The Magazine

GOP Blunders

There aren’t as many as the media think.

Mar 26, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 27 • By FRED BARNES
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“The election is still about the economy, not social issues,” Rasmussen told me. “However, to the degree that the health care/mandate issue comes into play, it helps the GOP at the margins. The administration miscalculated by taking on the Catholic church.”

It’s not just the media that regard social issues as risky for Republicans. So does much of the broader political community of elected officials, government workers, lobbyists, and consultants, including many Republicans.

“We’re focused on doing this the right way,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House speaker John Boehner, “and that means working through the committee process. We haven’t announced what that next step will be, but I’d look for committee action.” On an abortion-related issue, Boehner has yet to approve a House committee hearing on Planned Parenthood.

When its poll showed gas prices are driving down Obama’s approval, the Washington Post rushed to his defense with a story headlined: “Voters blame president for gas prices, experts say not so fast.” So should we expect a story under the headline of “Voters blame Republicans for balking at deficit plan, insiders say not so fast” or something similar? No.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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