Former governors Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney have both been thrown on the defensive in their bids for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination by progress they achieved in their home states: Pawlenty effectively tackled climate change in Minnesota, and Romney dramatically expanded health-care coverage in Massachusetts. But opposition research has turned up troubling success stories lurking the in the past of other GOP hopefuls.
Rick Santorum today sheepishly admitted to helping seal an historic arms control treaty with Russia while serving in the U.S. Senate. Under the terms of the breakthrough deal, the Russians disabled 2,000 long- and intermediate-range missiles aimed at the U.S. and Western Europe; in return, the Americans thanked them with unfeigned enthusiasm. Santorum pleaded “an inside-the-beltway culture of rationally-determined success” for drawing him into the “insidious process” of making the world a safer place.
Entrepreneur Herman Cain angrily denied over the weekend that he had once saved two teenage employees from frozen suffocation by freeing them from the walk-in freezer at one of his pizzerias. The story circulating in the blogosphere had Cain conducting an impromptu late-night inspection of his restaurant in suburban Cleveland when he heard muffled voices emanating from the time-locked compartment. Unable to disable the timing device, he pried the air-lock door open with his bare hands, then performed life-saving resuscitation on the nearly comatose employees. “This story implies that workers have some government-granted right not to freeze to death in restaurant meat lockers,” Cain told a supportive crowd at a local fundraiser. “That’s not the America I want to live in,” he concluded to thunderous applause.
A spokesperson for Congressman Ron Paul, in response to a controversy that seemed unlikely to abate, today acknowledged that his boss had at one time in his life ascribed the source of a problem to some force or entity besides the Federal Reserve System. “When Dr. Paul was a very young man, a friend complained of wet socks on rainy days,” the tight-lipped spokesperson read from a prepared statement to a jostling crowd of reporters. “Dr. Paul said, without thinking, quote, maybe you have a hole in your shoe, unquote. Now, of course, after a lifetime study of free-market economics, Dr. Paul realizes that wet socks are caused by the inflationary policies of central banks. We will not be taking questions.”