President Obama calls Ryan’s Budget – Social Darwinism

President Barack Obama launched another attack on Tuesday this time on congressional Republicans for their budget proposal calling it “social Darwinism” that would stifle the American dream. The attack came a day after comments by the president seen by many as a veiled threat towards the Supreme Court in their consideration of his controversial Obamacare legislation.

In a speech to a media luncheon, Obama described the measure produced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and passed by the House as a “Trojan Horse” that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a “radical vision.”  The speech like the previous month was aimed to coincide with a big Republican primary day however, it also marked 1,070 days since the Democratic controlled Senate led by Senator Harry Reid – Arizona last passed a budget.

President Obama in his comments described the GOP budget proposal  as “Thinly-veiled Social Darwinism, It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.”

He added that “by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development; infrastructure — it’s a prescription for decline.”

The remarks by President Obama’s coincided with GOP Front runner – Mitt Romney was set to sweep to three primary victories in the GOP race and appears ever more likely to be President Obama’s challenger in November’s election. For the first time this year, Obama mentioned the former Massachusetts governor by name in a speech, noting Romney’s support for the Ryan budget plan.

“One of my potential opponents, Gov. Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced on day one of his presidency,” Obama said. “He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing a budget.”

Ryan and other Republican leaders immediately criticized the Obama speech as a politically motivated appeal to populism, rather than a serious approach to budget deficits. This point will not escape many observers who have grown increasingly concerned at the out of control spending and annual trillion dollar deficit’s under the Obama Administration.

“History will not be kind to a president who, when it came time to confront our generation’s defining challenge, chose to duck and run,” Ryan said in a statement. “The president refuses to take responsibility for the economy and refuses to offer a credible plan to address the most predictable economic crisis in our history. Instead, he has chosen tired and cynical political attacks as he focuses on his own re-election.”

According to Ryan, Obama used his speech to “distort the truth and divide Americans in order to distract from his failed record.”

Obama, however, blamed a polarized political climate for an inability to make progress on such key issues as deficit reduction and entitlement reform, arguing that Republicans have shifted to the right and dropped support for moderate proposals acceptable to Democrats.

“The problem right now is not the technical means to solve it. The problem is our politics, and that’s part of what this election and what this debate will need to be about,” Obama said in response to a question at the end. “Are we, as a country, willing to get back to commonsense, balanced, fair solutions that encourage our long-term economic growth and stabilize our budget?”

He repeated his longstanding support for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes increased tax revenue through higher rates on the wealthy.

Obama again called for adoption of the so-called Buffett rule, a proposal that would have all Americans making more than $1 million pay at least a 30% tax rate. The Senate is expected to vote on a form of the proposal named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who has complained that the current tax code allows him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The president has increasingly attempted to frame the upcoming election as one of choice between his policies against the Republican’s who want to cut spending and lower taxes to bring the deficit under control and stimulate economic growth. The devil is in the detail as they say, the truth is that the majority of President Obama’s major policy initiatives to date, have either being shrouded in controversy, or failed to deliver the results he promised. President Obama is entering the campaign run-in with a distinct lack of proven success from his first term in office and his only chance of winning a second term is to portray the other option as an even worse option. How many American’s would have expected this as a real choice four years ago? You cannot grow an economy when the leader of your nation attacks business leaders at every speech and fundraiser he gives that is the harsh reality.

The most concerning aspect of President Obama’s term in office is his failure to deliver in his promise to unite Americans, any independent observer or commentator will find it hard to recall a time  in recent history when the nation was more divided than it is at present.

President Obama enjoyed control of the Senate and House of Representatives in his first two years in office. He made the fundamental error of not focussing on sorting out the troubled economy then instead choosing to push through ill thought out and considered healthcare legislation that many believe was dictated by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

 

Have Republican’s forgotten the real objective?

Tuesday’s Illinois primary must provide the turning point in the Republican Party presidential race after a month of close primary races and smaller territorial delegate race allocations.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has risen unexpectedly to challenge front runner Mitt Romney during this period with some excellent results in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado

Santorum’s surge has been more about the natural divide within the GOP, as opposed to his ability at the stump or as a candidate. It is the natural divide between economic and social conservatives within the party.

Santorum has been stressing his blue-collar roots, but in his speeches he talks less about jobs and more about freedom, less about tax cuts and small-business incentives and more about the cultural differences he has with President Barack Obama. He talks about family and invokes God as the primary force in America success.

The political climate in America has turned toxic over the last two years, with an almost ineffectual government whatever branch you consider, hateful rhetoric from both sides of the political divide, and distinct lack of leadership. Santorum’s rise has been more down to playing on people’s emotion’s and fears, then possessing a clear vision for the country. Gingrich in my humble opinion had the best vision and policies for the country, but lacking the required finance and organisational structure combined with a long Washington career, Santorum saw an opening and aggressively courted the Christian vote who were nervous about Newt Gingrich’s past.

Santorum has also benefitted by not having the baggage of Newt Gingrich, and he hasn’t had a long political career for the Romney campaign to pick apart and use against him. There is no doubt his stable family background and personal story have made him a likable candidate.

So why has Santorum risen so well against Romney despite his organizational and financial advantages? The answer is social issues. Social issues have played well for the Republican Party in winning the popular vote in past presidential elections, and they provide a good comparison when highlighting economic issues.

The ObamaCare mandate and Sandra Fluke controversy surrounding religious institutions, in particular the Catholic Church providing employee insurance for contraceptive services, including abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures invades most people’s conscience able rights under the First Amendment. Many consider this an attack on religious freedom and unacceptable and a clear breach of their constitutional rights.

This ideological attack on core American values and belief’s, has assisted Santorum’s rise and represented politicking at its worst by the Obama Administration. Social conservatives wanted a champion and they found it in Santorum. Can Santorum win the nomination though? My answer is no!

A Romney-Santorum ticket now presents the most formidable Republican ticket for a November General Election ticket to beat President Obama.

Today’s Illinois primary involves a state more focussed on jobs, economics and results which plays to former Governor Romney’s strengths.  A strong Romney victory tonight in Illinois needs to act as the launch pad for everyone to finally get behind one candidate and that candidate being Mitt Romney. Governor Romney with his non-Washington background, business experience and temperament may not be everyone’s first choice, but he should be everyone’s only choice at this point. This election needs to be more than about party, it must be about the future of the American nation. Romney is a man who can bring the solutions to Washington and not become part of its dysfunctional problem.

The Obama machine has played calculated politics during this entire GOP primary campaign. Aided by the mainstream media, and holding the advantage of the incumbency. They have introduced issues at strategic times to divide the GOP field and do their level best to portray them as a party in disarray, this title usually better reserved for the Democratic Party.

Republican supporters, independent voters and any individual who believes in American core values and economic strength, now need to now throw their support behind Governor Romney should he win in Illinois on Tuesday.

A contested convention is not good for the party and will deny the party the necessary finance needed to mount a serious challenge to President Obama in November. Republican Party supporters need to realise that beating President Obama is not the alternative, it must be the imperative.

The Obama Team have been doing their best to portray the Republican candidates as extreme. This election cannot be about being cool and the environment, this election needs to be about jobs and the economy. This election cannot be about blame and derision; it needs to be about leadership and unification for all. This election needs to be about reinvigorating the American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, not creating a society of big government and social dependency.

Any right thinking person will always want to see the President of the United States succeed and nowhere was this more evident globally then when President Obama took office. Sadly, President Obama allowed Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and lobbyist’s to consume his presidency and dictate and drive the policy during his term in office. The hopes and dreams of a nation and beyond were not only disappointed, they are now very much at risk.

Romney with his business background, intellect and experience can restore the confidence and hope in the American people, this being, that the individual and not big government can deliver their hopes, dreams and future prosperity.

Romney and the Republican Party need to see the real objective as being defeating President Obama in November. This will not be easy, but good policy and party unity behind Governor Romney is now needed.

In order to win in November, Romney and Santorum need to build a vision that will provide a family orientated, positive and optimistic outlook for the American people. Winning is not about being the other choice, it is about being the clear and obvious choice that America now needs.

A stunning success for Santorum in Iowa – Romney’s lack of appeal strikingly worrying

The morning shows were full of the reaction to last night’s Republican Iowa Caucuses. It proved to be a transformational night for former Senator Rick Santorum and his campaign, narrowly losing a virtual tie for the top spot to established front runner Mitt Romney by only 8 votes with each capturing 25% of the vote.

Romney received 30,015 votes to Santorum’s 30,007 votes, according to the Iowa Republican Party, Ron Paul finished with 21 percent of the vote, while former Speaker Newt Gingrich came in fourth with 13 percent and Rick Perry was fifth with 10 percent.

