Remember the thin-skinned Mitt Romney who objected to his “grilling” from Fox News’ Bret Baier back in November? Florida may have brought him back.
In a morning interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, the topic was the economy:
A partial transcript:
Romney: This is a time people are worried. They’re frightened. They want someone who they have confidence in. And I believe I will be able to instill that confidence in the American people. And, by the way, I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.
I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.
O’Brien: All right. So I know I said last question, but I’ve got to ask you. You just said I’m not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net. And I think there are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say that sounds odd. Can you explain that?
Romney: Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad. I said I’m not concerned about the very poor that have the safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them.
O’Brien: Got it. OK.
Romney: The – the challenge right now – we will hear from the Democrat Party [on] the plight of the poor, and – and there’s no question, it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor.
But my campaign is focused on middle income Americans. My campaign – you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That’s not my focus.
My focus is on middle income Americans, retirees living on social security, people who cannot find work, folks who have kids that are getting ready to go to college. That – these are the people who’ve been most badly hurt during the Obama years.
Doug Richards of 11Alive landed an interview with Attorney General Sam Olens, and asked him about $1,500 plane ride he accepted from a tobacco lobbyist to a Florida convention in December. Here’s a portion of the exchange:
Olens: Well it was an opportunity, frankly, to have that time alone with them to discuss the fact that the state was doing everything possible to enforce the tobacco laws, to follow the master settlement, and it was a great opportunity, frankly, to share that time and to encourage them to not sue the state.
Richards: Could you have had that opportunity without accepting this rather expensive gift from him?
Olens: Well, first of all, I was traveling to the conference. Secondly, yes I could have flown to DC to meet with all the folks. But it seemed timely. That was right when all the tobacco companies were deciding who they were going to sue.
$120 million is a lot at stake for our state. And I was trying to save our state money. This isn’t anything but an opportunity to put the best foot forward for our state. We’re in a war against the tobacco industry. And that’s a lot of money on an annual basis that’s at risk.
Possibly you heard that the Republican-led state Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday for SB 223, which would create a “sunset” for agencies as recommended by a 14-member joint committee of the General Assembly.
Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, feels pretty sure that oversight of executive branch of government is his job – and let GOP senators in on his thoughts before the vote. This didn’t seem to matter. Call it a conflict between good politics and good policy.
Look for the House to change the bill slightly, by adding a small line that would make the legislation effective on the governor’s signature – ironic, since that’s unlikely to happen – rather than July 1. A two-month difference perhaps.
But the addition would allow the bill to be sent back to the Senate, and give members of that chamber a chance to rethink their votes.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia offers up a doubleheader today, examining the claims of U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, and Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, on joblessness under the administration of President Barack Obama.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider