Category Archives: It’s a joke!

When will the senseless bloodletting (or blood-letting) end?

Stan Dubinsky brings my attention to another bit of brilliance from The Onion. Of course, you have to have spent years of your life (years you’ll never get back!) as an editor to fully appreciate it:

Law enforcement officials confirmed Friday that four more copy editors were killed this week amid ongoing violence between two rival gangs divided by their loyalties to the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual Of Style. “At this time we have reason to believe the killings were gang-related and carried out by adherents of both the AP and Chicago styles, part of a vicious, bloody feud to establish control over the grammar and usage guidelines governing American English,” said FBI spokesman Paul Holstein, showing reporters graffiti tags in which the word “anti-social” had been corrected to read “antisocial.” “The deadly territory dispute between these two organizations, as well as the notorious MLA Handbook gang, has claimed the lives of more than 63 publishing professionals this year alone.” Officials also stated that an innocent 35-year-old passerby who found himself caught up in a long-winded dispute over use of the serial, or Oxford, comma had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Onion turns to straight reporting

Don’t know if you saw this at The Onion. What grabbed me about it is that it is in no way an exaggeration. There are hundreds of Republicans across the nation who are actually, sincerely torn by the horns of this very “dilemma,” even though they wouldn’t describe it in the same words:

Congressman Torn Between Meaningless Pledge To Anti-Tax Zealot, Well-Being Of Nation

WASHINGTON—Amid ongoing negotiations in Congress over the looming “fiscal cliff,” Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) told reporters Wednesday he is “completely torn” between his commitment to conservative activist Grover Norquist’s meaningless anti-tax pledge and the general welfare of the entire country. “On the one hand, you have a nonsensical promise to blindly oppose tax increases regardless of circumstances, but on the other, you have the well-being of more than 300 million people and the long-term stability of the entire U.S. economy,” said Reed, adding that he is “really stuck between a rock and a hard place” now that he must decide between his loyalty to a dogmatic political lobbyist and his responsibility to serve the best interests of his constituents. “At the end of the day, it’s a question of whether a nonbinding signature on an outdated and worthless pledge written 26 years ago is more important than preventing the nation from completely going to hell. I just don’t know what to do here.” When reached for comment, Norquist urged the pledge’s signatories in Congress to “remember what’s really important” before sacrificing utterly irrational principles for the sake of the country’s future.

The Onion’s bold endorsement of SC native son John Edwards

Gary Karr, ex-reporter, ex-press secretary to Gov. David Beasley, brought this to my attention Friday (Tweeting, “I bet my friends @bradwarthen and@cindiscoppe are envious.”), but I didn’t have a chance to read it until Saturday night, backstage at “Pride and Prejudice” in Finlay Park. And I was busy then.

So I’m just getting around to passing it on to y’all.

Everyone knows what I thought of John Edwards way before the sex scandal, and any of you who remain among his admirers will no doubt be saddened to learn that my opinion has not improved. But then, I’m a stick-in-the-mud, and lack the bold vision of The Onion‘s editorial board.

This seems to mark a departure for that revered organization. They used to be satisfied just to be funny. This goes to a whole new level. It’s positively Swiftian. And it makes anything I ever wrote about the guy seem almost complimentary.

The core argument for the former U.S. Senator (and, we must not forget our shame, winner of the 2004 SC Democratic primary — y’all remember I told y’all to vote for Joe Lieberman, but did y’all listen?), begins as follows:

Mr. Edwards’ career has not been without its missteps. He has, like all of us at one time or another, made his share of mistakes. His opposition to a nationwide military draft, for instance. In addition, his support for the expansion of immigrants’ rights has angered this newspaper’s editorial board. And yet at each turn, Mr. Edwards has recovered in full, with two feet planted firmly on the ground and his dignity and political acumen intact. He is a man who has learned from adversity, knowing, as any former attorney does, that the strongest individuals are forged through trials by fire.

