Video: Romney goes on the attack against Gingrich

posted at 8:40 am on December 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

As I predicted yesterday, Mitt Romney has decided to attack Newt Gingrich in Iowa in an attempt to get conservatives to rethink their new allegiance to the frontrunner du jour — and Romney knows just where to aim.  In a new 60-second spot, the campaign hammers Gingrich for his attack on Paul Ryan’s budget-reform plan earlier this year, and stressed this line of attack in a conference call with the media yesterday:

Though Romney himself didn’t embrace Paul Ryan’s budget proposal in the spring, Talent and Sununu attacked Gingrich for distancing himself from the plan, which Gingrich dubbed “right-wing social engineering” in May on “Meet the Press” before walking the statement back days later.

“For Newt Gingrich, in an effort of self-aggrandizement, to come out and throw a clever phrase that has no other purpose than to make him sound a little smarter than the conservative Republican leadership, to undercut Paul Ryan, is the most self-serving, anti-conservative thing one can imagine happening,” Sununu said.

During the 21-minute call, the two mentioned Ryan’s name 25 times.

On MSNBC minutes later, Sununu mentioned Ryan 10 times during a five-minute hit. He called Gingrich “a faux conservative” and added: “I believe Newt Gingrich is a Gingrichite. All he cares about is Newt Gingrich.”

This attack is effective because it comes after Gingrich’s reinvention. Gingrich can chalk up his partnership with Nancy Pelosi as a big mistake and can explain away his political and personal baggage from years gone by as lessons learned the hard way. The attack on Ryan as a purveyor of “right-wing social engineering” came just a few months ago, when Gingrich was already a candidate in this cycle. Gingrich has tried to soften that criticism since then and claimed that the only objection he had was that Ryan didn’t leave the option to allow people to stay in the current system, but that would negate the reform entirely. Keeping the current structure of Medicare while at the same time adding a premium-support option would be close to what we have now with Medicare Advantage, only in Gingrich’s version we would have more money flowing out of the system.

It’s interesting that Romney is conducting this attack with his own campaign.  His super-PAC launched an attack ad on Obama in Iowa this week, which one would have expected from a traditional campaign, so we’re seeing a bit of role reversal here.  The campaign’s imprimatur underscores just how urgent they see their task in slowing down Gingrich’s momentum, especially with Tea Party voters who idolize Paul Ryan.  Romney may not pick up that support if those voters do dump Gingrich, but Romney doesn’t really need to do so, as long as they don’t rally to one alternative candidate alone, especially Rick Perry.

Romney’s not likely to get that support, either, unless he learns to engage better with conservatives.  Matt Lewis offers a facepalm moment from Team Romney’s pitch to argue that they’re more conservative than Gingrich:

As you probably heard, some Mitt Romney surrogates hosted a conference call today to attack Newt Gingrich. Because Romney is attempting to win a Republican primary — and cast Newt Gingrich as unacceptable to conservatives — you probably assume that center-right journalists or conservative bloggers got to ask some questions, right?

Wrong. Here’s the list of reporters and media outlets who were permitted to ask questions:

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS
MARK HALPERIN, TIME
LLOYD GROVE, THE DAILY BEAST
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, TPM
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES
PHIL RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST

That’s it. No Townhall.com, HotAir, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, National Review, Weekly Standard, American Spectator, or Washington Times … you get the picture.

Mother JonesTPM?  Great roll call you fellow had, there, for a lecture on conservatism.  As far as I know, we didn’t get an invitation to this conference call, although to be fair we were so swamped with registration issues that we could have easily missed it.  But if Team Romney wants to argue for conservative support — or at least to argue that conservatives shouldn’t support Gingrich — shouldn’t they be talking with conservative media to get that message out?

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But if Team Romney wants to argue for conservative support — or at least to argue that conservatives shouldn’t support Gingrich — shouldn’t they be talking with conservative media to get that message out?

Hahahaha!!! That’s a good one Ed! Look at Hot Air…..who exactly is Romney going to convince here? You? So what? The members of Hot Air? Bwahahahaha!!!! The skepticism of Romney is so strong, that most of the folks here who wont support him are not reachable. We rational folks don’t give a rats @ss what he says as long as he can beat Obama. Romney’s target audience is, and always has been, the moderates. And as you know, because you have provided the poll numbers to prove it…..a huge majority of the GOP is more concerned with defeating Obama than they are with nominating an ideologically pure candidate. And that the GOP has a huge lead in enthusiasm to vote than the dems have. You know that means that the GOP is going to come out to vote even if the nominee is Romney. So Romney knows he has the rational folks in the GOP in the bag. All that is left are the indies.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

McCain fought like hell against his fellow Republicans, too. Against Obama, not so much.

notropis on December 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Stop, you’re bringing back my night terrors of Fall 2008… when I awoke screaming in the night after dreaming of that relentless angry voice saying ‘John McCain, where is your honor!?’ when he dared to sharply contrast himself against Obama in his campaign ads. This was an actual media quote as they flanked Obama.

