Video: 1994 Romney ad blasted Kennedy’s negative advertising

posted at 9:50 am on December 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, don’t worry about this.  I’m sure his stance has evolved in the last seventeen years:

Actually, I’m here to defend Mitt Romney, not criticize him, over this ad — and to defend negative campaigning in general.  In 1994, the dynamics of running against a Kennedy in Massachusetts made it strategically advantageous to run as a big underdog in the race.  Romney played it smart by running this ad, which strongly implied that Kennedy was using his money to bully Romney unfairly because Kennedy had run out of ideas having spent his life in Washington.  It didn’t unseat Kennedy, but Romney’s bid was a long shot among long shots in the first place.

Furthermore, political campaigns should focus on the records of the candidates involved, and that’s going to involve criticizing opponents — even in primaries.  That may be “cynical, old-style politics,” but it’s “old-style” because it works.  Every successful campaign I’ve ever seen has employed both positive and “negative” ads in a balance that keeps the overall tone of the campaign more positive than negative.  Even Newt Gingrich has had no problem reaching into the past records of his “competitors,” as Gingrich likes to call his fellow Republicans, and he’s certainly — and appropriately — gone “negative” on Barack Obama.  (Of course, Gingrich says that he’s limiting his no-negative campaign pledge to the primary, in order to avoid damaging the eventual nominee.)  Gingrich has criticized Romney in debates on health care, and attacked Romney on his Bain experience from the campaign trail, although he later semi-apologized for it.

Besides, there is nothing inherently wrong with “negative” ads, as long as they stick to the facts.  How else will a candidate have their records and positions vetted?  The candidates are certainly not going to get up on the stump and say, “Well, I’ve outlined all the ways I’m totally wonderful, so now let me tell you about my mistakes and errors.”  Negative ads can and often do tell half-truths, take statements out of context, and sometimes tell outright lies, but voters need to do their homework, too — and the candidates can answer those with the truth and expose their opponents as misleading and/or dishonest.  And positive ads often tell half-truths, take points out of context, and sometimes tell outright lies, too.

The only criticism that can be made of this ad in the current campaign context is that these recurring public challenges to stop attacking end up making politicians look a little hypocritical at some point in the future.  Even that process reversal has become so ubiquitous in elections that’s barely worth mentioning.


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Yeah but he loved Kennedy’s hair….

RAGIN CAJUN on December 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM

If anybody believes that Mitt has firm principles… on any subject… you’re deluded.

He’s a calculating political opportunist. Period.

IF he got elected, our only hope is that his desire to be seen as a successful president might overcome his desire to be liked… that would be only thing that would drive him to push conservative principles (because they actually work).

mankai on December 23, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Newt challenged Romney to debate whether the RomneyPAC attacks on Newt were accurate. Failing to answer for false attacks reflects poorly on the Romney du jour.

WhatNot on December 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Reportedly it is the “independents” who don’t like negative ads. They want the politicians to all be nice to each other, and give the whole process a warm, happy feeling.

Actually, the independent is someone who doesn’t really want to spend much time thinking about politics, and who has a very shallow understanding of the issues.

Dextrous on December 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Newt challenged Romney to debate whether the RomneyPAC attacks on Newt were accurate. Failing to answer for false attacks reflects poorly on the Romney du jour.

WhatNot on December 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Everything about Romney reflects poorly on him. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone supports him. I guess the consolation prize is that he’s been polling the same % for 6 years.

And he lost to McCain, that really gives him the vote of confidence.

Romney is the perfect stereotype of a politician, and Obama, with the help of the MFM, will destroy him.

Spliff Menendez on December 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Yet it’s those independents who end up electing presidents.

rhombus on December 23, 2011 at 10:04 AM

The attack ads Kennedy used were totally disingenuous. Romney’s ads are pretty spot on about newt.

rubberneck on December 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

THIS is my problem with Romney.

He constantly panders. He constantly talks out of both sides of his mouth. His heartfelt position is always the position of the crowd to which he is speaking at the moment.

He lobs grenades at Gingrich from a distance yet when Gingrich asks him to man-up and face him one-on-one, Romney politely declines saying it would be “unfair to the other candidates”. I guess running millions of dollars worth of largely false and misleading advertising against Gingrich is “fair” but discussing the issues important to America so that voters can decide is “unfair”.

