In a defense against criticism against his fiscal record, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch recently claimed in a interview on Fox News that he is “one of the top conservatives in the history of this country.” The Club for Growth, a group that has not hid their contempt for Hatch, noted that his record has several negatives, including voting for the TARP bailouts, expansion of Medicare and No Child Left Behind.
While Hatch has declared that he will not share the same fate as his former collegue, Bob Bennett, a new survey from Public Policy Polling of a likely primary matchup with Rep. Jason Chaffetz shows that Utah Republicans may do just that.
Utah GOP Senate Primary
- Sen. Orrin Hatch (i): 43%
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz: 47%
- Not sure: 10%
Interestingly, 60% of Utah Republicans approve of the job Hatch has done. However, only 45% of them believe he should the nominee against a generic “someone more conservative,” which received 44%. In case you’re wondering, Chaffetz is viewed favorably by 61% of Utah Republicans. Only 17% view him unfavorably.
Republicans in the state don’t necessarily hold a normal primary, at least not right off. To win without a primary, a candidate has to receive 60% of the vote during the state party’s convention. If no candidate receives 60%, the top two from the convention will go head-to-head statewide.
Anyway, if you’re Orrin Hatch, you certainly don’t like the outcome of this poll; but this will likely be a very messy primary.
I had the displeasure of reading a Paul Krugman column a short while ago after reading a link to it in a Reason comment thread. (That, of course, was quite pleasant.) Naturally, Krugman spouts off utter stupidity:
Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.
On the face of it, this seems bizarre. Over the last two years profits have soared while unemployment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?
And now trickle-down economics — specifically, the idea that anything that increases corporate profits is good for the economy — is making a comeback.
Newt Gingrich’s top two fundraising advisers resigned on Tuesday, and officials said the Republican candidate’s hobbling presidential campaign carried more than $1 million in debt.
The departures of fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman were the latest blow for the former House speaker who watched 16 top advisers abandon his campaign en masse earlier this month, partly because of what people familiar with the campaign spending described as a dire financial situation.
These people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the campaign inner workings, said the former Georgia lawmaker racked up massive travel bills but money had only trickled in since he got into the race earlier this spring.
A spokesman for Gingrich says that the campaign will continue, “We are going to duct-tape together one coalition of Americans after another that believe in his large, bold vision of change.” I’d like to say that you can’t get elected on unicorns and rainbows, but I’m reminded of Barack Obama, who ran his campaign on two words; “hope” and “change.”
Over at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza reminds us that Gingrich didn’t have the money to participate in the Ames Straw Poll, which is arguably the most important event for a presidential campaign supposedly trying to attract grassroots supporters.
With Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a better, more consistent conservative, eyeing what would be a high-profile primary campaign, Sen. Orrin Hatch recently rolled out an endorsement from talk show host Mark Levin:
Hatch’s campaign promoted the endorsement of Levin, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative radio talk show host who’s shown a willingness to go after the Republican establishment.
“It would be a sad place in the Senate if we knocked you off in the Republican system in Utah,” Levin said last night on his radio show, on which Hatch was a guest. “What’s crucial going forward is that we stop the president’s agenda, take back the United States Senate, and I feel that you would be … a terrific elder statesman to a lot of these other young guys who I’m going to be pushing in these other states.”
Hatch has been gearing up for a tough primary battle for renomination heading into his reelection effort next fall. He’s pivoted to tackle some of conservatives’ pet issues even more aggressively, in part to help stave off a challenge.
Yep, because the type of Senator needed to fight President Barack Obama’s agenda is one that supported the TARP bailouts, wallet-busting budgets, debt limit increases, bailouts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, expanding Medicare through an expensive prescription drug benefit, wasteful pork projects and No Child Left Behind. [/sarcasm]
Let’s face it. Levin is a fraud. He always has been. Yeah, he talks a good game, but when it comes to electing actual believers in limited government, Levin can be found backing the statists that caused our problems.
Jason has already mentioned this, but in case you missed it; GMs CEO Dan Akerson thinks that Americans aren’t buying enough fuel efficient cars. His answer isn’t surprising from the head of General Government Motors either. He thinks that the United States tax code is the place to make people do something they don’t really want to do in the first place. His suggestion, as told to the Detroit News (emphasis mine):
“You know what I’d rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas,” Akerson said.
“People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans.”
That’s right, Akerson wants upwards of a dollar tax on gas to push a government approved agenda down people’s throats. Of course, outside of CEO-Land, there are millions of Americans who can’t actually afford to buy new cars. They’re called poor people.
Even though we’re facing another trillion dollar budget deficit, a $14.3 trillion national debt and $61.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities, President Barack Obama is pushing for another bailout for Greece:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged European countries and bondholders to prevent a “disastrous” default by Greece and pledged U.S. support to help tackle the country’s debt crisis.
After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he stressed the importance of German “leadership” on the issue - a hint that he expects Berlin to help - while expressing sympathy for the political difficulties European Union countries face in helping a struggling member state.
“I’m confident that Germany’s leadership, along with other key actors in Europe, will help us arrive at a path for Greece to return to growth, for this debt to become more manageable,” Obama said.
“But it’s going to require some patience and some time. And we have pledged to cooperate fully in working through these issues, both on a bilateral basis but also through international and financial institutions like the IMF.”
A proposal for a second Greek bailout package worth 80 billion to 100 billion euros over three years was taking shape, euro zone sources said.
Dick Armey and Mitt Kibbe of FreedomWorks are, needless to say, disappointed that the Obama Administration and the International Monetary Fund are again setting up Americans taxpayers to be hit with the burden of more bailouts:
During his official announcement for the Republican nomination for president, Herman Cain said that we don’t need to re-write the Constitution, rather re-read it. I tend to agree, but he made an embarrassing gaffe on the Constitution, citing language that was actually from the Declaration of Independence. And recent comments he has made, including his contempt for the Fourth Amendment and basic civil liberties, leave one with the impression that Cain may need to do some reading of his own.
While appearing on Glen Beck’s show on Wednesday, Cain again expressed caution in appointing a Muslim to a position of power if he were president, noting that he would do so if they took a loyalty oath:
BECK: So wait a minute, are you saying that Muslims have to prove, there has to be a loyalty proof?
CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.
BECK: Well, would you do that to a Catholic or a Mormon?
CAIN: No, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know there are some Muslims who talk about but we’re a peaceful religion. I’m sure that there are some peace-loving.
Cain once again demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the Constitution, which explicitly states in Article VI, Clause 3 that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
I noted yesterday that FactCheck.org had found President Barack Obama’s claim that Chrysler has paid back its bailout to be completely untrue. Well, the Washington Post’s fact checker has also called out President Obama for lying to the public:
We take no view on whether the administration’s efforts on behalf of the automobile industry were a good or bad thing; that’s a matter for the editorial pages and eventually the historians. But we are interested in the facts the president cited to make his case.
What we found is one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech. Virtually every claim by the president regarding the auto industry needs an asterisk, just like the fine print in that too-good-to-be-true car loan.
According to the White House, Obama is counting only the $8.5 billion loan that he made to Chrysler, not the $4 billion that President George W. Bush extended in his last month in office. However, Obama was not a disinterested observer at the time. According to The Washington Post article on the Bush loan, the incoming president called Bush’s action a “necessary step . . . to help avoid a collapse of our auto industry that would have had devastating consequences for our economy and our workers.”
Under the administration’s math, the U.S. government will receive $11.2 billion back from Chrysler, far more than the $8.5 billion Obama extended.