Team Romney and indeed the candidate himself were front and center on all the networks trying to sell last nights victory as a great result. In truth, the reality is quite different. Romney despite a massive spending advantage and running his second campaign in the state in four years still didn’t manage to break through the electoral conservative ceiling once again. He won 25% of the vote which essentially means there are 75% of conservatives in Iowa, who lacked a certain enthusiasm about his candidacy.

While the second place finish was a stunning success and just reward for Santorum following months of travelling throughout Iowa, and will provide the huge cash injection his campaign badly needs, lady luck also played her part in his result. Santorum’s rise was largely due to the hammering Speaker Gingrich took in attack ads over the last month of the campaign. There was also little time for the other candidates to attack Santorum before Tuesday’s vote although Ron Paul did make a late effort. This is a luxury Santorum will not enjoy going forward.

The unexpected result while allowing Santorum to claim the mantle of conservative challenger to Romney as the primary race moves on to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida through the balance of the month should not be over estimated either. While Santorum’s strong showing represented a stunning resurgence for a politician whose career came to a dramatic halt six years ago with a devastating loss to Sen. Bob Casey, the steepest margin of defeat for any incumbent senator on the 2006 ballot winning just 41% of the vote. The result on balance overall, does not argue well for the GOP challenge going forward against President Obama.

One thing that certainly helps Santorum for the future against Romney was the announcement by Rick Perry that he would be returning to Texas to figure out what’s next – instead of going straight to South Carolina to campaign following a disappointing fifth-place finish in Iowa.

Perry speaking to his supporters Tuesday night, saying he would return to Texas to “reassess” his candidacy.

“When I began this campaign nearly four months ago, I didn’t do it because it was a lifelong ambition to be president of the United States, I did it because our country was in trouble,” Perry said.

“They’re looking for someone to stand up and give them hope that we can get this country back on track again, but with the voters’ decision tonight in Iowa, I have decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus and determine whether or not there is a path forward for myself in this race.”

Whatever Perry decides, I consider him a gentleman, who regardless of the occasional gaffe brought a sincerity and series of values to the campaign, which raised the profile of the GOP race at a crucial time and gave it some credibility.

Michele Bachmann, came last with only 5% of the vote having won the Ames Iowa Straw Poll only last summer, but was steely in her determination to continue telling her supporter she won’t be dropping out. In her speech, a clearly upset Bachmann said;

“I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012,” and over the next few days, just be prepared, the pundits and the press will again try to pick the nominee based on tonight’s results. But there are many more chapters to be written on the path to our party’s nomination and I prefer to let the people of the country decide who will represent us.”

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin urged Bachmann to consider her presidential challenge yesterday saying,” She has a lot to offer, also, but I don’t think it is her time this go-around. She added: ‘And I believe that unless she, too, wants to spend her own money or borrowing money and perhaps go into debt, which – heaven forbid – you do that to your family?’

Speaker Gingrich was resolute in his challenge going forward making it clear he will try his best to take apart Romney’s record, labelling him the “Massachusetts Moderate.”

“We are not going to go out and run nasty ads,” said Gingrich, “but I do reserve the right to tell the truth,” Gingrich said to loud cheers from his supporters.

“And if the truth seems negative, that may be more of a comment on his record than on politics,” Gingrich added.

So looking ahead to New Hampshire; we have Santorum definitely with the momentum as the anti-Romney candidate for now. Ron Paul and his supporters have proven they are a force to be reckoned with in this campaign and cannot be dismissed or ignored. Newt is in fighting spirits and ready to change tactics and take on Romney and Paul on their records; with Perry seemingly ready to quit and, Michele Bachmann virtually but respectfully. irrelevant.

Romney will win New Hampshire, but it will not be by the 30 point margin some were predicting a few weeks ago, as the field shrinks and the race stretches out, Romney’s chances of winning through the primaries and getting the nomination reduce.

Do not dismiss Jon Huntsman’s make or break strategy in New Hampshire either, if Huntsman actually manages to spring a surprise positive result, he could do Romney serious damage and who would bet against him winning the moderate vote within the GOP either.

The real challenge and best chance of a Republican Party victory against President Obama in November firmly rests with the right conservative side of the party and on the candidate’s ability to raise money, get organized and stay disciplined.

In Santorum’s words, Game on!

