SAM YOUNGMAN (The Hill):
Hey Axe, thanks for doing this. Should we takethis to mean…
Technical difficulties. (pause) Hang on the line for just a minuteeverybody. We’ll ask the moderator what’s going on.(Silence)
Just hang on the line for one minute – we are dialing in with anotherphone so we can hear the questions. (Silence) Alright, Ken. Go ahead.
Thanks, David for the time. Are you seeing any evidence thatGovernor Romney is picking up support among the middle class voters thathe appears to be pursuing?
Not particularly, I don’t think that he’s broken through on thisnotion that somehow he’s an advocate. And there’s nothing about hisprogram or from his history that would give people that sense either inprivate business or in government. As we’ve pointed out many times, in thestate of Massachusetts, they were 47
in job creation when he was governor;fees, essentially money out of people’s pockets went up $750 million a year.Even before you get to his business practices, there’s nothing there thatwould give people great confidence. I think you have to do more than recitethe words ‘middle class’ to persuade people that you’re advocating for them.And certainly when you call a $1,500 tax cut in the midst of a very difficulttime in our economy a Band-Aid, a little Band-Aid and dismiss it – then youoffer an economic plan that has its great benefit to the middle class, a $50tax cut. That doesn’t inspire trust, that inspires questions. And I think thesequestions are going to grow over time.
Next question is from Sam Youngman at The Hill.
SAM YOUNGMAN (The Hill):
Thanks for doing this. Can we take this call tomean that you all view Governor Romney as the likely nominee?
: I’m not going to make that decision for the Republican Party. Ithink that they have a process and they will go through that process. I thinkone of his problems has been that he hasn’t inspired a whole lot of confidence or enthusiasm amongst Republicans. Across the politicalspectrum people have the same question, if you are willing to change onfundamental issues of principle, how can we know what you would do aspresident? How can we trust who you would be? I think that’s the problemhe has in his own party. That’s the problem if he does become the nominee.He is going to have it in general. So no, I’m not willing to designate him asthe nominee, and I’m not sure the Republicans would hand me that rightanyway.
ALEX LEARY (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES
): A little bit off topic, but still on theeconomy. Can you address the problem that the President has with