Furthermore, Mr. Edwards conducted a protracted extramarital affair with a younger woman while his wife was dying of cancer, and we like that he did this. Our reasons for liking that he did this are tenfold:

1. It was a brave thing to do, given the possible consequences

2. The woman in question was more attractive than Mr. Edwards’ wife

3. He did what he did without compromising his ideals, at least not to any illegal extent

4. He enjoyed himself, and good for him

5. The Onion believes sex is a natural and healthy biological function

6. Women have a weakness for men in powerful positions, and Mr. Edwards expertly exploited that weakness…

… and so forth. Be sure to read the whole thing. The logic is seamless, and who can say them nay? By these standards, there is no better choice on Nov. 6 than John Edwards.

Think about that as you watch tonight’s debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It should make both of them look better.

That’s just where I would expect to find it

Recently I asserted that in a world so dominated by libertarian impulses on both the left and right, there aren’t all that many widely known communitarian sayings. I mentioned “It takes a village to raise a child,” and “We’re all in this together.”

But that wasn’t a fully inclusive list. In fact, our society has other ways of giving at least lip service to notions that would raise us above purely selfish considerations. Here’s another sort-of communitarian saying with which we’re all familiar:

“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.'”

But as much as I appreciate the sentiment, I did enjoy this sendup of the saying, which was shared on Facebook today by Diane Lore, a former reporter at The State.

And, yes — if there is an “I” in “TEAM,” that is exactly where I would expect to find it…

‘Conservative History,’ from that other Hitt

There’s a rather brutal piece of satire on the website of The New Yorker this week headlined “A Conservative History of the United States.” Brutal because it uses actual historical malapropisms by actual latter-day “conservatives.” An excerpt:

1500s: The American Revolutionary War begins: “The reason we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown.”—Rick Perry

1607: First welfare state collapses: “Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.”—Dick Armey

1619-1808: Africans set sail for America in search of freedom: “Other than Native Americans, who were here, all of us have the same story.”—Michele Bachmann

1775: Paul Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure as he was riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”—Sarah Palin.

1775: New Hampshire starts the American Revolution: “What I love about New Hampshire… You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world.”—Michele Bachmann

1776: The Founding Synod signs the Declaration of Independence: “…those fifty-six brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen.”—Mike Huckabee…

And so forth.

This will no doubt delight much of the magazine’s readership, as it plays to the beloved liberal theme that conservatives are conservatives because they are, well, stupid.

And it’s true that in recent years, there have been certain strains in politics that call themselves “conservative” that tap into a rich American tradition of anti-intellectualism. But of course, there is also a rather respected conservative intelligentsia, and you’ll notice that none of these quotes come from George Will or William F. Buckley or William Kristol or Charles Krauthammer.

And it should also be said that one or two of the most absurd-sounding assertions aren’t completely inaccurate. There were a few black soldiers in the Confederacy. What’s wrong is how some on the extreme fringes of latter-day “conservatism” — OK, let’s be blunt, neo-Confederates — try to use that odd historical footnote: To excuse secession over slavery, and to argue that there’s nothing racist about flying that flag in black folks’ faces. That there were a few black soldiers in the Confederacy simply illustrates how wildly complex and idiosyncratic human experience and motivations can be. There was also a tiny handful of soldiers of Chinese ethnicity in Confederate gray, but one would be a fool to draw broad political points from the fact. (Another such anomaly comes to mind — among the troops in Wehrmacht gray that Allied invaders encountered in Normandy in 1944, alongside the East Europeans forced into German service, was a small group of Koreans. How they got there was a wild and strange saga. There are chapters in this world’s history that read as though they were imagined by the writers of “Lost.”)

But such quibbles aside, there’s a lot here for admirers of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and others to wince at.

