TPM News

Mitt Romney told an Iowa crowd on Thursday that the country should not raise taxes to shore up Medicare and Social Security because "corporations are people" too.

Responding to a question from an audience member as to why Social Security should be included in deficit talks when it doesn't add to the deficit, Romney drifted into a defense of corporate rights.

"Corporations are people, my friend," he said. "Of course they are."

After receiving jeers from the audience over the quote, he elaborated: "Everything corporations earn goes to people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend."

Romney went on to suggest raising the retirement age rather than increasing taxes on business in order to fix entitlement programs' shortfalls.

A video of the key quote below:

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In a new column published on Wednesday at Human Events, Newt Gingrich calls for the United States to respond strongly to the expected move by the Palestinians to seek statehood at the United Nations in September -- by threatening to cut off American funding to the U.N.

Gingrich writes:

The United States has the leverage to prevent this diplomatic disaster if the Obama Administration wants to use it: we are by far the largest donor to the U.N., financing roughly a quarter of its entire budget.

We should be willing to say that if the U.N. is going to circumvent negotiations and declare the territory of one of its own members an independent state, we aren't going to pay for it. We can keep our $7.6 billion a year.

We don't need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies.

Gingrich explains that back in 1989, the administration of President George H.W. Bush used the same approach with the U.N. to prevent the extension of statehood to the Palestinians.

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The U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency on Thursday launched the second of its hypersonic flight tests, and promptly lost contact with it. The test is part of a long-term project to create a craft that can travel across the globe in an hour.

The unmanned craft, called the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2,) launched at around eight in the morning West Coast time from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The plan was to launch the vehicle on an Air Force Minotaur IV rocket and to guide it to the edge of space, before the plane separates and travels at the speed of 13,000 miles per hour (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its way back to Earth, where it'll fall into the ocean.

DARPA said in a statement that the goal of this mission is to fine-tune technical challenges in aerodynamics, aerothermal effects, navigation and control. Engineers adjusted the vehicle's center of gravity, changed some of the dynamics of the flight, and included a system to better control the flight flaps to try and maintain better stability during flight.

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New data from the latest national CNN poll out on Thursday shows that the distance between President Obama and his possible GOP opponents is tightening among the declared (Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney) and nearly declared (Tex. Gov. Rick Perry) GOP frontrunners. But it also showed that there was one Republican candidate in the poll who outpaced Obama in a matchup, 51 - 45. That candidate was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Just one problem...he's probably not running.

Other candidates did have a decent showing against Obama: the President was ahead of Romney only by a point, 48 - 47, and Perry was able to pull within five points, at 51 - 46, despite not even announcing or having a formal campaign yet. Even Bachmann, beginning to sag in the polls due to the entrance of Perry, was able to get close to the President at 51 - 45.

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Fake Apple stores have been sprouting up like mushrooms in China. Chinese authorities have set up a complaint hotline and are stepping up enforcement efforts against the phenomenon after Apple complains.

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Conservative power-broker Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) ran through his litany of complaints about President Obama on Janet Meffered's Christian conservative radio show Wednesday, and concluded that of all the anti-American administrations in his lifetime, Obama's is the most anti-American.

"We saw within a few days that this President was going to be heavy-handed, he was going to implement his agenda and pay back his political allies, and it just went on from there to ObamaCare and then to Dodd-Frank," DeMint said.

It has been the most anti-business and I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime. Things that are just so anathema to the principles of freedom, and everything he has come up with centralizes more power in Washington, creates more socialist-style, collectivist policies. This president is doing something that's so far out of the realm of anything Republicans ever did wrong, it's hard to even imagine.

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The second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin (D-IL) told a local TV station on Wednesday that the economy is "strong" despite the S&P downgrade. While largely in line with the White House's views on the downgrade, his comments came the same day that Democrats attacked Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) over a near identical quote.

"I still think the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are sound," Durbin told FOX Chicago News. "I don't care what S&P says."

In a press release yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee condemned Lugar as "out of touch" for telling a local TV station: "The American economy is still strong, that we're making progress although it's very slow in terms of job creation, and that we still have a dollar that is the world currency and we are still selling bonds to everybody all over the world despite the S&P downgrade."

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