In other words, for all of his slickness and polish, Romney is a liar and afraid. Every day my ability to support his possible nomination declines. I loved him in 2008 but with each passing day, I love him less now. As a matter of fact, I think I no longer respect him.

mitchellvii on December 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

On the screen capture on the main page, Romney resembles Lurch Horseface Kerry-Heinz quite a bit. Sleaziness rubs off in the strangest of ways.

2012: Any Republican but Romney. Failing that, any Lawn Gnome over zer0.

MisterElephant on December 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Report: as frontrunner, with all his insider connections and wealth, Romney raised only 20 million $ last quarter.

That’s just not going to cut it in the general against O. Few will donate to MR, and he can only raid his wealth so far. We need someone that will excite the base to raise HUGE $. Billion(s).

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM

IS NEWT FINISHED?

If you read the MSM and right wing blogs, this is the clear impression one would get: “Newt Gingrich, the last in a long line of not-Romneys collapses like all the others…”

Really?

The newest Gallup poll shows Gingrich UP 6 points over Romney nationally. PPP (unreliable as they are) show Newt up by solid double digits. Forgive me, but I was always under the impression that winning meant, well, winning.

Want to know how far this mind-contagion has spread? In the history of Intrade‘s existence, has there even been a candidate leading by 6 points given only a 12% chance of winning? And all based upon what? Iowa? Note, Iowa doesn’t pick winners – ask Huckabee and Bachmann.

mitchellvii on December 23, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Bottom line… if you are predisposed to dislike Romney, this ad will support the fact that he is a flippity flip flopping flipster from Flipville with no underlying principles. A real commie set of Mittens.

On the other hand, you see Romney as just one of the conservatives running for President against Barack Obama, you will be able to see that each of the candidates have their faults, including Romney, and that stating outlandish things such as as “he has no underlying principles” or “he is as bad as Obama” are not serious.

Personally, I will take a guy like Reagan, Gingrich, Romney, or other conservative who evolved the right way as opposed to the guy who constantly whines about how he was always right about something or was always first to a certain position. After a while, that know-it-all smarminess gets exhausting.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM

bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

thedevilinside on December 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Wah Wah…Romney panders to everyone but he doesn’t pander to me enough. ;-)

rhombus on December 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I agree with the post.

Related, I wonder what Mitt will do if Perry keeps challenging him to provide his tax returns?

juliesa on December 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

We need someone that will excite the base to raise HUGE $. Billion(s).

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM

And who would that be?

BacaDog on December 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Mean people suck …

TenadorDelDiablo on December 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM

So, in other words, it is the loser of a campaign that complains about negative advertising.

tbrickert on December 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

The problem with Mitt running negative ads is that if they are untrue, he can just roll over the other candidates by using his money or his PAC friends. Mitt needs to answer for ads if the other candidate says they’re false.

Gingrich’s problem is that answering false charges effectively sidetracks him.

What was that Lyndon Johnson quote about his opponent? Something about saying his opponent was having relations with farm animals, just to get him to deny it?

Ugly politics – but politics is ugly.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

We need someone that will excite the base to raise HUGE $. Billion(s).

So bring out your champion. Oh that’s right, you did.

rhombus on December 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I was against negative ads before being for them back when I was for abortion before being against it right after I believed in global warming but before I believed in Obamacare which I now totally am against and all of this happened well before I wanted higher taxes which I now no longer want.

VOTE FOR ME. MITT THE GUY YOU CAN TRUST!!

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Reportedly it is the “independents” who don’t like negative ads. They want the politicians to all be nice to each other, and give the whole process a warm, happy feeling.

Actually, the independent is someone who doesn’t really want to spend much time thinking about politics, and who has a very shallow understanding of the issues.

Dextrous on December 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM

There are 3 type of voters:

Conservatives who believe in conservative principles.

Liberals who believe in liberal principles.

Independents/Moderates who have no idea what’s going on but instead of admitting they are morons, they pretend to be in the middle and looking for someone who won’t offend them by talking about “extreme” views, ie things they have no idea about.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 10:23 AM

ehhhh, i am NO Romney apologist but this might make for an amusing distraction at best in an ad for Gingrich, but he should hit his flip flops on the issues while highlighting his record if he wants to get back his traction.

Romney lost that election, clearly he learned that negative ads work and that is all he has to say to this.

Yes, I just defended Romney.

Daemonocracy on December 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

If anybody believes that Mitt has firm principles… on any subject… you’re deluded.

He’s a calculating political opportunist. Period.

Mankai

This is the truth. If he is elected, no one can say with any certainty how he will behave on any front. He is the ultimate people pleaser unfortunately.

He could tack right or left or both and veer around like a drunken sailor.

The thing is, you have no idea what he’ll do.

CorporatePiggy on December 23, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The Swimmer is finally at a stage where even a coward like Romney will debate him — 6 feet down and 3 years decomposed. I’m not sure Obamney could face him now, but maybe.

Western_Civ on December 23, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Every single post here worrying about Romney and where he’ll stand should he be president also applies to the latest “conservative” darling Newt Gingrich…

Do we have a archive feature here so we can read the same commenter’s posts in June 2011 when Newt trashed the Ryan budget plan? Or how bout when Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and called for addressing climate change?

That would be hysterical.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

This is the truth. If he is elected, no one can say with any certainty how he will behave on any front. He is the ultimate people pleaser unfortunately.

He could tack right or left or both and veer around like a drunken sailor.

The thing is, you have no idea what he’ll do.

CorporatePiggy

SAME FOR NEWT!

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

He could tack right or left or both and veer around like a drunken sailor. CorporatePiggy on December 23, 2011 at 10:28 AM

My money would be bet on the “tack left” option. See: Romneycare. Oy.

search4truth on December 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Every single post here worrying about Romney and where he’ll stand should he be president also applies to the latest “conservative” darling Newt Gingrich…Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Agree with ya…..we conservatives have no true choice, clearly by design.

search4truth on December 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Please stop pretending to be so naive about politics.

All of this “Mitt is flip flopper” is true of every politician of any stripe. There’s a reason why people hate politicians because this is the game you have to play if you actually want to win. From time to time, people change their positions.

Every candidate running will say things like “I don’t want to run a negative campaign” while they’re running negative ads. Gingrich WOULD run negative ads, but he has no money so instead he and his third wife/mistress are out bashing Mitt Romney.

At the end of the day, I want a GOP nominee that’s a snake when it comes to the dark arts of politics.

BradTank on December 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

It is so weird that Gov. Romney is going to get the nomination because of the destruction of the other not-Romney candidates. Only 25% can give their unqualified approval but he’s the “winner”. That’s a sad story.

Cindy Munford on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

It is so weird that Gov. Romney is going to get the nomination because of the destruction of the other not-Romney candidates. Only 25% can give their unqualified approval but he’s the “winner”. That’s a sad story.

Cindy Munford on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

In this, 0bama is the Republican 0bama. Knock off your opponents, one by one, until Mitt is the last man standing. Don’t vote for him; vote against the other candidates.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM

What we need now is a cartoonist, such as Ramirez, to draw one where Mitt’s in the station wagon a la Chevy Chase, and the conservative electorate is tied to the roof, pooping down the back window….

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Every single post here worrying about Romney and where he’ll stand should he be president also applies to the latest “conservative” darling Newt Gingrich…

Do we have a archive feature here so we can read the same commenter’s posts in June 2011 when Newt trashed the Ryan budget plan? Or how bout when Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and called for addressing climate change?

That would be hysterical.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Amen… I like almost all of the GOP candidates, but there is a certain level of animus saved for Mitt that seems to be selectively applied.

I will say this much, any ad that mentions your opponent is generally considered “negative”. By saying that your opponent is focusing on the negative, it is really saying something poorly about them, which is in fact negative advertising.

Gingrich, again who I am ok with, states that he is focused only on the positive, but his speeches and interviews I have seen over the last few weeks have had several digs against his opponents. He is hardly above the fray.

None of these guys are, and that is the point.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Who’s your candidate?

Agree with ya…..we conservatives have no true choice, clearly by design.

search4truth on December 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

So there are “true conservatives” out there being prevented from running?

mankai on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Our guy’s bad. Your guy’s as bad.
– Mittbot

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 10:44 AM

It’s just the name of the game and the candidates need to quit their childish whining and do what they need to. Do I feel sorry about their ads of any kind—no. This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

jeanie on December 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

The thing that disgusts me so much with this process is that if Newt responds negatively to Romney’s attack we hear the “Old Newt” or the “Mean Newt”, but yet Mittens and Paul are in constant attack mode and we don’t hear about them being mean or nasty. The double standards are amazing.

