What? The “holier-than-thou” Rick Santorum becomes unhinged?
An angry Rick Santorum lashed out at New York Times reporter Jeff Zelany after a campaign rally in Wisconsin Sunday evening, calling the paper’s story on him “bullshit.”
The former Pennsylvania senator’s temper was fueled when Zelany asked him for clarification about a line attacking Mitt Romney in his speech.
“You said Mitt Romney was the worst Republican in the country, is that true?” Zelany said.
“What speech did you listen too?” Santorum replied. “Stop lying! I said he is the worst Republican to run on the issue of Obamacare. And that’s what I’m talking about. I said uniquely for every speech I give, I’ve said he’s uniquely disqualified to run against Barack Obama on the issue of healthcare. Would you guys quit distorting what I said?”
Santorum added: “Quit distorting my words. If I see it, it’s bullshit! Come on man, what are you doing?!”
The Louisiana Primary winner later released an email to his supporters, telling them “he was aggressively attacked by a New York Times reporter” but that he “didn’t back down” nor “let him bully me.”
Santorum continued to praise his actions in an interview on Fox News Monday morning.
“If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican is the way I look at it,” he said.
WATCH: Video from CBS News, from March 25, 2012.
The Supreme Court begins hearing arguments Monday morning on President Obama’s health care reform law, a case with sweeping political and policy implications grand enough to make it one of the most important in years.
At stake: the future of this country’s badly ailing health care system and perhaps even the legacy of its first black president. The political ramifications of the ruling will be enormous, with one of the two major political parties poised to see its vision for the future of government suffer a body blow.
Of the six hours over three days the court has allotted for oral arguments, on Monday the justices will hear 90 minutes of jurisdictional discussion: Is the law far enough along in its implication to give the legal challenge merit, or should that challenge be pushed back several years? The law’s requirement that all Americans carry health insurance could be decreed a tax, and courts cannot rule on the constitutionality of taxes until they have been assessed.
The Obama administration and the Republican-led states that brought the lawsuit agree that it should not be deferred and have asked for a speedy ruling by this summer. The Supreme Court enlisted outside counsel to make the opposing case, and recently allotted an extra half hour for the issue, a sign that it’s taking that viewpoint seriously.
The focal point of the case — the law’s requirement that uninsured Americans purchase insurance or pay a fine — will receive two hours of arguments Tuesday. The court will spend a total of two and a half hours Wednesday determining whether the rest of the law may stand or fall along with the individual mandate, and whether the law’s Medicaid expansion passes constitutional muster.
Constitutional scholars who support the law — and even some who oppose it — say thechallenges are far-fetched. Others warn that the high court has bucked expectations in the past and could do so again on this politically charged issue.
If liberals’ worst nightmares come true, it would be the first time since the 1930s that the Supreme Court has neutered a sitting president’s signature legislative achievement. It would also mark a swift departure from post-New Deal jurisprudence on the limits of federal power.
That generational significance has inflamed public passions. On Friday, some 72 hours before the arguments were set to begin, a handful of people were already lining up outside the chamber for seats, open to the public, to view the arguments. Their ranks swelled over the weekend.
Demonstrations are expected outside the chamber throughout the three days of arguments. A decision is expected by the end of June.
The Obama 2012 campaign on Friday released footage of Elizabeth Warren’s interview for “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the upcoming documentary about the Obama presidency.
“Why didn’t someone wave a magic wand and make it all better?” she said. “Because that’s not how the world works. It took a long time to shake the foundations of America’s middle class. But it also means it’s also going to take some time to put it back together.”
Without mentioning names, Warren also took a shot at Obama’s Republican rivals.
“This next election is about the direction that our country takes, it’s about whether or not we are going to be a people that say, ‘I got mine, the rest of you are on your own’,” she said. “What our future looks like is going to be very different depending on who’s governing.”
Warren, who is currently running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, is an outspoken advocate for financial reform and a strong critic of the financial institutions involved in the 2008 economic crash. A founding figure of the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau, she once said that Wall Street “broke this country.”
Though Warren appears in the film, she isn’t always so supportive of the president. Last week, she told the Washington Blade that Obama “needs to evolve” on same sex marriage.
Watch the full clip above.
