Yes, the big hit that Mitt Romney leveled at Newt Gingrich in last night’s GOP presidential debate was about immigration.
But the ridicule of Gingrich’s dreams of establishing a permanent colony on the moon may have been a greater shock to the former U.S. House speaker’s image as a man of grandiose ideas:
From Romney, ridiculing Gingrich’s plan to privatize a lunar settlement: “I spent 25 years in business. If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I’d say, ‘You’re fired.’”
The problem is that Gingrich points to John F. Kennedy’s vow in 1961 to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade as a mark of American optimism and its instinct for exploration.
But in truth, the race to the moon was a Cold War competition. We spent billions of dollars to beat the space-minded Soviets. That was the source of our political will — though we may now prefer to believe otherwise. The question that Gingrich can’t answer is, if we don’t establish a subdivision on the lunar surface, who will we lose to?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is learning the same lesson that Jimmy Carter became subject to in 1981 – the home folks don’t mind you running for president. But losing is another matter. From the Associated Press:
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s White House bid tarnished his image enough that he’s about as popular in his solidly Republican home state as President Barack Obama, a poll published Thursday shows.
Perry’s approval rating after his failed presidential bid has fallen to 40 percent, a 10-point drop from a year ago and slightly less than Obama’s 43 percent statewide approval rating, according to the poll. More than half of the people who responded to a statewide survey don’t want Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, to run for another term in 2014.
Perry’s campaign for president — during which he made a series of public gaffs and debate flubs that turned him into a national punch line — embarrassed some Texans. Forty-five percent of those polled said the campaign actually hurt the state’s image.
“He should have never been in the race,” said Traci Humphrey, a 33-year-old Republican from Dallas, who wasn’t a poll respondent. “I think it made us look like idiots, how he conducted himself. His overall image is not good for Texas.”
Texans are also finding out that they picked up some of the tab for Perry’s venture. From the Austin American-Statesman:
Texas taxpayers were billed almost $800,000 in travel costs for a security detail to travel with Gov. Rick Perry largely on out-of-state events tied to his presidential campaign from September through November, state figures show.
Most of Perry’s 48 out-of-state destinations were to the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to a report released late Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which provides security when Perry and his wife, Anita, travel.
The new progressive group Better Georgia has turned a poll that says most voters would approve of a $100,000 income cap for recipient families of the HOPE scholarship:
Voter support for the measure to place a family income cap on recipients of the scholarship receives strong support from voters of all political backgrounds, including Republicans, Democrats and voters who identify themselves as independents.
The survey shows 61 percent of registered Georgia voters support an income cap and 52 percent support it strongly. Only 26 percent of respondents oppose the plan.
Voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” support an income cap for HOPE Scholarships at 54 percent. Among those “very conservative” voters, 46 percent say they support the proposal strongly.
The highest rate of support, at 72 percent, is among registered voters whose highest level of education is a high school degree. Sixty-five percent of those voters strongly support the measure.
The survey of 806 Georgia voters was conducted Jan. 23-25 and has a 3.5 percent margin
of error, according to the group. Democrats in the Legislature are pressing for the income cap this session, but face very firm Republican opposition that one poll is unlikely to change.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider