GOP shooting self in the foot with excessive debate schedule

I hope you like debates, because the Republican Party is going to stuff your debates with more debates, and before you can debate you’ll be presented with a side of steaming hot debates.

The GOP just released their tentative debate schedule, which includes 12 — count ’em, TWELVE debates over the course of the next year.

One per month, or perhaps one for every marginal candidate who decides to enter the race to sell a few more books at the Lubbock Costco.

even though all the cameras are on Joe, still struggling to select the right pound cake

You think the GOP would’ve learned in 2008 or 2012 that a glut of debates allows parody-worthy minor candidates a stage to spout off their nonsense in a public forum.

Remember the amount of air time and media attention Ron Paul received for his inane ramblings by playing half-microphone-grabber and half-victim when they didn’t allow him to grab the mike anymore? Get ready for that times twelve.

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate good debate. It should be done skillfully, in strict format, with an adherence to fact. One person wins, ideas are spread, and everyone learns a little something.

But this is not an airing of ideas. We’re not debating policy. We’re debating personality. It’s not an intellectual exercise, it’s a firing squad formed in a circle. It’s the equivalent of the Human Centipede — a graphic spectacle that shouldn’t be possible but somehow inhumanly is.

Apparently 2008 and 2012 weren’t enough, and the GOP intends similarly to create another, even bigger sequel to this unholy franchise.

Remember GOP — you’re likely facing a candidate in 2016 that simply doesn’t do debates.

She thinks they’re beneath her and acts as such.

Hillary’s lost every debate she’s been in from a policy and idea standpoint, but won the Senate in 2000 by portraying herself as a victim of her young, dynamic Republican opponent, Rick Lazio, who walked across the stage and handed her a piece of paper.


Hillary will be avoiding debates like the plague.

Do you think she’s going to agree to allow real potential challengers like Martin O’Malley or phony potential challengers like Bernie Sanders dare question her in front of an audience?

Or if she gets the nomination, to speak improvisationally against her Republican challenger?

She will limit debates as much as possible much as she’s limiting media exposure as much as possible. Sure, she’ll say it’s because she wants to talk to “real people” and so forth. But she’s smart enough (unlike the GOP) to not open herself up to any kind of situation where she’ll have to talk off the cuff – she knows her weaknesses.

if you want to keep your membership, you’ll buy the book

I see that CNN is on the schedule not one, not two, but three times.

It’s as if the GOP suffers from a case of collective amnesia.

Have we forgotten the disastrous Candy Crowley spectacle last election where she stepped in as moderator to criticize Romney on behalf of Obama — to make a point that was later found out to be completely factually incorrect?

announcement: this whole spectacle is all about me!

Why has CNN not been banned from moderating any Republican debate for a full election cycle? Are those 7 viewers really that critical?

Speaking of networks being banned — why is ABC, a network who just piped up to defend their major political personality, George Stephanopoulos, who claimed to forget that he donated $75,000 to the Democratic candidate’s foundation, who employed Hillary’s campaign manager, not banned from this cycle as well?

the nepotism is strong with this one

Apparently, the GOP is comfortable letting every single major media network trot candidates out like show animals just to be baited with biased questions from moderators who have literally worked for and given money to the opposing party’s candidate.

The GOP apparently cares about one thing and one thing only — getting airtime. They’re turning into the Courtney Stodden of major political parties and it’s sad and sick to watch. You win by controlling your image, not leaving it wide open to public interpretation.

Hillary gets it.


Why don’t Republicans?

How 2016 looks from the Right

The 2016 election needs to be considered as follows:

Hillary wins by being a victim. It worked as First Lady when people thought she was a mean battleaxe, during the Monica affair, and in every election for her except for the last one. That’s because she waited too long to pull the card. If she did it 3 weeks earlier she’d have been wrapping her second term now. She knows it and her advisers know it and her supporters aren’t bright but implicitly they also know it.

She crushes weak candidates easily (strong Hillary) and strong candidates even more easily (victim Hillary). So from now on, every candidate has to be seen as how they would face one on one against her, and I don’t feel like anyone is doing that even though they probably feel like they are.