I recall Biden gaffing to no end and Obama given free reign to call Palin a lipstick-wearing pig. Our media industrial complex sure did keep the brave POW in check, didn’t they? He folded like a cheap suit in order to stay in their good graces.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Would somebody tell Mitt we aren’t in the mood for this.

MACKDADDY on December 9, 2011 at 8:46 AM

WE aren’t in the mood for the facts? The huge majority of the GOP is in the mood for the facts.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Push comes to shove, I’d vote for Romney over Gingrich, but oh man his people can be obtuse. I mean, Mother Jones? Come on.

Romney and his very highly paid army of campaign strategists and image consultants might gain better traction with conservatives if they stopped acting like anthropologists who view us as some strange, primitive tribe. Look, Mitt: we actually speak in complete sentences and only a few of us are married to blood relatives. And that pickup on blocks in the driveway isn’t a totem of the tribe. We really do mean to get it fixed one of these days.

And we vote.

troyriser_gopftw on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Now back to the Obama fundraiser for you.

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Mittens should have spent his money going after Obowma…

… He will never learn and that is why he will fail.

Seven Percent Solution on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

And now while we have the establishment liberal RINO (Romney) and the establishment faux conservative (Gingrich) fighting over their lack of conservative credentials, may I introduce to you guys/gals a consistent conservative – one who doesn’t only promise but delivers – Gov. Rick Perry.

He might not talk like an Ivy Leaguer, but he does the smart things. His strength is his record.

Vote Perry 2012 for an Obama walloping! He will make Govt. inconsequential in your life and get America working again.

:)

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I think Romney is really starting to feel the nomination slipping away, and with it his last legit chance at the presidency. Running once is testing the waters, running the second time shows you’re serious, running a third time makes you Harold Stassen.

banjohack on December 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM

When are the ‘Sister Wives’ or ‘Big Love’ rumors going to start about Mitt?

meci on December 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

When the religious bigots get enough donations in the plate to pay for the ads.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:51 AM

nswider on December 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

It a shame that Sen. Santorum has gotten a reputation as a whiny crazed social conservative because he is actually quite knowledgeable. Probably not enough to get elected but that aspect of him has gone completely unnoticed in this campaign.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Not to be naive, but I strongly subscribe to Reagan’s 11th amendment. I’m from Texas and was ready to throw my full support behind Perry until his first introduction to the general public was an awkward attack on Mittens. I dropped Perry like a hot potato(e)as we don’t need that kind of crap. Liar in Chief is the opponent. The only one to stick to that mantra is Newt. The others, including Mittens, does not have that mindset and that worries me.

NOMOBO on December 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I guess he ran out of things to say about HIMSELF….

easyt65 on December 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM

You know Romney can’t do anything right for some folks. He talked about his commitment to his family and church. And the same people who say he should talk about himself, were actually criticism him for for doing so.

It’s derangement brought on by a bitterness because the candidate that they worshiped was a miserable failure.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

It’s actually one of “ours” but I can see how you would think it is more helpful to Obama. Some people just know how to bring people together under a united banner. /

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Romney has to go negative because the MSM wants to elevate Newt and the ‘Anybody But Romney’ bloggers and talkers are too gutless to point out the blatant hypocrisies.

Newt offers nothing. Just a tired old retread with personal and professional baggage.

swamp_yankee on December 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Yet, apparently, it’s Gingrich whose the heretic.

Robert_Paulson on December 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Exactly when did Romney call it right wing social engineering?

That’s right…NEVER.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Newt has said that his criticism of the Ryan plan was on implementation and that the leap that Ryan makes with Medicare is too radical. That being said, he should have started that conversation by saying that he fully embraces the ideas and vision.

jcelephant on December 9, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 9:55 AM

;-)

Flora Duh on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

NOMOBO on December 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM

For someone who subscribes to Reagan’s 11th amendment, you sure seemed happy when it was Perry being attacked.

You choose to disqualify Perry because he doesn’t talk like the Ivy Leaguers but we like him because he does all the smart things.

We reject Romney and Gingrich because despite their “smart” rhetoric, they do the dumbest of things and are not conservative.

And since you appear not to appreciative of your governor’s record, why not move to another state? You will be thankful in a hurry.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

That’s right…NEVER.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

You want some cheese with that whine?

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Yes, because he is attempting to win over journalists, especially the readership of these “journalists”. Shouldn’t he have included Megan McCain, isn’t she the young Republican representative at the Daily Beast?