RonDelDon on December 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Um, no.

Name an issue… any issue... and you can find Mitt taking both sides of it. He’s also the only Republican on record denouncing Reagan.

You can’t say that of any of the other candidates.

mankai on December 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

It’s just the name of the game and the candidates need to quit their childish whining…

jeanie on December 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Isn’t whining part of the game too? As Ed said, Romney’s tactic here was to put down Kennedy’s ads as bullying from a guy with no ideas. Gingrich’s complaining about Romney is similar… Look at me, I don’t have to resort to backbiting because I have ideas.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Romney will not beat Obama because the Republican base (conservatives) will not turn out to vote for him. The election will be close, and it will not take that many no shows to reelect Obama. Why do conservatives always get blamed for the RINO losses? It’s always vote for us or the evil dems. will win.

Also,HA is wasting time showing what a hypocrite Romney is. We already know he is a hypocrite and a flip flopper. Time would be better spent focusing on the real conservatives in the race. Bachman, Perry and Santorum. We already know about the nutty Ron Paul, the democrat Huntsman, the Obama lite Romney and the baggage laden mostly statist big government Gingrich. Conservatives are not interested in voting for any of these pretenders. Let’s see more positive coverage of the conservative candidates.

they lie on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Report: as frontrunner, with all his insider connections and wealth, Romney raised only 20 million $ last quarter.
That’s just not going to cut it in the general against O. Few will donate to MR, and he can only raid his wealth so far. We need someone that will excite the base to raise HUGE $. Billion(s).
anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM

We’re still in the primary stage, so what’s your point exactly? There are half a dozen candidates vying for contributor’s dollars, while Obama has no opponent. When it comes time for the general people will coalesce behind the candidate (not all of them – some are stuck on stupid and will whine their way through 2012, no matter who the nominee is if it isn’t their choice). Some will even be stupid enough to believe what this country really needs is a 3rd party candidate, but they sure as hell aren’t going to raise anything close to a billion.

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Um, no.

Name an issue… any issue… and you can find Mitt taking both sides of it. He’s also the only Republican on record denouncing Reagan.

You can’t say that of any of the other candidates.

mankai on December 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

This is where I prefer Gingrich: I have more confidence that he means what he says. It’s easier to support or fight a president if you at least can argue, based on what comes out of his mouth. The thing I don’t like about Romney, is that first you have to figure out which side of the mouth is which, and whether you’re actually looking in a mirror while making that determination.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Every single post here worrying about Romney and where he’ll stand should he be president also applies to the latest “conservative” darling Newt Gingrich…

Do we have a archive feature here so we can read the same commenter’s posts in June 2011 when Newt trashed the Ryan budget plan? Or how bout when Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and called for addressing climate change?

That would be hysterical.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

My opinion, had I been able to share it here as I did in other places, is the same.

I understand his point but he choose extemely poor ways of making his point. Effectively, I facepalmed at both of them. (Also, at the time I NEVER thought I’d support Gingrich for president, but when I’ve already gone through my first and second choices and my third choice imploded, you take what’s left. Gingrich is flawed, but acceptable. Romeny is more flawed and unacceptable.)

makattak on December 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Who’s your candidate?
mankai

My candidate is Romney. He’s the best candidate to beat Obama, period. He is the one they have been prepping for and there is a reason for that- he scares them because there is nothing extreme for them to play on and fool the average independent voter- who will ultimately decide this election. Romney consistently polls the best amongst independents and as that group continues to get larger and larger, he who wins them wins elections, period. Romney also consistently beats Obama when polling independents.

I’ve watched my fellow Republicans hop from Bachman to Perry to Cain and now to Newt trying to solve their quest to find the perfect conservative. Newt a conservative? George Will doesn’t think so, Ann Coulter doesn’t think so, so why should you think so?

Lets not put the trees before the forest- mission #1 is to make Obama a one term prez. Lets put the best guy forward to do that given the rules of the game- and that’s Mitt.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

We need someone that will excite the base to raise HUGE $. Billion(s).

And who would that be?

BacaDog on December 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Ok, you got me. Of course it’s Perry. Only Perry can impassion Christians & conservatives of every stripe to give all out. Think about his message. No beating around the bush.

