Morning Examiner: Did Daniels support the mandate? 

Middle East: Mitt Romney was the only big-name White House hopeful to comment on President Obama’s speech yesterday. He didn’t like it: “President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus. He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace.”

Left unsaid in Obama’s speech, was any indication of how he intended to comply, like he promised he would, with the War Powers Act. Most conservatives believe that the War Powers Act is, at best, redundant to the Constitution, but six Republican senators sent a letter to Obama this week asking him to explain how he intends to keep his promise. The Cable reports that the White House is considering declaring that U.S. military involvement in Libya has paused, only for it to resume in a few days, thereby resetting the 60-day clock.

Odds are Obama will do nothing and neither will Congress. Like FISA, the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, this will be just yet another example of Obama embracing the President Bush administration unitary executive view of the presidency.

Gingrich: Newt Gingrich unveiled a brand new defense of his attack on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan yesterday. Newt now claims it simply never happened.

Newt told Rush Limbaugh yesterday: “It was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer.” To which Limbaugh responded: “Well then what did you apologize to him about?” Newt explained: “Because it was interpreted in a way, which was causing trouble, which he doesn’t need or deserve.”

Whether or not anyone will buy this latest line, there is no doubt that interest in Newt’s candidacy has skyrocketed since Sunday. The crowds in Iowa are huge and New Hampshire party leaders say tickets to Newt events are a hot item. Politico explains: “Newt Gingrich could now be considered the NASCAR Candidate, one who can draw big crowds as anxious to witness a shocking crash as they are in seeing who finishes first.”

Daniels: Mitch Daniels is not an announced 2012 candidate, but the left is already treating him like one. The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein did “a lengthy search of the governor’s various statements on health care policy” and came up with a 2003 South Bend Tribune article where the reporter paraphrases Daniels support for an individual mandate. From the Tribune:

The candidate said he favors a universal health care system that would move away from employee-based health policies and make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance.

Daniels envisioned one scenario in which residents could certify their coverage when paying income taxes and receive a tax exemption that would cover the cost.

“We really have to have universal coverage,” Daniels said.

Reached for a response by NRO, Daniels spokeswoman Jane Jankowski, said that the governor does not support an individual mandate:

Governor Daniels favors giving every American a tax credit individually so they can purchase insurance that is right for them. He believes nearly all would use it, so coverage would be nearly universal. He does not support a mandate.

Daniels also told radio host Michael Smerconish yesterday:

I don’t believe in mandates. There’s nothing wrong with trying to protect more people from being ruined by an adverse health effect. We took a very, very different approach here in Indiana, more or less health saving accounts for low income people. That objective is not bad but I don’t think as a matter of either good health care policy or, frankly, our constitutional liberties, that government at any level should be ordering Americans to buy a given product.

This is not a good story for Daniels, and Daniels will also have to explain why he chose to accept Obamacare implementation funds, but Daniels opponents are going to need at least one direct quote from Daniels before they can credibly claim he ever supported an individual mandate.

Same-sex marriage: For the first time in the history of the Gallup poll, a majority of Americans (53%) believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law. The increase since last year came exclusively among political independents and Democrats. Republican support for same-sex marriage held steady at just 28%.

Righty playbook:

  • The Weekly Standard‘s Mark Hemingway posts Crossroads GPS new ad on Obamacare waivers.
  • Hoover Institute fellow John Taylor explains why linking the debt limit hike to spending cuts is good economics.
  • At The Corner, Cliff May notes what Obama did not say in his Middle East speech yesterday.
  • The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle reports on the totally nontransparent Obamacare waiver process.
  • At The Corner, Yuval Levin details what the Medicare actuary has to say about the Democrats plan for Medicare.

Lefty playbook:

  • ThinkProgress declares: “Obama’s Call For Israeli & Palestinian Borders To Be ‘Based On The 1967 Lines’ Mirrors Bush, Clinton Policy.”
  • Daily Kos‘ Joan McCarter loves Nancy Pelosi’s “We have a plan. It’s called Medicare,” line, and urges all Democrats to adopt it.
  • Ezra Klein claims more debt-funded stimulus would actually reduce the deficit.
  • At The Huffington Post, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., “fact-checks” oil company defenses of tax-breaks.

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Conn Carroll

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