I initially just glanced at this and was going to move on. But what grabbed me was the byline on the piece: Jack Hitt. I’m assuming that’s the writer from Charleston, whose brother happens to be Gov. Nikki Haley’s commerce secretary, Bobby. Given the connections between Nikki and ex-Gov. Palin, I thought that was of passing interest…

Mitt Romney, peering deep into the abyss

How bad has the past week been for Romney, between the Libya remarks and the “47 percent” video? Bad enough that this bit from The Onion is just barely funny:

DALLAS—With his campaign still reeling from a series of miscues, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney asked a group of top advisers Wednesday whether it would be worth going after Obama by questioning the nation of his birth. “What about that whole deal with his birth certificate, or him being born in Kenya or wherever—you think that might stick?” said Romney, adding he was “just spitballing here.” “Also, wasn’t he connected to that terrorist guy, what’s-his-name? Ayers? Bill Ayers? That might have legs, right? Let’s look into that.” After agreeing that the situations should be investigated, Romney and his aides then reportedly sat in silence for 10 whole minutes.

And somewhere out there, some second-guessing Republicans are thinking, “The Donald is tanned, rested and ready…”

Meanwhile, over in a quarter where none of this is funny, one WSJ columnist is lecturing the nominee that his loyalty should be to the country, not his hapless campaign staff, and Karl Rove is saying yes, the situation is bad, but it’s not over — after all, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan at this point in 1980.

Speaking of Reagan, Peggy Noonan is writing that it’s “Time for an Intervention:”

What should Mitt Romney do now? He should peer deep into the abyss. He should look straight into the heart of darkness where lies a Republican defeat in a year the Republican presidential candidate almost couldn’t lose. He should imagine what it will mean for the country, for a great political philosophy, conservatism, for his party and, last, for himself. He must look down unblinkingly.

And then he needs to snap out of it, and move…

The central problem revealed by the tape is Romney’s theory of the 2012 election. It is that a high percentage of the electorate receives government checks and therefore won’t vote for him, another high percentage is supplying the tax revenues and will vote for him, and almost half the people don’t pay taxes and presumably won’t vote for him.

My goodness, that’s a lot of people who won’t vote for you. You wonder how he gets up in the morning.

This is not how big leaders talk, it’s how shallow campaign operatives talk: They slice and dice the electorate like that, they see everything as determined by this interest or that. They’re usually young enough and dumb enough that nobody holds it against them, but they don’t know anything. They don’t know much about America.

We are a big, complicated nation. And we are human beings. We are people. We have souls. We are complex. We are not data points. Many things go into our decisions and our political affiliations.

You have to be sophisticated to know that. And if you’re operating at the top of national politics, you’re supposed to be sophisticated…

And this is what Mitt Romney is hearing from what should be his cheering section.

And then, four years later, drive ‘Forward.’

I dropped by Donehue Direct this morning and saw Wesley and Joel Sawyer and the gang in their expanded digs in the ancient walkup on Main Street.

And the thing that impressed me most was the sticker I saw, which you can see above, on a door. Wesley said he picked it up at a head shop or some such during his travels.

It looks like it’s been around awhile, but this was the first time I had seen, and enjoyed, it. Here’s what I was able to find out about it:

This very clever poster is the work of graphic artist Tim Doyle and obviously parodies the previously omnipresent “Change” poster of now-President Obama. It was printed as a limited edition 18×24 inch poster which Transformer fiends snapped up for $30 without hesitation. There was even glow in the dark version which disappeared just as quickly. If you’re a similarly afflicted Transformers nut, keep your eyes on Nakitomi, where a reprint may happen if demand is heavy enough. Freaks.

Here’s the direct link for a 16X20 poster version if you want to shell out $25. The one I saw on the door was more like 4X5.

That Invisible Obama certainly gets around

My friend Cheryl Levenbrown, an editor at The New York Times, posted the above picture on Facebook with this caption:

OMG, Invisible Obama and Invisible First Lady on my block!!!

That Invisible Obama certainly gets around, ever since his creation just after 10 p.m. last night.

The Twitter account was created while Clint Eastwood was still talking, and by this morning had 30,000 followers. Oh, excuse me — now it’s almost 50,000…

A typical Tweet:

Would Mr. Sulu lie to us about space exploration? No way!