And a sidenote. And at the risk of repeating myself, the “Perry is dumb” attack will not gain ultimate traction vs. the 11 year TX gov. It’s mean, is all. Plus, on immigration, see point #9 that we were duped on his position (esp. on e-verify) in this: http://rightwingnews.com/interviews/interviewing-rick-perry-on-illegal-immigration-2/

It’s Perry… … or Huntsman. Is that not nuts?

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Lets not put the trees before the forest- mission #1 is to make Obama a one term prez. Lets put the best guy forward to do that given the rules of the game- and that’s Mitt.

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

No, it’s not. Mission #1 is to turn this country away from the abyss it is headed for. Defeating Obama is part of that mission, but not the whole of it. I believe electing Mitt only slows us down but may make the trip off the precipice inevitable. So, what does it matter if we replace Obama with someone who takes us to the collapse anyway (just more slowly), and with the blame on “conservatives?”

makattak on December 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Newt challenged Romney to debate whether the RomneyPAC attacks on Newt were accurate. Failing to answer for false attacks reflects poorly on the Romney du jour.

WhatNot on December 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I would challenge YOU to a debate as to whether RomneyPAC is the group that made those attack ads. And I would win. They are from restore our future which by law cannot communicate with Romney.

Failing to know what you are talking about reflects poorly on your own intellect du jour.

hanzblinx on December 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity”

-William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming.”

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

mankai on December 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Denouncing is a little harsh. Keep in mind that in 2011, many in the conservative community are completely in love of the image of Reagan, but back in the day he was not as beloved. The “Reagan Conservative” was a particular set of positions in 1994, and a man running for Senate two years after his successor (Bush 41) was voted out might want to draw a distinction from some portions of a set of ideas that a liberal constituency might be predisposed to loathe.

Romney was in it to win it, and there is no doubt that he would have been a better person sitting in the Senate in 1995 than Kennedy was from our point of view. He could not have won if he was the image of a Reagan Conservative as it is thought of in 2011.

You draw distinctions, but you don’t run from your principles. I am satisfied that Romney has evolved on some positions as he has aged, as many of the candidates have. Not everything about Romney sits well with me, but in times where our economy blows, I think that he would be an excellent leader top get us out of that. So would a lot of these guys.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

It is so weird that Gov. Romney is going to get the nomination because of the destruction of the other not-Romney candidates. Only 25% can give their unqualified approval but he’s the “winner”. That’s a sad story.
Cindy Munford on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Who’s fault is that? Perry self-destructed in the debates. Bachmann lost a lot of support with the Gardisil kerfuffle, and she came aross as an extremist during the debt ceiling debate. Ron Paul will be decimated after Iowa because of his newsletters. For all his oratorical skills, Newt has a lot of problems that no amount of complaining about unfair ads, or taunting Romney to debate him one-on-one, will erase. Santorum, for all his positives, is so vulnerable on social issues he cannot possibly win wide support from the general electorate. Meanwhile, if candidates can’t even get their act together to get on the Virginia ballot they clearly don’t have the organization/ground game to beat Barack Obama.

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

No, it’s not. Mission #1 is to turn this country away from the abyss it is headed for. Defeating Obama is part of that mission, but not the whole of it. I believe electing Mitt only slows us down but may make the trip off the precipice inevitable. So, what does it matter if we replace Obama with someone who takes us to the collapse anyway (just more slowly), and with the blame on “conservatives?”

makattak

..and electing Newt, who just six months ago called the Ryan budget plan “right wing social engineering” that he couldn’t support because it was “too extreme” a cut in fed spending.. is going to save us from that abyss we are headed for? LOL

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

It’s easier to support or fight a president if you at least can argue, based on what comes out of his mouth.
cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Your description of Romney is spot on. This sentence I copied is also why I like Newt. If you ask him a question, he answers. Romney is way too hesitant, waffle, waffle, until he finds the *best* answer. Newt at least tells you what his opinion is!

AZgranny on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

This is where I prefer Gingrich: I have more confidence that he means what he says. It’s easier to support or fight a president if you at least can argue, based on what comes out of his mouth. The thing I don’t like about Romney, is that first you have to figure out which side of the mouth is which, and whether you’re actually looking in a mirror while making that determination.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

If there is one candidate that makes Romney’s positions look rock solid, it is Gingrich. I like his brain and his willingness to propose an idea, but his flip flopping not only is rampant, but it also goes the wrong was in many cases (Paul Ryan’s budget, global warming to name two).

