Romney, Perry Clean Up After Self-Inflicted Controversies

Posted: Oct 26, 2011 1:08 PM

(1) Rick Perry believes President Obama is an American citizen:

Texas governor Rick Perry clarified Wednesday that he has no doubt that Barack Obama was born in the U.S., saying that he was only kidding around when he voiced doubts in a TV interview earlier this week. Perry made the comments in an exclusive Political Connections interview to air Sunday on Bay News 9. He was at the Tradewinds Island Grand resort in St. Pete Beach for a $1,000-per person breakfast fundraiser that drew about 50 people.

In a CNBC interview earlier this week, he managed to distract from his new tax proposal by saying, ""I don't have any idea," when asked if he believes the Hawaiian birth certificate released by the president is authentic. "It's a good issue to keep alive," he said then. He declined to address that issue Tuesday, but in today's interview with Al Ruechel and me he made clear that he no longer thinks it's a good issue to keep alive. He declared that he has no doubt Obama is an American citizen.

Between this clarification and appropriately aggressive answers like this, hopefully Perry has extricated himself from this trap -- which the mainstream media set, but that he sprung on himself with his clumsy "joking."  Let's move on to more important things.

(2) Mitt Romney supports Ohio's budget fix law, which curtails government union's ability to collectively bargain:

Mitt Romney apologized Wednesday for declining to take a position on a ballot question in Ohio that would uphold a law rolling back collective bargaining rights for public employees. "Im sorry if I created any confusion in that regard," Romney said at a Fairfax event to rally support for Virginia Republicans ahead of their state and local elections next month. "I fully support Gov. [John] Kasich's, I think it's Question 2." The previous day Romney had refused to say that he supported the measure despite repeated questioning, even though he had already come out in support of the law -- which is actually titled Issue 2 -- earlier this year...But as for the collective bargaining measure, which polls show is likely to be repealed by Ohio voters, Romney sought to make where he stood particularly clear. "I am 110 percent behind Gov. Kasich and in support of that," he said.

Good.  If you missed it earlier, Conn Carroll explains why the entire center-right should be united behind measures like Wisconsin and Ohio's public pension reforms:

Kasich's new law: 1) bans government unions from bargaining over health insurance, 2) requires that all government union members pay at least 10% of their wages toward their pensions, 3) ends seniority rights as the sole factor in layoffs, 4) replaces seniority pay raises with merit pay raises, 5) bans government unions from striking, and 6) makes government union dues voluntary. But government unions would still be able to bargain about many other topics including pay and working conditions.

Conservatives should begrateful that Romney cleared this up, and that he got it right.