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Romney backs Ryan plan, to Dems' delight

Romney backs Ryan plan, to Dems' delight

03/21/12 02:28PM

About a year ago, when Paul Ryan's original budget plan was unveiled, Mitt Romney was not yet an announced presidential candidate, and went to great lengths to avoid endorsing the far-right agenda. Romney dodged questions for months, until reporters eventually gave up asking.That changed in December, when Romney found his presidential campaign in a bit of trouble, and discovered he had to work harder to prove his conservative bona fides. On Dec. 8, the Romney campaign boasted, "Mitt Romney supports what Paul Ryan did. read more

Gingrich's convention problem

03/21/12 01:24PM

Newt Gingrich has so far ignored calls to end his failing presidential campaign, and checked in with Fox News' Sean Hannity last night to explain that he can still win the presidential nomination, primary and caucus results notwithstanding.Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comAs Gingrich sees it, if no candidate has the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination before the convention, there will be a "60-day conversation" among Republican officials "after June 26.""Santorum won't have a majority; I won't have a majority; Romney won't; Ron Paul won't. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

03/21/12 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:* Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) announced his support this morning for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, and urged the party to rally behind Romney's Etch A Sketch leadership.* Despite having strongly opposed the Romney campaign for months, the right-wing FreedomWorks group is dropping its opposition to the former governor, apparently in recognition of the prevailing GOP winds.* In Virginia, Gov. read more

The nature of debt comparisons

The nature of debt comparisons

03/21/12 11:34AM

CBS News' Mark Knoller published an item this week, arguing that President Obama has added more to the national debt in three years than President George W. Bush did in eight years. The piece proved to be wildly popular with conservatives, which is a shame -- Knoller's piece is misleading and largely inaccurate.As the CBS reporter sees it, the evaluation is a simple matter of arithmetic. Bush added about $5 trillion to the debt during his tenure, and the debt has gone by a nearly-identical figure under Obama. read more

The 2012 Etch-A-Sketch plan

03/21/12 10:40AM

Eric Fehrnstrom, the communications director for Mitt Romney's campaign, appeared on CNN this morning, and was asked a good question: "Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?"Alex Seitz-Wald posted a clip of the response, which was rather startling in its candor.For those who can't watch clips online, Fehrnstrom said, "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. read more

Issa's revealing new conspiracy theory

03/21/12 10:05AM

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, chatted with the hosts of Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Monday, and shared a creative argument about the Obama administration and the Recovery Act."Stimulus was supposed to be quick. In fact, they never intended to spend it and will not completely have effectively spent it until after the president's re-elect. read more

How does Romney argue the economy is getting worse? It's simple: he doesn't.

Left with no choice, Romney pivots on economy

03/21/12 09:24AM

Did you catch Mitt Romney's victory speech in Illinois last night? Echoing the themes -- and at times, the literal phrasing -- of his economic speech at the University of Chicago on Monday, the former governor spoke at length about his vague appreciation for "freedom."Romney did not, however, do what he spent 2011 doing: he didn't accuse President Obama of making the economy "worse."This is not an accident. read more

What is wrong with Cliff Stearns?

What is wrong with Cliff Stearns?

03/21/12 08:34AM

We learned last week that Rep. Cliff Stearns (R), at a town-hall meeting in his Florida district, questions the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate. Yesterday, he made matters much worse.At the town-hall meeting, it seemed at least plausible to me that the far-right Republican was simply humoring a strange constituent. read more

Romney cruises in Illinois, but slog continues

Romney cruises in Illinois, but slog continues

03/21/12 08:00AM

Looking back over the last couple of months, Mitt Romney's most notable success stories usually come with a "yes, but." Did he win in New Hampshire? Yes, but Romney's practically a local. Did he score victories in Ohio and Michigan? Yes, but the margins were unimpressive and narrow. Did he crush the competition in Virginia? Yes, but no one else was on the ballot.Fortunately for Romney, his win in Illinois is largely "yes, but" free. read more

Morning Maddow: March 21

03/21/12 07:43AM

Romney wins Illinois (but Santorum gets some delegates, too).Cantor's guy beats the Tea Party's guy in Illinois.The Gingrich campaign is in debt.Somebody firebombed the office of a Texas State Senator (a Democrat).A high-ranking GOP congressman confirms he's a birther.French police are in an armed standoff with the suspected killer of Jewish school children. read more

Bruce Springsteen advises young musicians

03/21/12 01:24AM

Ok, so the Maddow Show was a little light on the Maddow tonight and you're looking around for something to fill the void until Wednesday's show. May I recommend you take an hour to enjoy Bruce Springsteen's acclaimed keynote address at this year's SXSW festival? It me took a few days to finally get around to watching it, but I'm glad I held onto the link. NPR is hosting the full video and also the audio-only. Scroll down to the end and they've embedded the songs he references. NOTE: Bruce is not above the use of the occasional F-bomb. Hide yer kids. read more

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