Rick Perry’s negatives rising

Republican Presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks at a news conference in New York September 20, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Say crazy stuff, and people will start to notice. Say that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and should be transferred to the states, and people listen up some more.

Rick Perry’s surge in the GOP race is being fueled by the Tea Party, but everyone else is paying attention as well, and his negatives are starting to go up in polls.

For the GOP, right now he looks like their Howard Dean or their George McGovern.

Fiscal reponsibility summit

I’m listening to Obama’s remarks as he closes his Fiscal Responsibility Summit, and it’s rather stunning to see an interactive session that includes the President, and other leaders of our government like John McCain and Steny Hoyer. It was particularly interesting to hear John McCain speak and be supportive of the Obama Administration’s goal to get control of the military procurement process.

When looking at the list of attendees, it seems clear that Obama is serious about his goal to address the serious fiscal issues facing this nation. We are wasting billions of dollars with an inefficient health care system and wasteful weapons programs.

There seems to be some consensus on the potential of cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for closing loopholes.

Coupled with Obama’s aggressive, and honest, budget proposal, this might help generate some serious momentum for fiscal discipline.

McCain’s biggest problem

John McCain has a long career in the Senate, and he’s taken strong positions on many different issues. His problem, however, is that he can’t seem to remember them. His latest gaffe involves his position on Social Security. Yesterday he denied ever being in favor of private accounts. Of course, that’s not true. He clearly expressed support for privatization back in 2004.

Obama goes after the Cuban-American vote

It’s refreshing to see a Democratic nominee who isn’t afraid to speak his mind about Cuba. Most Democrats run scared on this issue, but they always lose this vote to the GOP. The views in the Cuban-American community are changing, particularly among the young who question the policies that have changed mothing in Cuba.

Obama engaged McCain on this issue by promising to ease travel restrictions and the ability to transfer money.

Obama said he would maintain the existing trade embargo to use as leverage for winning Democratic change in the Communist island nation. But he said he would immediately allow “unlimited family travel and remittances to the island.”

“It’s time to let Cuban-Americans see their mothers and fathers, their sisters and brothers. It’s time to let Cuban-American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime,” he said.

This change will be very popular, even among older, more conservative Cuban-Americans who resent the tough travel restrictions. Obama has a tough road ahead of him in Florida, but this policy battle will help. Also, expect him to hit McCain hard later in the campaign on Social Security privatization.

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