Political Headlines June 13, 2011: Michele Bachmann Announces She is Running for the Republican Presidential Nomination During GOP New Hampshire Debate

POLITICAL HEADLINES

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

Michele Bachmann Announces Candidacy for President: Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota interrupted her answer to a question at a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire to announce that she had filed papers on Monday to formally declare her candidacy for the Republican nomination for president.

  • Michele Bachmann enters presidential race: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, an outspoken Republican with close ties to the tea party, announced Monday that she is running for president, a candidacy that could further shake up a volatile fight for the GOP nomination.
    The first female contender to enter the 2012 race, Bachmann announced her bid during a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire. The third-term Minnesota congresswoman has been leaning heavily toward a run over the past few months, visiting early primary states, raising money and railing against President Barack Obama.
    “We cannot risk giving President Obama four more years to dismantle our nation. We must act now,” Bachmann said in a fundraising letter sent within an hour of her entrance. “That’s why I’ve made the decision to get in this race.”
    She brings high energy, charisma and proven fundraising ability to the race to nominate a Republican challenger to Obama. She also is known for unyielding stances, biting commentary and high-profile gaffes.
    Bachmann is attempting the rare leap from the U.S. House to the presidency…. – AP, 6-13-11
  • Michele Bachmann uses GOP debate to announce presidential candidacy: Rep. Michele Bachmann used the first major presidential debate of the 2012 campaign to announce that she is formally running for president.
    For Bachmann, the conservative from Minnesota, the announcement was expected, but the timing of it was not. She had been expected to declare later in the month in Iowa.
    But early in the debate in Manchester, N.H., live on CNN, Bachmann said that she had filed her paperwork Monday with the Federal Election Commission to launch a presidential fundraising committee.
    She said she would soon make a public announcement. CNN’s John King, a bit flustered, quickly pushed Bachmann to return to addressing the debate topic at hand.
    Bachmann, 55, has served in the House since 2007. A former tax attorney, she’s popular among “tea party” activists. At present, she is the only woman in the GOP field.
    She also appeals to social conservatives. The mother of five, she has also served as foster parent to 23 other children…. – LAT, 6-13-11

Political Buzz: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Tour or Launching 2012 Presidential Campaign Tour

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Sarah and Todd Palin after a family visit on Monday to the National Archives in Washington.

This past week Sarah Palin has embarked on a tour of the Northeastern US with her family starting in Washington and ending in New Hampshire. Dubbed the “One Nation” Bus Tour, the modern whistle stop trip included stops at historical locations, meeting with the people and the press. The media has been closely monitoring Palin’s tour, speculating the true intention; a trip or a Presidential campaign exploration. Either way, the tour has captured the attention of the press and country, especially with Palin stopping in New Hampshire, the early primary state on the same day at fellow Republican Mitt Romney launched his Presidential campaign also in New Hampshire.