Hillary would destroy:

  • Paul
  • Santorum
  • Perry
  • Rubio
  • Graham
  • Snyder
  • Bush
  • Walker
  • Pataki

Hillary would struggle with:

  • Huckabee
  • Cruz
  • Trump
  • Carson
  • Jindal
  • Fiorina
  • Christie
  • Bolton

Hillary would lose to:

  • Kasich

What one needs is the right balance of smarts, guts, and detachment to get the job done.

Most of the ones on the “struggle” list have the guts and a few have guts and smarts.

She anticipated Obama’s smarts. She quickly learned of his detachment. But she wasn’t prepared for the guts. That was the Mortal Kombat move that finished her.

Voters don’t want to vote for a try-hard. You have to have a cool form of detachment from the process while remaining gutsy and involved.

Few have that combination and fewer still combine it with smarts.

That’s where Kasich becomes formidable.

And to steal a quote from Airplane — “the best chance we’ve got”.

Spoiler alert: here’s what happens in the 2016 election


Hillary does the opposite of before where she jumped in early and hangs back, says a bunch of BS about “being a new grandmother” and such.

Biden, Martin O’Malley, and and Jim Webb try to get a head start on the campaign, and they all smack the s**t out of each other over the course of months while Hillary hangs back and laughs.

Cuomo promises to stay out because Hillary promises him a Vice-Presidency (until she pulls the rug out from under him and sticks Julian Castro in instead–besides, what could Cuomo do to hurt Hillary when he outlives his usefulness?)

So you have this historical Clinton/Castro ticket which runs up against the Republicans…


Reps are feeling good after taking back the Senate (barely) in 2014. Establishment consultants take the credit and wait and see. Huckabee jumps into the race early, claims “the Lord told me to save this nation” or some BS like that.

Bachmann enters the race and of course is hindered by having no political or marketing skill whatsoever but exceptional conviction and an insane work ethic.

Peter King enters as well, but he’s bats**t and couldn’t be more unlikable, playing the Newt Gingrich of the race and laying it on thick at odd intervals.

Speaking of Newt, he takes the position of “kingmaker” and negotiates a deal for something, ANYTHING, even expressing interest in being a cabinet secretary for a new department of his own design (he proposes elimination of DHS and DOE and replacement with DOI–Department of Innovation) in a new administration.

Chris Christie keeps people waiting and expresses consistent interest, takes many public swipes at Huckabee and it’s a fight of the ex-fatties. He smells blood, and enters, and fizzles.

Ben Carson remains statesman-like but secretly just wants to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Perry jumps in late, instead of his early entry and popcorn fart exit from last time, and this time he’s Rick Perrier than ever–gliding between campaign stops in his all-black wardrobe like a ghost of candidate-past, promising “Real Talk”, pushing immigration reform or criticizing Republican Senate efforts on it (he’ll take whatever position is most expedient, honey badger don’t care) and he gets a lot of serious consideration.

But overall, nobody has done much of anything thus far and it’s embarrassing–which is further compounded when Santorum makes his candidacy known, which literally nobody could give a lesser s**t about. He and Huckabee also fight mercilessly.

Huntsman threatens third party, even coming up with a running mate for a bi-party ticket–Maggie Hassan, Dem Governor of NH. So now you’ve got a complete mess of a campaign and no winners.

Jeb Bush thinks it’s his moment now, but is hammered and becomes the modern-Perry–much ballyhooed, big failure, and family scandal becomes an endless timesuck.

John Bolton stays loud–too loud, and in this election, enemies become friends, with him picking up the phone and contacting Condi Rice, who would rather be left out of everything altogether. Both approach a Romney campaign and offer themselves as SoState (Bolton) and VP (Condi)–but Romney keeps his distance for the moment.

Jindal makes VP noises, and then you have Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in a game of who’s on first.