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Yah, like, that would have been really cool, ya know? Like, everybody knows I’m more smarter than that Lloyd guy, ya know?

Signed,

Megan McCain

Flora Duh on December 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Better be careful. Ms. McCain is a whiny type that doesn’t like being mocked and satirized… she literally had lawyers go after RedState for creating a couple fake posts posing as her. Clearly they were not done by her and everyone knew it, but little miss didn’t like it anyway. Sigh. Ms. McCain, if you or your lawyers read this. You’re an airhead.

Logus on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Newt already has all of the attack dog cred he needs to win the nomination. The SOB is damn good at it.

Romney is an amateur attack dog. He looks like a Chiwawa trying to bark but not doing it right.

Newt’s necessary discipline is to stay in his New Newt jovial father Christmas role in face of Romney. Newt’s challenge is to win the voters who don’t like the Old Newt’s harsh kill shots.

jimw on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Probably not enough to get elected but that aspect of him has gone completely unnoticed in this campaign.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 9:52 AM

He seemed …

He seemed angry.

I’m all for righteous indignation, but he was down-right bristly. He failed the popularity contest part, I think.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Romney attacking Newt?

Mitt, aim your attacks at Obama, and you might have a chance.

HeatSeeker2011 on December 9, 2011 at 10:02 AM

With the nomination in hand, Newt will be able to appeal to indies and moderate dems and say “look, I was attacked by the entire Republican establishment for not being sufficiently conservative”. This allows Newt to make the case that he isnt beholden to the establishment and isn’t a right wing ideologue. I think that will allow him to pull enough indies to make a difference.

Mdbills484 on December 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Hahaha…Yeah and Obama surrogates will point out how Gingrich was involved with Fannie/Freddie during the collapse. They will point out his ethics violations, his immorality, and other heresies that indies despise in all politicians.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I know, how sad is it that he isn’t even going to get the Miss Congeniality sash? But you’re right, he comes off badly.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Mitt joins the ranks of petty candidates. Attacking instead of addressing is a LIBERAL tactic.

royzer on December 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Newt is a big gov’t progressive liberal. Not much different from Romney with Newt supporting: Mandate, TARP, Global warming and flip-flopping:

New Gingrich book on climate change likely coming after the election
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-gingrich-climate-book-20111208,0,7420605.story “While Gingrich has not run away from “A Contract with the Earth,” he has been hedging on some past stances, especially regarding climate change. He recently told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that he never supported a “cap-and-trade” system for limiting greenhouse has emissions, when in 2007 he said he would back such a scheme if it had tax incentives.

Gingrich’s record belies his conservative image”..
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-1209-gingrich-conservative-20111209,0,2003907.story
..” Newt Gingrich — who is no more conservative than Romney.

Both men have parted company with the party’s most active voters on many of the same issues. Both backed requiring individuals to purchase healthcare insurance. Both supported the Wall Street bailout known as TARP and government subsidies for ethanol production.

Both agreed that human activity is contributing to climate change (though each has backtracked in recent months).”…

Lets go with the true proven consistent conservative: Rick Perry 2012

bzip on December 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Ms. McCain, if you or your lawyers read this. You’re an airhead.

Logus on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Thanks for the heads up.

And Ms. McCain, if you or your lawyers are reading this, like, I whole heartedly agree with Logus, ya know.

Flora Duh on December 9, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Logus on December 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I’m not more smart enough to pretend I am Ms. McCain. What a world we live in that not one but two “reputable” media outlets believe that she is an asset!

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:07 AM

If Romney wants to go up in the polls he’ll have to *GASP* talk to the little people.

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Why be forced to choose between two turd sandwiches, Gingrich and Romney? They are all establishment lackeys just tussling to be number 1 and 2 on the same ticket – you buy one, you get the other free.

Vote for a Not-Romney and Not-Gingrich.

Vote for Perry 2012 – the only conservative that can win.

:)

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Take note. Gingrich did not rise to the top by attacking Mitt. This is only going to come back to bite Mitt in the butt.

MeatHeadinCA on December 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Take note. Gingrich is simply the “Not Romney” flavor of the month. Within two weeks, his baggage and heresies against ethical, moral, and financial standards will make him unelectable. The polls prove that the GOP wants an electable candidate first and foremost. The GOP also has a huge lead in enthusiasm to vote. So the GOP is in the bag for whichever candidate that can beat Obama. Since this past summer, Romney is the only candidate to maintain consistent ability to beat Obama.

Gingrich loses the indies because his heresies are important to them. Ethics, moral fiber, and the Freddie/Fannie involvement. Romney’s heresies are against the GOP. And as pointed out, the rational folks in the GOP wont care as long as Romney can beat Obama.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

those who say Romney won’t fight if it’s him vs obama your sorely mistaken.
nswider on December 9, 2011 at 8:50 AM

In philosophy, this is called a “category error.” For if this is even “fighting” at all, it isn’t “fighting” by any definition useful in the greater struggle against Leftism — rather, it’s a predcitable and defensive imitation of Leftism. Moreover, Romney is reacting to pressure not establishing the terms of the debate and the pressure (which he has never been able to do at any time in any race); he is acting from weakness. He is effectively repudiating the premise of his campaign.

In every way that Gingrich has campaigned he has advanced the fight against Obama and the Left. This is similar to how Reagan ran. Romney hasn’t moved the fight against Obama forward at all. His game has been to commit himself to as few actions and words as possible and hold on, to be the last one remaining, to win by default. This ad amounts to an unconscious concession to failure, and one that couldn’t be more poorly timed. It is a desperate misreading of the mood of the electorate. Even if it damages Gingrich, I’ll guess that it will help some other candidate before it helps Romney.

As for the list of reporters in the conference call, this is even more hugely revealing. Romney’s first instinct is to trust leftist reporters before conservatives, to seek comfort and shelter through them.

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Now back to the Obama fundraiser for you.

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

You are the weakest troll.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 10:12 AM

The trouble is that this ad might be more effective against Gingrich if Gingrich’s opposition wasn’t Romney.

Aitch748 on December 9, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Gingrich loses the indies because his heresies are important to them. Ethics, moral fiber, and the Freddie/Fannie involvement. Romney’s heresies are against the GOP. And as pointed out, the rational folks in the GOP wont care as long as Romney can beat Obama.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Erm… how about we vote for neither?

It will be pretty stupid to vote for a candidate who loves sticking his fingers into his part’s base. Don’t you think so?

:)

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

*looks around for gocatholic*

To me he always looks like he needs a dose of Ex-lax.

As Cindy said, he is quite knowledgeable, and I do agree with most of his stance on social issues. It’s a shame he can’t get more media exposure to get them out there, but his sour grapes attitude does turn many people off.

Flora Duh on December 9, 2011 at 10:17 AM

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

That is brilliant writing. Even if the Romney supporters subtract the part about Newt, it’s hard to deny that that is a spot on definition of Gov. Romney and his strategy. Bravo!

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Aitch748 on December 9, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Too true.

notropis on December 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I never thought I’d see the day I’d miss McCain, Huckster, Fred and Romney’08.

Sheesh!

Laura in Maryland on December 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Here’s the list of reporters and media outlets who were permitted to ask questions:
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS
MARK HALPERIN, TIME
LLOYD GROVE, THE DAILY BEAST
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, TPM
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES
PHIL RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST
That’s it. No Townhall.com, HotAir, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, National Review, Weekly Standard, American Spectator, or Washington Times … you get the picture.

This is the most telling sign in all of this. Mother Jones? This is like a weaker McCain on steroids. McCain at least had certain virtues of authenticity.

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Mitt joins the ranks of petty candidates. Attacking instead of addressing is a LIBERAL tactic.

royzer on December 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Not true. Attacking one’s opponent is a political tactic, one of many weapons that–if used effectively–can be used to defeat the other side. If whoever wins the GOP nomination refrains from attacking his opponent, then we’ll get the same result as the McCain campaign. Senator McCain refrained from attacking then-candidate Obama on Obama’s radical associations such as Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dorn, on Obama’s Chicago machine connections, including his very close personal and professional relationship with political fixer and now-convicted felon Tony Rezko, on Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s Black Separatist pastor of over 20 years, on Obama’s association with ACORN and his former membership in Chicago’s socialist New Party. And so on.

By not attacking such a target-rich opponent, Senator McCain chose to lose honorably, with emphasis on lose.

No more nice, please. While we’re playing by Marquis de Queensbury rules, Chicago Machine thugs are beating the good and honorable Marquis de Queensbury to a bloody pulp with lead pipes and chains and stuffing his body in a trunk.

troyriser_gopftw on December 9, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Two attack ads in 12 hours, must be really desperate. Here is the ad Mitt’s super PAC put up last night on YouTube but abruptly removed it http://bit.ly/uWf2QP. Seems they haven’t learnt the lesson of, once it hits the internet you lost control over it.

Sheya on December 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

What happenned to the good old Republican attack machine? Back in the Perot days there were effective threats to family members, now they are reduced to feeding dirty little secrets to David Corn? What’s next, foreign policy by innuendo?

Rea1ityCheck on December 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

This ad amounts to an unconscious concession to failure

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

But nothing in your argument supports that?

It got Kerry over his opponents. His strategy seemed to be “Cher, Cockroaches, and John Kerry.” After Dean exploded, Kerry came down the river in his Manly, Hero boat with a big smile. It was shocking, really. I still have a hard time with Heinz ketchup.

