Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 4.3.2012

It’s election day in Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC.

THE WHITE HOUSE / DEMOCRATS

Obama: Supreme Court won’t overturn health care law  – “I think [the individual mandate] is important and I think the American people understand, and I think the justices should understand that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to insure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care,” said president Obama …  Overturning the law would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step” since it was passed by a majority of members in the House and Senate,” he said. “I just remind conservative commentators that for years we’ve heard that the biggest problem is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That a group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

Andrew Sullivan comments, “Too aggressive? A harbinger of a campaign theme if the Court strikes the law down? Or a necessary self-defense? After Citizens United, I’d lean to the latter.”

Obama to slam Republican ‘social Darwinism’ — He will roast a budget passed by the Republican House of Representatives, and backed by the party’s presidential candidates, as a “Trojan horse,” according to excerpts of a major speech he was due to deliver later Tuesday.  […] “Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism… But Obama argues that the plan will punish the middle class and further enrich the wealthy, a message around which he is building his campaign for a second White House term. “It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it,” Obama was to say in his speech, in a repudiation of trickle-down economics. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.” […] Obama will also use his speech on Tuesday to make a new push for the “Buffett rule” a plan named after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, that would mandate that all Americans earning over $1 million pay at least a 30 percent tax rate.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a different party than I’m used to…. It really is different.”Joe Biden (source)

Joe Biden dismisses Mitt Romney as ‘out of touch’ — “Here’s what I don’t think that Governor Romney seems to understand,” Biden said. “It’s not just about the kid that doesn’t get to go to college because we’re not willing to help him. It’s about that parent, that proud parent looks at his kid and knows, ‘There’s nothing I can do to help this kid.’ … I don’t know that he understands that there are people like my dad who felt ashamed that he wasn’t able to borrow the money and apologizing to me. The worst thing in the world for a parent is to know they can’t help their child, whether they’re sick because they can’t get insurance for them because they have a preexisting condition, or they can’t help get them to college.” That doesn’t mean Biden is counting on an easy win, but he said the anti-government rhetoric out of the Romney camp as it fights to secure the nomination guarantees that voters will have a stark choice in November. “This is the first time the Republicans aren’t hiding the ball,” Biden said. “They’re saying exactly what they think. They’re not talking about compassionate conservatism.”

Clinton praises U.S. for uproar over Limbaugh comments  – “As a woman and as someone who can vaguely remember being a young woman — and as a mother of a young woman of that age and generation — I thought the response was very encouraging.” “I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault,” she said, according to a transcript released Monday. […] “There’s been no place better to be a woman than in 21st-century America. So we cannot allow any voices to be given credibility that would undermine the advances that women have made in our country,” she said.

THE SHORT BUS: AKA THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY

Romney: Obama wants to ‘establish a religion called secularism’ – “I think there is in this country a war on religion. I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism. They gave it a lot of thought and they decided to say that in this country that a church — in this case, the Catholic Church — would be required to violate its principles and its conscience and be required to provide contraceptives, sterilization and morning after pills to the employees of the church. … We are now all Catholics. Those of us who are people of faith recognize this is — an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion. It’s one more reason we need to get rid of Obamacare. It’s also one more reason we need to get rid of Obama.”

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote…”JFK (what religious freedom USED to mean)

Wisconsin Chaos Buries Romney’s Big Moment – Romney is on the verge of all-but-officially taking the GOP nomination on the strength of a growing delegate lead and impressive array of endorsements. But the Wisconsin contest, where Romney is favored despite starting behind Rick Santorum in polls last month, also happens to be taking place in the only primary state so far where the presidential battle is an afterthought. Instead, Wisconsin is dominated by Gov. Scott Walker’s recall battle and the ongoing legal fight over the controversial labor law that precipitated it. “Frankly, the presidential primary is being well overshadowed by the recall election,” Wisconsin GOP strategist Mark Graul told TPM. “People are just so hyper-focused on this recall that the presidential election is really just a distant second in most activists’ and voters’ minds, not just on my side of the aisle but with Democrats as well.” This week, the state officially certified the petition campaign to recall Walker, setting a June 5 date for the election that Democrats had gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures in order to force.

Rick Santorum Faces Triple Wipeout in Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. — The poll shows Romney leading 40 percent to 33 percent in Wisconsin, and here’s the key stat: Santorum has lost every state for which there is exit polling when the percentage of evangelical voters is less than 50. And in Wisconsin, says NBC, evangelicals make up 41 percent of the Republican electorate. Santorum’s failure to expand his base beyond very conservative and religious voters has hurt him badly in such states as Michigan and Ohio, even as he has racked up wins elsewhere. And he looks to be toast in Maryland, where a Rasmussen poll has him trailing Romney, 45 percent to 28 percent. Santorum has no intention of pulling the plug on his campaign, even if he gets wiped out on Tuesday. || me: HOORAY!

BEARING FALSE WITNESS: Santorum Claims California Universities Don’t Teach American History – “I was just reading something last night from the state of California. And that the California universities – I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.” In fact, of the 10 UC system schools, just one (San Francisco) doesn’t offer American history courses. But that’s because it doesn’t offer any humanities courses at all — it’s a medical school. Meanwhile, Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz all offer numerous American history courses. All require students to take U.S. history before they can graduate.