I’d make the audacious bet that there’s a huge likelihood neither run and disappoint the s**t out of everyone, but the longer the campaign goes with no solution the more likely one would jump in, even considering a P/VP situation with Cruz at the top that would be an automatic win. but if they both stay out, then Romney slides in beautifully and wins an election against a haggard, beat-up, old-looking and backwards-policy Hillary with an unknown VP and a fresh-faced Romney/Condi ticket–a mirror of 08–under the following campaign of:

1) I was right (about Putin, Iraq, Syria, everything else)

2) Illegal immigration hurts minorities

3) This is what happens on Day One of my administration (list of 10-12 major principles that are consistently repeated and messaged)


Obama is like LBJ or GWB in this election–everyone would appreciate his endorsement, but could you stand over there please? As far away as possible? Thanks.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg steps down on the Supreme Court after Dems lose the 2014 election–Obama won’t be able to get another nominee in there before the end of his term.

Barbara Boxer, who couldn’t stand the thought of stepping down from her seat despite her age, wants to be appointed to replace her good friend Ginsburg on the Court, which would shock the political classes since no non-lawyer has been appointed to the Court in 75 years–not since Robert H. Jackson in 1941.

However, Obama appoints another Californian–Kamala Harris, giving the Supreme Court its youngest member, its first female African-American member, and even more of a minority to replace Ginsburg.

A defeated Barbara Boxer is begged to run for just one more term by her fellow Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who is now 83 years old, the oldest member of the Senate, and ready to retire herself. Boxer agrees to one more term and has already chosen her replacement–up-and-comer Joaquin Castro.

By 2018, Dianne Feinstein is 86 years old and simply finished. She only steps down on one condition–a very specific individual replaces her.

That individual is Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama has ruled out running for Senate in Illinois, but hey, how about Hawaii? Michelle eyes the seat in 2020, which would be a sure win against an unknown like Schatz. But that’s too far away.

The Obamas have made the choice to abandon Chicago for good after a brief stint in the city, and while they have the Hawaii vacation house, their disdain for Washington is clear.

They set up shop in Los Angeles, putting the Secret Service on edge, who compromise with them on a Palm Springs area residence that is high-security, functioning as a safe city escape, a “Camp David” of sorts that’s close to the golf course. Another residence is maintained in the Bel Air area for their infrequent trips into town and more-frequent trips as the 2018 election nears. At some times, they stay in separate residences–Sasha is already in college (and considers a West Coast private school like Loyola to stay close to her parents) and Malia is ready to graduate high school, so the Obamas are getting ready for empty-nester life.  Former-President Obama writes his memoirs, helps his Organizing for Action continue to fundraise for candidates, and jockeys for a Supreme Court nomination further down the decade under a Dem admin a la Taft.

California Democrats, embarrassed at the lack of up and coming leaders not named Joaquin Castro, leap at the opportunity for a Senator Michelle, with celebrities beating the crap out of each other to campaign for her.  She wins handily thanks to O4A, as California is one of the last states that, outside of the traffic they cause, is still in love with the Obamas.

Chris Christie removes possible Republican advantage in Senate Race with election decision

This is a blow for the GOP and here is why:

The term for Lautenberg’s vacant seat runs until November 2014. Christie had two options in how to fill it. Option one: Simply appoint someone to serve out the rest of the term and let voters elect a new senator on schedule next year. Assuming Christie appointed a Republican, that would give the national GOP an extra vote in the Senate for almost 18 months — granted, likely a moderate vote, but that’s still preferable to a liberal Democrat. Maybe the appointee would impress Jerseyans with his Senate record and would stand an incumbent’s fighting chance to hold the seat against Cory Booker next year. Or maybe he wouldn’t intend to run against Booker at all, which would free him up to vote as a conservative for the remainder of the term. Jersey Democrats threatened to sue Christie if he went this route, but as Ed Krayewski noted at Reason, he had cover from the state’s bipartisan Office of Legislative Services. Reportedly, they issued an opinion earlier today stating that the 18-month appointment would be just fine legally. Option two: Christie could throw all of that away by appointing a very short-term replacement for Lautenberg and scheduling a special election for sometime later this year. That would give Booker all kinds of advantages. Not only wouldn’t he have to face a GOP incumbent with more than a year’s experience in office, he also wouldn’t need to worry about his opponent having lots of time to fundraise. The risk to Christie in choosing this option was that it would bring all sorts of Democratic voters out to the polls on election day who might otherwise have stayed home. And that means Christie, who’s cruising to victory at the moment, could suddenly see his own gubernatorial reelection bid jeopardized by the big surge in Democratic turnout. All of which makes this a no-brainer, right? Appoint a Republican to finish Lautenberg’s term and trust that Christie’s big lead in the gubernatorial race won’t suffer too much for it. How angry could Jersey Democrats be if he appointed a Republican as squishy as he is? So which option did Christie choose? Option two, of course — except that, in order to protect his own ass electorally, he decided to schedule the Senate special election in October, not on election day in November. Now he gets the best of both worlds, all but handing the seat to Booker ASAP to burnish his “bipartisan” brand while ensuring that he himself doesn’t have to face the extra Democratic voters who’ll turn out to vote for Booker.