Curious: Do Newt supporters believe Newt won’t go negative later? At all?

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Weak

Biscuit on December 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

The trouble is that this ad might be more effective against Gingrich if Gingrich’s opposition wasn’t Romney.

Aitch748 on December 9, 2011 at 10:12 AM

And thus… you know who this helps, right? The leading Not-Romney Not-Gingrich Not-Paul candidate.

Gov. Rick Perry.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

This is the most telling sign in all of this. Mother Jones?

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:24 AM

No denying the ugliness of that list.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Sheya on December 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Interesting that they used George Will in the ad, hardly a Romney fan either.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

…and I can hardly wait to see Romney’s list of conservative causes he has fought for over the year…a very short list…shorter than the liberal policies he has fought for.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I’m a newbie here so pardon my departure from the Hot Air conventional wisdom. But, Newt?? Really?? The Fannie Mae lovin’. Paul Ryan hatin’, Pelosi couch sitter is really the preference of conservatives?. I will admit to leaning toward Romney just because my stance is.NOT NEWT
I’m sure I will be run out of the room for this heresy.
As far as the ad…it’s politics 101. Newt can portray himself as Father Christmas, but he is what he is.
Confession. I really wanted Perry. I actually gave him a standing ovation after his announcement. Too bad.
Even if he doesn’t win, I wish there was some way his face would still be on TV every day. That there is a good lookin’ man

bluealice on December 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Rand Paul’s words against Gingrich were awesome! Too bad his dad is bat$#!t crazy.

Laura in Maryland on December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:24 AM

It’s almost like Romney is uncomfortable talking to conservatives …

/

Number34 on December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I won’t say he won’t, I’ll just say he shouldn’t.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Newt has said that his criticism of the Ryan plan was on implementation and that the leap that Ryan makes with Medicare is too radical. That being said, he should have started that conversation by saying that he fully embraces the ideas and vision.

jcelephant on December 9, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Slowly implementing a premium support system (instead of vouchers) is hardly radical. That was a compromise made to get the Democrats to join the conversation and to sound non-threatening to seniors.

youngTXcon on December 9, 2011 at 10:41 AM

People are not even trying to defend Newt anymore. Just tossing random darts at Romney. The Anybody But Romney crowd jumped the shark; supporting the indefensible without defense because they cant.

swamp_yankee on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I agree. Spot on. And for Romney and Co. to think people aren’t discerning enough to see through it is really insulting. To his campaign it might seem to be a safe winning strategy, but his numbers haven’t changed much. Actually, they’ve gone down since Gingrich took the lead. It’s pretty apparent the electorate on our side for the most part is looking for a knowledgeable and outspokenly tough candidate. Good looks and jazz talk is not gonna cut it this cycle. Even with the proverbial Newt ‘baggage’ and legitimate concerns and questions, he’s really shot up for a reason.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Back in the Perot days there were effective threats to family members, now they are reduced to feeding dirty little secrets to David Corn? What’s next, foreign policy by innuendo?

Rea1ityCheck on December 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

No one working on behalf of the Republican Party ever threatened harm to Ross Perot, erstwhile egomaniac and oddball eccentric with money, the Donald Trump of his day. It was a scurrilous, pathetic lie then and remains so. All Perot ever did was split the vote with a vanity campaign and allow Clinton to win the presidency.

troyriser_gopftw on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

And thus… you know who this helps, right? The leading Not-Romney Not-Gingrich Not-Paul candidate.

Gov. Rick Perry.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Well, if Perry demonstrates that he can take on the Left as effectively as Gingrich has done so far, I bet that people will happily give Perry a second look.

Aitch748 on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Remember, this is the candidate who posted the attack/parody website against Fred Thompson…hardly a dirtier campaigner than Mitt.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 10:43 AM

It got Kerry over his opponents.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

But, it didn’t get Kerry into the White House. The left had the last cockroach hiding in the corner and they had to run with that. Think about it.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

By caving in to the media’s constant, baseless, pro-socialist attacks on Palin, Bachmann, and Perry, you now get to choose between John McCain, and John McCain on steroids.

It was always your conscience you should have been listening to. Three years ago you said to yourself, never again. Yet here we are, with less than a Hobson’s choice for a nominee.

Forced to choose between two less than conservative candidates, I’ll take the one who helped improve the U.S. during Clinton’s administration, even if Clinton has co-opted the credit. I’ll take the one who fought the Left, even if some of his own ideas and tactics were similar. I’ll take the last Speaker to actually submit a balanced budget to the White House.