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Digging pretty deep, don’t yopu think?

rjoco1 on December 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

If there is one candidate that makes Romney’s positions look rock solid, it is Gingrich. I like his brain and his willingness to propose an idea, but his flip flopping not only is rampant, but it also goes the wrong was in many cases (Paul Ryan’s budget, global warming to name two).

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

But I think that Gingrich can be debated and convinced. His very habit of changing position has stemmed from being shown that he is wrong. I think that Gingrich is convincible because he is direct. Romney doesn’t seem to debate as directly – hence it’s harder to determine where he really stands. Romney keeps his cards closer to the vest, and I don’t like buying my pigs in pokes.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Digging pretty deep, don’t yopu think?

rjoco1 on December 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

If you use the “quote” button, it’s easier to see whom you’re addressing ;-)

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Wow, oh wow!!! Hot Gas it is.

I particularly liked the “negative” pac ad that mentioned Newt being censured as Speaker. I personally didn’t think Newt should have left, but if you don’t air that now, then when?” Want Obama to eviscerate Gingrich after he is nominee?

Come on, Ed. This “gotcha” ad from 1994 before Romney ‘toughened’ up is not about dethroning the emperor, but belittling all Republicans enough that even the emperor without any clothes will look better than the R field.

Well, Ed, you did look forward to these ‘gotcha’ times as early as last August. Well, good times (for you and Hot Gas) are here again.

I am close to closing out Hot Gas as I have with Politico.

bumsteaddithers on December 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

I think that both Gingrich and Romney are good debaters, although Gingrich is better with the red meat and the dramatic flair. He is also more likely to go off script, which will make great fodder for attack ads.

Debates are important, but most of the campaign will be decided in the trenches… with ads, reaching out to voters, and disciplined candidates who do not create more work for their staff by saying controversial things.

Gingrich’s strengths are his speaking style and his appearance of being open to lots of ideas. His disadvantages are his undisciplined approach and his excess baggage from the 1990′s with Clinton. Also, many Dems and Indies have already decided that Gingrich is a bomb thrower.

Romney’s advantage is his wonky brain, his disciplined approach, and his ability to appeal to moderates. His disadvantages are his perceived flip-flops (which I would call “flips” since they go one way), and the appearance of woodenness or a lack or regular guy appeal.

I will vote for either man in the general… both are good candidates, although they have issues… as all of the GOP field candidates do. I could mention the others too, but they are not in a fighting position to win.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

1994 that’s the same year Mitt The Next and his wife gave a personal donation to Planned Parenthood while attending their fundraiser.
No matter which side of the abortion issue you are on the disturbing aspect of this issue is this part:

Romney on Tuesday told ABC’s John Berman that he does not recall attending the fundraiser. “I attend a lot of events when I run for office. I don’t recall the specific event — not a terribly surprising feature,”

On such a controversial issue – he didn’t go to the event because he was for or against it he went because it was a political opportunity.

batterup on December 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Oh give me a break. I thought we were all relatively informed political observers here. But here one of the site’s main writers is getting the vapors because, shocker!, a politician attacks negative ads while having no problem making negative ads of his own. This is the position of pretty much every political operative in history since the invention of television.

pauljc on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

And on another note, why is it so unbelievable that someone honestly changes their views on things like abortion over the course of twenty years? I mean, there’s a legitimate case to be made about Romney’s inconsistency, but these gotcha clips dating back to the early nineties for Christ’s sake are just pointless.

pauljc on December 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Good Lord, is there any issue –just one– on which this empty suit hasn’t flip-flopped?

I live in Massachusetts and can tell you first hand that Romney is the worst sort of Republican. He can try to justify “Romney Care” as a State’s rights issue. Fine… so a State has the right to emulate Cuba. Now explain why a Conservative Republican wouldn’t veto, much less champion, a socialist, Marxist, big government, solution.

I concur with many others. If its Romney I stay home or go third party. I know, I know, it’s the same as a vote for The One. But if this is the road that the Republicans want to travel (once again) then so be it.

Typhonian on December 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Angryed, you nailed it.

