Open thread: The last, best hope for conservative kind; Update: Mitt backs off on Super Tuesday ads?

posted at 7:41 pm on January 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

8 p.m. ET on CNN. Romney gets a rare opportunity, at the Reagan library no less: If he figures out a way to take down McCain, he’ll capture the base’s imagination instantly. People were aching for someone to hammer Huckabee about his squishiness and ol’ Fred came through, winning ecstatic praise but not having enough support by that point to do anything with it. Mitt is a different story. If he lays Maverick out by channelling the frustrations you’re hearing elsewhere in conservative media today, he’s got a shot at (finally) getting some people excited. If he doesn’t, he’d better pray Limbaugh et al. have some sort of doomsday weapon in reserve.

Huckabee has an unusual opportunity too, to cement the non-evangelical base’s loathing of him by hammering Romney on McCain’s behalf. If it becomes too obvious a game of good cop/bad cop — especially with Maverick ducking Romney on Meet the Press — the rivers of anti-Huck venom will flow tomorrow like the mighty Mississip, which should be enough to finish off the dumb rumors about him being on the ticket.

Sound off below, and look out for some questions in this vein especially given the dust-up this weekend over timetables. The Arnold endorsement is coming soon, possibly even tonight, and some key southern endorsements are on tap for tomorrow. Exit question: At what time precisely will Hugh Hewitt’s “Romney won the debate” post be published? It’s already mostly written, I’m sure. Over/under is 10:32.

Update: Throwing in the towel?

In a major boost for John McCain, Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney signaled Wednesday he’s not ready to commit to a costly campaign in the states holding primaries and caucuses next week.

Several officials said that on the heels of a defeat in Tuesday’s Florida primary, Romney’s campaign was not attempting to purchase television advertising time in any of the states on the Super Tuesday calendar…

Officials familiar with Romney’s plans cautioned they could yet changes. They said that paradoxically, the Florida defeat had been followed with a particularly strong day of online fundraising. But they added that in discussions so far, the former Massachusetts governor had selected the least costly of a variety of options prepared for his review.

Why wouldn’t he go for broke, unless he thinks he’s throwing his money away?


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Mitt just slammed the heck out of McVain with that Reagan response. And McCain comes back with a slam of his own (albeit a weak one).

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

BINGO!!! Footsoldier! I wish I had money on that..

kcd on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

McCain just went after Romney for changing his stance? Are you f***in sh***en me?

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

My thoughts exactly.

darii on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

GOLD!

Cuffy Meigs on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Ugh. Gold standard.

Chug!!!!!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

JetBoy on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

‘Cuz it’s not good for your boy McCain!

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

McCain shoots himself in the foot, since he has changed his position on “shamnesty” just recently.

And switches quickly to the military pandering.

B.S.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

That was McCain’s first applause line.

darii on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Mitt just slammed the heck out of McVain with that Reagan response. And McCain comes back with a slam of his own (albeit a weak one).

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

A weak one that ignores the fact Reagan used to be a Democrat.

BKennedy on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

What you want to bet we hear “footsoldier” in McLames answer?

kcd on January 30, 2008 at 9:31 PM

You called that one.

imshocked on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Gold Standard!

Drink!

askheaves on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

RP: Reagan whispered his last words into my ear… “Gold-standard”.

CliffHanger on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Paul is senile… have another drink pablo.

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Oh no! Huck is giving the answer Mitt should have given.

Oldnuke on January 30, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Huck is finishing his sermon.

Here comes the salvation call.

Will you give your life over to Huck?

HUCK NO!!!!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Huck’s answer to the Reagan question by far the best of the bunch.

CliffHanger on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Oooo. Huck is doing well with this question. I still won’t vote for him.

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Huck may be a funny goofball, but he’s also a classy guy.

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Mitt won the debate handsdown!!!!!!!!

Winebabe on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Huck, I wish you weren’t full of crapola. Grab a shovel.

fiatboomer on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Hmmm It seems that Huckabee cannot internalize very well, always brings up other people when asked about his things.

Weebork on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Mitt won. He should see higher poll numbers tomorrow (hopefully!).

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Mitt won that debate hands down. No question about it.

TexasBella on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

I wish Mitt would’ve used Huck’s final (Reagan) answer cause that’s what I wanted to hear.

The Ugly American on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Damn that kid can talk. Make him a VP.

Spirit of 1776 on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Mitt won…. again.

Over30 on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Didn’t the Dems get two hours on CNN?

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

McVain can now go change his Depends.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Now…ask me if I think it is relevant to the presidency.

Then ask Huckabee.

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Separation between church and state. America will never be a theocracy.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Good for you, Huck. Now endorse Mitt and go home and have some fried squirrel.

fred5678 on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

I hope McCain isn’t our nominee…

krabbas on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Mitt won.

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Huck gets the last word (about the only one he got) and as many keep saying above:

Hit it out of the park.