  • Palin Watch – Sarah Palin News Blog Alaska Dispath
  • Photos: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour: Sarah Palin has been willing to offer but a scrap of information of upcoming destinations, Palin set off from Washington for an East Coast bus tour, telling reporters that her tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins….. – Denver Post
  • Sarah Palin to collide with Mitt Romney rollout in New Hampshire: Sarah Palin will be casting a long shadow over Mitt Romney’s day in the sun in New Hampshire on Thursday.
    She’s bringing her I-haven’t-made-up-my-mind-yet bus tour across America to the Granite State even as Romney formally declares he’s in the 2012 race.
    Palin will attend a coastal clambake Thursday evening with some key New Hampshire Republicans. According to Politico, she called the timing “coincidental.”
    Palin is spending much of the day in Boston. She visited the Old North Church early Thursday.
    The ex-Alaska governor, who is winding up her weeklong tour, told the assembled media throng that has doggedly followed her every move from the Pentagon parking lot to the Freedom Trail that she still doesn’t know if she’s running for president in 2012.
    “Still looking at the field, knowing there’s going to be a lot of shakeup in that lineup,” Palin said
    Romney will be delivering a speech in Stratham, N.H. Palin said, “Maybe we’ll run into him.”
    Palin hasn’t been going out of her way to make friends in the early primary state. Earlier this week in an interview with CNN, she said that New Hampshire voters aren’t particularly special.
    “I guess that’s that nonpolitician in me not looking at a New Hampshire voter any differently just because they have, you know, an earlier primary than somebody else,” she said…. – LAT, 6-2-11
  • Palin tours Boston, says Romney timing coincidence: Sarah Palin took her tour of the United States, seen by some as a possible warm-up to a run at the Republican presidential nomination, to the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts on Thursday.
    On a tour through the city’s Revolutionary War-era historic sites, Palin said her trip was not timed to distract attention from Massachusetts ex-governor Mitt Romney’s formal announcement in neighboring New Hampshire of the start of his presidential campaign .
    Palin, a former governor of Alaska, told reporters in the morning that the timing of the trip was “coincidental.”
    She herself was expected to travel next to New Hampshire, traditionally the state with the nation’s first nominating primary, making it a key destination for all potential candidates.
    After visiting sites including the Old North Church and the house of Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, Palin stopped to talk with onlookers on the cobblestoned streets of the city’s North End…. – Reuters, 6-2-11
  • Sarah Palin Remembers Ronald Reagan At Liberty State Park: Sarah Palin, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and former Governor of Alaska, visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island today on her “One Nation” bus tour. Last night, Palin went to dinner in Manhattan with real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.
    Palin’s “One Nation” tour continues to be defined by themes of freedom, liberty and patriotism. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and is an internationally recognized symbol of both freedom and democracy. Ellis Island served as the inspection station for the millions of immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954.
    “What a wonderful day to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!” said Palin. In what seemed like a veiled reference to her own presidential aspirations, Palin talked about former President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Liberty State Park in 1980. “He spoke of the Americans who passed through Ellis Island and whose first glimpse of their adopted country was the grand statue in New York’s harbor. He talked about our shared values and the common thread of the American dream across an endless mix of backgrounds,” said Palin…. – The State Column, 6-2-11
  • On the Media: News flash — Sarah Palin rides a bus What it means, though, nobody outside of Team Palin knows for sure. But reporters still give chase, just in case: It’s not exactly blockbuster news when Sarah Palin calls the U.S. Constitution an important document, tries to one-up President Obama in praise of the U.S. military or heaps another load of condescension on the media.
    But it is news when Palin does all these things within a few days of one another as part of a tour that has her dancing around a possible run for president of the United States. It’s news, less because Palin might actually run than because this is what politicians do. And the media cover what they do, good bad and indifferent, especially when they are as fascinating and polarizing as Sarah Palin.
    Ever since Palin announced her “One Nation” tour, multiple media outlets have scrambled to follow her bus, with no itinerary or real help from the principal and her team. And plenty of other people have taken to the Internet to denounce the whole spectacle as a publicity stunt and brand-booster for a brand badly in need of a lift.
    Far from the daily schedules and constant updates they are accustomed to on campaign tours, reporters have had to beg sources close to Palin for hints about what will happen next. A reporter for the Times of London incorrectly guessed at a Memorial Day trip to Gettysburg (it came a day later) and only happened on her as he later staked out the road to Mount Vernon.
    Team Palin threw the trailing scribes off the scent again Tuesday, leaving her bus idling outside her Gettysburg hotel while she slipped out to take a tour of the Civil War battlefield in an SUV. Palin is believed to be arriving in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, by week’s end. But no one outside the Palin bubble knows for sure…. – LAT, 6-1-11
  • The Influence Industry: The fine lines between a Palin vacation and Palin tour: When most families go on a summer vacation, they don’t have a political-action committee to pay the bills.
    Not so for Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who has joined her husband, children and parents in a widely publicized bus tour of East Coast historic sites this week.
    The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey.
    “You can show your support for the Fundamental Restoration of America and the ‘One Nation Tour’ by making a generous donation to SarahPAC today,” reads a message on the SarahPAC Web site.
    The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.
    As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between…. – WaPo, 6-1-11
  • Palin tour: campaign prelude or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is going rogue again, confounding the press and delighting fans on a family bus tour that could be a prelude to an unconventional White House campaign — or a branding exercise for Palin Inc.
    The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has kept reporters scrambling across three states for three days, refusing to publish her schedule while traveling the countryside in a flashy, painted campaign-style bus.
    After announcing the tour of East Coast historic sites last week, Team Palin went silent on the itinerary and refused to accommodate press coverage. It was an unusual strategy for any politician, particularly one considering a White House run in 2012.
    It was hardly surprising for Palin, however, who denounces the “lamestream media” and built her political image around her unconventional style. And it paid immediate dividends with coverage from reporters who chased her like paparazzi after Angelina Jolie…. – Reuters, 5-31-11
  • Palin confirms she’s in LLC that bought Ariz. home: Sarah Palin has confirmed that she is part of a company that purchased a home north of Phoenix, but she said she hasn’t moved from Alaska.
    Safari Investments LLC paid nearly $1.7 million cash for the five-bedroom, 7,900-square-foot home in rural north Scottsdale in May.
    In an interview aired Tuesday night, the former Alaska governor told Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren that she is part of Safari Investments and it “has some property in Arizona now.”
    “You know, many, many Alaskans purchase property in Arizona, Nevada and Texas,” Palin said from her bus that has been touring the East Coast. “I think we do that because not only are we good investors, and it’s a buyer’s market, but we like to thaw out once in a while.”… – AP, 5-31-11
  • Sarah Palin’s bus tour stops at National Archives, Mount Vernon and Baltimore: The former Alaska governor is believed to be headed to Philadelphia next. She continues to insist her patriotic-themed bus is not a campaign bus.
    It’s still unclear whether Sarah Palin’s road trip is an educational family tour of historical America or a dry run for her potential Republican presidential bid.
    But Monday, two things became clear: She will not shy away from unscripted encounters, and she isn’t going let anyone know in advance where she’s going as she wends her way across the country this summer.
    In an impromptu news conference Monday evening in the parking lot of her Gettysburg hotel shortly after taking a four-mile run in steaming heat, Palin said she thought the current crop of Republican presidential contenders is “strong” and that any campaign she might wage “would definitely be unconventional and nontraditional, yes, knowing us, yeah, it would have to be.”
    And that was as far as she would go, leaving the former Alaska governor’s intentions, like much of her bus tour, a mystery. Although she announced her “One Nation” tour with great fanfare on her website, Palin has refused to post information about her schedule, leaving reporters scrambling across the Eastern Seaboard to figure out her stops.
