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Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Media, Politics | 4 comments

Your Week In Republican Politics: Rick Perry’s Desperation Hail Mary Pass & Much Much More

How desperate is Rick Perry as he tanks in the polls? Well, with the last seconds ticking down in the fourth quarter of his run for the Republican presidential nomination, he is airing a new television commercial that is a wall-to-wall distortion of the truth in claiming President Obama called Americans “lazy” and grew up a child of privilege.

The ad begins with a clip of Obama stating, “We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades,” but the president’s statement was not about Americans but the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment.

With the willing assistance of Perry helpmate and softball thrower Sean Hannity on Fox News, Perry piled on, saying that the quote “reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way. You know, he never had to really work for anything. He never had to go through what Americans are going through.”

Obama’s background, of course, was anything but privileged. He was raised partly by a single mother who sometimes was on food stamps.


As Rick Perry has tanked, Newt Gingrich has soared in the polls, but this boomlet has come with strings attached: The harsh glare of public and media scrutiny.

First Gingrich was called out for claiming that he only was paid $300,000 in consulting fees from two contracts with Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage company that played a starring role in the housing industry collapse. The real figure was between $1.6 million and $1.8 million.

Now he is taking heat for his support in a July 2009 Washington Post online piece for end-of-life care provisions to help families decide whether terminally ill patients should avoid aggressive and costly medical measures, a position that he is now running from.

The WaPo piece praised Gundersen Lutheran Health System of LaCrosse, Wisconsin for its successful efforts to persuade most patients to have “advance directives,” saying that if Medicare had followed Gundersen’s lead on end-of-life care and other practices, it would “save more than $33 billion a year.”

The issue was soon to become a flashpoint in the debate over health-care reform and although proposed ObamaCare legislation did not contain any such provision, it was termed a “death panel” by the most vociferous Republican opponents of the legislation.

Then yesterday, spokesman for Gingrich confirmed that Gunderson was one of the paying clients of the candidate’s Center for Health Transformation, a health consulting firm whose other clients have included WellPoint, the American Hospital Association, and various other major health care concerns. The center has revenues of about $5 million a year.


Mitt Romney, who hands down has the best chance of beating Barack Obama in 2012, is pretty much stuck at 30 percent in most polls, but does this mean that 70 percent of likely Republican voters don’t like him?

Not by a country mile.

First of all, his unfavorable numbers in most of those polls hover around 20 percent, far lower than Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Little Ricky Santorum. Secondly, he matches up well in head-to-head pairings with other Republicans.

In a new MSNBC poll, for example, Romney basically ties with Cain: Romney 49, Cain 48, while he decimates Perry, 62-33.


Dan Drezner at Foreign Policy:

There’s a mercy rule in Little League, and I’m applying it here — unless and until Herman Cain surges back in the polls again, or manages to muster something approaching cogency in his foreign policy statements, there’s no point in blogging about him anymore. I can only pick on an ignoramus so many times before it feels sadistic.

And (big ouch) Michelle Malkin:

Cain makes Rick Perry look like a Mensa president.


As GOP presidential wannabe nutjobs goes, Michelle Bachmann is the biggest cashew in the tin.

Strutting her great grasp of government policy in last Saturday’s presidential debate, Bachmann accused President Obama of “allowing the ACLU to run the CIA.” Then on NBC‘s “Meet the Press” the next day, she doubled down on the assertion that the Obama administration has been manipulated by diabolical civil libertarian groups:

We all know that that isn’t a long-term solution to this problem. We aren’t adding any new terrorists to Guantanamo Bay. We only have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of 9/11, who is at Guantanamo Bay, and others as well. But we don’t have a place to put Al Qaeda when we pick them up. It’s either catch and release, which is a terrible idea, or we have to kill them. What we need to win this war on terror is interrogation. This is where my comment about the ACLU comes in because today the CIA is no longer able to go through the interrogation that yielded such profitable information that saved American lives.

Cough, cough. Ahem.


With seven weeks until the Republican caucus and primary season commences, one Tea Party darling after another has swooned.

Ed Kilgore explores this phenomenon in The New Republic and comes up with these explanations:

* Tea Partiers, ever self deferential, self absorbed and insular, never though they’d have a fight on their hands, so they were unprepared for one.

* Their ruthless enforcement of ideological purity has begotten dim bulb and nutcase candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump.

* They still have not learned the lessons of the 2010 mid-term election when genuine loons like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell went down in flames, robbing the GOP of two gains in the Senate.