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

DH says the very white skin sticking out of his pant/socks of his leg was very distracting.
:D

hoosiermama on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

“Oooo. Huck is doing well with this question. I still won’t vote for him.”

Yeah, I’d rather vote for a proven flip-flopping panderer.

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

I think A Cooper just said, “Good evening very much.”

mikeyboss on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Romney/Huck???? I am crazy?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Mitt won.

Someone needs a reality check.

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

I hear Opposum stew goes well with fried squirrel

Joey1974 on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

DH says the very white skin sticking out of his pant/socks of his leg was very distracting.
:D

hoosiermama on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

woops…that would be McCain’s leg.

hoosiermama on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Mitt won. I don’t think he did enough damage to McCain, though.

fiatboomer on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

From what I saw, Mitt came out on top.

voiceofreason on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

“Good for you, Huck. Now endorse Mitt and go home and have some fried squirrel.”

Wish in one hand, Dude…spit in the other…

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Yep, Mitt won. Unfortunately all of us here on the site are in the vast minority of the voting public. Joe and Sally Sixpack will be voting based on CNN news bites and local paper commentary. THIS is wy McVain won Florida.

Good night eveyrone.

cannonball on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Yeah, I’d rather vote for a proven flip-flopping panderer.

Heh.

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

If Mitt won he must’ve done it early on. I saw only the final few moments and I wasn’t impressed with anyone.

CliffHanger on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Yeah, I guess so, if that’s how you want to categorize Romney. What does that tell you about how I feel about Huckabee?

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

ok—enough neilsen ratings for CNN. Towlie’s on south park

dish on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Mitt takes this one too! Go Mitt!

kcd on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Also, I wonder if Huck has flipped on us in the last hour. I wouldn’t be surprised if McCain’s performance and recent coverage haven’t turned him off completely.

askheaves on January 30, 2008 at 9:31 PM

Geez, you mean now he’s now hoping to be Mitt’s VP? So charming, yet so fickle. Turns on a dime. Did anyone ask him about the Mexican consulate in Little Rock with a dollar a year lease?

a capella on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

I’m hoping McCain’s performance really hurt him tonight. It looked like it might have. I’m wondering also if Huck has picked a new strong horse.

askheaves on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

“From what I saw, Mitt came out on top.”

That’s what happens when you’ve been screwed.

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Mitt won.

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM

:-P

Not a chance. Where’s Frank Luntz when I need him?

JetBoy on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Man I wish I could find the Vid online with Reagan speaking at an evangelical conference thing. It would shut a lot of you down.

- The Cat

MirCat on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

“Clearly with full head of steam.” If it is so clear, why state the obvious?

I disagree with Cooper. I did not see the steam he saw.

Weebork on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Someone needs a reality check.

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Says a man backing Mike “We need to change the Constitution to be in line with the word of God” Huckabee.

Say, don’t Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Breaking news! King George III to endorse McCain!!

fiatboomer on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Mitt won but -

He should have nailed McCain on ANWR. He should have said that he was the vote that killed it and that Alaska wanted it so he is no freaking Federalist.

I actually have to compliment CNN especially the gal from the LA Times.

Buy Danish on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Yikes, Ahnold looks like he shotgunned a funnel of botox.

Cuffy Meigs on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

I hear Opposum stew goes well with fried squirrel
Joey1974 on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

No, mashed potatoes and green beans go good with fried squirrel. ‘Possum stew is, well, stew. It goes all by itself with corn bread, and not that sweet stuff that you get up North.

Oldnuke on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

“Yeah, I guess so, if that’s how you want to categorize Romney. What does that tell you about how I feel about Huckabee?”

What does that tell me about you period?

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Now let’s see how the MSM lies and edits the tape and makes the imagery support a McVain debate victory…

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

The live response at cnn.com showed Romney winning hands down during the whole debate.

repvoter on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Oldnuke on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Heh.

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Arnold is going to endorse McCain tomorrow. Given the deficit piling up in CA, I’m not sure I’d want his blessing.

Over30 on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Mitt needs to put ads on in the Super Tuesday states. Immediately.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Say, don’t Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?

As a matter of fact, they do. Your point?

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

David Fredosso’s gmail away message:

“Romney was no better than McCain anyway. I’m voting for Ron Paul no matter what”.

NRO is really letting their ship sink.

jp on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Someone needs a reality check.

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Trusted Analyst.

BKennedy on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Not a lot, really. You don’t know me. Don’t make it personal.

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

The live response at cnn.com showed Romney winning hands down during the whole debate.

He has done well in most all of them. I don’t know if they don’t help or just don’t help enough.

Spirit of 1776 on January 30, 2008 at 9:40 PM

Add another debate victory to Gov. Romney. But meaningless since most republican voters probably care more about american idol than doing their homework on the candidates.

OKCubsFan on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Mitt won but -

He should have nailed McCain on ANWR. He should have said that he was the vote that killed it and that Alaska wanted it so he is no freaking Federalist.