    Her bus tour began for real on Monday after she spent Sunday, the ostensible start day, riding in a motorcycle procession for veterans and surreptitiously visiting Washington monuments. Her patriotic-themed bus, decorated with a blown-up image of the U.S. Constitution, pulled up to the National Archives in Washington at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, half an hour before opening.
    Her party — which included her husband, three daughters and her parents, as well as Greta Van Susteren, a host on Fox News, with whom Palin has an exclusive contract — was ushered into the building for a private look at the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, cloistered in a darkened rotunda under glass.
    By the time she exited the archives half an hour later, a small crowd of reporters and well-wishers had gathered outside.
    “I wish every student in America could get here,” she afterward. “It is heartwarming, and it means so much to so many of us to be able to physically be here and see the foundation of America.”… – LAT, 5-31-11
  • SARAH PALIN: Memorial Day brings out presidential hopefuls: Politicians were in plentiful supply this Memorial Day as the ramp-up to the 2012 presidential election began in earnest.
    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who began a nationwide bus tour Sunday, generated plenty of buzz, visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Mount Vernon in Virginia on Monday.
    She told CNN on Monday that she plans to take her “One Nation” bus tour to Iowa, the state that votes first in the race for the Republican presidential nomination…. – CNN, 5-31-11
  • Palin Family Hits Road, if Not 2012 Trail: Sarah Palin dropped a fresh hint Monday about her presidential ambitions, telling reporters that her “One Nation” bus tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins.
    But that scrap of information was about all Ms. Palin was willing to offer to reporters as she spent Memorial Day bouncing among historic locations in Washington, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
    Day 2 of the tour started Monday morning with a visit to the National Archives in Washington, where she and her family took a private moment to look at the Constitution. The family went from there to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, and to Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A stop at the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania was also on the itinerary.
    Throughout the day, Ms. Palin continued to play coy with reporters eager to know her itinerary. After the National Archives stop, a reporter yelled out, “Sarah, where are you going next?” She quickly answered, “Mount Vernon,” then added, “Oh — you are a reporter, darn you!”
    Ms. Palin announced her bus tour with great fanfare last week and is using it on her Web site to raise money for her political action committee. Despite that, she is acting as though her family is just like any other on vacation…. – NYT, 5-30-11
  • In Gettysburg, post-jog Palin greets supporters: It’s too hot in central Pennsylvania, according to Sarah Palin, but while it wore out those on her bus tour, she snuck in a jog as reporters and supporters searched for her whereabouts.
    The Palin-crazed media and faithful fans found her late Monday afternoon, as she and her family paused their northbound road trip to rest up at a hotel on the outskirts of Gettysburg.
    National reporters trailed the Palins throughout the day, during their stops at the National Archives, Mount Vernon and Fort McHenry. When her bus was spotted at a hotel minutes from the historic battlefield that she was expected to visit today, reporters flocked and fans posed for pictures next to the Constitution-emblazoned motorcoach.
    Rumors swirled that she would be heading back out later that evening, and with a group gathered watching one hotel exit, she drew stunned looks as she and her daughter Piper walked up from behind the crowd and said hello…. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5-30-11
  • Palin Appearance at ‘Rolling Thunder’ Feeds Election Speculation Fury: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.
    Sarah Palin could win the Republican nomination and defeat President Obama, Sen. John McCain said Sunday as his former vice presidential running mate fueled 2012 speculation by appearing at the annual Memorial Day rally on the National Mall.
    “Of course she can, she can. Whether she will or not, whether she’ll even run, I don’t know,” McCain, R-Ariz., told “Fox News Sunday.” “She certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive.”
    Palin’s participation in the annual Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., has fueled as much noise about a potential presidential candidacy as the thousands of motorcycle-riding veterans participating in the Rolling Thunder ride-along Sunday.
    At the Pentagon parking lot where the mob of veterans and their families pre-positioned for the thunderous two-wheeler march down Constitution Ave, Palin, who did not address the Memorial Day crowd, said she was thrilled to participate.
    “I love that smell of the emissions,” she said, donning sunglasses and a Harley Davidson skullcap-style, black helmet…. – Fox News, 5-29-11
  • Palin swarmed at first bus tour stop: Amid the chaos, there was Sarah Palin. Only one advance staffer was on hand to wrangle the fans and reporters hoping to get close to the former vice presidential nominee, who arrived at Sunday’s Rolling Thunder rally driving her own motorcycle.
    At the first stop on Palin’s bus tour – which so far has a vague itinerary but no other formally announced stops – security and press relations were left to a small group of disgruntled bikers.
    When asked about the tour, Palin offered only, “This is our first stop, we’re very thankful to be here.” A map of the tour’s stops on her PAC’s website remains blank.
    Palin arrived with her daughter Willow on the front of the motorcycle she was driving and her husband Todd and oldest daughter Bristol each on separate bikes. Still, their presence was very small in comparison to the rest of the rally, drawing about 200 people in a swarm around her at an event that drew thousands of veterans. Her husband, wearing a navy blue T-shirt with “Washington, D.C.” printed on the front, worked the crowd with ease – offering fast and short responses to a few reporters and glad-handing the many fans of his wife. They talked happily with those within shouting distance, and they joined the former vice presidential nominee in signing leather vests, posing for the cameras and answering questions to the few reporters who got close enough. She even held a brief availability with reporters in the corner of the parking lot away from the main group.
    Organizers of the annual veterans motorcycle ride were clearly frustrated by the media attention and fuss brought by Palin, and the bikers weren’t as encouraging as the Palins. Yelling, and in a few instances, shoving, they tried to keep away press trying to snap photographs or capture a rare quote…. – Politico, 5-29-11
  • Sarah Palin’s ‘One Nation’ bus tour shrouded in secrecy: 2012 run for President or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is hopping aboard a national bus tour this weekend and now the big mystery is whether she’s also switching gears for a White House run.
    The former Alaska governor’s One Nation road trip is shrouded in secrecy, with her political action committee only revealing that she’ll start in Washington and go up through New England to “educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.”
    Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty shrugged off Palin’s bus tour Friday when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if the trip indicated a run for the Oval Office…. – NY Daily News, 5-27-11
  • Palin to Begin Public Tour This Weekend: Sarah Palin will begin a bus tour of the East Coast on Memorial Day weekend, the latest and most significant evidence that the former governor of Alaska is still seriously considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination this year.
    Ms. Palin will begin the series of high-profile public events in the Washington area, starting with the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally and continuing on through the Northeast, according to a statement on her Web site.
    Her purchase of a house in Arizona and recent additions to her staff have prompted renewed speculation about her political intentions even as the field of Republicans who are vying to challenge President Obama has dwindled in recent weeks.
    The bus tour, which will extend beyond the weekend, will take Ms. Palin and her family through the Northeast in a decorated, red-white-and-blue charter bus, heightening comparisons to a campaign whistle-stop tour…. – NYT, 5-26-11
  • Sarah Palin and her ‘One Nation’ bus tour, coming to a town near voters soon: Sarah Palin, who admitted recently that she had the fire in the belly to run for president, now has a bus tour to go with it.
    The Republican former governor, who wandered all over Alaska in a motorhome last year for her Discovery Channel reality series, will do the same starting Sunday at a biker rally in Washington.
    According to Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics.com, an essential daily read for politics fans, the tour will, of course, involve members of the Palin family and first focus on the Northeast. That’s a seemingly unlikely place for RepSarah palin one nation Busublican political kickoffs, unless you can say ‘the first primary state of New Hampshire is a whole lot nicer in June than January.’
    The trips could last for weeks and are guaranteed to attract many media trailing along in the bus exhaust fumes. Like the NASCAR race she attended last year, Sunday’s annual … … Memorial Day Rolling Thunder biker rally at the Pentagon and down the National Mall offers an ideal opportunity for the kind of handshaking, picture-posing, you-betcha retail politicking that Palin loves and is so good at. Among folks who like her…. – LAT, 5-26-11