Marco Rubio is the GOP favorite for the Vice Presidential slot. They really want him to run along side Romney, hoping that his being on the ticket will magically bring them the Hispanic vote. Rubio’s position on the Stand Your Ground law may not win Romney and Rubio many votes outside of their base…
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was not the only prominent Florida official to back Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, despite repeated warnings that it would be seen as a “license to kill” by gunmen like the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watchman who stands accused of slaying teenager Trayvon Martin.
The rising Republican star of Florida legislature at the time, a young state representative from West Miami who in the next session would become the speaker of the state House, actively supported the “Stand Your Ground” proposal.
That legislator, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is now being boomed by Jeb Bush for a place on the Republican ticket as the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee.
Rubio served in the legislature as an ally of the National Rifle Association and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the shadowy group funded by the Koch brothers to craft and promote passage of measures such as the “Stand Your Ground” law. In reviewing Rubio’s tenure, the Miami Herald noted: “Rubio had an ‘A’ rating by the National Rifle Association. Rubio voted for major NRA priorities such as a 2005 ‘castle doctrine’ law allowing people to use deadly force if attacked in their home or any place a person ‘has a right to be.’ Rubio also supported a 2008 law allowing most employees to bring guns to work, as long as they held a concealed weapons license and kept the gun in their cars.”
Two other ALEC members, state Representative Dennis Baxley and state Senator Durell Peadon were the primary sponsors of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Now—as African-American legislators are calling for the repeal of the measure—Florida media outlets report that “Baxley says it is worth revisiting to determine whether the law should be amended.” And Florida Governor Rick Scott, Jeb Bush’s Republican successor, has appointed a task force to consider changes to the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Scott says that, in light of the Trayvon Martin killing, it is necessary to “thoroughly review Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and any other laws, rules, regulations or programs that relate to public safety and citizen protection.”
But Rubio—who has felt pressure from the NRA in the past, at rare points where he has tried to balance public safety and gun rights concerns—knows he can’t disappoint the gun lobby if he wants a place on the GOP ticket.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t want to give details on his budget plan in terms of what he will cut because it wouldn’t be politically expedient… OK!
Romney won’t get specific for fear of criticism
Mitt Romney has made big promises to reform Washington, but his proposals have mostly lacked specifics. In a recently published interview with the conservative Weekly Standard, Romney explained why his promises to cut federal spending by slashing government programs and even whole agencies lack detail: it’s too politically risky.
“One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney told the magazine, recalling his 1994 run for Kennedy’s Senate seat.
It appears Romney doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice.
“So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.”
As the Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes points out in his piece, this isn’t what conservatives are looking for in a candidate. “Romney’s answer goes a long way to explain why some conservatives have been reluctant to embrace his candidacy,” writes Hayes. “They want a list. They want it to be long, they want it to be detailed, and they want a candidate who is not only willing to provide one but eager to campaign on it.”
As Romney’s answer does make clear, though, he will look for ways to turn government-run programs — like Medicaid — into block-grants for states so that they can run the programs themselves. His Medicaid plan, which he has repeated on the trail for months, is a good example of one detail he does divulge. And if Romney is looking to appeal to both conservatives and independents, block-granting programs is a good way to appeal to conservatives by taking them out of federal hands. In this case, it’ll shrink and transform Medicaid without offering Democrats the political shock-value of eliminating the program outright.
Romney’s hesitance to get specific isn’t uncharacteristic. The former Massachusetts governor has a tax plan that, in his own words, “can’t be scored” because it lacks the details that would allow the plan to be critically evaluated. He was happy to divulge that he would lower taxes for most Americans, but opted not to explain how he would make up for the lost revenue. Those details, he said earlier this month, should be worked out with Congress.
On the foreign policy front, Romney has criticized President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy but said he won’t put forward a plan until he hears from generals on the ground. As he said last week, “before I take a stand at a particular course of action, I want to get the input from the people who are there.”
For conservative voters wary of nominating an Etch-A-Sketch candidate, the GOP frontrunner has broadly wedded himself to the Republican agenda of gutting federal spending on domestic programs, telling Hayes, “Actually eliminating programs is the most important way to keep Congress from stuffing the money back into them.” But, as with his other big plans, voters may have to wait until he gets into office to find out which ones. The difference is that this time, Romney has openly chalked up the lack of details to political considerations.