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01.29.12

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, David Axelrod and More Sunday Talk

Newt Gingrich defends his space colony, Ron Paul confronts his (relative) lack of funds, David Axelrod wants to rewrite America’s tax rules and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Gingrich Defends Space Colony

Forget what the polls say, Newt Gingrich plans to get by with a little help from his friends. On This Week, the former speaker became quite the namedropper, sharing a list of conservatives who’ve decided to back his presidential campaign. He then spent considerable time defending his idea for a space colony, a proposal that’s received much criticism from the media and his opponents. “I think we can, in fact, use the private sector and modern science to have a bold program in space,” said Gingrich. “[Romney] is a manager who will manage the decay—I am a leader who has a vision of a bold exciting American future.”

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Axelrod: Let’s Rewrite the Rules

David Axelrod wants to rewrite the rules. Sure, Mitt Romney’s stashes of money in other counties aren’t illegal, but as David Axelrod told Meet the Press, that doesn’t make it OK. “It’s not right that someone like Governor Romney can make 20 or 22 million dollars and pay an effective tax rate lower than the average middle class person in this country,” said Axelrod. Instead, the Obama reelection strategist believes that turning the economy around takes a village. “If we’re going to solve this deficit, then everyone is going to have to give a little. And that includes people at the top.”

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Ron Paul: It’s a Money Game

Presidential campaigns are expensive—just ask Ron Paul. The Texas congressman has been wooing voters in Maine, miles away from the pivotal Florida primary where the other candidates have been campaigning all week. On State of the Union, Paul said that his decision not to participate in Florida was due to a lack of funds, not a lack of interest. “It’s a rough road. But the rough road isn’t presenting our case, the rough road is competing with the establishment money, you know, the big money,” said Paul. “We can raise those millions, but we can’t compete with tens of millions of dollars for each individual state. And that’s what came up in Florida.”

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Rubio Can’t Save the GOP

Rumor has it that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a strong Republican contender for vice president. With Florida’s large Hispanic population, his presence could help attract Latino support, right? Not according to Sunshine State Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On Face the Nation, the Democratic National Committee chair claimed that Rubio’s popularity won’t be enough to align voters with the GOP candidates. “As nice a guy as he is, he’s not going to be able to salvage the really extreme positions that Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field have,” said Wasserman Schultz. “They are dramatically out of step with the priorities of Floridians.”

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Paul Ryan: Obama Has No Follow-Through

Buffett Rule, Smuffett Rule. Paul Ryan told Fox News Sunday that President Obama’s support of taxing millionaires at a rate of 30 percent is not a reliable fiscal plan. The Wisconsin congressman also doubts that the president’s proposal was anything more than a false promise. “What we have learned with the president time and again is that he’s going to put some kind of poll-tested line in his State of the Union address and have no followup whatsoever," said Ryan. The House Budget Committee chairman added that President Obama has had three years to “propose real solutions” and that a change in leadership is the only way for the country to move forward. “What we need is a new president and new Senate. And we need to give the country a very specific plan, a set of ideas on how we’re going to solve these problems.”

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Moderators: To Speak or Not to Speak?

Should debate moderators just ask questions? Or, are they allowed to challenge the candidates? The heated confrontation between moderator Wolf Blitzer and GOP candidate Newt Gingrich at last Thursday’s CNN debate was the debate on today’s Reliable Sources. While he agrees that moderators should remain impartial, PBS’s Jeff Greenfield thinks Blitzer handled the situation appropriately. “What Wolf did was to remind Speaker Gingrich of the context in which those remarks were made,” said Greenfield. “I thought Wolf’s tone was perfect.”

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Trump Thinks About Entering the Race—Again

This guy is such a tease. Donald Trump is at it again, telling Face the Nation that he’s thinking about jumping in the presidential race as an independent third-party candidate.  “Well, I am thinking about it, we’ll see what happens. This is a very critical time for this country,” said Trump. The businessman, who also hosts The Apprentice, said the only reason he’s not currently campaigning is because of his commitment to his reality-television program. “I’m precluded from running now because of the show. If I didn’t have the show, I probably would have maybe, just kept going because I was doing well, as you know, I was leading in the polls.”

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