Freelancer on December 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Mitt teaming up with Mother Jones? Really?
An new low, he has no standards, except one…get votes at any cost.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I won’t say he won’t, I’ll just say he shouldn’t.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I’ll not ugly-cynic through your beautiful-optimism. I’ll just hope with you. Would be very cool.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Remember, this is the candidate who posted the attack/parody website against Fred Thompson…hardly a dirtier campaigner than Mitt.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 10:43 AM

So, for clarity, you want a weak fighter to go against Obama. Okay. got it.

Cant tell sometimes. Romney haters just throw the most inconsistent attacks out there. Its hard to keep track. We have it for the record though, that Romney will be a bare knuckle fighter against Obama.

You agree. Great.

swamp_yankee on December 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

This is the most telling sign in all of this. Mother Jones? This is like a weaker McCain on steroids. McCain at least had certain virtues of authenticity.
rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 10:24 AM

He should at least try and court conservatives

Flapjackmaka on December 9, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Yet another good article slamming Newt for what he is: a Progressive liberal

Why a Newt Gingrich Candidacy Would Doom the Tea Party
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/why-a-newt-gingrich-candidacy-would-doom-the-tea-party/249534/

“And Gingrich supported almost all the most controversial Bush-Rove policies!

He favored No Child Left Behind, an unprecedented federal intervention in education. He supported Medicare Part D, a brand new, budget-busting drug entitlement. He supported “comprehensive immigration reform,” perhaps the most divisive-among-conservatives policy initiative of the aughts. He urged the passage of TARP. And he even spoke favorably about the infamous Harriet Miers nomination, a George W. Bush misstep that caused many of his most loyal supporters to rebel.

Tea Partiers pledged that if they had their way the GOP would never again have as its champion a federal government enlarging, entitlement expanding, amnesty urging, Bush-style Republican.”

Support a True, Proven Consistent Conservative: Rick Perry

bzip on December 9, 2011 at 10:48 AM

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I truly don’t understand the “safe” tactics and the romancing of the the unaffiliated and moderates during a primary. The fact that people are gravitating to Newt with all his warts ought to be a big flashing neon sign to Gov. Romney but he just doesn’t get it. These are not timid times.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

But, it didn’t get Kerry into the White House. The left had the last cockroach hiding in the corner and they had to run with that. Think about it.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Thinking. There might be something to the idea that “the jackass you are left with” is inherently weak. I wish I could run more elections through my head, but I just don’t have them.

Michael Barone? Did you catch open registration?

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Gov. Rick Perry.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

I really do like Rick Perry and your efforts do make me rethink my position about him, but the fear that he will choke and not be able to strongly and effectively communicate his many accomplishments and presidential goals is unshakeable. For me Newt is far from perfect, but I have more trust in his abilities to do this. That’s the sell for me.

But nobody, and I mean nobody running right now can look better in a Carhartt jacket than Perry. ;-)

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Good luck with those attacks, Mitt, but I think you’re a little late. Looks like the Gigrich-train has too much steam behind it and you’re going to get run over.

jfs756 on December 9, 2011 at 10:52 AM

bzip on December 9, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I wouldn’t support a candidate to save the Republican Party nor the Tea Party, they are not the goal.

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I’m a newbie here so pardon my departure from the Hot Air conventional wisdom. But, Newt?? Really??

bluealice on December 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Not everyone is viewing this ad in the light of being pro-Newt. I was briefly seduced by Newt’s strong showing in the debates but snapped out of it before I became wife number four.

This ad says nothing positive about Mitt. He has been deathly silent on a number of important issues (from now on, referred to as the Cockroach Strategy. h/t Axe.) It’s a lose-lose. It’s obvious to a lot of people outside of the GOP inner circle, Mitt’s time has passed. With the fiscal fiasco of ObamaCare passing and the parallels to RomneyCare, he is no longer the right candidate, even if he patiently waited in the wings for his turn like he was told to do in 2008.

A second look at Perry? Possibly, I am that disappointed with the frontrunners.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Romney can’t win. He has neither principles nor spine. If you dislike Gingrich so much, support Rick Lazio, er, Santorum.

Seth Halpern on December 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Not everyone is viewing this ad in the light of being pro-Newt. I was briefly seduced by Newt’s strong showing in the debates but snapped out of it before I became wife number four.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

LOL…guilty here of buying a couple boxes of blonde hair dye.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

There might be something to the idea that “the jackass you are left with” is inherently weak.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I don’t think you ultimately end up with jackass but with this.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 11:04 AM

If a conservative candidate had put-forward this ad, they would largely have been praised for being truthful. Too bad it was made by the Romney campaign.

youngTXcon on December 9, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Well, if Perry demonstrates that he can take on the Left as effectively as Gingrich has done so far, I bet that people will happily give Perry a second look.

Aitch748 on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Conservatives always talk about tort reform as one of the things that a true health reform plan needs.

Tort reform will, however, have to confront a well-funded trial lawyers lobby – mostly Democrats but with deep connections to the GOP as well.

There is only one candidate in the race, whose decision to run sent the trial lawyers lobby panicking and vowing to stop him at all costs – Gov. Rick Perry.

America’s trial lawyers are getting ready to make the case against one of their biggest targets in years: Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Among litigators, there is no presidential candidate who inspires the same level of hatred — and fear — as Perry, an avowed opponent of the plaintiffs’ bar who has presided over several rounds of tort reform as governor.

Not Romney. Not Gingrich. Why? Because those ones can be bought or cowed into submission.

Conservatives are throwing away their best chance at reform in decades simply because they’ve bought into the meme that Gov. Rick Perry is dumb because he doesn’t speak like the Ivy Leaguers. Despite all the smart things he has done and keeps doing.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM

swamp_yankee on December 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I also don’t get why Newt is granted absolution for all his whacky liberal azz ideas, but Mitt is doomed..doomed I tell ya.

bluealice on December 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM

that Romney will be a bare knuckle fighter against Obama.

You agree. Great.

swamp_yankee on December 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Ha, a parody post, Mitt a bare knuckled fighter.
You mean the man who buckled and ran from being a conservative when Teddy attacked him? The man who has taken a stand for most every side of an issue?
And if you think putting up a dirty trick website is bare knuckle fighting at it’s best, and than lying about not having anything to do with it…you and I have a different opinion on the quality of person who can lead this country.
So here is the challenge to you…what conservative causer has Mitt Romney ever fought for? Newt at least had the contract for American, the document that still give liberals nightmares, and he won the speaker of the house, which forced Clinton into the middle away from the left wing ideology…show me where Mitt has done anything close to that.
I will be waiting for the list of conservative causes he has fought for…it should take you about 15 seconds to post them…and no, RomneyCare does not count…

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Not everyone is viewing this ad in the light of being pro-Newt. I was briefly seduced by Newt’s strong showing in the debates but snapped out of it before I became wife number four.
Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I am liking you more and more for your wit. :)

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Romney can’t win. He has neither principles nor spine. If you dislike Gingrich so much, support Rick Lazio, er, Santorum.

Seth Halpern on December 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Not a big Romney fan, but if you’re claiming Gingrich has either principles or spine, you’ve been badly misinformed. Look at Gingrich’s life, look at his record. Without dredging up his draft-dodging youth or his philandering middle age, let’s bring it to the present: He attacked Ryan’s plan as ‘right-wing social engineering’ and then walked it back when he caught the backlash. He lied in a televised debate regarding his lobbying efforts for Freddie Mac, both in the nature of his role in their employ and in the amount he was paid for it.

Principles? Spine? Come up with another argument if you choose to argue for Gingrich. You could always tout his stellar intellect, the same brains that put him on the couch with Nancy Pelosi.

troyriser_gopftw on December 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I also don’t get why Newt is granted absolution for all his whacky liberal azz ideas, but Mitt is doomed..doomed I tell ya.

bluealice on December 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Because Newt does have some substantial conservative roots and background…Mitt has none…

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I’m wondering if csdevin will pull an unseen and literally become “unseen” once Romney inevitably loses the nomination.

DRayRaven on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Mittens should have spent his money going after Obowma…

… He will never learn and that is why he will fail.

Seven Percent Solution on December 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Yep. He went on the attack last election and look where it got him.

But that time wasn’t he attacking his fellow candidates for being too conservative?

29Victor on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Don’t let Newt Gingrich make you wife number four. I’m hoping for Bachmann or Santorum, but I’d take Mitt over that guy any day of any week. Say what you will about him, Romney didn’t screw over the image of the GOP for a decade.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I don’t think you ultimately end up with jackass but with this.

Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 11:04 AM

lol … that’s perfect. I won’t ask how you got that queued up so quick.

Axe on December 9, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Only because he couldn’t manage to get himself elected.

But that one time that he did….

29Victor on December 9, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Don’t let Newt Gingrich make you wife number four.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Heh. I think you and Fallon just gave Team Romney a premise for their next attack ad against Newt.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

troyriser_gopftw on December 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

All politicians have negotiated, have moved on positions…Reagan worked hard for pathway for immigrants, he had many social liberal tendencies…when you have been a leader for decades, you make a lot of decisions, and those few that were “wrong”, are condensed (from over many decades) into a 60 second commercial.
Has Mitt ever done anything like the Contract with America? Anything even close?
As Speaker, he made, forced Clinton into the middle, has Mitt done anything like that? Just the opposite, he was the one forced to the left because he was so weak…thus Mass ended up with Romney Care.
I prefer someone other than Newt, but Newt is worlds above Romney in experience, and in being a conservative.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Also, remember when all these “true conservatives” were downright BEGGING for other candidates to attack Mitt in the debates – cheering when they did and hating on them when Mitt answered the questions/accusations perfectly for “flubbing it”? Now Mitt makes an attack and suddenly it’s an unforgivable offense against our values or something. Give me a break.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I was briefly seduced by Newt’s strong showing in the debates but snapped out of it before I became wife number four.
Fallon on December 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