Sunday: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.

AP2011

Sunday: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.

Sarah Palin: ‘I’m Not the Conventional, Status Quo Politician … the Last Thing I Worry About Is the Mainstream Media': GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here’s Governor Palin on her “One Nation” bus tour.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Governor, we’re on the bus. Whose idea was this bus?
SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, Todd had this idea. He was reading on an airplane some months ago an article by Thomas Sowell, and in this article, Thomas Sowell was talking about our economy and how to get it back on the right track and how much of the solution has to do with the foundation of America.
And Todd — he texted me when he landed at the airport and said, You know, we need to remind America about our charters of liberty, about our Constitution, about our Declaration of Independence and how America was built on this idea of individual power within us, and then collectively, how we all work together to create this great union. We need to remind America how important it is to protect all that’s good about America as written out in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Go around the country and start talking about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you…
PALIN: Right on!
VAN SUSTEREN: You’ve obviously driven the media nuts. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that. But I mean, everybody’s talking about it. Everyone’s trying to find out where you’re going, what are you doing. What do you say about that because it’s — it — everybody’s been talking about it.
PALIN: Well, you know, I know that many in the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional — a campaign-type tour. And I’ve said from the beginning this isn’t a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty. And they want kind of a conventional idea of, We want a schedule. We want to follow you. We want you to bring us along with you.
I’m, like, (A) I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way that it’s always been done with the media in terms of relationship with them. Tell them to come on along and then we’ll orchestrate this, we’ll script this, and we’ll basically write a story for you, media, about what we’re doing every day.
No, I want them to have to do a bit of work on a tour like this, and that would include not necessarily telling them beforehand where every stop is going to be. You know, if they — we’ll do a stop. We’ll do a lot of OTRs, off the records. We’ll meet a lot of great Americans. And then I’ll write about that at the end of the day.
And it’s not about me. It’s not a publicity-seeking tour. It’s about highlighting the great things about America. And the media can figure out where we’re going if they do their investigative or they are going to keep kind of , as you put it, going crazy trying to figure out what we’re doing…. – Fox News, 5-31-11

Political Buzz June 6, 2011: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Announces He is Seeking the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….

Mitt Romney announced that he is formally entering the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in Stratham, New Hampshire, on Thursday.
Brian Snyder/ReutersMitt Romney announced that he is formally entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday.

 

Republican Mitt Romney, a 2008 candidate, made official what has been speculated since the end of the 2008 campaign, that he will make a second presidential bid in 2012. Romney made the official announcement at a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, stating that President Obama “has failed America.” Romney is currently leading in the polls of all potential 2012 GOP candidates.

