Make or break states?
What's at stake for GOP candidates in Arizona, Michigan?
- Duration 7:12
- Date Feb 25, 2012
What's at stake for GOP candidates in Arizona, Michigan?
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Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- -- you go with polls tightening ahead of next week's contests in Michigan and Arizona Republican front runners Mitt Romney.
And Rick Santorum squared off this week.
In the primary seasons twentieth presidential debate trading jabs on everything from Romney care take earmarks.
So the idea that somehow it earmarks during the time that I was -- congress where this thing that drove up.
A spending in Washington DC if you actually look at it as I said before as a percentage of GDP actually the deficits when the the the debt went down.
What what what happened is there was abuse but while I was fighting to save the Olympics you're fighting to save the bridge to nowhere.
Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- -- political diary editor Jason Riley assistant editorial page editor James Freeman and Washington columnist Kim strossen so.
-- one of the big stories this week is in the Romney's been attacking Rick Santorum on his senate.
Voting record he was a two term senator from Pennsylvania.
How big a vulnerability is that record.
It's a big -- having them look at the one of the realities all of them but.
A lot of house members and senators do not manage to go on and win presidential nominations and that's because they have those records.
Romney has been doing very effectively is.
Taking those sixteen years of -- mr.
-- hands and using it to undermine his argument he's the real conservative in this race instead.
Painting him as this sort of the bush era of big spender and and mr.
Santorum to necessarily do we needed to in the debate this week to disabuse voters -- that I.
Aging it's a very Smart strategy on the part of Romney polls Rick Santorum was in the leadership in the senate probably regrets it now but he wasn't the leadership.
Does bear some responsibility for that spending and the Romney campaign is determined that part of the Santorum surge is being fueled by the Tea Party.
Which cares about the spending.
Cares about earmarks so these attacks have been quite a fact what about his argument that -- on earmarks for example but it's right for congress to assert itself it does have the power of the purse after -- -- -- -- -- rather -- -- -- president just -- -- -- dictate -- -- -- sometimes -- -- to overturn the president's priorities because he's wrong.
He's right about that he's also right about.
That's not being where the money it's which is entitlement spending but that locate with and why does that symbolic issue -- symbolic and what's that.
The -- you guys are making a better argument in his defense than he made in his defense and other words.
I was struck that a professional politician like Rick Santorum.
Wasn't better prepared for an obvious attack that was gonna come on your marks and No Child Left Behind I took one for the team.
-- Rick Santorum has a reputation for winging it and he -- it that night and he got damaged as a result.
I would say James another point is he sounded like -- congressional a member of congress and he's running for the office of the president and executive and when you talk about legislative process and title line and -- -- 1020.
And title thirty entitled forty people -- eyes glaze over -- high again it.
-- -- Yeah -- -- -- -- legislative language he didn't need in -- but I actually thought he did better than most people thought in terms of I guess he acknowledged he was a distributor of earmarks but I think he showed that mr.
Romney was a seeker and -- -- -- of earmarks so.
In light of neutralize that put it but I think the point is for the Tea Party years looking at this the choice is basically Santorum or Romney.
Santorum you had in the senate and the house and reliable vote to cut taxes and have pretty good spending record at least in the context of Republicans in the senate better than most of Kim what is this that.
Debate over Santorum votes tell us about what the Republican primary voters think of the bush record because remember those Santorum votes were taken when George W.
Bush was president often on his agenda.
And Romney was attacking in my No Child Left Behind or -- I guess Ron Paul was attacking him on that but then in -- he's saying he's vulnerable seems to me.
Romney thinks he's vulnerable on the bush -- -- That isn't gonna really fascinating turn of events ball which is that somehow it has become very toxic to event in particular a congressional member.
During those middle and end the bush years.
We missile -- were thrown out of congress in 2006.
And there was this.
Incredible feeling among the voters out there that they have lost their vision for why they've gone to watch -- forgot about reforming.
And -- become all about earmarks and spending this is why mr.
Santorum -- sold vulnerable on this issue.
And it it was the cause of a lot of the Tea Party angst -- the rights of the Tea Party is actually cleaning house within the GOP's you don't wanna be associate it.
Martin you're making the judgment.
Santorum vs the alternatives -- -- to make the judgment that Santorum is unacceptable you have to say that if Mitt Romney had -- certainly congress at that time he would have -- -- the hardcore Tea Party guy and I think his record -- Massachusetts doesn't lead you to that conclusion.
All right let's that looked -- -- another exchange on that record in Massachusetts.
The pro choice senator.
Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat -- he voted for obamacare.
If you have not supported him if we had said not note Arlen Specter we would not have obamacare.
So don't look at me -- there OK governor let's let's get this straight first off number one you funded.
Romney care through federal tax dollars through Medicaid the bottom line.
Would you use federal dollars to fund.
The government takeover of health care in Massachusetts.
And -- Barack Obama used it as a model for taking over this the health care system in America wise supported Arlen Specter.
Why that was the only real punch that got -- Rona Romney here why so little since it was such a strength for Santorum in previous debates well that's true I think what we have done now is proven conclusively that both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney completely violated their conservative principles.
And and I think that happened.
Do not deserve the support any conservative voters so I think now we're left with what if Ron Paul.
Well I'm we're talking ourselves out the election but Santorum wants on defense for most of this debate and -- and he's been on debate in the Kennedy -- really pounding him in -- in the airwaves and on on only -- -- Rick Santorum.
Spent much of the night explaining why he voted for things he doesn't believe in it was a big win for -- Latest and NBC poll shows -- now -- Romney up in Michigan.
I two point within the margin of error.
But he had been down.
In in more recent polls so.
I think right now Mitt Romney has momentum in Michigan.
All right Newt Gingrich the -- accounts -- did pretty well on the debate.
Does he have a chance for a third resurrection.
I doubt I have to say I kind of admire him for trying to stay positive and focusing on the substance of that.
The case against Barack Obama because ultimately these others.
When they're finished slashing one another are going to have to make a case against the president and I admire.
Gingrich for trying to keep that subject on the table not gonna win Michigan Arizona but he's got to win Georgia and Tennessee the following week if he wants to stay in this.