Ryan & Goolsbee Spar Over Economic Tactics

Former chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee said there is a “fundamental choice” on the economy between the two parties in this upcoming election, and the right approach is the president’s which says “let’s address the deficit in balanced way.”

Joining him to discuss the state of the economy and the role it has in the upcoming election was chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Ryan, who is rumored to be among those on Mitt Romney’s list for vice president, said following the president’s policy prescriptions for the economy has resulted in stagnation.

“We don’t think the government should be in the position of picking winners and losers in the economy,” Ryan said, arguing that getting government out of the private sector would aid economic recovery.

Goolsbee argued that the president’s policies are geared toward strengthening the middle class.

“The Obama approach is better, it is not a government directed approach. He believes the main driver of the economy is the middle class,” Goolsbee said.

Both guests also addressed the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s record as governor and as head of Bain Capital.

Critics charge that Romney and his firm reaped huge profits at the expense of working men and women. The Obama campaign has highlighted one particular company, GST Steel, that went bankrupt in 2001, after Romney had left Bain.

Ryan defended Romney, pointing out that the steel industry was bleeding jobs at the time and arguing that Bain invested in the company in a good faith effort to revive it.

The congressman also tried to make a distinction between Bain, using private capital to take a chance, and the president, who Ryan argues is gambling with taxpayer dollars when the administration chooses to invest in companies such as Solyndra.

Goolsbee countered that Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, which ranked 47th in job creation under Romney, together with his tenure at Bain, show that his approach to the economy has not been successful.

Rubio Argues the Case for Mitt Romney

"When this president ran for office in 2008, he said he was going to be different. He was going to be a post-partisan uniter to bring Americans together. And three and half years later, the president has become just like anybody else in Washington, D.C.," Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Senator Marco Rubio joined "Fox News Sunday" to make the case for Mitt Romney for president, and discuss his own take on current events.

The president kicked off his campaign for re-election on Saturday, and continued with the theme that electing Mitt Romney would result in tax cuts that benefit the wealthy and cuts to programs that will harm the poor and middle class.

Rubio responded that the president won in the first place because he said he knew how to fix the economy.

"That's the standard he asked us to judge him by," Rubio said, adding that the president "divides Americans," because he "can't run on his record."

Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, has blamed the president's economic policies for producing a recovery that he argues is weaker than it should be. The former governor has said the economy should be producing many more jobs than it is and that the goal should be getting the unemployment rate down to 4%.

Rubio, asked whether these goals are unrealistic, said the American people want someone with "high expectations."

The consensus seems to be that Rubio's name is at the top of the Romney campaign's list for potential vice presidential candidates.

And while Rubio said he wanted to "respect the process" and not discuss the possibility, he did list the number of ways his experience has prepared him for the office he currently holds as US senator.

Rick Santorum Is Moving Ahead

Mitt Romney may have earned some big endorsements for his candidacy for the Republican nomination this week but that hasn't made Rick Santorum any more inclined to drop out of the race.

“This race is not even at half time. We haven't even selected half the delegates yet. Governor Romney is not halfway to the magic number,” Santorum said. The upcoming week features three more contests, including Wisconsin.

Santorum said his campaign is moving forward regardless of the result there Tuesday.

“If you go past this month of April, we've got these primaries and then five more at the end of the month, the map in May looks very, very good for us. Texas, and Arkansas and West Virginia and North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky. We've got some great states, where we are ahead in every poll in all of those states.”

Santorum repeatedly said that the Republican Party has made mistakes in the past when it chose someone “the establishment wants to give us.”

He pointed to 1976, the year Ronald Reagan lost the nomination for president and the country picked Jimmy Carter in the general election.

“ We already know, we didn't know what we are getting with Carter. We already know what we're getting with Obama. We can't make that mistake again. We have to nominate someone who is a strong conservative,” Santorum said.

 

 

2012: One on One

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discusses the current situation in Afghanistan, the conflict between Israel and Iran, and Obama's stance on the current energy situation.

Watch and let us know what you think.

Romney Takes on Issues of the Day

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered his critique of the Obama administration's foreign and domestic policy, offered his own proposals and expressed confidence that he will become the one to challege President Obama in the fall.

Romney, a former governor and business executive, said the first thing he would do differently in Afghanistan is "exercise leadership."

"Look, what's happening right now is an example of failed leadership. The president put out a specific time table...that is leading Mr. Karzai to take action that is self preservation in nature," Romney said as a way of explaining the Afghan president's reaction to the most recent tension there.

Romney said that any position he would take as president would be "dependent about what you hear from the conditions on the ground," as well as understanding the capability of the Afghan people to maintain their sovereignty.

On the issue of Iran, Romney faulted the president for waiting too long to implement "crippling sanctions," not speaking out on behalf of dissidents, and not making it clear that the US was prepared to take military action if necessary to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Answering the president's charge that the Republican candidates are talking too casually about war with Iran, Romney said, "there is nothing casual about Iran having a nuclear weapon. There's nothing casual about Iran having fissile material they can give to Hamas or Hezbollah...The president needs to recognize this is a very serious threat to America and to the world."