Agreed. Mitt really, really should have hit McEncheese on his campaign advisers (especially El Doctor Hernandez). Or he could make these into campaign ads.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

He should have nailed McCain on ANWR.

What little I saw tells me Mitt should’ve attacked McCain way more than he did. McCain is easily flustered and there’s a wealth of material to nail him on.

Too bad. That may have been Mitt’s final opportunity.

CliffHanger on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Kelsey Grammer?

fourstringfuror on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Aw, come on. You guys suck compared to the McCain trolls. Try harder.

fiatboomer on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

As a matter of fact, they do. Your point?

huckfan on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

My point is that Huckabee is a smooth talking, opportunistic politician who used that to smack Mitt on his religion.

BKennedy on January 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Indeed.

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM

The Arnold endorsing McCain just adds to the argument that McCain is a lib.

Buy Danish on January 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Well this will have to do, read all of it.

http://www.ronaldreagan.com/sp_6.html

MirCat on January 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM

fourstringfuror on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

I saw that, too. Odd. Maybe he’s gathering news for his anchoring gig.

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Huck is such a weasle…No class. Same goes for McCain. These idiots have hijacked the GOP.

therightwinger on January 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Great….Schwarzenegger is gonna endorse McCain.

You’ve just lost my vote in any future races, Governator.

STG….RINO’s are gonna be the death of the GOP.

The Ugly American on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

I agree. I think if the Governator endorses McLame, with his current popularity, it might put Mitt on top!

kcd on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

TX Mom,

What it tells me about you is that you have listened to the same pundits who have enabled this McCain travesty to happen and have been misled into believing the lies about a good, conservative Republican who believes in this nation and who is a proven leader and manager. If you do not take another look at him before placing your misguided and unprincipled support to a poser like Romney, you will tell me more about you.

That’s all I know aboout you…preiod.

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

This was another softball debate. IMHO Mitt came out on top. That’s not saying much. How about a panel made of of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingrham and throw in Ellis Hinnican as the token lib.

Oldnuke on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

A SECOND FIRST LOOK AT AMNESTY

Weebork on January 30, 2008 at 9:44 PM

My take before I retire for the evening: Mitt feels it slipping away and did not want to go off on McCain to preserve whatever good will might be left.

He’s a good man, that Mitt. He’s got my vote here in Colorado, a state he’ll probably win. As for the nomination… not bloody likely at this point.

CliffHanger on January 30, 2008 at 9:44 PM

Yikes, Ahnold looks like he shotgunned a funnel of botox.

Cuffy Meigs on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Well, he’s just a layer of flesh wrapped around a metal skeleton, so it’s bound to start decaying after a while.

ReubenJCogburn on January 30, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Time tables.

DRINK!

MrC_5150 on January 30, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Arnold has had way too many private dinners with the Swimmer to be called a Republican.

Mitt should be glad he didn’t get an endorsement from him.

fred5678 on January 30, 2008 at 9:45 PM

I don’t know if anybody “won”, but it wasn’t enough either way to change the dynamic of the race. Aside from Mr. Gold Standard, they all handled themselves pretty well… but didn’t really say anything new.

Hollowpoint on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Oldnuke on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

That’d be fun—but the donks would have to agree too…

dish on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Breaking news! King George III to endorse McCain!!

fiatboomer on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Yikes, Ahnold looks like he shotgunned a funnel of botox.

Cuffy Meigs on January 30, 2008 at 9:38 PM

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Ugly American on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

“My point is that Huckabee is a smooth talking, opportunistic politician who used that to smack Mitt on his religion.”

By saying it off-the air…off the record?

Stretch. Amazing what people do to rationalize their own lack of principles.

Allah and his commenters have trashed Huckabee’s faith constantly for the past three-months.

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Well, since you have me all figured out, I guess we’re all done here. It’s been nice not talking to you. I feel no need to defend my choice to you.

TX Mom on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Ewwww, Bennett’s butt is where McCain’s butt was….

Cuffy Meigs on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Mitt is just too polite to really hammer back at McCain and bury him. He let Anderson Cooper interrupt his slam on Mccains lies and then let AC change the subject to another McC smear.

Sigh…

for one brief shining moment I thought Mitt would just say; “Senator you are an honorable man, but there is no reason to smear my words and lie about my intentions. Shanme on you”

But he backed off, let Cooper change the subject and the moment was lost.

I thought Mitts final answer about Reagan was GREAT but sadly it just aint enough. We are stuck with a slimy, arrogant sleazeball RINO who we all hate. But We are stuck with him. Alas…..

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

I’m now solidly behind Mitt….

MsUnderestimated on January 30, 2008 at 9:47 PM

Hollowpoint on January 30, 2008 at 9:46 PM

But they did clarify some misrepresentations. ie McCain lies….

kcd on January 30, 2008 at 9:47 PM

TX Mom, that’s all I know about you. Are you gonna take a second look? Or run away from my challenge?

Al-Ozarka on January 30, 2008 at 9:48 PM

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