“I don’t know what the cost is and I quite frankly don’t care. I don’t think you can put a price tag on what it’s worth it have an elected person in the United States Senate and I will do whatever I need to do to make sure those costs are covered because all the people of the state of New Jersey will benefit from it. And we’re not going to be penny wise and pound foolish around here,” said Christie at a press conference.

Christie of course denys the politics of the play:

“There’s no political purpose. The political purpose is to give the people a voice,” Christie said in announcing his decision today.

But there is political impact.New Jersey will elect a new senator Oct. 16 — a mere 20 days before the state’s gubernatorial election, in which Christie is the undisputed frontrunner for a second term.

That means Christie’s race will top the ballot Nov. 5, instead of a Senate race that could well feature Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The intense interest in the Senate race — in solidly blue New Jersey, in a race that could feature an African-American Democratic rising star — would have almost certainly siphoned votes from Christie.

Democrats are attacking the decision as well:

Democrats teed off on Christie after his announcement at a news conference. The governor’s 2014 Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, called the governor’s move “cynical and arrogant” and said Christie “made it clear that he does not care about wasting taxpayer money.”…

Matt Canter, deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, made that point when responding to the special election dates.

“Republicans have not won a Senate race in New Jersey in more than 40 years. Their only shot was an appointee who had a year-and -a-half to establish themselves before an election in 2014,” he said. “With this news I assume operatives at the NRSC are busy planning Christie’s defeat in Iowa and New Hampshire right now.”

Mia Love assures a conservative bounce-back in 2014, readies to run for Congress again

Saratoga Springs Utah mayor Mia Love asked the crowd “are you tired yet?” when beginning her adress at CPAC. When cries of “NO” responded, she said, “I’m not either”. Little did the attendees know however, that further implications may have been present in the statement. Watch her speech which contained other alluding to comebacks and bouncebacks…

Via Roll Call:

In preparation for a bid, Love has hired former state GOP Chairman Dave Hansen, who was widely heralded last year for successfully managing the re-election campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Love and Hansen sat down with CQ Roll Call for an interview Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where she was scheduled to speak.

“We are looking at it very seriously,” Love said. “We are trying to get people engaged and going, and let them know that we have to start early so that we are not starting from behind.”

Love is reaching out to donors now, some 20 months before the election, and putting in place a campaign team far earlier than last cycle. Love didn’t formally enter the wide, 4th District Republican field until January 2012. She shocked Republicans by emerging from the April state party convention with the nomination in hand.

“Getting that message out takes a lot of effort, a lot of funds, so we want to make sure that we are defining ourselves before the opposition does,” Love said.

As the nominee, Love quickly gained national attention – including a coveted speaking slot at the Republican National Convention – for her unique background and potential to become the first black Republican woman in Congress. That looked to be a strong possibility in Utah’s redrawn and Republican-leaning 4th district, much of which was new to Matheson.

While Love held Matheson to under 50 percent, she underperformed compared to Mitt Romney, who was wildly popular in Utah, by nearly 20 points on the ticket. Some Republican strategists criticized her ads and poorly run campaign, while Matheson credited his established brand and own strong campaign team.

With Hansen on board, Love believes she has now assembled the best possible team.

Michele Bachstein?

Michele Bachmann (hisses, boos, and screams from the crowd) decided to visit a Chicago synagogue for a Yom Kippur service last week.