Kurt Rebello, who graduated from Radford High School with Burl Burlingame and me, brings my attention via Facebook to the above photo from George Takei, which comes with this caption:

The first image has now been received from Curiosity on Mars.

You may think this is some sort of gag, but hey: This is Mr. Sulu. Could he possibly mislead us on anything having to do with space exploration?

That would not be logical, captain.

Onion gets the scoop on The Daily Planet

This was a mildly amusing piece in The Onion yesterday:

NEW YORK—Frustrated fans of the Superman comic book said Monday the continued financial stability and cultural relevance of the series’ Daily Planet newspaper is now the most unrealistic part of its universe and an annoying distraction that has ruined their reading experience.

While they acknowledged that enjoying the adventures of a superhero who can fly, lift a bus over his head, and shoot beams of intense heat from his eyes requires some suspension of disbelief, longtime fans told reporters they simply could not accept a daily metropolitan newspaper still thriving in the media landscape of 2012.

“I can play along with Superman using a steel girder to swat someone into outer space, but I just can’t get past the idea that The Daily Planet still occupies one of the largest skyscrapers in all of Metropolis and is totally impervious to newsroom layoffs or dwindling home subscriptions,” said comics blogger Marc Daigle, adding that it was impossible for him to even look at Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, without immediately thinking he would have been replaced long ago by a freelancer who gets paid nine cents a word and receives no health benefits. “Every time The Daily Planetshows up, I just get taken out of the story completely. I usually flip ahead to Superman freezing a volcano with his breath or something.”…

I say “mildly” because the idea of a health Daily Planet was sufficiently absurd that it was hard to make fun of effectively.

One last excerpt:

“The least they could do is have [Daily Planet editor-in-chief] Perry White be forced into retirement by an MBA 25 years his junior,” Taft continued. “It’d be a start.”

See? Too real, too true, too matter-of-fact to be funny.

Perry! Great Caesar’s Ghost!

This was a human being, who suffered and died

Once when I was the news editor in Wichita, Dave Barry came to visit. Since he was Knight Ridder’s biggest star, an opportunity was set up for him to meet and bat the breeze with some folks from the newsroom.

It was a light, banter-filled session. At one point, newsroom comedian Dennis Boone challenged Dave by asking, with mock indignation, why he and the rest of us, who worked for the same company, had to sweat away at hard work for long hours while Dave got paid to crack jokes. Barry smiled a satisfied smile and answered with one word: “Talent.”

I had a question I wanted to ask, too, but it felt out of place. It’s one I’ve thought of a lot over the years with regard to humor. It would have gone like this: “Do you ever feel guilty about cracking jokes to a mass audience? Do you ever wonder, when you make a real killer joke about, say, cancer, how many people reading it just lost a loved one to cancer, thereby making your bon mot like a knife to the heart?”

But I decided the question was too dark for the venue — downright weird, really — so I didn’t ask it that day. Nor did I when I ran into Dave again in Atlanta in 1988, where he and I were both covering the Democratic National Convention. We were in the makeshift KR work area in the World Trade Center, and he was telling me about some practical joke that he and others were pulling on Mike Royko over in the next press encampment (I forget what form the gag took). Again, not the right time.

I like a joke as much as the next guy, and probably more than most. I’m generally the guy most likely to go off on a facetious digression in a serious meeting, if only to keep myself interested. I’m guilty of a great deal of the kind of gallows humor that people in newsrooms use to distance themselves from the unpleasantness they report on. (I have my limits, though. I’ve never participated, for instance, in a death pool.) And sometimes I’d forget myself and act that way outside the newsroom. Early in my career, when I’d hardly had time to be jaded (the youngest, least-experienced journalists are often the worst, anxious to show how hardened they are), I was playing tennis one evening with another guy while my wife watched us. There was suddenly a loud, horrible screeching sound followed by a tremendous crash on the nearby busy street that was just out of sight. I said with a grin, “Let’s play that point over; that noise distracted me.” My wife was horrified, and when she pointed out that someone may have just been killed, I felt the appropriate regret, or at least I like to think so. But I knew that we said things that cold all the time at work, about all sorts of human tragedies. We might even dignify it by relating it to professional detachment.

