The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Monday, June 18, 2012

On Mitt Romney’s criticizing the administration’s immigration policy as a “stopgap” measure without criticizing its substance or offering an alternative:

This is essentially a punt, and I think Romney is wise to do it. First of all, it isn’t a presidential issue, it’s  a Congressional issue. This is almost an unprecedented grab of power by the executive from the Congress by essentially saying it won’t enforce the law. The Congress ought to protest — and be offended at the least — including the Democrats in Congress, over this appropriation of power by the executive.

But as to the politics of this, for Romney it’s a losing proposition to get into a fight. This is a clever trap by Obama.

It’s a way to lure, first of all, Romney away from talking about the main issue, economics. Any day that Romney says anything [about something] other than economics is a day Obama wins.

And secondly, it isn’t an easy issue for Romney to counter. He would have to argue, as I have, on process. You run an ad on this and you… show a valedictorian, young illegal immigrant with a sterling record, someone known for rescuing cats out of trees, and say: That mean man, Romney, wants to deport her because of a process issue.

It’s a losing proposition. Romney is right. He will kick it to the future. If he is elected he will cancel the [Obama executive] order and try to substitute real legislation, so why get into a distraction right now?

On President Obama’s statement yesterday that this weekend’s election in Greece “indicates a positive prospect” for the country’s stability and economy:

What strikes me about his statements in Mexico is — is anybody listening, does anybody care? What strikes me is how diminished is the role of the U.S. in all of those international meetings. Everybody cares about what the German chancellor says, not what Obama says.

Is he going to lecture the Europeans on debt after he runs up $5 trillion in one term? Is he going to lecture them on unemployment when his is over eight percent for the entire term? No.

All they care about is what Merkel is going to say because the Greeks elected a government that is willing to stay in the euro. However, the winner of the election announced on election night that he is going to renegotiate terms. Well, Merkel has said they are not going to renegotiate. She demands enforcement of the [existing] terms.

You can understand the Germans. Here’s a country with a retirement age of 67 subsidizing a country — Greece — where hairdressers retire at the age of 50 because it’s listed as hazardous employment.

They [the Germans] are tired of being what used to be called the Uncle Sam of Greece, but nobody today cares about the real Uncle Sam [the US] anymore.…

I think the Greek situation is the least of EU’s troubles, because it’s a relatively small economy and it they [the Europeans] had the will, it could be sustained indefinitely on life support. The problem is Spain. Spain’s long-term interest rates are over seven percent. At six, you are in the danger zone. When Greece hit six, it went over a cliff. Spain is hanging there. Italy is next. It has extremely high interest rates, which is impossible to sustain. It won’t be able to continue to borrow. It’s the third largest economy in the EU.

This is all patchwork. I think everybody understands that the train is headed over a cliff. But they patch it up slightly so you get an extra couple of months. But I don’t see any way in which Europe is able to pay off the extravagant living it’s been [enjoying] — the social entitlement state it’s been on — for 65 years. It can’t be done….

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


The Latest