For a fundraiser? No.

To give a speech? No.

To collect donations? No.

To quietly attend a Yom Kippur service?


The mere appearance of this intimidating, middle-aged, 5’2” woman was unfathomable, “infuriating some congregants”.

She was so terrifying, in fact, that “some walked out of the service, and one man, Gary Sircus, launched a local campaign to support Bachmann’s opponent Jim Graves, who had a 400 percent uptick in donations from the Chicago area last week.”

Who is this man, and what did this monstrous mother of twenty-six do to him?

According to his Twitter, “Math Teacher and Northwestern Univ. Professor (School of Education) — reformed lawyer; husband and father of two; loves politics, killer sudoku and my family”. He also is apparently quite the Democrat activist, attending a Lawyers for Obama event in Chicago that the President attended.

And how does he characterize the arrival of this…this…”Conservative Evangelical Christian Congresswoman Michele Bachmann” (in one of the most redundant and overly-capitalized introductions of all-time)?

“Michele Bachman’s at Anshe Emet for Kol Nidre. In honor of this unholy person being in my synagogue, I’ve made a contribution to Jim Graves”

Ahh yes. A Democrat fundraiser/activist and Northwestern University professor (never mentioned in the article) on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, a day for forgiveness, says:

“The holiness of the room and the holiness of the evening was greatly diminished for me, if not completely destroyed…Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science — all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against.”

Of course! No better way to celebrate a day for forgiveness than to get up, leave, and give spiteful interviews because of prejudice against a fellow worshipper.

After all, donating money to her opponent and then making a huge fuss about it is the “best way to honor [her] visit”.

How did they even know she was there, anyway? Did she go on stage, gladhand in the aisles, pose for photo ops?

“Rabbi Michael Siegel publicly greeted Bachmann, in accordance with a common synagogue practice of greeting public officials in the audience.

‘I am aware of the fact that our congregation’s policy in regards to public officials clearly caused pain to some members of our community on the most precious day of reconciliation on the Jewish calendar,’ Siegel told the Tribune. ‘That we regret deeply.’

Perhaps Professor/Obama fundraiser Gary “Barnum and Bailey” Sircus was just miffed that he didn’t get introduced.

Making the conservative anti-gay politician’s appearance even more awkward, the service ‘featured a fictional father and son dialogue about Israel, including a piece celebrating Israel’s openness to the gay and lesbian community.’

Which obviously caused clearly-intolerant Michele Bachmann to up and leave.

Or no, wait…she stayed through the service while Gary (and others not named) up and left, because that’s what tolerance and forgiveness are all about.

VIDEO: Night of the Living Pelosi

John Dennis is an American businessman and politician who ran for and lost the race for the 8th congressional district of California in 2010. This is a real commercial from his campaign:

ABC observes:

The creation of Chris Burgard, who also cut ads for Herman Cain during his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the new ad casts the California congressswoman as a cult leader of the living-dead as they prepare to sacrifice a lamb.

“We must first gut the sacrifice so that you can find out what’s in the sacrifice,” the Pelosi impersonator says. The line is a parody of her now-infamous remark about the Affordable Healthcare Act where she said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Dennis, a pro-gay marriage, pro-marijuana Republican, is the hero of the skit, stepping in to save the lamb.

Paul Ryan: Our goal is to reverse this hostility toward shale, toward oil and gas and coal (AUDIO)

The Ryan audio and transcript from the Hugh Hewitt Show: Paul Ryan interview, 9/26/12

HH:  Starting this hour with Congressman Paul Ryan, the next vice president of the United States. Congressman Ryan, welcome back.

PR: Hey, what’s going on, Hugh? How are you doing?

HH: I’m great. I know you were in Colorado today. You were in Ohio yesterday, though, not in Warren.

PR: Yeah.

HH: I hope you get back to Warren and to the original Hot Dog Shoppe, and all the other great places.

PR: Great place.

HH: Well, I wanted to focus on Ohio with you, and Colorado and Virginia to a lesser extent, and their energy policies, Congressman, particularly the Marcellus and the Utica shale formations.

PR: Right.

HH: These are the future of Ohio. And the President is going to put out new regs, his senior environmental assistant, Heather Zichal said so in December. Those are almost certainly going to kill fracking. What’s Romney/Ryan going to do about fracking, and about the energy production issue?

PR: So the Obama administration has ten governing agencies, four executive offices involved in regulating fracking. We are going to streamline this, because we want to open up fracking. We want to open up these resources so we can create jobs and get this energy. We have a lot of energy in this country. We’re going to use this energy. In particular, with regulation for fracking, we want to get the states to do it. We think that the states are better suited to do this. That’s part of our very comprehensive plan that Mitt Romney and I put out on how to get America energy independent, North America energy independent by 2020. And a key part of that is use our resources. That’s not just shale, but also coal. And there’s a lot of coal in Ohio as well, especially in Virginia and West Virginia and Pennsylvania. We lost 1,200 coal jobs in coal country just a week ago, in due part because the Obama administration’s hostility toward this. So it doesn’t take a big stretch of the mind, Hugh, to know that the President wants this kind of energy to be really expensive. I mean, that’s the whole goal of his national energy tax of cap and trade in the first place. And so he couldn’t get cap and trade passed through the front door of Congress, so now he’s doing it through the back door of regulations. And this is just another chapter in that story of his hostility toward American energy, toward oil and gas and coal.

HH: So when you got through…

PR: We believe in an all…what’s that?

HH: When you go through a place like Ohio, and you’re talking to people on the street, when I was just back there in August, and I go fairly frequently, they’re very excited about it. It’s transforming Trumbull and Mahoning Counties and Central Ohio. They’ve got the first steel manufacturing new plant to open in 50 years opened last year. And it’s revolutionary. But this fracking stuff can shut it down. Are people aware that the President is, you know, when he talks about energy independence, it’s just blowing smoke given his record?

PR: Yeah, I mean, he even uses our word, our phrase, all of the above. Actually, it’s not all of the above. And so you know what’s interesting is we can see a window into this incredible jobs explosion, because when you look at private land, like in North Dakota, they’ve got the lowest unemployment rate in the country. It is a boon. Incomes are going up, wages are going up, jobs are being created. It’s giving them revenues to fix their infrastructure. It’s a boom. And the problem is, the President wants to regulate these things in such a way that it becomes virtually impossible. He’s shutting off access to federal lands, to the Outer Continental Shelf. And so we have before us this new kind of technology we didn’t even have a decade ago that is right under our feet. It’s our energy, in our country, that makes us less dependent on foreign oil. And it will be a boon to manufacturing, lots of jobs, lower prices, more revenues, helps us close the deficit. It’s a great, it’s a great asset that’s right before us. But if you believe in the hostility towards carbon-based energy, if you believe in raising the price of carbon-based energy, which is the goal of cap and trade, then you’re going to regulate this thing the way he is.

HH: Now Congressman Ryan, if they put these regs out in the interim, they say they’re coming in December, do you expect a Romney/Ryan administration would revoke them?

PR: Yeah, so we see this, there’s a long list of things that we’re going to revoke and do differently. And those are published rules, so you remember those rules aren’t finalized until…

HH: Right.

PR: …you know, months later. Our goal is to reverse this hostility toward shale, toward oil and gas and coal, and get this stuff turned back on, to get these jobs created, and to turn the Keystone Pipeline back on. We’re really worried that the Canadians might throw in the towel on America, and then just ship it to China. And so we’ve got, first things first, right on day one, we’ve got a lot of work to do to open up these natural resources, so that we can use them to bring that oil from Canada into our country, to build that pipeline, to build refineries. We need to streamline regulations. Go to our website. Mitt has put up a very comprehensive policy on there about specifically how we’ll deal with this, how we’re invoke states’ rights so Ohio can regulate the shale exploration in Ohio.

HH: Now this is key to the Buckeye State, so I’m curious. There are polls out today from Quinnipiac, and the other one’s from Marist. They are saying that you, Romney and Ryan, are way behind in Ohio. I think they’re nonsense, given their turnout model. What do you think of those polls?

PR: Well, yeah, you can analyze these things those ways. I’ve heard the turnout model issue as well. The poll that matters is November 6th, and what President Obama is doing, he’s been outspending us I think something like two to one or three to one in Ohio. He’s just trying to trash Mitt Romney. I mean, look, President Obama cannot run on his record, so he’s just going to try and trash Mitt Romney and win this thing by default. He’s going to distort, he’s going to divide this country, he’s going to distort his record, Mitt Romney’s record, to try and win this thing on default. We are not going to fall for that. We are not going to fall for the President’s straw men arguments. We’re not going to fall for a president, you know, who I’ve never seen such a politician so skilled at striking heroic poses against imaginary adversaries. That’s what he’s basically doing with all these make believe straw men arguments. Mitt Romney and I are going to give the country a very clear choice. And that very clear choice is if you want a real recovery, by getting back to economic growth, individual freedom, free enterprise, we are going to do that.

HH: Now it seems to me, Congressman, they have given up on the senior scare to a certain extent, that you’ve gotten the message across…

PR: Yeah.

HH: …that if you’re 55 or older, nothing is changing. Is that your perception, that they stopped trying to win that argument, in fact, they don’t want to have that argument with you?

PR: They don’t want to have the argument, because they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. They raided Medicare to pay for Obamacare. They have a new board of bureaucrats that will begin cutting benefits to seniors, which leads to rationed care. So they know if they go back into this debate, they’re culpable, and seniors begin to pay attention to what Medicare, how it’s damaged by Obamacare. So I think on that exchange, we’ve got the public educated. We’re going through and educating the public on these other things. And so what Mitt and I are going to do is offer the country very clear solutions how to get this country back on track by reapplying our founding principles, what are our ideas on jobs, on energy, on education, on trade, on cutting the budget, balancing the budget, reforming entitlements, reforming the tax code, getting the regulatory system cleaned up to get economic growth. We’re going to be offering them that choice so they can choose the opportunity society that America has been, the upward mobility society of economic growth and limited government and prosperity, strong national defense, peace through strength, or we can do four more years of what Obama has offered, which is going to end up with a welfare state and a debt crisis.

HH: Now Congressman, yesterday the President went to the United Nations, and this is part of what he said. It’s in context, and I want to play 17 seconds of his speech.

BO: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.

HH: Now Congressman, when he said specifically this…

BO: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

HH: …I thought to myself immediately that’s what’s going to be excerpted on Al Jazeera, and played on jihadist websites.

PR: Right.

HH: What does that mean, because slander in some circles means rebuking or disagreeing, or in any way doubting the creed? And so what was the President trying to say?

PR: Well, you know, I look at the broader context of his speech, and he basically said the challenge that we have are Iran, Syria and the Middle East peace process. And in every one of these cases, everything’s gotten worse since he became president. So I think he’s trying to speak to everybody in every way. But if you look at the result of his foreign policy, Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon, you’ve got 20,000 Syrians who have been slaughtered by the hands of this dictator, peace in the region’s further out of reach. By his own measure, you know, he is doing far worse. He’s been an abject failure. And so perhaps these are going to be distractions from the fact that these things that he measures himself by, he has failed. What I get out of this is America needs to be strong and resolute in discussing and projecting our values. We should not be equivocal on this thing.

HH: Is the President being honest with us on Benghazi?

PR: Well, he needs to talk to his own people. I mean, his own counterterrorism director, his own State Department, his own press secretary have said this was a premeditated terrorist attack, and he’s not even said that. So I think the President has more of a challenge just talking to his own people about this.

HH: Okay, last question, Congressman.

PR: We’ll dig to the bottom of this, and that’s what Congressional hearings and all these things are all about.

HH: You’re going back to Ohio, Virginia and Colorado? Is that, plus Florida, the four places you’re going to spend the most time?

PR: Absolutely. I’m going to hang up the phone and go to Colorado Springs right now.

HH: All right.

PR: And then I’m going to swing over to the places. We’re going to spend a lot of time there.

HH: Paul Ryan, great to talk to you again, Congressman. We’ll catch back up with you on the road.

End of interview.