Romney to Gingrich: I’d rather not debate you one on one

posted at 1:25 pm on December 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Say, doesn’t this remind people of another debate challenge?  One in which one candidate bet another a bunch of money as an intimidation tactic?  Remember when the man who offered the bet claimed a refusal was an admission of error?  Good times, good times:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday spurned a challenge from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, for a one-on-one debate in the run-up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, but he dismissed the notion, suggested by Mr. Gingrich, that he was afraid to participate in such a faceoff.

“We’ve had many occasions to debate together, and we’ll have more — I presume quite a few more — before this is finished,” Mr. Romney told the Associated Press. “But I’m not going to narrow this down to a two-person race while there are still a number of other candidates that are viable, important candidates in the race. I want to show respect to them.”

In a brief interview aboard his campaign bus as it rumbled through New Hampshire, Mr. Romney reflected on the a GOP nomination fight that’s seen many candidates and noncandidates alike rise and fall in polls. He mentioned Mr. Gingrich as well as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and real estate magnate Donald Trump.

Well, were any of the other candidates complaining about being left out of the challenge?  I’d assume not, since the topic was specifically the criticisms Romney’s super-PAC supporters have launched against Gingrich.  In fact, given Gingrich’s recent fade and the continued stability shown in Romney’s numbers, some of the other candidates might not have minded at all that Gingrich could have had an exclusive forum in which to tear into Romney, an event that might have provided a potential opening for one or more of the candidates criss-crossing Iowa this week and next.  Of course, this is also obviously the outcome Romney wants to avoid.

Unlike the tone-deaf $10,000 bet challenge to Perry, a challenge to debate seems entirely reasonable, considering the attacks on Gingrich and his commitment to keep the campaign positive.  Romney’s decision to decline, while understandable from a tactical viewpoint, may not be a winner strategically speaking.  In this cycle, voters want someone who will fight for conservative principles, or at least fight Barack Obama in the general election with tenacity and enthusiasm.  If Romney can’t handle Gingrich in a one-on-one debate, some voters might conclude that Gingrich — or another Republican — might be more inclined toward tenacity and enthusiasm than Romney.

Funny how those triple-dog dares look pretty bad from the other end, huh?


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Neither Newt nor Mitt are conservatives. Each play both sides of the ideological fence. Both are big government Republicans like George Bush. It would be amusing watching you Mittbots and Newtonians go at it if it weren’t so serious an election. If either of these clowns are nominated, Obama has a chance to win. If either of these two become president, we’ll lose all or most of congress in the midterms and be trounced by another progressive Democrat in ’16. The government will be bigger, we’ll be less free and the country will be less respected in the world than it already is.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM

There is a lot of truth to this. I think that Romney would be marginally better and more effective than Gingrich. However, neither will decisively yank the nation back to the right. However, I think that Romney can defeat Obama, and he can walk things back to the right a ways. I’m voting for entitlement reform, the repeal of Obamacare, a strong military, and good judges. I think that Romeny can deliver these things , with a Republ;ican Congress. However, I remain concerned about Romney’s moderation.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Going by his record and current tax proposal, Huntsman is far superior to Romney.

Daemonocracy on December 22, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Not in popularity. Romney is much more popular in Utah than Huntsman. How sad is that!!

sheryl on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Care to elaborate? I don’t know much about Huntsman.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Huntsman had everything handed to him on a silver platter. He basically bought the Governorship with his daddies money. He never once pushed a conservative cause through the legislature, but rather sit back and enjoyed the ride. On the one occasion that he could have demonstrated his, so called, conservatism by pushing through school choice, he buckled when the teachers union squawked.

His administration was extremely UN-remarkable.

Gunlock Bill on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Who cares what Romney gains . . I thought America’s gain or loss was the important thing! Romney is clearly a coward .. . .we don’t need him nor want him. (he is also NOT a conservative.)

