Rep. Paul Ryan's new strategy for federal anti-poverty efforts does not aim to cut spending. Instead, it seeks to consolidate an array of programs.» Read More
My take on the results of the debate: Fattest Pitch Down the Center of the Plate: Ron Paul's comment about the absence of "imminent" threats against the U.S. -- which Rudy Giuliani knocked over the fence by asking where Paul was on 9/11.
Mitt Romney is a big (and very rich) boy, and has earned some of the shots that have come his way in the 2008 presidential race. Most prominent among them have been barbs at the evident calculations he has made in flip-flopping on key issues to appeal to the conservative Republican base.
In recent history, Democrats have been the party of disorder and confusion in the ranks. To their House of Commons, Republicans have been the House of Lords. That has typically meant an orderly line of succession, with one establishment candidate after the other stepping up to claim their chance at the presidential prize: Ronald Reagan in 1980, his vice president George Bush in 1988, Bob Dole in 1996, the younger George Bush in 2000.
There are lots of big issues that will be explored in greater depth than before in tomorrow's CNBC/MSNBC/Wall Street Journal debate on the economy. The economy has gotten only brief and scattered mention in debates so far; Iraq has gotten most of the attention.
Don't miss the CNBC/MSNBC/WSJ sponsored GOP presidential debate next Tuesday from Dearborn, Michigan. The two hour debate will be live on CNBC-TV and streaming on CNBC.com starting at 4p EST. I'll be one of the panelists asking the questions and we'll also have live blogging so you'll get minute by minute coverage of what's going on behind the scenes.
So, what does this rising anti-trade sentiment mean for Republican politicians--and Democratic ones, for that matter? It's tricky because, rhetoric aside, most economists and elected officials in both parties in fact DO believe free trade offers the best path to economic growth in a global economy.
So why has this decline in GOP free trade sentiment occurred? Think back to 1992, with Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot both ran for president as populists from the right. Since then, "there’s been a steady erosion in Republican support for free trade," says former Rep. Vin Weber, now an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
I've seen a lot of opinion polling, but my jaw dropped when I saw this result from our special NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll of Republicans in advance of next week's presidential candidate debate sponsored by CNBC, MSNBC and the WSJ.
The numbers are in and it was a rich third quarter for candidates--Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $27 million in the third quarter, beating Barack Obama, whose campaign raised about $20 million over the same time period.
Here are notes of interest from the political front. The first one on Newt Gingrich is from a breakfast meeting I attended this week with other journalists. The former Speaker sees a bleak Republican outlook but keeps a potential 2008 candidacy alive.
I noted earlier that the questions rivals had raised about Hillary Clinton's health plan indicated she may have hit the political sweet spot. Republican Mitt Romney slammed her for a "big government" plan whose signal feature matched one he backed as Massachusetts governor.
John Edwards is attacking Hillary Clinton on health care. He argues that her approach isn't sufficiently confrontational, that she'd be too friendly to the insurance industry and thus couldn't deliver on the priority Democratic primary voters care about most: universal health coverage. .
Hillary Clinton's new health plan is a sign of how the debate has shifted since 1993. It's universal -- the individual mandate she's called for would see to that--but less ambitious in design than the version that crashed and burned during her husband's presidency...
Here are some more highlights from our NBC/WSJ poll, which tells a lot about the state of the race for the White House. Though rivals question Hillary Clinton's "electability," she outpaces all of them in the public's assessment of qualifications for the presidency. 46% of Americans express confidence in her “skills and ability necessary to be president”...
Public discontent with the Iraq war has slightly eased, increasing President Bush’s political maneuvering room at a critical point in debates over war costs and troop levels. Those shifts in public opinion remain modest. Yet only one in four Americans say troops should leave now regardless of conditions on the ground...
Today on "Street Signs," Mitt Romney explained to Erin Burnett and me why he took out ads opposing the flat tax in 1996. He thought the tax relief it provided the super-rich, couldn't be justified--politically or substantively.
Fred Thompson's rivals don't intend to let him hold the spotlight if they can help it. You can see that in Mitt Romney's release of new tax-cut details this week. Romney has said for months that he aimed to cut the capital gains tax for middle class investors to zero.
While Fred Thompson was rolling out his well-choreographed entry into the Republican presidential race, national front-runner Rudy Giuliani was signaling the tack he will use to fend off his new rival: too risky.
The 2008 presidential race will produce a sharp debate over tax policy–-on individuals, estates, investments and corporations. But voters will have to wait for the general election to hear it. That’s because there’s substantial agreement on the biggest policy questions within each party’s field of primary candidates. And for now, those broad areas of consensus have left primary rivals to bicker at the margins.
We are creeping closer to the point of full engagement in the 2008 presidential race--but not there yet. On the Democratic side, John Edwards and Barack Obama are gingerly ramping up their criticism of front-runner Hilllary Rodham Clinton. With the Iowa caucuses just four months away--and Clinton leading polls nationally and in early states alike--they need to.