Over time, that sort of humor became less and less the special province of journalists, cops and others who dealt routinely with the uglier sides of life. Starting about the time that “Saturday Night Live” started its long run, society as a whole started accepting an ironic approach to terrible things. A landmark might have been Dan Akroyd’s hilarious sketch in which Julia Child is bleeding to death from a wound inflicted while preparing a meal. Over the years we devolved from that down to laughing at “South Park” and “Family Guy.” We got hipper and hipper and more and more ironic.

Now, with the Web, the lines between professional and audience are largely erased, and everyone competes to be the biggest wiseacre on the Twitter feed. But I was struck today by a gag among professionals that I felt crossed the line — to the extent that there still is a line:

Celeste HeadleeCeleste Headlee

Was he on a plane? RT @TheFix: Man who handles poisonous snakes dies from….wait for it…a poisonous snake bite.

To interpret for those not familiar with the Twitter syntax, @TheFix (the feed of the blog written by Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post) said “Man who handles poisonous snakes dies from….wait for it…a poisonous snake bite.” He also provided the link to this story, “Serpent-handling pastor profiled earlier in Washington Post dies from rattlesnake bite.” Then, Celeste Headlee, the co-host of The Takeaway, which I regularly enjoy on public radio), added “Was he on a plane?”

Keeping the ball rolling, Steve Skinner — him I don’t know — added “….and was Samuel Jackson on said plane?” (Such overexplication is, of course, a joke-killer, but hey, nobody’s perfect.)

At this point I decided to play wet blanket — the Harry Hairshirt, the Captain Buzzkill, the Church Lady — and replied:

This was a human being who suffered an untimely and painful death, folks.

No one answered, and that was merciful of them. I had committed such a gaffe, slathering on the self-righteousness like that.

But come on, people.

By the way, if you read the story at the link, it’s appropriately and sensitively done. After all, it’s written by someone who actually got to know the victim in the course of profiling him. That’s an interesting thing about journalistic facetiousness — the reporter out in the field who gets to know sources as human beings is almost never as cynical as the desk types who never leave the newsroom. To the reporter, this wasn’t just some redneck yahoo who took his Bible too literally — which these days is a stock character tout le monde is encouraged to laugh at. He’s a human being who believed in something, rightly or wrongly, and died for it.

Died horribly, in case you don’t know anything about snakebite (and if you don’t, the story sets you straight).

Yeah, I know I was acting like a prig, and that’s no way to get followers on Twitter. But there it is.

Some faves from the late, lamented @PhilBaileySC

Just got around to seeing this…

On Sunday in The State, The Buzz (a descendant of a tidbits column I started in the ’80s called “Earsay”), lamented the cruel demise of @PhilBaileySC, and remembered some of his best Tweets:

• “Happy Confederate Memorial Day South Carolina. The rest of the country calls this day ‘Thursday’ ”

• “At what point do I freak out about Sharia Law coming to SC? Right after Bigfoot is proven real?”

• “Haley to send it to Georgia tomorrow. RT @WLTX: 30-foot-tall State Christmas Tree arrives in Columbia”

• “Happy Valentines Day, Ladies. The @scsenategop will be attempting to regulate your womb tomorrow.”

• “Besides the latest Winthrop Poll numbers having @NikkiHaley at 37%, Angies List gives the SC Guv a D-.”

• “ Mitt Romney and Nikki Haley settled on the endorsement in an email. Unfortunately, Haley pressed delete on the email out of habit.”

Not sure those are the exact ones I would have chosen (the fourth certainly doesn’t reflect my views), but they give you the idea. My fave of these is the first one. Very Phil.

