Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 5.8.2012


imageRICK SANTORUM endorses Mitt Romney “in a late night email to supporters” — “He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved,” Santorum wrote in the letter e-mailed to supporters. The endorsement comes as Romney looks to shore up his support among conservatives, who powered Santorum to victory in several states, particularly in the south. Last week, Romney and Santorum met for an hour in Pittsburgh, where Santorum stressed the need for Romney to hire conservatives. During the primary, Santorum was one of Romney’s harshest critics, suggesting that he was unelectable because of his health care plan and because of his more moderate views. Yet Santorum, who resurrected his career with his unlikely challenge of Romney down the stretch, said that he was satisfied that Romney would overturn health care. — Washington Post

MITT ROMNEY does have a lengthy economic plan, but it amounts to the same thing Republicans always advocate (there’s no ‘special insight’ from all Mitt’s ‘business’ experience): tax cuts, particularly on the wealthy; spending cuts in domestic programs; eliminating regulations; free trade; undermining labor unions, and so on. The closest thing to an innovative idea is the creation of a “Reagan Economic Zone,” which presumably will create wealth through the repeated incantation of the great one’s name. Which is just the point: if Mitt Romney’s experience in private equity gives him such unique understanding of the economy, why is what he proposes exactly what you’d hear from any Republican who spent his working life in government? It’s partly because Romney is a Republican, and things like tax cuts and reductions in regulation are just what Republicans believe. But maybe it’s also because when it comes to the things government can do to affect the economy, being a businessman doesn’t give you such special insight after all. — Paul Waldman,

MITT ROMNEY was confronted by a questioner about foreign taxes he reported on his income tax returns, a charge Mitt Romney appeared to deny. “I don’t think I paid any foreign income taxes, but I’ll look at it,” Romney replied over the boos of the audience for the hostile questioner. But in fact, Romney has paid over $1.2 million in foreign taxes for “passive category income” since 2000, according to his 2010 income tax return. Additionally he has paid over $800,000 in foreign taxes for “general category income” according to the same filing. — Buzzfeed

REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON says America’s greatest mistake was allowing women to vote — Peterson, a Fox News contributor, tea party activist and personal friend of Sean Hannity’s said in a sermon… that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote, adding that back in “the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them.” [...] Despite his statements being online for more than a month, Hannity welcomed Peterson on his show last Tuesday to castigate the Obama administration over “taking credit” for the Osama bin Laden assassination — but the segment didn’t exactly go as planned. — Raw Story

GOP WILL BLOCK student loan bill — Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said the GOP’s stance is designed to trigger talks between House Republican leaders and Senate Democratic leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — so that a compromise can be reached before the July 1 deadline when interest rates on Stafford loans are poised to jump to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. “There will be a compromise worked out,” Kyl said. “When it’s clear that [Reid’s] version isn’t going to go anywhere, I presume that leaders of the House and Senate will get together and find a way to ensure that the interest rate doesn’t double.” Kyl said that the GOP move also stemmed from Democrats signaling that no amendments would be allowed to the bill. — Roll Call News

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

VETS FOR A STRONG AMERICA darkened the President’s image – Vets for a Strong America has gotten a lot of attention for its recent video attacking President Obama for taking too much credit for the Osama bin Laden killing. [...] I haven’t seen anybody point out the truly most egregious part of the video: the obvious attempt to make Obama look like a criminal thug by darkening his image. Remember the hue and cry when Time magazine did that to O.J. Simpson in 1994? Remember the hue and cry when Hillary Clinton’s campaign supposedly did that to Obama during the 2008 primary, even though it actually hadn’t? But this time nobody cares. I guess times have changed. — Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

DAVID AXELROD reminded us of this quote from the Bush-appointed former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates about the killing of Bin Laden: “I worked for a lot of these guys and this is one of the most courageous calls — decisions — that I think I’ve ever seen a president make.” Bob Cesca

THE RIGHTWING CLAIMED that Obama failed when he drew 14,000+ people to his Ohio rally on Saturday — However Mitt Romney drew only 500 people to his Ohio event yesterday. That was the event where the woman told Romney she thought Obama should be tried for treason (which is punishable by death) and Romney said nothing. The Romney people called the crowd estimated at anywhere between 300-700, “great turnout.” — PoliticsUSA

FORMER SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI) on Monday speculated that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was embarrassed by the “almost lawless decision” in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. “This is a guy who is usually a careful justice,” he told Sam Seder of the Majority Report. “He just started making these sweeping assertions about what corruption was, what companies do, like he was talking at a bar with somebody over a beer rather than anything that was a legal decision. It was really reckless. I am guess he might even be a little bit embarrassed at this point about what a sloppy opinion it was, and how it just asserted things that aren’t proven.” — Raw Story

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