  • Romney is tops in poll of Republicans: Among Iowa Republicans, Mitt Romney is tops, but Herman Cain and Sarah Palin are tied for second place, a new survey shows.
    Romney registers at 21 percent, with Cain and Palin at 15 percent, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday.
    Palin, a former Alaska governor and Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate in 2008, has surged 7 points since Public Policy Polling’s last survey six weeks ago…. – Des Moines Register, 6-2-11
  • Live blog of Romney presidential announcement: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is today publicly launching his second bid for the presidency with an outdoor speech at a farm in the lead primary state of New Hampshire…. – Boston Globe, 6-2-11
  • Mitt Romney kicks off 2012 presidential bid: We will be live blogging Republican Mitt Romney’s formal announcement that he’s running for president. It’s the second try for the White House by the ex-Massachusetts governor.
    1:15 p.m. ET Romney is talking about his father, George, who started out working in plaster and ended up running American Motors.
    1:13 p.m. ET Romney vows to repeal what he calls “Obamacare” and to balance the federal budget. His main focus will be on the economy. “My No. 1 job will to see that America is No. 1 in job creation,” he says.
    1:11 p.m. ET Says he is shaped by his 25 years in government, his work at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics and as governor. “Turning around a crisis takes experience and bold action. For millions of Americans, the economy is in crisis today. Unless we change course, it’ll be a crisis tomorrow.”…. – USA Today, 6-2-11
  • Mitt Romney hammers Obama in today’s speech: Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney stressed his economic experience while taking direct aim at President Obama in a sweeping address this afternoon as he announced he’s jumping into the 2012 presidential race.
    “I’m Mitt Romney. I believe in America and I am running for president of the United States,” he said.
    The GOP front-runner in some polls made his candidacy official in New Hampshire as potential rival Sarah Palin pulls out of Boston and heads to the Granite State.
    “Barack Obama has failed America,” Romney said during a noontime speech in Stratham, N.H.
    “It’s time for a president who cares more about American workers than he does America’s union bosses,” Romney said.
    Romney kept the pressure on the president’s poor jobs performance — even questioning Obama’s work history.
    “If you want to create jobs, it helps to have actually had a job and I have,” said Romney.
    Romney added about Obama: “We didn’t know what sort of a president he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama came to office, we wished him well and hoped for the best. Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by.”… – Boston Herald, 6-2-11
  • Romney opens presidential bid challenging Obama: Just as Mitt Romney declared Thursday that he’s in, it’s suddenly looking like he’ll have more company in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
    While Romney made his candidacy official in New Hampshire, political heavyweights Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani caused a stir of their own with visits to the first-in-the-nation primary state. And rumblings from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota further undercut Romney’s standing as the closest thing the GOP has to a front-runner.
    “I’m Mitt Romney and I believe in America. And I’m running for president of the United States,” Romney said to cheers on a sunny farm here in Southern New Hampshire.
    The former business executive previewed a campaign message focused on the economic woes that top voters’ concerns: rising gas prices, stubbornly high unemployment and persistent foreclosures.
    “It breaks my heart to see what is happening to this great country,” Romney said. “No, Mr. President, you had your chance.”
    It’s a pitch tailored to the conservatives who hold great sway in picking the GOP’s presidential nominee in Iowa and South Carolina – and the independents who are the largest political bloc in New Hampshire. And it is as much a statement on his viability as it is an indictment of Obama’s leadership.
    “Barack Obama has failed America,” Romney said as he began his second White House bid. “When Barack Obama took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse.”… – AP, 6-2-11
  • Romney Kicks Off Presidential Run in New Hampshire: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made it official Thursday: He’s making a 2012 run for the White House.
    In a speech before a crowd of hundreds at a farm in Stratham, N.H., Romney presented himself as a viable alternative to President Obama, who he said has upped America’s “misery index,” made the recession worse and made it longer.
    “Barack Obama has failed America,” he said.
    Romney, who was introduced by his wife, Anne, said that he holds the keys to a more prosperous America.
    “My generation will pass the torch to the next generation, not a bill,” he said, adding that his administration will restore state powers over dozens of government programs.
    “And that begins with a complete repeal of Obamacare,” he said. “From my first day in office my No.1 job will be to see that America once again is number in job creation.”… – Fox News, 6-2-11
  • Romney makes 2nd presidential bid official: Mitt Romney officially launched another run for president Thursday, choosing a key early voting state to deliver a strong message against the Democratic administration’s handling of the economy.
    Romney made the announcement at Bittersweet Farm, owned by a former speaker of the New Hampshire Legislature, Doug Scamman. New Hampshire was also the backdrop for Romney’s online announcement in April that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee.
    New Hampshire, which is first in the national primary next year, is being described as a must-win state for Romney, who finished second there in his 2008 White House bid to the party’s eventual nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
    Mitt Romney is opening his first formal day as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate by pitching himself as the one to heal the economy and says, “Barack Obama has failed America.”
    Romney, a Boston-based businessman who amassed a personal fortune turning around troubled companies, emphasized the need to fix the nation’s economy in a speech delivered near a barn decorated with his campaign slogan, “Believe in America.”
    President Barack Obama, “has failed America,” Romney said, describing a family in Las Vegas who have seen homes in their suburban neighborhood abandoned, “crushed by this Obama economy.”
    He said government has grown too much, calling for spending to be capped and the federal budget to be balanced, warning, “We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.”
    Romney also promised to insist that Washington “learns to respect the Constitution, including the 10th Amendment,” and said the responsibility for dozens of government programs will be returned to the states beginning “with a complete repeal of Obamacare.”…. – KSL, 6-2-11
  • For Mitt Romney, Chili Comes First: Before he announces he’s running for president, Mitt Romney has a more important task to take care of: doling out portions of his wife Ann’s “world famous” chili.
    Romney and his wife served up the chicken chili on the Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, just after noon, then moving on to work the crowds, shaking hands and signing autographs.
    One spectator offered Romney an apron, which the soon-to-be presidential hopeful declined despite the supporter’s encouragement, “We don’t want you to get dirty, Mitt!”
    Clutching Ann’s hand through the swarm of cameras and reporters, one bystander asked Ann if she is “ready for round two.”
    “Yes!” she responded.
    Another supporter cheered, “Good luck President Romney! New Hampshire loves you,” just as Romney and his wife disappeared behind hay bales to ready for the big announcement…. – ABC News, 6-2-11
  • Romney to Announce Candidacy in New Hampshire: Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, will make his second bid for the presidency official on Thursday with a broadside against President Obama and a call for a new economic agenda.
    In excerpts released by his campaign, Mr. Romney accuses the president of failing to live up to the promise of economic recovery he made during his 2008 campaign.
    “At the time, we didn’t know what sort of a president he would make,” Mr. Romney will say as he makes his announcement from a family farm in New Hampshire. “Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by. Barack Obama has failed America.”
    The attacks on Mr. Obama promise to be a centerpiece of Mr. Romney’s campaign as he seeks to present himself as the inevitable choice for Republicans eager to reclaim the White House. In his speech on Thursday, he will pledge, without hesitance, to repeal the president’s health care reforms.
    “We will return responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs – and that begins with a complete repeal of Obamacare,” he will say, according to the excerpts. “From my first day in office my number one job will be to see that America once again is number in job creation.”
    Mr. Romney makes his candidacy official at a local family farm, where he invited supporters and media to a “Cookout With Mitt and Ann.” Under clear skies and with tractors and hay bales as a backdrop, Mr. Romney hopes to send the message that he intends to win New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary…. – NYT, 6-2-11