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

@ghostwrier if u don’t think Newt is intelligent you having been paying attention.

terryannonline on December 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I never said that he wasn’t intelligent. But now that you mention it, I don’t think that he is as smart as he seems to think he is.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

***ALERT***

We interrupt this discussion for a realistic assessment
:

Romney is too smart to fall for the trap.

It’s not that Gingrich is such a great debater. He’s not, really – he’s just a failed history professor who was denied tenure at Georgia Western and went into politics as a back-up career. He sounds smart enough to fool a lot of people; those who know what “Lean Six Sigma” really is are unimpressed.

But even if Romney could take him apart in a head-to-head, he would be foolish to do so. All it would do is grant Newt special status as THE “not Romney” candidate – which is exactly what Newt wants.

Remember Reagan v Bush, 1980?

There is no reason to give Gingrich a leg up now that he is falling back in the polls as more and more people look at his actual record and say, “EW!”

We now return to your regularly scheduled Romney-bashing.

Adjoran on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

@Gunlock Bill, Thanks for the background!

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Gunlock Bill:
Huntsman is still a far superior choice than Romney . . what does that tell you?

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I don’t think that he is as smart as he seems to think he is.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

At least we agree on something…

geeessh.

Saltysam on December 22, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Gunlock Bill’s ‘background’ is untrue . . do you own homework on Huntman’s governorship.

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Just a highlight of the future for Newt’s much ballyhooed seven-debate challenge to Obama. He gets ignored, no one cares, Obama skates to victory.

Of course, we aren’t going to have to worry about that, since it’s the same deal here, just with Romney in place of Obama – which will be for the better.

General election debates don’t mean jackshxt.

Red Cloud on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Romney is too smart to fall for the trap.

Adjoran on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Dream on.

Saltysam on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

@cartoon so who do you think can beat Obama?

terryannonline on December 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM

There’s only 3 real conservatives, Perry, Santorum and Bachmann. They walk the walk and have conservative records. If we truly want to “turn the country around” only a real conservative would do that.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Only because Huntsman had a very conservative legislature to keep him from going to the left, as he was wont to go.

Romney, Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry are all significantly better than Huntsman.

Gunlock Bill on December 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I think the only non governor in this race with a chance is Newt Gingrich, and he’s got a money challenge. That leaves Romney, Perry, Huntsman. Romney is no doubt following his campaign manager’s advice- and he should that’s what he pays him for. That doesn’t mean that advice makes Romney anymore appealing to primary and caucus voters. Romney’s supporters don’t do him any favor when they go negative on other candidates here in these threads. They aren’t converting anyone for Romney. The opposite is true they are alienating people who would be neutral. Some times I think they must be liberal trolls because the result of their attacks is just to bring out the animus in other commenters toward Romney.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Several thoughts here. First, what is Romney afraid of? If he’s got principles, he ought to be unafraid of discussing them. If he hasn’t got the guts to take on Gingrich, how in heck is he going to face Obama? Second, for those who think this is a smart move by Romney, is that all you’ve got to brag about re:your candidate, that he’s too smart to debate? Seriously? Third, I’m sick of Mitt and his “all the right moves” strategy that refuses to tell me anything of what he truly BELIEVES. Romney is proving to be the ultimate plastic-man, Ken doll. I don’t want a Ken doll for President. Fourth, I don’t get he whole Newt is desperate thing. A practiced, well-honed debater can only help in the defeat of Obama. Last, Gingrich wouldn’t be my first choice by any means, but I’m there by default, and I’d rather have an adulterer who sat with Nancy on a sofa than a gutless Ken doll who signed socialized medicine into law for political expedience. Get some principles and a spine, Romney, for the love of heaven. Debate Gingrich. We voters have the right to the most informed choice possible.

idalily on December 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Gunlock Bill’s ‘background’ is untrue . . do you own homework on Huntman’s governorship.

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM
======

Fair enough. I will if he gains traction. In truth, this thing will probably be decided before the primaries get to my state.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Is ‘debate’ the only word Newt knows? If he had the $$$ he would be attacking Romney like crazy.

Give it up Newt, no way you can win the nomination and if you did, Obama wins by a landslide.

Redford on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Gunlock Bill:
Huntsman is still a far superior choice than Romney . . what does that tell you?

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Nothing about Romney nor Huntsman.

It does say something about your lack of correct information though.

Gunlock Bill on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Ahh, the invention of a new meme.

If calling him a liberal, a cultist, or a lier doesn’t work, try calling him a coward instead and hope for a different result.

Seriously people, there are genuine issues you could be discussing about Romney as a candidate, but this school ground name calling garbage only hurts your own credibility.

WolvenOne on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

What a lame excuse! As Ed mentioned, I’m not reading anywhere where any of the other candidates have a problem with being left out of Newt’s challenge. Romney knows he’d be beaten to a pulp if he debated Newt one-on-one, and further knows that he’d come off looking as stupid and pathetic as he did during the Bret Baier interview on Fox. Mitt Romney = Chief RunningScared….

jfs756 on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Smart move on Mitt’s part … Newt would kick his donkey.

BBReggie on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I’m voting for entitlement reform, the repeal of Obamacare, a strong military, and good judges. I think that Romeny can deliver these things , with a Republ;ican Congress. However, I remain concerned about Romney’s moderation.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

If you worry about Romney’s moderation, why would you trust him to deliver on the things you think are important?

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

There’s only 3 real conservatives, Perry, Santorum and Bachmann. They walk the walk and have conservative records. If we truly want to “turn the country around” only a real conservative would do that.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

And only one is a governor with a great record on job creation in his state under his tenure, and has executive experience.

Still I am not ready to give up on Huntsman, he also has a conservative record and was a successful governor. He’s also an excellent debater he’s just got that arrogant personality thing….takes discipline to control that.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

There’s only 3 real conservatives wackos, Perry, Santorum and Bachmann. They walk the walk and have conservative records lip service. If we truly want to “turn the country around bass ackwords” only a real conservative loser would do that.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

fixed

hanzblinx on December 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Gunlock Bill’s ‘background’ is untrue . . do you own homework on Huntman’s governorship.

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

By all means, do your own homework. But I lived through Huntsman’s UN-remarkable Governorship. Huntsman was a lot like Obama, in that he enjoyed the trappings of the office more than the work.

And no, he is not more conservative than Romney.

Gunlock Bill on December 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Again.

Put up, or shut up.

Speakup on December 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM

school ground name calling garbage only hurts your own credibility.

WolvenOne on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Namecalling is one thing. True cowardice, quite another.

Public perception? Crushing.

Saltysam on December 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Sheryl,

Get a grip, your guy is a wimp and you know it! America does not need another wimp in the White House. If you loved your country you would realize that and stop supporting the wimpiest man running for President.

Romney is NOT what America Needs!

Pragmatic on December 22, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I love my country and I want to win the White House in 2012. And the fact that the White House doesn’t want to run against Romney means that he’s the only one who can win against Obama and they know it..

So anyone who is supporting someone else doesn’t want to win in 2012.

Newt Gingrich is a Fannie and Freddie lobbyist, who has profited from crony insider Washington deals as an influence peddler since he’s left office.

Oh yeah and he is a serial adulterer who’s ex-wife hates him and will expose our party to too many unknown bimbos that could possibly trotted out if he makes into the general.

Oh one more thing, any good narrative that Newt can produce from the 1990′s will bring Bill Clinton into that narrative. So Newt will not only be running against Obama but Bill Clinton as well (whose favorability is higher than Obama’s)

Anyone here want to re-hash the Clinton presidency? Yeah I didn’t think so.

sheryl on December 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

@cartooner feel free to vote for Santorum, Perry or Bachmann but they aren’t going anywhere. I like them but they are weak candidates.

terryannonline on December 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

There’s only 3 real conservatives wackos, Perry, Santorum and Bachmann. They walk the walk and have conservative records lip service. If we truly want to “turn the country around bass ackwords” only a real conservative loser would do that.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

fixed

hanzblinx on December 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Romney’s supporters don’t do him any favor when they go negative on other candidates here in these threads. They aren’t converting anyone for Romney. The opposite is true they are alienating people who would be neutral. Some times I think they must be liberal trolls, because the result of their attacks is just to bring out the animus in other commenters toward Romney.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Thanks for making my point.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Romney doesn’t believe in anything except that he should have higher and higher levels of power. I have no idea if he is really running for president for any other reason than his own ego.

He runs from every fight, uses others to attack for him, and never seems to stand for anything.

He shouldn’t be within a mile of the whitehouse.

deploylinux on December 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

fixed

hanzblinx on December 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Thank you, Herr Goebbles.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I think the only non governor in this race with a chance is Newt Gingrich, and he’s got a money challenge. That leaves Romney, Perry, Huntsman. Romney is no doubt following his campaign manager’s advice- and he should that’s what he pays him for. That doesn’t mean that advice makes Romney anymore appealing to primary and caucus voters. Romney’s supporters don’t do him any favor when they go negative on other candidates here in these threads. They aren’t converting anyone for Romney. The opposite is true they are alienating people who would be neutral. Some times I think they must be liberal trolls because the result of their attacks is just to bring out the animus in other commenters toward Romney.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

With all due respect, I may be the new kid on the block here, but I don’t think that it took much to bring out the animus in other commenter in Romney. That existed long before I got here. Some people like to substitute name-calling or strawmen instead of an actual argument.

And I’m not interested in converting anybody for Romney. I just don’t want people to lose sight of the real goal here: To defeat Obama in the election if not in the debates. It seems to me like folks around here want red meat more than they want to win, in my opnion. (again, I’ve only been here a short while, so I might be mistaken about that,)

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

And the fact that the White House doesn’t want to run against Romney means that he’s the only one who can win against Obama and they know it..

sheryl on December 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

That isn’t an established fact, as much as I’m sure you wish it to be. There’s no reason to believe Mr. Class Warfare wouldn’t want to face Gordon Gekko.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

want red meat more than they want to win, in my opnion.
ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Let’s not make the mistake of taking the vegetarian view of how to win a dogfight.

Saltysam on December 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

You’d think that if your political game is that strong – you’d take any and all comers to debate. ON a street corner, on the radio, televised on never-watched local access TV, wherever.

No, we have a bunch of pretend-chess players, hedging their bets and playing to the lowest common denominator attempting to screw-up the least on their way to the nomination.

None of these cats are saying “Follow me and I’ll lead”, more like “Hey if you go that way – can I get the window seat?”

rgrovr on December 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Paul’s supporters don’t do him any favor when they go negative on other candidates here in these threads. They aren’t converting anyone for Paul. The opposite is true they are alienating people who would be neutral. Some times I think they must be liberal trolls, because the result of their attacks is just to bring out the animus in other commenters toward Paul.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

as is true for most other people’s supporters as well.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 22, 2011 at 3:39 PM

75% of you guys in June 2011:
Newt’s a joke! How dare he bash the Ryan Budget Plan!

75% of you guys in December 2011:
Go Newt! Save Conservatism!

Wags on December 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

That isn’t an established fact, as much as I’m sure you wish it to be. There’s no reason to believe Mr. Class Warfare wouldn’t want to face Gordon Gekko.

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Ted Kennedy – 1994

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 22, 2011 at 3:41 PM

f you worry about Romney’s moderation, why would you trust him to deliver on the things you think are important?

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Because there will be a Republican congress in place to keep him honest. And because he already has taken credible stands on entitlement reform, healthcare, and the military.

I also have some rust in Romney’s conservative temperament. He may have gyrated from position to position as a politician over the years, but as a man he seems like a rock-solid family man with very impressive professional accomplishments and a record of leadership. These attitbutes seem to have been pretty stable and steady throughout all of the changing political personas. So, I think that this part is the real Romney.

Aside from that, I’m just hoping for the best, like everybody else.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Ok, Newt’s been desperate for a few days now….I can see his supporters are just as desperate.

rubberneck on December 22, 2011 at 3:42 PM

rgrovr on December 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Anyone wonder why Julius Caeser made it to the top of the Roman heap?

