Inside the Beltway: Rifles for Romney?

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“Everything you love about America, all the freedoms our forefathers fought for. All of it is under attack by Barack Obama. But the media won’t tell you that,” says National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre in an new video salvo from the group aimed at the 2012 presidential campaign. Find it all at www.firearmsfuture.com, a rousing source of information, videos, updates and more for voters attuned to Second Amendments rights, personal safety, ever-changing legislation and the “ballistic therapy” afforded by, say, a Sig Sauer Mosquito Sport. The theme of the new website? “All In,” a phrase echoed by Mr. LaPierre himself: “We’re in the fight of a lifetime, and every gun owner needs to join me in going all in,” he says.

Some wonder if the announcement constitutes an endorsement for Mitt Romney, who closely courted the powerful organization at its national convention in April. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s not. This is a moving target for the Romney campaign.

“The National Rifle Association has decided to throw its considerable weight behind Mitt Romney in this year’s election. That is no surprise; the gun lobby has always viewed Barack Obama and his administration with suspicion. But the NRA says it is ‘all in’ to defeat Obama; we will see what that translates into as the campaign continues,” observes Powerline.com columnist John Hinderaker.

NOT JUST YET

About Mitt Romney’s pesky tax returns: Is he obligated to release every last one of them in the name of Republican transparency? While we all ponder that, here’s a convenient insta-poll from NewRepublic.com asking something similar Monday: “Should Romney release more of his tax returns?” the magazine asks. The results: 67 percent of the 10,000-plus respondents said “no,” 33 percent “yes.”

TRACKING ABORTION

The Obama administration continues to support Planned Parenthood, offering federal funds to the organization in five states — a phenomenon not overlooked by the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization particularly vexed by a $3.1 million award that went to Planned Parenthood affiliates and other family planning groups in New Jersey, bypassing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of state funding.

“Women’s health services are under attack by political extremists and it’s more important than ever that we keep fighting to ensure quality care is available to every woman,” said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, on announcing the award last week.

“President Obama’s loyalty to Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest abortion business and his top political ally — knows no limits,” observes Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “For the second time in this month alone, the Obama administration has announced it will grant taxpayer funding to local Planned Parenthood affiliates and their allies despite action taken by state and local leaders to get taxpayers out of the abortion business.”

Since states have begun defunding Planned Parenthood, the administration repeatedly has intervened elsewehere, she says, offering evidence:

In the past 12 months, the Obama administration threatened to pull $4.3 billion in Medicaid funding from Indiana after the state legislature voted to defund Planned Parenthood; the administration contracted directly with Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire after its elected Executive Council voted to defund the organization; the administration pulled $30 million in Medicaid waiver funds from Texas after the state legislature voted to defund Planned Parenthood from the waiver program and finally, the Obama administration bypassed elected officials in Tennessee and contracted directly with Planned Parenthood after they were defunded by the state.

A WORD FROM GARY

A recent Zogby poll finds Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson with 5 percent of voter support. Well, now what?

“That is a number that should be hard for the elite media and the Commission on Presidential Debates to ignore, especially when they consider that, while Obama and Romney are spending tens of millions of dollars on radio and TV advertising, not a single penny of paid media advertising has appeared anywhere on behalf of Gary Johnson,” points out Ron Nielson, senior adviser to the candidate, who pines to have his say, too, when President Obama and Mitt Romney go for broke at the debates, which begin in October.

“Liberty, freedom and fiscal sanity deserve a podium at the presidential debates,” Mr. Nielson adds.

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