Gingrich: “This is a big deal. He’s done. … Now its over.” That is how Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer summed up the continuing fallout from Newt Gingrich’s Meet the Press appearance Sunday. And Krauthammer may have been being kind.
On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gently responded to Newt with a question: “With allies like that, who needs the left?” Freshman Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., was harsher: “Typically, you’ll find people in a presidential campaign running against the current president of another party, rather than running against his own party.” And Bill Bennett told his radio listeners Gingrich had made “an unforgivable mistake” and “has taken himself out of serious consideration for the race.”
Gingrich’s efforts at damage control while on a 17-stop Iowa tour were very weak. First, he posted a 39-second YouTube that just reiterated his opposition to Obamacare, a complete non sequitur. Then he told Michael Gallagher’s radio show: “My message to conservatives is: Be very careful, and don’t get in the habit of trying to ram things down people’s throats.” This is a doubling down, not a walk back.
And it is clear the grass roots are not with Gingrich. The Des Moines Register reports that at a stop in Dubuque, one resident walked right up to Gingrich and said: “Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself.” That is some good advice. If Gingrich stays in this race much longer he could do some real and lasting damage to what is, for now, still a valuable conservative brand.
Ryan: While the ideas-man-of-the-90s was imploding in Iowa, the ideas-man-of-today was shining in Chicago. Ryan’s speech to the Economic Club of Chicago was a huge hit. On the difference between Obamacare and his plan: “The disagreement isn’t really about the problem. It’s about the solution to controlling costs in Medicare. And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors.”
But the speech was not just about Medicare. Ryan presented a larger vision for economic growth, first describing Obama’s plan as one of shared scarcity: “Shared scarcity represents a deeply pessimistic vision for the future of this country – one in which we all pay more and we all get less. I believe it would leave us with a nation that is less prosperous and less free.”
James Pethokoukis sums up Ryan’s economic proposals: “Ryan highlighted four foundations of growth: 1) controlling health-care costs; 2) eliminating bad regulations; 3) keeping taxes low; and 4) getting the Federal Reserve to focus on stable prices rather than juicing job growth.”
Meanwhile, Politico reports that Ryan “is reaching out to potential Senate candidates in Wisconsin, informing them he’s unlikely to run for Herb Kohl’s seat next year.” The possibility of a VP is still wide open.
Romney: $10.25 million. That is the one day haul Team Romney claims to have raised from a one-day phone bank in Las Vegas. Romney aides tell National Review they had planned to only raise $3 million.
Romney also hosted a Facebook chat where he promised to eliminate waste from defense procurement but then plow that money back into other defense spending.
Unions: The Heritage Foundation‘s Hans von Spakovsky and James Sherk have obtained an internal NLRB memo that paints a frightening picture of where Obama’s appointees plan to take the agency. Turns out Boeing is just the beginning. Sherk and von Spakovsky write:
Specifically, the NLRB wants to force companies to provide detailed economic justifications (including underlying cost or benefit considerations) for relocation decisions to allow unions to bargain over them — or lose the right to make those decisions without bargaining over them. It is a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation for unions. Either way, businesses would have to negotiate their investment plans with union bosses.
The NRLB’s goal is not just to prevent companies from investing in right-to-work states. The board apparently also wants to force employers to make unions “an equal partner in the running of the business enterprise.”