Conservchik on December 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

batterup on December 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

20 years ago, I voted for Perot, was pro-choice, and anti-free trade. I have changed in 20 years and have evolved the right way. I did not come out of the womb with all the right positions, nor do I assume many of us did. The idea that one would be held with strict scrutiny to one’s actions from so long ago without the idea that a change could occur is absurd.

This is why I find Rick Santorum, whom I like a whole lot, so annoying at the debates. He spends all his time complaining about how he came to one position first, or how he has held this position forever. He should congratulate his opponents for coming along to his way of thinking and stress how his current positions differ, but this whole “I’ve been this way forever” is exhausting. Not everyone had the benefit of being raised the way he was, and becoming a knockdown, drag out conservative at the age of 3.

wcwindbag on December 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Oh give me a break. I thought we were all relatively informed political observers here. But here one of the site’s main writers is getting the vapors because, shocker!, a politician attacks negative ads while having no problem making negative ads of his own. This is the position of pretty much every political operative in history since the invention of television.

pauljc on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Bears repeating.

rhombus on December 23, 2011 at 11:59 AM

On the screen capture on the main page, Romney resembles Lurch Horseface Kerry-Heinz quite a bit. Sleaziness rubs off in the strangest of ways.

2012: Any Republican but Romney. Failing that, any Lawn Gnome over zer0.

MisterElephant on December 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM

.
YOU STOLE MY COMMENT ! Or at least the portion of the comment pointing out the resemblance of Romney to Horseface Kerry in the picture provided.
.
I’m glad someone else affirmed my perception, though! :-)

ExpressoBold on December 23, 2011 at 12:04 PM

There’s the weirdest lack of clarity on the topic of “negative” campaigning – there is “negative” that’s also cheap, dishonest and misleading and there is negative that is necessary because it is honest and providing crucial clarity on the history of a given candidate, their voting tendencies, and their electability – things that voters deserve to know about.

There is nothing unethical or even problematic about the second, there is about the first.

Paul and Romney’s negative advertising about Gingrich have simply reminded a forgetful public of who Newt Gingrich is and how he’s spent the last decade profiteering off of public policy after spending the decade before that presiding over all kinds of legislative, strategic, ethical and moral chaos while in Congress.

It ain’t “negative” if it’s something important and true that voters need to know.

InVinoVeritas on December 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM

SAME FOR NEWT!

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Yes. It’s a lot like saying do you want to get shot with a .45 or a .22?

Both options are very unpleasant.

CorporatePiggy on December 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM

::yawn::

Why do we continue to eat our own? I would think to most people that it is obvious that times have changed, and so have politics and our society in general.

At the time this ad was run, the first real web browser had not even been released yet. (Mosaic Netscape was released October 1994). In 1995 use of the internet was made available to the general public and use grew to about 5 million people on the Internet.

Why is this important? Because people used to depend on television only for their info, and if they had any questions or wanted to look something up, they had to visit big buildings and pull out old newspapers, magazines, or that fancy microfilm stuff.

Today virtually everything known to man is available from our laptops. Voters are still apathetic, but the ability to dig up dirt and/or promote distracting distortions our outright lies makes it even more important to be able to defend yourself. Once upon a time staying positive worked, but today it is virtually impossible given the wealth of information and tactics available to be attacked by/with.

This old clip only matters to people already predisposed to vote for Romney. Meanwhile, the left is cracking out more popcorn to watch those idiotic tea-baggers fighting among themselves. Can we please stick to the issues?

TheLoudTalker on December 23, 2011 at 12:25 PM

God..my previous comment is chock full of errors.

distortions OR outright lies…

predisposed to NOT vote for Romney…

(I so wish I could edit comments after entering. Must find coffee.)

TheLoudTalker on December 23, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Mitt is doing what his endorser, George H.W. Bush (Bush 41) did: he is running as a conservative, and he will then return to type and govern as a liberal. Hope you all like Rombamacare.

Scriptor on December 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

This whole business of, “why doesn’t Romney call Obama a socialist?!” is dumb, dumb, dumb. Everyone who wants Obama called out with that specific term is ALREADY going to be voting against Obama. “Socialist” has become a loaded, incendiary term that means different things to different people. It would be like liberals screaming for their candidates to call out Bush as a “Nazi” or a “war criminal” or to formally call for the impeachment of Bush, Cheney etc. It has the appearance of being “extreme,” whether you all like it or not.

