Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.
“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”
— the caucus said in its statement
Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)
...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.
The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)
The Wall Street Journal reports:
…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.
“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”
Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama’s behavior and verbal petulance is now opening him up to ridicule…a dangerous place for a president
For National Review Online, John Fund writes: Members of the White House press corps are rarely puzzled the way they are about President Obama right now. As Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post put it: “What exactly is going on with the leader of the free world?”
Dan Pfeiffer claim: The White House is willing to endure “some short-term press turbulence” for the larger goal of letting the president roam where he wishes.
To all appearances, Obama has gone rogue. For example, his speeches have become snappish and undignified. “So sue me,” was Obama’s response to Congressional complaints that he has exceeded his executive power, even though the Supreme Court has unanimously slapped him down on that front a total of 13 times in the last two years.
Aides are putting a happy face on their boss going “rogue”
Obama’s frustration with Congress also isn’t designed to win him any leverage on Capitol Hill: ”Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.’”
Angry black woman: Are you sayin’ the Democratic Party don’t care about the African-American community?
Bulworth: Isn’t that OBVIOUS? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see ANY Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what’re you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you’re not gonna vote Republican!
At the same time that Obama is lashing out at his critics, he is appearing increasingly detached when it comes to the crisis on the Mexican border. During a visit to Denver for a political fundraiser last week, he was captured in photo ops shooting pool, having a beer with strangers, and shaking hands with a guy wearing a horse mask. The next day he visited Texas, where he dismissed calls for him to visit the border by claiming he didn’t do photo ops.
“The only way we’ll ever get President Obama to visit the border is to have the Democratic National Committee hold a fundraiser there.”
— Reince Priebus
“It seems as though they are always reacting to the VA, to this crisis, to that crisis, rather than anticipating that this was developing along the border.”
…Mitchell asked Bloomberg’s Jeanne Cummings whether the administration had underestimated the political significance of the issue, accusing Obama of a reactive nature to every scandal and problem. Colleague Chuck Todd made a near-verbatim argument on Morning Joe Wednesday, and Cummings agreed with Mitchell’s assessment.