeline in the history of the United States, three years of study that concluded that it would be ecologically safe. This is all about reelection. It’s nothing else.

On Mitt Romney’s disclosure that his effective tax rate is around 15 percent:

I think Santorum read it the way that it will be read, which is that this is a guy who is out of touch. That is how it will be understood. If somebody running in a state like South Carolina, with 10 percent unemployment, with median per capita income in the mid-30s, to say what he got from speeches — $370,000 — is not a lot, is like the George H.W. Bush at the checkout counter. Here’s a guy who’s not in touch. And that I think is a lot more serious [Charles] than [that] he pays the [15%] rate that is required by law for cap gains….

It’s not a major issue in the campaign, but anything, any anecdote, that supports a narrative, a preexisting stereotype, of a rich guy [who] is out of touch and looks a little stiff — who everybody agrees doesn’t have the common touch — I think hurts him.

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