While many of you can easily make the convincing argument that Obama’s policies are, indeed, “socialist” (and they are!), it is FAR smarter for a presidential candidate like Romney to make the same case WITHOUT having to use unhelpful, incendiary, loaded terms like “socialist.” Romney’s case against Obama will have broader appeal because because it will blast Obama’s socialist-like policies without having to use specific language that could be thrown back at Romney by Dems to undercut his standing among voters who aren’t Tea Partiers. Romney’s target audience consists of more people than regular HotGas readers, remember! Romney needs to always appear reasonable as he attacks Obama, and I think it’s something he has done a wonderful job at so far. There’s no question that, of those running, Romney would be the best general election candidate.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Romney is a vicious opportunist. His next prize? The Presidency. Conservatives would be utter fools to support this man in the Primary.

Spirit Crusher on December 23, 2011 at 12:38 PM

On the screen capture on the main page, Romney resembles Lurch Horseface Kerry-Heinz quite a bit. Sleaziness rubs off in the strangest of ways.

MisterElephant on December 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM

You know the Romney bashers are having a hard time and are needing stretch to find new insults when they post childish garbage like that. If this is the kind of stuff his critics have to come out with, it’s no wonder that Romney remains the leader.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 12:42 PM

..and electing Newt, who just six months ago called the Ryan budget plan “right wing social engineering” that he couldn’t support because it was “too extreme” a cut in fed spending.. is going to save us from that abyss we are headed for? LOL

Wags on December 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

My opinion, had I been able to share it here as I did in other places, is the same.

I understand his point but he choose extemely poor ways of making his point. Effectively, I facepalmed at both of them. (Also, at the time I NEVER thought I’d support Gingrich for president, but when I’ve already gone through my first and second choices and my third choice imploded, you take what’s left. Gingrich is flawed, but acceptable. Romeny is more flawed and unacceptable.)

makattak on December 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Gingrich tried (and failed, due to his immensely poor choice of words with “right-wing social engineering) to explain that change is best done incrementally, not suddenly.

That’s a conservative position. I want to return to the government envisioned by the founders. However, immediately cutting off everything that it has grown to would merely cause a backlash just like the Democrats received in 2010. The leviathan must be shrunk, but only by cutting off parts bit by bit. Otherwise, our actions will be just like the liberals, full of unintended consequences which we did not forsee.

makattak on December 23, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Mitt learned the value of negative attacks. GOOD FOR HIM

gerrym51 on December 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Romney is a vicious opportunist. His next prize? The Presidency. Conservatives would be utter fools to support this man in the Primary.

Spirit Crusher

And your suggestion is Ron Paul, or Mike Huckabee perhaps?

TheLoudTalker on December 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I like Mitt’s tone in this ad… it reminds me of how he sounded more recently here ( Mitt-Heckler Exchange ) and here( Mitt-Mickelson Heated Exchange ). Shows that, when necessary, Romney can stand up strong to the haters and put them in their place.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

And your suggestion is Ron Paul, or Mike Huckabee perhaps?

Romney/Huckabee it will happen

gerrym51 on December 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM

they clearly don’t have the organization/ground game to beat Barack Obama.

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Mitt won’t beat him either. There are very good reasons why the O-camp want Romney.

I predict that neither Newt nor Romney will get the nomination. Too many have not made up their minds and 2012 will be one of the most interesting years. The times still request and need their man of the moment. It really is not too late but utterly necessary.

Schadenfreude on December 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

And your suggestion is Ron Paul, or Mike Huckabee perhaps?

Romney/Huckabee it will happen

gerrym51 on December 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Still think that’s a genius prediction. It would make sense for a lot of reasons.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

It amazes me how HA writers can dig up so much on Romney when all of these political candidates have the same issues. I haven’t researched all of the candidates, but I would not be surprised to find that all of these politicians have said or done things in the past that is contradictory to what they are now saying or doing. The same can be said of any of us normal folks. Can HA make it any more clear which candidate they don’t want? 4 years ago he was the conservative alternative to McCain. For some reason now he’s unacceptable. One thing that can be said of him, he hasn’t changed his tune in any significant way over the past four years. He’s stuck to what he says are his principles on the MA health care program, despite its political baggage. