President Obama at the Associated Press Luncheon in Washington, D.C., April 3
Steve Benen: This was, as advertised, an aggressive, unapologetic condemnation of the Paul Ryan/Mitt Romney budget agenda, and the ideology that led to its creation. Indeed, Obama practically mocked Republicans for having tested their trickle-down philosophy, failing spectacularly, and then becoming even more right wing as a consequence.
….. Of particular interest, though, was Obama’s take, not only on the GOP’s right-wing budget plan, but also on the GOP’s right-wing trajectory in general….the Republican Party in 2012 bears no resemblance to the Republican Party of years past.
… Republican leaders issued some press releases this afternoon, complaining that the president’s remarks were “tired” and “partisan.” None, however, could point to anything Obama got wrong in this speech.
James Downie (Washington Post): “This is not conjecture. I am not exaggerating,” President Obama declared in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors Tuesday afternoon. “These are facts.”
Those lines sum up what was best about a strong speech …. The president peppered it with facts…. Compare Obama’s words with Paul Ryan’s budget speech two weeks ago. The moment nonpartisan groups looked at the numbers Ryan and the Heritage Foundation had cooked up, Ryan’s claims collapsed ….the nonpartisan vetting exposed Ryan’s program, to put it in the president’s terms, as “laughable.”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk as they walk up a staircase in the West Wing of the White House, April 3. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Joe Klein (Time): …. here’s what Mitt Romney had to say about immigration on Monday:
“This has always been a priority for the president he chooses to do nothing about,” Romney said. “Let the immigrant community not forget that while he uses this as a political weapon, he has not taken responsibility for fixing the problems we have.”
Washington Post: A survey from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that most Jewish voters are sticking with President Obama despite concerted efforts from Republicans to woo this voting bloc. Sixty-two percent of Jewish voters would like to see Obama reelected, about the same as at this point in the 2008 campaign. Only 7 percent of those who backed him in 2008 would like to see a Republican win.
LA Times: President Obama will introduce a new restoration of the 1962 courtroom drama “To Kill a Mockingbird” on April 7 on the USA Network.
…. “I’m deeply honored that President Obama will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by introducing it to a national audience,” Harper Lee said in a statement. “I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made, and I’m proud to know that Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on – in a world that needs him now more than ever.”
USA is broadcasting “To Kill a Mockingbird” as part of its “Characters Unite” public-service campaign, a bid to combat discrimination through on-air programming, digital content and events….
Andrew Cohen (The Atlantic): ….. Who wins? It all depends upon Justice Kennedy’s conscience, Chief Justice Roberts’ sense of history, and whatever powers of persuasion the Court’s liberal wing has upon those two conservatives. Me? If I were explaining it to my son, I would say, “The Constitution is what the justices say it is, nothing more and nothing less. But this law is clearly within Congress’ power. And if the Court strikes it down, it will mean that five unelected judges will have blocked a good faith effort by elected officials to fix a problem that everyone acknowledges exists in this country.” If the Roberts Court strikes down this law, in other words, it ought to end any reasonable political debate about the source of “judicial activism” in America.