Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 22, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

Win McNamee, Getty Images
Win McNamee, Getty Images

1. The Candidate Ahead of His Time? (link)

Was Governor Rick Perry a candidate ahead of his time? Michael Catalini of the National Journal thinks so. Perry's appeal to Hispanics is one of the reasons why.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign was a slow-motion train wreck, capped off by his embarrassing brain freeze in a nationally televised debate.  But as Perry mulls another presidential race in 2016, it’s striking that he was campaigning on many of the reforms that Republican Party leaders are now desperately pushing.

Republicans have spent the past several months figuring out how to win over more Hispanic voters, moderating their tone on immigration, pitching education reform as a significant issue, and they have reaped the political benefits of challenging President Obama on balancing budgets and reforming entitlements. On all those counts, Perry was a candidate ahead of his time.

“I think he remains a motivated public official and an energized political figure,” said Perry’s former chief of staff Ray Sullivan. “On that score, I could easily see him seeking another term as governor and making another run at the White House.”

Take immigration reform. Eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney hammered Perry for his support of in-state tuition for undocumented workers in Texas. That was in 2012. Now Republican standard-bearers Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have changed the GOP’s tune on immigration. Rubio teamed with Democratic colleagues to draft principles that could become the starting point for immigration reform, and Paul broke out some Spanish during a recent speech suggesting a pathway for illegal immigrants to become citizens.

Perry’s support among Hispanics in Texas was decent, especially compared with Mitt Romney’s awkward outreach.  Perry won 38 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2010 Texas gubernatorial race, while Romney only took 27 percent of the national Hispanic vote. Texas Republicans attribute that to Hispanic voters’ familiarity with Perry, who as the state’s longest-serving governor, has also appointed Hispanics as state Supreme Court justices, as well as secretary of state and transportation commissioner.

“They see his commitment to inclusion. I think Republicans make a mistake when they separate [Hispanic voters] out. They care about the same issues that other Americans care about,” said Deirdre Delisi, a former Perry campaign aide and Texas transportation commissioner.

Perry also staked out a critical position on entitlement reform, memorably comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme in his book. Romney attacked Perry for his positions, but then later tapped Paul Ryan, the Republican leader on entitlement reform, as his running mate. Now Republicans are united on the belief that trimming entitlement benefits is necessary to get the budget under control.

Perry is one of the GOP governors holding out against taking federal government aid for Medicaid expansion as part of President Obama’s 2010 health care law.

"The Medicaid expansion amounts to one large, incremental step toward single-payer socialized medicine. That’s where we headed, and I for one will not accept that as long as I’m governor of the state of Texas," Perry said during the Conservative Political Action Conference.

His education-reform ideas in Texas, challenging tenure at higher-education institutions as a way to cut costs for students, also seems prescient. Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia did a speaking tour recently to push for educational innovations.

This week, Perry said he’ll decide later this year whether to run for president in 2016 and will decide whether to run for a fourth term as governor in June, after the legislative session in Austin. If he runs for reelection and wins, he’d be on track to be governor of Texas for nearly 20 years – an eternity in politics.

Even though Perry’s positions are in line with many of the upstart reformers, he will still have to overcome his moments of infamy on the national stage. People close to the governor caution that his presidential flameout alone won’t diminish his national political prospects. But they admit that overcoming his self-inflicted problems will be a challenge – especially because the 2016 Republican field is deep with promising, younger contenders.

Very interesting article to read. While I do think Perry will run for President in 2016, I'm not sure that he will be successful. The mainstream media won't allow it. Perry works in Texas, but nationally the media just won't understand.

2. Biden and Bloomberg Together (link)

More and more people are starting to see what I'm talking about when it comes to Democrats using language to make higher taxes, bigger government, and less freedom sound like it's not so bad.

Yesterday Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg used the Sandy Hook families as props and told lawmakers to show "courage" and pass gun restrictions.

In an appearance at City Hall, Biden and Bloomberg were joined by family members of some of those killed in December’s mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in urging Congress to immediately pass legislation including stricter rules on background checks and a ban on assault weapons, which they both described as “weapons of war.”

“It’s time for the political establishment to show the courage that your daughter showed,” Biden told the father of Lauren Rousseau, a Sandy Hook teacher killed while trying to protect her students.

The vice president signaled the White House wasn’t giving up on its push to ban assault weapons, insisting “this is not about anybody’s constitutional right to own a weapon.”

“For all of those who say we can’t and shouldn’t ban assault weapons, for all those who say the politics is just too hard, how can they say that? When you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to them? And those six teachers and administrators?" Biden said. "Think about Newtown. Think about Newtown."

Biden's comments came just days after Senate Democrats dropped an assault weapons ban from their proposed package of gun reforms, arguing it would kill any chance of passing any new gun laws.

Bloomberg, who has emerged as one of the leading voices in favor of new gun-control laws in the aftermath of Newtown, called on lawmakers to have “courage.” He argued that if new gun-control laws don’t pass this year, at least 12,000 people are likely to die from gun violence in 2013 alone, based on past statistics.

“In the end, what Congress has to decide is whether it’s politically popular or is it the right thing to do,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor insisted “there is no debate” among the majority of Americans about the need for tougher background checks and bans on sales of high-capacity magazines and assault rifles.

Remember, when Democrats want something they know stinks to sound better, they call it courageous or patriotic. How is it courageous to restrict the 2nd Amendment? None of these gun proposals would have stopped Sandy Hook and Democrats know it.

3. Obama Job Approval (link)

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval status continues to fall. As of yesterday the President's job approval rating stood at 46%. That is down from 56% approval in mid-December and 51% in late February.

I wonder how low it will go.

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