Things being what they are, the only non-politician in the Republican presidential primary – who also happens to be surging in the polls right now – was the target of sustained attacks by the professional politicians in a debate held last night at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Fox News tells the story:
Businessman Herman Cain, rising fast in the polls, absorbed several blows from his fellow Republican presidential contenders on Tuesday, as they went on the attack over his 9-9-9 plan, which has sucked up much of the conversation about ways to restore the economy.
Most aggressive in their criticisms of the plan for a 9 percent sales tax, 9 percent income tax and 9 percent corporate tax were Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who said it will never come to pass.
When you turn 999 over, “the devil is in the details,” quipped Bachmann, who said the proposal is a tax plan, not a jobs plan, and dangerous because it gives Congress a “pipeline to a new revenue stream.”
Raising his arm and directing his question toward the audience, Santorum asked how many believed Congress would keep the income tax at 9 percent or who wants to pay a 9 percent sales tax.
The Bloomberg-Washington Post presidential debate at Dartmouth University in Hanover, N.H., was focused solely on economics. The eight candidates appearing in the roundtable forum also slammed President Obama’s health care law, with Santorum again offering an aggressive approach for preventing it from being enforceable law.
Separately, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defended the 2008 bailout of Wall Street banks, saying it was essential to preserving the nation’s currency and financial system from collapse.
Romney said the U.S. could have had a “complete meltdown of our entire financial system.” He said “action had to be taken. Was it perfect? No.”
Asked if he would support another bailout, Romney said that if he thought the entire financial system would collapse, “you take action to keep that from happening.”
I wonder why the other candidates did not attack the Former Massachusetts Governor about his favorite invention, Romneycare? Especially, since Fox News revealed this little tidbit of information, just hours before the debate:
Three of Mitt Romney’s advisers went to the White House at least a dozen times in 2009 to consult on the former Massachusetts governor’s health care plan that President Obama used as a model for his initiative — now a federal law that all the Republican presidential candidates want to repeal.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday he was “not in a position to comment on specific meetings.” But in a remark that won’t help Romney in his pursuit for the 2012 Republican nomination, Earnest repeated that Obama took cues from the Massachusetts legislation.
“You’ve certainly heard the president himself say that there were a number of very good ideas included in the health care plan that then-Gov. Romney put in place in Massachusetts that were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act and so it’s clear that these are some ideas that we were interested in incorporating and we did incorporate.
“But in terms of individual meetings and who participated and what the goal of them was, I don’t have that information,” he said.
NBC News first reported that Romney health care advisers and experts Jon Kingsdale, Jon Gruber and John McDonough all met with Obama officials in 2009, including one meeting with President Obama on July 20.
I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked!
But hey, no worries. A buddy of Mittens came to his defense over Romneycare yesterday and threw his weight behind his campaign as well.
It’s Dole/McCain Deja Vu…all over again.