On the domestic front, Romney hammered the president over high gas prices. As he has done in recent days on the campaign trail, Romney blamed an administration he says implemented a program that has caused gas prices to rise.

"The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator...this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three and a half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president is apparently suffered election year conversion," Romney said, referencing the president's emphasis on developing domestic energy sources.

Before he can take on the president though, he has to get through a tough primary battle with opponents who seem intent on sticking it out.

The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Romney has won over a million more votes than his nearest competitor, Rick Santorum.

Yet both Santorum and Newt Gingrich say they will continue to contest each state in hopes of at least depriving Romney of the 1,144 delegates necessary to clinch before the Republican convention in August.

"I think the people of our party want to make sure we have a nominee that can beat Barack Obama...I can't tell you exactly how the process is going to work. But I bet I'm going to become the nominee, I sure hope I'm going to become the nominee."

2012: One on One

Former senator Rick Santorum plugs his economic plan and charts his path forward in the nominating process.

Watch and let us know what you think.

Wallace's Take on Super Tuesday

Check out Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace give his take on Super Tuesday and what's next for the GOP candidates.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Says "No Sir"

Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels was pretty straightforward with his answer as to whether he would reconsider jumping into the 2012 race for president.

"No sir."

"I crossed that decision bridge a long time ago. My family did," he added.

Asked whether he thought it was too late in the process for anyone else to get in, Daniels said that while as a technical matter it is not too late to file for a number of state ballots, "as a practical matter, I don't think it's very likely. And I don't know what it would lead to."

Several Republican leaders have expressed concern recently over a primary contest that seems to be growing increasingly ugly.

The governor said "from time to time" he is bothered by the negativity of the campaign but that he doesn't blame the candidates necessarily.

"There's a certain dynamic to the race that leads to a magnification of small differences and people picking on each other," Daniels said.

Daniels has said in the past that Republicans should focus foremost on fiscal issues, leaving aside arguments over other areas of strong disagreement, like social issues.

And while social issues have been prominent in campaign news headlines for the past several weeks now, Daniels thinks the focus will revert back to what he calls the "biggest issues and biggest threats."

"This economy is staggering. It's in very weak shape. It's the weakest recovery ever from a deep recession," Daniels said.

Recent economic indicators might argue that the economy is on the rebound finally, but the former OMB director doesn't believe the president will be absolved on election day.

"If the president thinks he's going to be running on an economic success story, he is headed for a rude surprise in my opinion.. this is not a pretty picture. And we ought not candy-coat it," he said.

2012: One on One

Former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tells us how he plans to get back to the top of the polls.

Watch and let us know what you think.

WH Chief of Staff Defends Contraceptives Decision, Talks Budget

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew joined “Fox News Sunday” to preview the president’s FY 2013 budget, but first he defended the administration’s position on the contraceptive controversy that has dominated headlines this week.

“The president has the authority under the Affordable Care Act to have these kinds of rules take effect,” Lew said in response to the question of how the president can force a private company to provide a product free of charge.

In addition, Lew argued, that providing contraception will not cost insurance companies anything,

“If you were looking at the actuarial projection, the cost of the plan, it costs more to provide a plan without than it does with.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a sternly-worded statement Friday in response to the president’s revision to the new rule, which in part calls the decision, “unacceptable” and says it “must be corrected.”

“We didn't expect to get universal support of the bishops or all Catholics. I think that what we have here is a policy that reflects bringing together two very important principles in a way that's true to the American tradition. And that's what the president is trying to do. There are others who want to have a clash over it. We want to bring these two principles together,” Lew said.

Pointing to statements of support from Catholic Health Association and Catholic charities, Lew said that the policy put forward Friday, “is something that should put this issue to rest.”

Lew said despite protests from the bishops, the policy will be finalized in the rules.

On Monday, the president releases his budget blueprint for the fiscal year 2013. Lew, who twice served as head of Office of Management and Budget, discussed the main points.

Lew said the president will present a plan to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, including the $1 trillion in cuts agreed upon in Congress last fall.

Lew confirmed that this plan will be similar to the one the president released last year which was roundly rejected by Republicans in Congress.

The president will count savings from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , which amounts to about $850 billion, in his projections, a calculation critics have often called gimmickry.

Lew defended the accounting by arguing that military spending would continue to grow if those funds are not taken out of the defense budget.

“It’s very real,” Lew said of the savings.

The new budget will also revise the deficit forecast for the end of FY 2012 to $1.3 trillion.

Anchor Chris Wallace pointed out that in February 2009, the president vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of this first term.

While that goal will not be realized (the deficit in FY 2009 was $1.4 trillion), Lew argues that the budget the president presents Monday will bring deficits down to more manageable levels.

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