The Corner

‘ObamneyCare’

Tim Pawlenty coins a new term on Fox News Sunday this morning:

UPDATE: Tim Pawlenty compared 2012 rival Mitt Romney’s Massachussets health care plan to President Obama’s health care plan today.

“President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare, and basically made it Obamneycare,” Pawlenty said on Fox News Sunday. “We now have essentially the same features.  The President’s own words is that he patterned in large measure Obamacare after what happened in Massachusetts.”

“What I don’t understand is they both continue to defend it,” Pawlenty added.

Talking about his economic plan, which aims to jumpstart economic growth to 5 percent of GDP annually through a series of tax and spending cuts, Pawlenty emphasized how it can bring about an employment surge. “It would unleash economic growth and job growth in this country,” he said, adding that aimed to boost the “private economy” instead of the “government economy.”

Pawlenty also defended his 5 percent growth goal as realistic, saying it was “hogwash” that the U.S. couldn’t achieve that in the near future. He pointed to the near 5 percent growth during the Clinton administration, and economic growth that exceeded 5 percent during the Reagan administration.

Talking about the impact of his plan on the deficit, Pawlenty twice noted that he was proposing tax and spending cuts – not, as in the past, tax cuts paired with spending hikes. He said that if economic growth was at 4 percent or more, his plan would balance the budget over a decade.

Asked by Chris Wallace what kind of spending cuts he would make to offset the estimated $1 trillion loss in revenues his tax cuts would achieve, Pawlenty cited reforming entitlement programs. He advocated doling out Medicaid funds in block grants to the states and keeping Medicaid spending “as flat as possible going forward.” He called for raising the retirement age for Social Security eligibility, and denying wealthier Social Security recipients the cost-of-living increases.  On Medicare, he discussed savings by outcome-based provider payments, instead of per-procedure payments, and defended cuts in the program by pointing to the $500 billion Medicare cuts in Obamacare.

Pawlenty expressed confidence in his current position in the 2012 race, despite the fact that Herman Cain, who was also largely unknown at the beginning of the year, has shot ahead of him in the polls nationally and in Iowa.

“There’s going to be a lot of bouncing around in these polls,” Pawlenty said, noting that Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani had topped polls in 2007. “We like our momentum.”

When Wallace aired a clip of Bill O’Reilly dismissing Pawlenty as too “vanilla,” Pawlenty tried to laugh the accusation off.

“Is he playing the race card on me?” he asked of O’Reilly’s comment.

Pawlenty then said he wasn’t running for “comedian-in-chief or entertainer-in-chief.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
Elections

Fire Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More
World

How Immigration Changes Britain

Almost nothing is discussed as badly in America or Europe as the subject of immigration. And one reason is that it remains almost impossible to have any sensible or rational public discussion of its consequences. Or rather it is eminently possible to have a discussion about the upsides (“diversity,” talent, ... Read More
PC Culture

The Lonely Mob

Just before the election, an Andrew Gillum intern named Shelby Shoup was arrested and charged with battery after assaulting some college Republicans on the campus of Florida State University. It was rather less exciting than that sounds: She went on a rant about “Nazis” and “fascism” — Gillum’s ... Read More
Elections

Sorry, Brian Kemp Still Won

Here was the state of play as of yesterday per the Kemp campaign’s breakdown of publicly available information: As of Saturday, November 10, 2018 (12:00 p.m.) *Information below is public.  Total votes reported: 3,924,658 Kemp: 1,975,162 (50.33%) Abrams: 1,912,383 (48.73%) Metz: ... Read More