Newt must be suffering from lack of attention, getting all huffy over De Niro’s joke

For perhaps the first time ever, Bill Maher has said a thing or two I sorta kinda agree with, in his “Please Stop Apologizing” piece in The New York Times. (OK, actually, he’s probably said lots of stuff I agree with — were it written out, or said by someone else. But the way he says it almost always repels me. The guy has been really off-putting to me ever since I first saw “Politically Incorrect.” It’s something about his habitual facial expression, which screams “Obnoxious!”)

We are achieving this rare alignment because I, too, believe it absurd that anyone was offended by what Robert De Niro said about first ladies. Specifically:

Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?

Apparently, when he delivered this line in the presence of Michelle Obama, everybody laughed. I probably would have laughed too. And yet we have the absurdity of Mrs. Obama’s press secretary calling the joke “inappropriate.”

There was nothing inappropriate about it. It was a perfectly conventional joke, taking an easily understood cliche — in this case, a line you might have heard four years ago, asking whether the country was ready for a black first lady — and doing an unexpected twist on it. It wasn’t the world’s funniest joke, but it was not offensive.

But absurdly, Newt Gingrich declared the joke “inexcusable,” and demanded that… get this… President Obama apologize for it. That reminds me of a pretty funny joke some conservatives made during the last administration. Mocking BDS sufferers, they would say “I blame Bush” about things that plainly had nothing to do with the president, such as the weather.

I hadn’t realized that Newt — from whom we haven’t heard for some time — was that desperate to attract attention. Well, no one — including the too-ready-to-apologize press secretary — should have given him any.

For his part, Mr. Maher argues that we should assert our freedom to offend each other without anyone going ballistic over it: “I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone,” he writes. “That’s why we have Canada.”

Funny. And if that bothers the Canadians, tough.

However… I won’t go quite as far as he does. I’m not defending any right to be offensive here. As you know, I believe we could use a lot more civility in public life, which is why I so often disagree with Mr. Maher.

All I’m doing is pointing out what should be obvious: That what De Niro said was NOT offensive.

This blog is read by people who think, period.

If you’re like me, you’ve run across this gag a number of times before, but it still brings a smile. This was sent to me today by a longtime colleague, who like me is probably nostalgic for the days when newspapers mattered in the ways implied by the joke.

This particular iteration no doubt comes out of Memphis judging by No. 12. The final line tends to vary. For instance, here’s one in which No. 12 reads, “None of these is read by the guy who is running the country into the ground.” I think I saw a version once in which the punchline was about The State, but I forget how it goes. Anyway, here’s this version:

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by the people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country, but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could find the time  — and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do  it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist dwarfs who also  happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of  course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. The Memphis Commercial Appeal is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

Not a particularly imaginative version, since it was always taken as a truism, even a point of pride, by newspapermen and -women that yesterday’s news is used to wrap fish. Perhaps the author of this one didn’t know that.

Mitt defends media from Newt. So I guess it’s true: Romney IS a RINO

What other explanation could there be for siding with the godless news media against a fellow Republican. Oh, Mitt… I’m glad Spiro Agnew isn’t alive to see this…

Now you see, that was mockery — what I just did, in my headline and lede. The Politico item I’m about to quote is headlined, “Mitt Romney mocks Newt Gingrich’s attacks on media.” But what follows doesn’t support that. It’s more like “criticizes” or “corrects” or, perhaps most accurately, “takes exception to.” At least going by the words. Maybe he said them in a snarky way. Maybe I need to see the video…

In any case, here’s what he said:

“It’s very easy to talk down a moderator. The moderator asks a question and has to sit by and take whatever you send to them,” Romney said on Fox News. “And Speaker Gingrich has been wonderful at attacking the moderators and attacking the media. That’s always a very favorite response for the home crowd.”…

But the former Massachusetts suggested that being on the offense against the media doesn’t equate to the more important skill of being able to take on other rivals in the presidential field.

“It’s very different to have candidates go against candidates, and that’s something I’ll be doing against President [Barack] Obama if I get the chance to be our nominee, that this guy has been a failure for the American people, he has not gotten people back to work, internationally he shrunk the power of our military. He has to be a guy who we replace from the White House,” he said.