Flora Duh on December 9, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Say what you will about him, Romney didn’t screw over the image of the GOP for a decade.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

RomneyCare, and being a “RINO” is okay…he did more harm by being passive and a weak Republican…that is why the media wants him as a candidate, if he wins, they don’t lose much.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Heh. I think you and Fallon just gave Team Romney a premise for their next attack ad against Newt.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This is the kind of stuff that Obama and the MSM are going to annihilate poor RINO Newt with once he gets the nomination, so we might as well get it out on the table ahead of time while there’s still hope to get somebody else. We already know that Newt can be easily destroyed, because he was easily destroyed to the point where he had to quit as speaker. He’s a dead fish in the water for the MSM.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:20 AM

But nobody, and I mean nobody running right now can look better in a Carhartt jacket than Perry. ;-)

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

LOL…

I understand the fear shared by yourself and many others on this forum. But you all can sure agree that Perry has shown some decent improvement in the debate formats where he was the weakest.

I believe he struggled in the earlier debates because of two things:

1. His back surgery and medication that he was on.
2. He had not yet hashed out the details of his policies and so had to work with a simple mantra – less Govt. and his record of jobs in Texas – without sufficient detail.

Trust me – it is true that a run for President was the last thing on Perry’s mind. It was a decision he had to take after, I believe, Palin communicated to him that she was not going to run.

Perry has been single-minded and focused in his job as Governor of Texas. He talks of his state with pride and has worked hard with his legislature to make it the most business-friendly and prosperous state.

He can do it for the whole country and against Obama, it will be a no-brainer.

- Perry’s job creation record will contrast against Obama’s job destroying record.

- Perry’s “make Govt inconsequential” will contrast against Obama’s “make Govt. the centerpiece” approach.

- Perry’s love of country and military record will contrast against Obama’s apparent hatred of his country and lack of sacrifice.

and so on.

The debates are overblown and neither Newt, Romney, or Perry will be declared winners by a biased media that will be going all-out to cover for their Messiah.

Rhetoric won’t cut it, but records will. And only Perry has the record that matters.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM

As Speaker, he made, forced Clinton into the middle, has Mitt done anything like that? Just the opposite, he was the one forced to the left because he was so weak…thus Mass ended up with Romney Care.
I prefer someone other than Newt, but Newt is worlds above Romney in experience, and in being a conservative.

right2bright on December 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

This is a false premise. Romney was against a veto-proof majority and Newt had the majority lined up behind him. However even with a veto proof majority that was itching for a single payer system Mitt managed to deny them of that by presenting the plan he did of which many elements came from Newt Gingrich.

This is why nobody takes all the “true conservatives” who are for some reason lining up behind RINO Newt seriously.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM

So let me get this straight… the GOP bigwigs aren’t willing to “personally” attack Obama because they feel uncomfortable demonizing him as indicated by the National Review article earlier today… yet they’re willing to go after Newt Gingrich lock, stock, and barrel?

When the party says to punch lightly against Obama, but are willing to do anything to get Romney the nomination, something is seriously wrong with the GOP.

Stoic Patriot on December 9, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Don’t let Newt Gingrich make you wife number four. I’m hoping for Bachmann or Santorum, but I’d take Mitt over that guy any day of any week. Say what you will about him, Romney didn’t screw over the image of the GOP for a decade.

Ruiner on December 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

You don’t have to vote for Romney or Gingrich just as Florida didn’t have to vote for Crist over Rubio – simply because the media and polls are trumpeting them as frontrunners.

Take a second look at Gov. Perry – the whole of Texas knows him as someone who follows through with his promises. He is solidly conservative and will not mince words. He is a straight shooter.

Don’t buy into the meme that he is dumb – it takes someone supremely smart to accomplish what he has accomplished without the connections and Ivy League education that is prevalent in today’s politics.

TheRightMan on December 9, 2011 at 11:30 AM

The GOP funhouse of mirrors
Newt takes off thru the maze but slowly comes to a stop as he falls in love with seeing his image.
Mittens trudges through having to break each mirror to see all sides of himself.
Meanwhile Trump is barking and selling tickets to the show and the media is just happy the carnival came to town.
It’s all fun and games til they leave and it’s the township that has to clean up the mess.

smitty41 on December 9, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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