Polls encouraging for Gingrich & Romney however, ideas and solutions must be the key factors.

As I predicted back in May of this year, Newt Gingrich’s ideas and solutions based approach to campaigning is starting to show that perhaps, he isn’t so unelectable after all. New Quinnipiac polls of general election voters in three key battleground states released Thursday show the former House speaker increasingly competitive against President Obama next November, if Mr. Gingrich wins the Republican nomination.

The challenge for Gingrich rests in his ability to pull together the ground organisation in the early states to convert his poll numbers into state wins and look to secure the nomination. Be under no illusions, the Obama Campaign and media will attempt to cast former speaker Gingrich as unelectable, in fact, they’ll throw the kitchen sink at Gingrich to prevent him being nominated. Gingrich is a tough, experienced and battle hardened politician who is rising like a Phoenix from the flames, in his second political coming.

I appreciate Gingrich may not be liked by all within the Republican Party however, I wish those representatives would keep their own counsel for the present time and stop assisting the media and Obama campaign machine with attacks on both Romney and Gingrich. There is nothing more that the Democrats want then a long, drawn-out, heated GOP primary campaign. The longer the battle goes on, the more likely the GOP field are to tear themselves apart and make themselves look like damaged goods to likely electors, effectively handing the election to President Obama next November.

The polls actually look encouraging too for the other front runner in Florida, Romney beats President Obama 45 percent to 42 percent, but Gingrich isn’t too far off the mark. He trails President Obama with 44 percent of the Florida vote, compared with 46 percent for President Obama, within the margin of error, according to the Quinnipac University Poll, based in Hamden, Connecticut. In Ohio, Romney and Gingrich have the exact same numbers against President Obama. Each Republican gets 43 percent versus 42 for Obama. Pennsylvania is President Obama’s strongest state of the three, narrowly beating Romney 46 percent to 43 percent, and beating Gingrich handily, 48 percent to 40 percent.

At present, Gingrich beats Romney in all three states for the GOP nomination, although only Florida holds its primary early in the nominating calendar. Florida Republicans vote on Jan. 31, after Iowa (Jan. 3), New Hampshire (Jan. 10), and South Carolina (Jan. 21). In Florida, Gingrich beats Romney 35 percent to 22 percent. In Ohio, Gingrich beats him 36 to 18 percent. And in Pennsylvania, the former speaker is up 31-17. No other candidate scores in double digits.

Quinnipiac’s numbers are a reflection of the national trend with Gingrich cementing his front runner status among GOP voters. The latest Gallup national tracking numbers show Gingrich ahead with 36 percent and Romney second with 23 percent. But more important are the numbers in early-nominating states, where success can change the shape of the race overnight.

New Hampshire remains Romney’s only stronghold of the first four states, at 35 percent, though Gingrich is closing in on him with 26 percent, according to CNN/Time. In South Carolina, CNN/Time has Gingrich way ahead of Romney, 43 percent to 20 percent.

Although the polls look like good news for Gingrich, I don’t think the Romney campaign need to push the panic button just yet.  Gingrich’s campaign cannot match the funds or the infrastructure the Romney campaign already has in place. Gingrich is hoping his meteoric rise in the polls will result in a large injection of badly needed cash, enabling him to build the organisational structure and team to deliver a winning national campaign.

I certainly hope Gingrich can overcome all the attacks which are coming his way from within his own party and from the Democrats. I’m not interested in what mistakes someone made 10, 15 or 20 years ago, I want a person elected president who is willing to put the nation’s interests first and foremost, above all else. Yes, Gingrich has made mistakes then again, he has openly admitted them and discussed a vast majority.

Why I would like Gingrich to stay the course is for many reasons. Gingrich possesses a unique vision of how he will make America great again, his 21st Century Contract with America is better and wider ranging than anything, any other candidate including the president can put on the table at present. It is a live working document but yet, we know where he wants to take America and what he stands for. Honestly, after three years in the White House, can you say with any clarity what President Obama stands for with all respect? Anytime, I pose that question to people, it generates more negative and defensive responses than anything else.

Gingrich possesses brilliant communication skills, a steadfastness on key difficult issues which only Romney can almost equal in the GOP field. He has ten ideas and solutions for everybody else’s one, and is passionate about putting America first and foremost in all he will do as president.

The now campaign departed Herman Cain was right about one thing, the 2012 election should be about “We the people,” not decided by the media or political elite. Look at the performance members from both parties are doing in Congress at present. American’s need a president in the White House who can provide leadership, vision, ideas ad solutions for the wholesale problems the nation faces on both domestic and international levels.

I would like to think that the people will not be swayed by politicians and cheap media attacks. I would encourage everyone to give Gingrich a second chance, and if he doesn’t deliver within four years, use the ballot box. However, can American afford four more years of President Obama? My honest answer based on policy is absolutely not. I will restate my view that winning the GOP nomination will prove a harder challenge for Speaker Gingrich then beating President Obama in November 2012. It is just starting to get interesting!

The Return of the Newt – America must decide its course

The former speaker Newt Gingrich is a man with a brilliant mind, gone are the professor like lectures and long winded answers which characterised the “Old Newt” and instead, the voting public have witnessed the emergence of a razor like, disciplined politician who is very much in tune with the very real problems and challenges facing a great nation, that appears to be struggling for answers and very real leadership.

Gingrich has stuck to the 11th Commandment of Ronald Reagan from the outset, challenged the media bias and run his campaign with his sights set firmly on President Obama, his policies and his record.

Gingrich has showed in his debate performances that he can answer any question with a substance, authority and brilliance that no other candidate in the field has been able to manage thus far.

There are many who cite Gingrich’s personal indiscretions and past political dealings as the primary reasons why his challenge won’t last, but don’t under estimate the former Speaker, he is an experienced political bruiser who has seen all the criticism before. America has a choice, do they want a president who will lead from the front, get Washington and all branches of government working again for the people, a president who not only has belief in his own abilities, but more importantly, has the faith, confidence and trust in American ingenuity and know how.

The former Speaker has been open and honest about his indiscretions and to use the saying, “let him without sin cast the first stone”. Gingrich possesses the intellectual credentials, the solution driven Contract with America plan and above all, is not afraid to champion American exceptionalism.

President Obama yet again criticised American’s at the APEC summit in Hawaii at the weekend saying American’s are lazy. Never in my living memory can I recall, the President of the United States putting down his nation and his own people. It is shocking and a stark contrast to the ideologies and many achievements that made America great. America needs a president who will be a champion and leader to restore America to greatness and frankly, President Obama has shown he is incapable of being that badly needed leader.

The America that has emerged under the current incumbent’s stewardship is divided, lacking inspiration, confidence and above all, facing fiscal and structural breakdown under the rudderless and unaccountable administration. They believe using divisive language and finger pointing at everyone else is acceptable. America should expect more from their president’s and indeed shouldn’t attack each other. America’s strength has always been in its ability to unite and pull together in hard times, something this current president seems intent changing and putting beyond the point of no return.

Newt may not be everyone’s favourite person or politician but in a time of crises, American’s need to decide if they throw their support and weight behind a man who possesses five solutions or ideas on every issue compared to everybody else’s single idea? Washington is broken and the former Speaker has the talent and ability to bring all sides together in the American interest.

The election of 2012 in my view has one over riding issue, more important than party politics; it will truly be the election about the course and future of America as a nation and its place in the world.

Yes Speaker Gingrich has been a polarizing figure at times however, American’s can choose the leadership of President Obama who quite frankly, in my opinion, has failed to live up to his many promises and simply doesn’t command the respect personally or as the leader of the world’s greatest nation that any of his predecessor’s did. Alternatively, they can elect someone who at this turning point in history, can stir America back onto the course of greatness and revive the American spirit and confidence long admired the world over.

Newt may not be everyone’s first or ideal choice but we are in different times. America is very much viewed as a nation in decline here and around the globe. Many observers are dumbfounded at the rhetoric coming from the White House and perhaps most disappointingly of all, the much respected and historic Houses of Congress grinding to a working halt and appearing on the brink of imploding.

America needs a real change, it needs an experienced grandfather hand to calm the political and economic waters and get everyone working together again, to restore the true power and economic engine of a great nation.

American’s need someone with experience, international respect and knowledge of all the major issues and personnel around the globe to tackle the serious challenges coming its way. I admire great oration as much as the next person however, more important then even the most powerful rhetoric is substance.

Mitt Romney is also a wonderful candidate and I’m sure he’d do a great job if elected. In regards to the other candidates, their inexperience, lack of grasp of world affairs or in some cases like Rick Santorum, a lack of campaign money means they are unlikely to be able to breakthrough.

The 2012 election is about accountability and responsibility. American’s can go for the “Rock-star” like Obama machine which will have campaign funds like no other in history. Personally the president is a very likable man however, he is clearly out of his depth and anyone who chooses or claims otherwise, is simply in denial.

The alternative is to ignore personality and for American’s to seize possibly, the last chance they have to turn around is long term fortunes and its standing in the world. American’s need leadership and solution driven actions from their president.

Former Speaker Gingrich has the breath and depth of knowledge to meet the vast amount of challenges facing the ailing nation, he has the solutions and above all, he has the skills and leadership ability to get government back working for the American people to unleash the true potential of the great American nation.

If you want a non-flawed, inexperienced rhetoric master, Newt is not the candidate of first choice however, if American’s truly appreciate the full extent of the crossroads the nation, its economy and its people are about to reach, former speaker Gingrich can be last and only choice on the ballot.

President Obama punts key oil pipeline decision past the election

After weeks of barracking Congress, requesting they “Pass the Bill” to help create jobs. President Barack Obama controversially delayed the approval of a massive oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada, causing accusations he was putting election-year politics above job creation and it was another sign of indecisiveness by a president who appears all at sea on how to create jobs in a struggling economy.

The White House said it was putting off consideration of TransCanada Corp’s proposed $7billion Keystone XL pipeline until it can study new potential routes that avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska, an action that is likely to mean a decision only after the 2012 election. The State Department said it will require an environmental review of the new section, which is expected to take at least a year.

The requirement for a new environmental impact statement and more public comments means the decision won’t be made until after the 2012 elections. Controversy over the pipeline created a headache for the Obama administration, but the delay might not end it.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has become a classic example of an issue that pits environmentalists against energy developers. Environmentalists have made the pipeline a test case of whether President Barack Obama will fight climate change. The pipeline would ensure decades of an increased supply of a form of oil that produces more heat-trapping emissions than conventional oil does because more energy is needed to extract and refine it.

The announcement by the State Department means Calgary-based TransCanada will have to explore a way to move the proposed Keystone XL pipeline around the Nebraska Sandhills region and Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to eight states.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said,” the decision put politics in an election year above the creation of thousands of jobs: ‘Whether it will help the president retain his job is unclear, but it will cost thousands of shovel-ready opportunities for American workers.’

Republicans and supporters of the project said the timing wasn’t a coincidence, as Obama was pressurised by environmental groups who had said they may not mobilise to help Obama win re- election if he approved the pipeline.

“Calling for a new route is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to avoid upsetting the president’s political base before the election,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.  “This is clearly a political decision, and everyone knows it,” Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Unfortunately, it will immediately cost more than 20,000 Americans an opportunity to get a job working on the pipeline and hundreds of thousands more jobs in the future.”

Election-year politics played no role in the decision, a State Department official said today.

President Obama said the 1,661-mile pipeline is likely to affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment. The 1,661-mile (2,673-kilometer) pipeline would deliver 700,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico by crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The administration is keen to point out Obama’s other environmental accomplishments, which haven’t gotten the attention the president’s aides would like. The Recovery Act funded considerable leaps in renewable energy and efficiency research. Mandates on fuel standards will nearly double mileage efficiency by 2025, in turn reducing fossil-fuel consumption.

The decision allows the administration to delay a final approval past next year’s election thus avoiding a lose-lose decision certain to be politically unpopular.

While the decision may be popular with part of his base it further demonstrates charges that the president is more concerned with his own re-election chances then reviving the employment fortunes of the nation.

The decision to delay marks a success for environmental campaigners who have mustered growing opposition to the project, raising concerns about the danger of leaks from the 1,700 mile pipeline including actor Robert Redford who added his support to the campaign.

Russ Girling, TransCanada’s chief executive, said: “This project is too important to the US economy, the Canadian economy and the national interest of the United States for it not to proceed.”

One has to argue, a punted decision by the Obama Administration, but as what cost to the economy and the president’s recent job creation rhetoric? The deferred decision will cost him personal and political credibility with many American’s already lacking confidence over his management of the economy.

Chris Christie Delivers a Speech that Shows Why He Should Run for President and Confirms that He is Not Running for President

See the video of Christie’s speech below this post and for a complete transcript of the speech, click here.

Bookmark and Share   On Tuesday evening,  after delivering a keynote address on “Real American exceptionalism” for the Reagan Foundation at the Reagan Library, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively any speculation about his entering 2012 presidential race as a presidential candidate.

The speech Christie gave was a plain-spoken, smooth flowing, hard-hitting, presentation that demonstrated the wealth of endless potential that could be unleashed in America by combining Republican principles with the type of frank and honest leadership that comes only from people of true integrity.  Christie argued his case for the awesome power of the two when combined,  by linking the history of Reagan Republicanism and Reagan’s leadership, to Obama socialism and Obama’s lack of leadership.  He then essentially described how the two means do not lead to the same end.  He made this point further by also contrasting between what is getting done in New Jersey under his management, with what is or isn’t getting done in Washington, DC under President Obama’s mismanagement.

The speech was, to use a phrase that Christie used, “a parable of principle“, which offered a roadmap to true American exceptionalism.   As for the details of the speech, I am intentionally leaving them out.  That is because I wish not to deprive anyone of the opportunity to hear them or read them yourself, in Christie’s own words.  Hence the reason for the video and transcript provided for you within this post.

What I will tell you is that some of the most entertaining and heartfelt moments came during the brief question and answer period once the speech was over.

It was then that Christie laced his honesty with a unique mix of Jersey-style bluntness and endearing humor to stake out some well received positions and make viewers also understand why so many want him to seek the Republican nomination for President.

On that topic, while a Christie candidacy was first foremost on the minds of all who were listening, it was not the first question asked upon completion of  Christie’s keynote address.  The first question was on illegal immigration and his thoughts on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.   In his answer, Christie explained that while he believes that our borders must be secured, he did not believe that states and taxpayers had any responsibility to subsidize illegal immigrants.  And going a step further, the never shy New Jersey Governor took a swipe at Texas Governor Rick Perry.  “And I don’t think that’s heartless.  I think it’s common sense”, said Christie.

The second question  for the Governor came from a man who asked The Governor if he was considering a run for President.  To this Christie joked, that he was disappointed in the audience gathered before him.  He said that for that to be the second question and not the first, showed him that they were not demonstrating America exceptionalism.  He continued by explaining that he was not running and cited a video prepared by Politico.com as the best and most explanatory answer he could offer. The video spliced together a dozen or so different interviews from the past year in which Christie stated that he is not running and why.

But almost immediately following that answer, a questioner from the balcony was given the mic.   This person did not ask a question.  In very heartfelt terms, she instead made a request of the Governor and said “Please reconsider. We can’t wait till 2016.  Your Country needs you”.  To this Christie explained that he understood but he joked that while he is flattered and that while no politician’s ego is so small that they would demand people stop asking them to become the leader of the free world, he must keep answering “no”.  He went on to say ,“I’m just a kid from Jersey who feels like I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have the opportunity that I have to be the governor of my state.”  He added “That heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me.”

Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library was truly powerful and ironically, he  sounded like  a presidential candidate.  He subtly drew similarities between his leadership as a Governor and Ronald Reagan’s as a President.  He also aggressively, but appropriately tore apart President Obama and successfully used the President’s own words against him.  And he even  took a shot at someone who would be opposing him if he were to run in the Republican primary.  That combined with the sudden public leaks and comments involving what was the most recent flurry of speculation about Christie and the presidency, I have come to believe that history will reveal that in late September of 2011, New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie was about to run for President of the United States.  But at the last minute,  [fill in the blank] was the determining factor that caused him to change his mind and not announce his candidacy.  Remember, you heard it here first.

That view may or may not be confirmed but upon the conclusion of Christie’s appearance at the Reagan Library, there are two things we all now know with certainty.  One is that Chris Christie is authentic.  He is the real deal.  Love him or hate him, you can rest assured that you are loving or hating the real Chris Christie.  The other thing that we now know definitively is that Chris Christie is not running for President in 2012.  Vice President is another story that we will begin to write about after we finish the chapter that reveals who the presidential nominee is.  So now, the only big name left available for speculation is Sarah Palin.

On a last note, I would like to make a personal admission.

As a resident of New Jersey who for the last twenty months has been living under the rule of Governor Christie, after listening to him at the Reagan Library last night, I can honestly tell you that for the first time in the fifteen years that this Brooklyn boy has lived the Garden State, I am proud to call it home,  and for the for the first time in my life, I am truly proud to tell people who my Governor is.

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