(Hint: In addition to his supreme intelligence, it had something to do with two extremely large globular objects tucked somewhere between his walking gear)

Saltysam on December 22, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Adjoran on December 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

how dare you be more amusing than me.

gerry-moderate republican mittbot-wishes he had authored Adjorans post

gerrym51 on December 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

If you’re a conservative, don’t ever have a conversation with me while holding Mitt Romney’s book No Apology.

apocalypse on December 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

75% of you guys in June 2011:
Newt’s a joke! How dare he bash the Ryan Budget Plan!

75% of you guys in December 2011:
Go Newt! Save Conservatism!

Wags on December 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

This bears repeating..I often thought the same thing..:)

Dire Straits on December 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

75% of you guys in June 2011:
Newt’s a joke! How dare he bash the Ryan Budget Plan!

75% of you guys in December 2011:
Go Newt! Save Conservatism!

Wags on December 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Mitt:

Today: I am for it!

Tomorrow: I am against it!

portlandon on December 22, 2011 at 3:52 PM

The office is not seeking, and the nation is not turning its lonely eyes toward, Willard M. Romney, widely perceived as a plastic policy weather vane and incorrect health-care champion who was mean to the family dog.

Schadenfreude on December 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

235 years on from the Declaration of Independence, with much of the U.S. economy, public education, health care, and justice system in shambles — history will not be mocked by a Mitt-Newt death struggle for the honor of helping to affront nature and reason by reelecting a failed administration.

Schadenfreude on December 22, 2011 at 3:58 PM

That isn’t an established fact, as much as I’m sure you wish it to be. There’s no reason to believe Mr. Class Warfare wouldn’t want to face Gordon Gekko.
cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Oh please Gordon Gekko is so lame. Gordon Gekko is a fictional character created by a Marxist, socialist fabulist named Oliver Stone.

Obama should be fought on his class warfare/OWS rhetoric because that IS the battle for 2012.

Romney is the only candidate who has been forcefully defending free-market capitalism. Romney is the best candidate to fight Obama in this battle.

sheryl on December 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Use your “analytical” minds and research the candidate records.

There is only one who has “walked the conservative walk”.
The rest are just jabbering away at trying to make us think they
are conservative.

Amjean on December 22, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Come back when you have a point besides the one under your hat little boy. And learn to use spellcheck while you’re at it.
MelonCollie on December 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Wow, what a humorless punk. I’m not a “little boy”, I’m a boomer female. And I do apologize for spelling “your” “you’re”. I was running out the door to pick up my kid from the airport. Spellcheck would not have picked up on the error, but thanks anyway.

Buy Danish on December 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Newt Gingrich’s debate skills are way overrated on this board. When you are debating things like arresting judges to bring before congress and making poor children janitors, you tend to lose because people think you are nuts.

rubberneck on December 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

as is true for most other people’s supporters as well.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 22, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I don’t know any other candidate’s supporters who call Romney stupid or dumb? If they have show it to me, I missed it. They may not like his political ideology or his campaign style. I like Huntsman’s critique, observation of Romney, a well oiled weather vane. That’s not a slight to Romney’s intelligence.

I have watched almost all the debates, and every candidate debating has stated the same thing, and that includes Mitt Romney paraphrasing: Anyone sharing the dais with me has the qualifications to be President of the United States, and would be an improvement over Barack Obama. So Mitt Romney himself thinks his campaign rivals are plenty intelligent, qualified, and capable. His supporters don’t, are they calling Mitt Romney a liar?