  • Mitt Romney is officially in. Will he do better this time?: Mitt Romney is formally in the presidential race per his announcement Thursday at a hot-dog and chili cookout at a New Hampshire farm. Will he do better in the 2012 election cycle than he did last time around?
    Mr. Romney’s 2008 try for the White House didn’t go that well, after all. The well-funded ex-governor of Massachusetts thought he could burst out of the starting blocks with wins in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Instead, he finished well behind the surprising Mike Huckabee in the former and lost to eventual nominee Sen. John McCain in the latter. His candidacy was burnt toast within weeks.
    There’s reason to believe he’ll be more successful with this attempt. He’s been the front-runner in almost all preseason polls, hovering at about 22 to 24 percent of the GOP primary vote. Perhaps more important, he’s liked, if not well liked. His Gallup Positive Intensity Score (produced by subtracting the percentage of voters who have a highly unfavorable opinion of him from the percentage who have a highly favorable one) is about 14, which is decent. Minnesota ex-governor Tim Pawlenty and former you-know-what Sarah Palin score about the same…. – CS Monitor, 6-2-11
  • Romney to Announce Candidacy in New Hampshire: Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, will make his second bid for the presidency official on Thursday with a broadside against President Obama and a call for a new economic agenda.
    In excerpts released by his campaign, Mr. Romney accuses the president of failing to live up to the promise of economic recovery he made during his 2008 campaign.
    “At the time, we didn’t know what sort of a president he would make,” Mr. Romney will say as he makes his announcement from a family farm in New Hampshire. “Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by. Barack Obama has failed America.”
    The attacks on Mr. Obama promise to be a centerpiece of Mr. Romney’s campaign as he seeks to present himself as the inevitable choice for Republicans eager to reclaim the White House. In his speech on Thursday, he will pledge, without hesitance, to repeal the president’s health care reforms.
    “We will return responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs – and that begins with a complete repeal of Obamacare,” he will say, according to the excerpts. “From my first day in office my number one job will be to see that America once again is number in job creation.”
    Mr. Romney makes his candidacy official at a local family farm, where he invited supporters and media to a “Cookout With Mitt and Ann.” Under clear skies and with tractors and hay bales as a backdrop, Mr. Romney hopes to send the message that he intends to win New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.
    The choice of the Bittersweet Farm for his announcement is an interesting one for Mr. Romney, who regularly argues for a smaller federal government that spends less. The rolling green hills of the farm were preserved in recent years in part with $1 million in federal money, according to a recent report in Seacoast Online…. – NYT, 6-2-11
  • Romney to Announce White House Bid, Declare ‘Obama has Failed America': Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will announce today that he’s making his bid for the Republican presidential nomination official, declaring, “Barack Obama has failed America.”
    In excerpts of prepared remarks obtained by ABC News, Romney rails against the president’s handling of the struggling economy and vows to shrink the size of the government.
    “A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn’t known for very long, who didn’t have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place,” Romney says in his prepared remarks. “Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by.”
    Today marks Romney’s second campaign for the presidency. In 2008, Romney withdrew from the race after being overtaken by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Super Tuesday. McCain got Romney’s endorsement and the GOP nomination.
    Romney is again being pegged as a GOP frontrunner, much as he was the first time he ran for the White House. According to the latest Gallup poll, released last week, 17 percent of those voters who lean toward the GOP said they would vote for Romney. Fifteen percent of those polled said they would cast their ballots for the former GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin…. – ABC News, 6-2-11
  • Can Romney keep going as front-runner?: Media interest in New Hampshire appearances by non-candidates Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani rivals that for Romney’s official campaign announcement today. Republican activists are pleading with prospects from Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey to Gov. Rick Perry in Texas to jump into the presidential race. Romney’s vulnerabilities, from a stiff public persona to the health care law he signed in Massachusetts, have long been on display.
    Less recognized are Romney’s considerable strengths. With the sort of deliberation reminiscent of Barack Obama’s efforts to avoid being caught in the tumult of the day in 2008, Romney has been building a below-the-radar campaign that reflects lessons learned the hard way four years ago.
    When he formally announces his candidacy at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, N.H., Romney will be able to boast the biggest war chest and a message honed for the moment: That he’s a savvy business executive with the skills to turn around a battered economy…. – USA Today, 6-2-11
  • Obama ‘failed America,’ GOP’s Romney says Republican to stress the economy, jobs as Democrats counterattack: Mitt Romney is formally kicking off his presidential run Thursday in New Hampshire, opening his bid for the White House with an attack on President Barack Obama’s economic policies, saying the incumbent has “failed America.”
    The former Massachusetts governor, who lost out to Sen. John McCain for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, made the charge in an early-morning blog post on his website, ahead of his formal announcement scheduled noon Eastern time.
    Romney also says that Obama made the recession worse and longer-lasting and that the president’s stimulus package hasn’t kept unemployment below 8%; the April jobless rate stood at 9%.
    House Republicans and Democrats agreed to vote down a measure that would have raised the federal debt ceiling by $2.4 trilion, citing its lack of a link to deficit-reducing plans.
    “This is not just a problem — this is a national crisis,” Romney says…. – Market Watch, 6-2-11
  • Romney seeks 2nd chance with GOP presidential bid: What are the odds of this? A guy gets into a head-on collision, has a police officer write “He is dead” at the scene, and lives to tell.
    Mitt Romney knows a thing or two about second chances.
    After that long-ago highway collision when he was a young missionary serving in France, Romney earned an outsized reputation and millions of dollars as a corporate turnaround artist, fixing bottom lines, cleaning up the scandal-tarred Salt Lake City Olympics and giving various other endeavors a second wind.
    Now he is determined to do that for himself. (And his country, he would say.)
    “I’ve never seen an enterprise in more desperate need of a turnaround than the U.S. government,” Romney says.
    An also-ran to John McCain in the 2008 Republican nomination fight, Romney is the closest thing to a front-runner that the still-jelling GOP presidential field for 2012 has to offer. On Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor makes his candidacy official during an appearance at a farm in Stratham, N.H.
    With his good looks, able fundraising, strong political organization, solid family and business acumen, Romney sounds like a candidate ordered from central casting to run in a time of economic stress.
    But to succeed where he failed four years ago, Romney, 64, will need to convince voters that behind the picture-perfect presentation lurks a human being with a passion to lead and an unshakeable set of convictions…. – AP, 6-2-11
  • Mitt Romney’s announcement speech: It’s the economy, stupid: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will formally enter the 2012 presidential race today. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images) Mitt Romney will formally enter the Republican presidential race today with a speech that sternly rebukes President Obama for his handling of the economy and presents the former Massachusetts governor’s resume as best suited for these trying economic times.
    “Barack Obama has failed America,” Romney will say, according to excerpts of the address obtained by The Fix. “From my first day in office my No. 1 job will be to see that America once again is No. 1 in job creation.”
    Romney will also repeat his call to repeal Obama’s health care law and make a pledge to “return responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs”.
    It’s not clear whether Romney will address the health care plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts, a major sore spot for some Republicans.
    Romney will deliver the speech at 12:30 p.m. in Stratham, N.H. — an indication of the importance of the Granite State to his chances at the Republican nomination. (You can watch a live stream of the speech here.)
    Romney enters the GOP presidential race as its nominal frontrunner — leading in most polls conducted on the race and expected to be, by far, the strongest fundraiser in the field. He raised more than $10 million in a single day last month…. – WaPo, 6-2-11

February 15, 2011: Obama Budget Press Conference

Presidential Press Conference on the 2012 Budget

February 15, 2011: President Obama Unveils Massive $3.7 Trillion 2012 Budget, Republicans Vow Cuts

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Drew Angerer/The New York Times

President Obama spoke about the budget and education at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Baltimore on Monday. He was flanked by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at left and Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, at right.

STATS & POLLS

THE HEADLINES….

  • Obama’s Budget Focuses on Path to Rein in Deficit: With President Obama’s release on Monday of a budget for next year and House action this week on a Republican plan for immediate deep spending cuts, the nation is getting its clearest view since the president took office of the parties’ competing visions of the role of government, the urgency of addressing the deficit and the best path to long-term economic success.
    Mr. Obama used his budget for the fiscal year 2012 and beyond to make the case for selectively cutting spending while increasing resources in areas like education and clean energy initiatives that hold the potential for long-term payoffs in economic growth. With this year’s deficit projected to hit a record, $1.6 trillion, he laid out a path for bringing down annual deficits to more sustainable levels over the rest of the decade…. – NYT, 2-15-11
  • Obama budget: Some cuts, not the slashes GOP asks: Putting on the brakes after two years of big spending increases, President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan Monday that would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs for the nation’s poor but turn aside Republican demands for more drastic cuts to shrink the government to where it was before he took office….. – AP, 2-15-11
  • Highlights of Obama’s 2012 spending plan: Obama sends plan to Capitol Hill; goal is to get funding in place by start of 2012 fiscal year… Plan includes a significant increase in education funding… Plan decreases discretionary resources for the Department of Transportation…. It trims funding for African Development and Inter-American Foundations by nearly 20%
    President Obama’s spending plan is just the first step in a process that will involve no less than 40 congressional committees, 24 subcommittees, countless hearings and a number of floor votes in the House and Senate, with the aim of getting funding in place for the federal government by the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year October 1.
    Congress never passed a budget for the current fiscal year, and the government has been running on a “continuing resolution,” which expires March 4. House Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet over cuts to current programs and threaten to shut down the government if they don’t get their way.
    After Obama sends his 2012 plan to Capitol Hill, House and Senate budget committees each pass their own budget resolutions, which set caps on spending and establish revenue targets and generally serve as five- to 10-year blueprints for congressional priorities…. – CNN,
  • Obama budget resurrects rejected tax increases: President Barack Obama’s budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases on certain corporations and the wealthy that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers. Republicans, who now control the House, are signaling they will be even less receptive.
    The plan unveiled Monday includes tax increases for oil, gas and coal producers, investment managers and U.S.-based multinational corporations. The plan would allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000. Wealthy taxpayers would have their itemized deductions limited starting in 2012, including deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes…. – AP, 2-14-11
  • Showtime for House Republican spending cuts: One day after President Barack Obama presented Congress with his $3.7 trillion budget, the focus shifts on Tuesday to Washington’s more immediate spending needs and a controversial spending-cut bill that Republicans hope to pass in the House of Representatives.
    The House legislation, cobbled together by Republicans after weeks of intraparty fighting, would cut about $61 billion from current spending in a bill to fund government activities through the rest of this fiscal year that ends on September 30.
    The spending being proposed would be equal to a 14 percent cut from last year…. – Reuters, 2-15-10
  • House Republicans counter Obama budget plan with much deeper cuts: On Monday, President Obama made his statement about how the government ought to change its spending habits: a gradual plan that minimizes immediate pain by phasing in cuts over a decade.
    Starting Tuesday, House Republicans will move forward with a very different approach, one intended to be viewed as radical and painful. Their proposal deals not with theoretical deficit targets set far in the future but with the final seven months of this year’s budget, a period left in flux by congressional inaction.
    House Republicans want to cut $61 billion from the budget, which would amount to the most significant government contraction since the end of World War II. Decried as “dire” and “disturbing” by Democrats, the plan has become a test for how far Republicans are willing to go in order to deliver on the promise of fiscal austerity that GOP candidates pledged to voters last year.
    “It’s big, and it’s real and it can impact people’s lives,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday of the House legislation. “But we have a budget deficit right now of nearly $1.5 trillion. We have a lot of work to do.”… – WaPo, 2-15-11
  • Obama budget: $3.7 trillion FY ‘12 blueprint calls for key ‘investments’; red ink surges: Trying to balance the need to rein in deficits with his belief that spending now on education and other priorities will pay off in the long term, President Obama on Monday sent Congress a $3.7 trillion budget blueprint for 2012 that makes some short-term fixes but puts off heavy lifting on Social Security and Medicare.
    The budget acts as an update on the current fiscal year, as well as a plan for the future, and it shows the federal government will run a record $1.645 trillion deficit in 2011, slimming down to $1.101 trillion in 2012 and continuing the red ink for the foreseeable future, though at lower levels.
    After massive spending during his first two years in office, Mr. Obama proposed some tax increases and strategic spending cuts for 2012, such as in low-income energy assistance and student aid. But he also called for boosting spending on transportation and education – needs the president said cannot be sacrificed even in the face of the deficit…. – Washington Times, 2-14-11
  • Obama budget sets up spending fight Proposed cuts too small for GOP’s fiscal hawks: President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion 2012 budget that would boost spending in Michigan on items like education and energy, while cutting things like heating assistance for the poor and Great Lakes cleanup in an effort to bring the federal deficit under control. White House officials said Obama’s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins in October would trim the federal deficit by $1.1 trillion over a decade, and produce about a $1.6 trillion budget hole for this year. The plan now goes to Congress, where it’s likely to encounter stiff opposition from Republicans who have said they want deeper cuts and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who will fight for programs and tax breaks benefiting their districts… – The Detroit News, 2-15-11
  • Editorial: The Obama Budget: On paper, President Obama’s new $3.7 trillion budget is encouraging. It makes a number of tough choices to cut the deficit by a projected $1.1 trillion over 10 years, which is enough to prevent an uncontrolled explosion of debt in the next decade and, as a result, reduce the risk of a fiscal crisis.
    The questions are whether its tough choices are also wise choices and whether it stands a chance in a Congress in which Republicans, who now dominate the House, are obsessed with making indiscriminate short-term cuts in programs they never liked anyway. The Republican cuts would eviscerate vital government functions while not having any lasting impact on the deficit.
    What Mr. Obama’s budget is most definitely not is a blueprint for dealing with the real long-term problems that feed the budget deficit: rising health care costs, an aging population and a refusal by lawmakers to face the inescapable need to raise taxes at some point. Rather, it defers those critical issues, in hopes, we assume, that both the economy and the political environment will improve in the future…. – NYT, 2-15-11
  • President Obama’s budget kicks the hard choices further down the road: THE PRESIDENT PUNTED. Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided. “The fiscal realities we face require hard choices,” the president said in his budget message. “A decade of deficits, compounded by the effects of the recession and the steps we had to take to break it, as well as the chronic failure to confront difficult decisions, has put us on an unsustainable course.” His budget would keep the country on that course…. – WaPo, 2-15-11

QUOTES

  • The President Unveils a Budget to Win the Future for Our Kids: And I just came to Parkville on a day where we are unveiling our budget, and I’m doing so for a reason. But before I do that I just want to thank Principal Buddy Parker, who is showing us around, as well as Susan Yoder, the eighth grade science teacher who we just visited with in her classroom.
    Over the last few weeks I’ve traveled the country, talking about what we need to do to win the future; talked about the need to invest in innovation, so that the next big idea is discovered here in the United States of America. I’ve talked about the need to invest in high-speed rail and high-speed Internet, so that companies can move goods and information faster than ever. And this week, I’ll be talking about the need to invest in education -– in places like Parkville -– so that every American is equipped to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.
    These investments are an essential part of the budget my administration is sending to Congress. Because I’m convinced that if we out-build and out-innovate and out-educate, as well as out-hustle the rest of the world, the jobs and industries of our time will take root here in the United States. Our people will prosper and our country will succeed.
    But I’m also convinced that the only way we can make these investments in our future is if our government starts living within its means, if we start taking responsibility for our deficits. That’s why, when I was sworn in as President, I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term. The budget I’m proposing today meets that pledge -– and puts us on a path to pay for what we spend by the middle of the decade. We do this in part by eliminating waste and cutting whatever spending we can do without.
    As I start — as a start, I’ve called for a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years. This freeze would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, bringing this kind of spending — domestic discretionary spending — to its lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let me repeat that. Because of our budget, this share of spending will be at its lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was President. That level of spending is lower than it was under the last three administrations, and it will be lower than it was under Ronald Reagan.
    Now, some of the savings will come through less waste and more efficiency. To take just one example, by getting rid of 14,000 office buildings, lots and government-owned properties we no longer need, we can save taxpayers billions of dollars. And when it comes to programs we do need, we’re making them work better by demanding accountability. Instead of spending first, and asking questions later, we’re rewarding folks inside and outside government who deliver results. And to make sure that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, I’ve pledged to veto any bill that contains earmarks.
    Still, even as we cut waste and inefficiency, this budget freeze will require some tough choices. It will mean cutting things that I care deeply about — for example, community action programs in low-income neighborhoods and towns, and community development block grants that so many of our cities and states rely on. But if we’re going to walk the walk when it comes to fiscal discipline, these kinds of cuts will be necessary…. – WH, 2-14-11TranscriptMp4Mp3
  • Jack Lew: The 2012 Budget: Today, the President sent to Congress his budget for the 2012 fiscal year. This document is built around the simple idea that we have to live within our means so we can invest in the future. Only by making tough choices to both cut spending and deficits and invest in what we need to win the future can we out-educate, out-build, and out-innovate the rest of the world.
    This is the seventh Budget that I have worked on at OMB, and it may be the most difficult. It includes more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction – two-thirds from spending cuts — and puts the nation on a path toward fiscal sustainability so that by the middle of the decade, the government will no longer be adding to our national debt as a share of the economy and will be paying for what it spends – and will be able to sustain that for many years afterwards.
    The President has called this budget a down payment because we will still have work to do to pay down the debt and address our long-term challenges. But it is a necessary and critical step for we cannot start to move toward balance and to cutting into the size of our debt until we first stop adding to it – and that is what this Budget does…. – WH, 2-14-11
  • Barack Obama: “The fiscal realities we face require hard choices. A decade of deficits, compounded by the effects of the recession and the steps we had to take to break it, as well as the chronic failure to confront difficult decisions, has put us on an unsustainable course.”
  • Barack Obama: “As we move to rein in our deficits, we must do so in a way that does not cut back on those investments that have the biggest impact on our economic growth, because the best antidote to a growing deficit is a growing economy. So even as we pursue cuts and savings in the months ahead, we must fund those investments that will help America win the race for the jobs and industries of the future – investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure.”
  • Eric Cantor: This week, the House will consider H.R. 1 – historic legislation that will reduce spending by at least $100 billion over the next seven months. This is the largest spending cut in modern history. These are not easy cuts, but we are finally doing what every American has to do both at home and at work – begin a path towards living within our means.
  • John Boehner: President Obama’s latest budget will destroy jobs by spending too much, borrowing too much, & taxing too much. The American people have made it clear they want Washington’s job-crushing spending binge to end. To help our economy get back to creating jobs, we need to liberate it from the shackles of Big Government and out-of-control spending. H.R. 1, on the House floor this week, will help do this.
  • Mitch McConnell: Senator McConnell comments on the President’s Budget: After two years of failed Stimulus programs and Democrats in Washington competing to outspend each other, we just can’t afford to do all the things the administration wants to do. The President has said he wants us to ‘Win the Future.’ But this budget abdicates the future. It simply spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.
  • Sarah Palin: The Truth Behind the White House’s Budget Spin: Today the White House finally produced its proposal for the 2012 budget. Beware of the left’s attempt to sell this as “getting tough on the deficit,” because as an analysis from Americans for Tax Reform shows, the White House’s plans are more about raising taxes and growing more government than reducing budget shortfalls.
    The fine print reveals a White House proposal to increase taxes by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade. If you want to know how minuscule their proposed $775 million-a-year budget “cuts” really are, please look at this chart. The proposed cuts are so insignificant – less than 1/10 of 1% of this year’s $1.65 trillion budget deficit – that they are essentially invisible on the pie chart. That speaks volumes about today’s budget.
    UPDATE: As J.D. Foster of the Heritage Foundation points out: “…the President proposes a budget that keeps the federal government on a thoroughly irresponsible and unsustainable course.” Please read the Heritage Foundation article and understand the $775 million in proposed cuts noted above are what the White House’s budget director Jacob Lew identified as reflecting what they perceive as some “tough calls.” Yet, as noted, they are a drop in the bucket; and the White House’s total proposed cuts for this year are still not at all enough to make us solvent.

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • What the Budget Cuts Say About Obama: President Obama’s proposed budget would cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion in 10 years, with about two-thirds coming from spending cuts and one-third from added revenue. The House Republicans have called for much broader cuts of $2.5 trillion in 10 years.
    Both plans are primarily political statements, since neither is likely to be carried out without significant compromise. While the G.O.P. has long promoted itself as the party of fiscal conservatism, neither it nor the president makes cuts to costly entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.
    How is Mr. Obama positioning himself in the battle to define his party as fiscally responsible? His plan cuts programs that liberals support, like Pell grants, home-heating aid and environmental spending. What do these cuts say about his political strategy or approach?… -

Tevi Troy Senior Fellow, the Hudson Institute; Former Deputy HHS secretary Obama’s budget a deficit enabler?: It boggles the mind that the Obama administration would put forward a budget with a trillion dollar deficit that does not address the long-term fiscal morass facing our entitlement programs. Blaming the Republicans for not coming forward with more specific cuts first will not fly; in the strange Kabuki dance of the budget process, it is incumbent on the administration to release its own budget first. Republicans will have their own chance, in the form of the forthcoming battle over the annual Congressional Budget Resolution, to show where they stand on the issue. – Politico, 2-14-11

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