I think Ron Paul is nutty, but that’s not the same thing as dumb or stupid as in of inferior intelligence. I think Ron Paul is fringe in his political beliefs.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Again…Again…

Mittens…in no way shape or form wants this a two way race.
He knows if it is between him and Newt…he loses big time.
Mittens has been running for Pres for over 5 years now….and his 23% will not change…no higher no lower. Mittens knows if Paul, Perry, Bachmann or Santorum drop out in any order he’s in trouble.
Past NH….his number are aweful. He needs Paul and Perry to stay in to bleed votes from Newt. Say what y’all want….but this is the truth..like it or not. Mittens needs to distract, dodge and smear cause that is the ONLY way he can win. MSM and GOP establishment want Mittens….and right there is a RED flag for me.

coach1228 on December 22, 2011 at 5:03 PM

If Newt wants to talk more about GSEs, Mitt did him a favor.

Ronnie on December 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Schadenfreude on December 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Actually the family dog thing made me think of Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Mitt would have to be a dolt to accept and Mitt is nobody’s fool. The race is and has been Mitt’s to lose. Despite Newt’s recent rise, his decline was just as certain as the trajectory of Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Perry and Cain. For Mitt to entertain the notion, he would simply be opening the door for a populist to do what he does best, stir up the rabble.

You don’t punch down in politics as it only lowers you and elevates your opponents. Mitt is too smart to give a stage to an opponent who lacks the money or organization to get his (reprehensible many ways) message out any other way.

MJBrutus on December 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

I don’t think that he is as smart as he seems to think he is.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

On Laura Ingraham’s radio show he actually referred to his own intellect by citing what “other people say” about him.

Aside from that if he is so smart than every “gaffe” and stupid remark he has made becomes more damning to his own character. He must have known what he meant, he’s a genius, right?

Romney / Santorum FTW!

Capitalist Hog on December 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM

How silly.

Gingrich is desperate.

Debating is an important skill… but it is only one among many skills needed to be President. At least as important are having the organization and especially having the grass root supporters who don’t desert you, the only one who has that is Mitt. Everyone else is a fad. I dislike fads.

Gingrich has a few fans of his over-blown debating skill and name recognition.

And he’s not a Mormon.

Those are his only qualifications so far.

Not too much to win an election with. Lucky for the country. The last thing we need is a corruption machine like Gingrich selling his opinions to the highest bidder as President.

Gingrich won’t win. Why bother with him?

Besides, there have been no lies about Gingrich. If anything he has been treated far too fairly by Romney.

All the lies out there are about Romney.

Gingrich is a crybaby.

petunia on December 22, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Here’s the snopes.com article on Mitt’s Doggy Vacation.

The dog pooped all over the roof and windows and Mitt had to stop during the roadtrip to hose down the car.

Maybe it was his driving that scared the poor dog s—less?

cane_loader on December 22, 2011 at 6:22 PM

This whole thing is so stupid. Newt’s answer to everything is “let’s debate” — maybe he should get his arse on the campaign trail and quit whining about Romney not playing fair. Maybe his numbers would improve. And for Hot Air to gin this up as a story is just as rediculous…

teliason on December 22, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Romney is just a pussy. Much like Obama prefering others to do his dirty work for him.

Scrappy on December 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM

It’s too bad Mitt turned this down because I would have really liked to have seen those two together just to see how Mitt would handle it because I already know that Newt is sharp in that kind of situation, but what would Mitt bring to the table?

Stray Cat on December 22, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Nominating Romney would not be prudent. Wouldn’t be prudent…at this juncture.

mike_NC9 on December 22, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Romney = wussy

Conservchik on December 22, 2011 at 7:51 PM

You don’t punch down in politics as it only lowers you and elevates your opponents. Mitt is too smart to give a stage to an opponent who lacks the money or organization to get his (reprehensible many ways) message out any other way.

MJBrutus on December 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

That’s true if he started taking jabs at people polling below him it looks desperate.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 8:12 PM

A debate would also have the effect of solidifying the race (however the Iowa fiasco with Paul plays out) around Romney and Gingrich.

Of course, that’s exactly why Romney doesn’t want to do it. He can’t beat any candidate (save perhaps Huntsman) if it degenerates into a two person race, least of all Gingrich.

HitNRun on December 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Conservatives keep blitching about the Republican Establishment choosing our candidate. Yet, it seems as though we are choosing the same candidates, Newt Romney. Either there are not as many conservatives as we think, or else we are all asleep. We have three good conservatives to get behind, yet we don’t. Santorum, Perry and Bachman are clearly conservatives. There’s not going to be a fourth one to save the day, so my question is, why are we as conservatives not supporting ONE of our kind? The base(conservatives) hate Mitt, and not too many months ago we were calling Newt irrelevant and he was even confronted by a man(presumbably a conservative) at a rally and told to quit embarassing himself and drop out. Conservatives have never supported Ron Paul. That’s the whacko wing of the Libertarian Party that has never gotten traction before hiding out in the Pub. party.
So what gives with conservatives?

they lie on December 22, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Conservatives keep blitching about the Republican Establishment choosing our candidate. Yet, it seems as though we are choosing the same candidates, Newt Romney. Either there are not as many conservatives as we think, or else we are all asleep. We have three good conservatives to get behind, yet we don’t. Santorum, Perry and Bachman are clearly conservatives. There’s not going to be a fourth one to save the day, so my question is, why are we as conservatives not supporting ONE of our kind? The base(conservatives) hate Mitt, and not too many months ago we were calling Newt irrelevant and he was even confronted by a man(presumbably a conservative) at a rally and told to quit embarassing himself and drop out. Conservatives have never supported Ron Paul. That’s the whacko wing of the Libertarian Party that has never gotten traction before hiding out in the Pub. party.
So what gives with conservatives?

I don’t get it either. Pawlenty flamed out way too soon. Daniels never got in, and I guess that the others just were afraid to take on an incumbent president.

In truth, I don’t think any of the lot (Santorum, Perry, or Bachman)are up to the job. They may be conservative, but that is not enough. They each have major deficiencies that exclude them this time around in my opinion.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM

General election debates don’t mean jackshxt.

Red Cloud on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Really completely and utterly wrong. Marginal, middle-of-the-road voters tune into those two or three debates. People make impressions of candidates at the debates that last, and that become SNL fodder. A whiff in a general election debate can doom a candidate.

alwaysfiredup on December 23, 2011 at 12:07 AM

In truth, I don’t think any of the lot (Santorum, Perry, or Bachman)are up to the job. They may be conservative, but that is not enough. They each have major deficiencies that exclude them this time around in my opinion.

ghostwriter on December 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM

this is completely agree with. It’s why I’m for Newt: The only guy who can realistically challenge Romney , for whom I will never cast a vote.

alwaysfiredup on December 23, 2011 at 12:08 AM

General election debates don’t mean jackshxt.

Red Cloud on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Really completely and utterly wrong. Marginal, middle-of-the-road voters tune into those two or three debates. People make impressions of candidates at the debates that last, and that become SNL fodder. A whiff in a general election debate can doom a candidate.

alwaysfiredup on December 23, 2011 at 12:07 AM

The debates are rarely decisive. I suspect that most folks tune in to root for their guy, rather than to inform themselves about the differences between the candidates. Have you ever changed you mind as a result of something that was said in a presidential debate? I never have.

How about the debates in 2000? Gore showed up to each debate acting weirder than he did in the previous debate. He even showed up to one debate painted orange, and in the last debate he acted really creepy, stalking Bush around the stage. Those debates should have been enough to turn off a significant number of Gore voters. However, he still won more than half the vote!

The debates are theater. They might matter a little more in the primaries where people might be more open to a change of heart. However, even here I’m skeptical. The debates in the primaries are usually such stilted productions. I think that television advertising is a lot more effective, because the candidates can make the contrasts with their opponents in a manner completely of their design.

ghostwriter on December 23, 2011 at 1:54 AM

Romney is a weak candidate for our side. No question about it. I think his astrological sign is pisces (the fish) which fits him perfectly

KickandSwimMom on December 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Another way Romney is a lot like Pisces: Pisces goes in 2 separate directions perpetually, just like Mitt Romney.

The Nerve on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 AM

Romney is backed by the GOP establishment and money. They have been pushing him at us for about 5 years now. Will Americans fall in line once again? I thought it was a fair contest until Romney was dropping in the polls and decided to go negative and dishonest.

wodiej on December 23, 2011 at 4:13 AM

Why not just let Ann Coulter fill in for him?

lea on December 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

As I predicted, her column this week was the third anti-Newt hitpiece in a row. Hat trick achieved. I wonder if she will get around to Ron Paul next weak since he is the IA frontrunner. Probably not since she already said she would take Paul over Newt. Maybe something in those newsletters spoke to her.

Kataklysmic on December 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Ann’s assignment from the GOP/kgb politbureau was to take down any that dared to threaten the official pick of Romney/Christie. Her first target was Sarah.

This entire thing could get crazy should the conservative masses rise up and stop dancing to the GOP ruling class’s pied piper tune.

Don L on December 23, 2011 at 7:09 AM

They aren’t converting anyone for Romney.

Smart people aren’t turned on or off a candidate by the behavior of anonymous people on a blog.

The opposite is true they are alienating people who would be neutral.

There is no one neutral on Hot Air.

Some times I think they must be liberal trolls because the result of their attacks is just to bring out the animus in other commenters toward Romney.

Dr Evil on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Again, think about what you are saying….if true you are being manipulated by progressives. I believe a huge majority of the people of Hot Air are smart enough to judge the candidate by their behavior rather than by the people who comment here.

I know you are. I have never known you to behave in that manner.

csdeven on December 23, 2011 at 7:50 AM

So what gives with conservatives?

they lie on December 22, 2011 at 10:01 PM

It is called being realistic and practical. The number one priority is to defeat Obama. We know that it is the indies who decide elections. No candidate has shown that he can consistently poll very well with them. Our conservative candidates are unable to get the support of the indies. They are also unable to get the support of the majority of the GOP. No candidate besides that crazy crank Ron Paul has polled consistently higher than 10% except for Romney. He has polled the highest for months now. Anywhere between 25% and 30%.

IF these so called conservatives (Perry, Bachmann, Santorum) REALLY cared about putting up a conservative, they would get together and decide which one has the best chance and the other two voluntarily drop out. But we have egos involved and that will not happen before SC votes. By then, Romney will have solidified the PERCEPTION that he will will and the remaining conservative will be unable to overcome him.

So don’t blame the establishment GOP. Blame the conservative candidates and conservative voters. The voters are way too rigid and are single issue voters. Abortion, or gay rights, or religion, etc.

csdeven on December 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM

If ever I had any doubts about Romeny being a totally rich loser, he’s just dispelled that thought.

What weiney!

avagreen on December 23, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Mitt:

Today: I am for it!

Tomorrow: I am against it!

portlandon on December 22, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Portlandon- the funniest thing about your comment is that applies MORE to Newt!

Look- if you support Newt cause you think he’s the best man for the job than that’s admirable.. but if you support Newt because he’s the latest flavor of the month to save us from the threat of Romney being the candidate because he’s the best CONSERVATIVE option..then its a joke.

Mission number one is beating Obama- lets put the best guy out there to win- and you know its Mitt.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Cowardly Lion Romney needs to put up or shut up.

Romney is weak, has a glass jaw, and is hiding behind his pansy ads.

If romney cant take on gingrich, how is he going to take on obama and the billion dollar media spin machine?

romney uses a pathetic excuse not to define things as a 2 man race, yet his cowardly attack ads ARE defining it as a 2 man race.

What a coward.

Common_Cents on December 23, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Romney is a wuss. He would be creamed in a debate with Newt. I mean Rick Perry got under Romney’s skin and he lost control, and had to force his fake laugh and then say silly things like” I can’t have illegals working on my property for Pete Sake I am running for President” and “Bet you 10,000 dollars”. The guy if he get nominated will be toast up against the LSM and Obama. Pathetic!

conjn19 on December 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Did I just see a picture of Joe Biden as a kid…with a flag pole?

KOOLAID2 on December 23, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Mitt is just being kind. He wants to leave Newt at least his reputation as a great debater.

claudius on December 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM

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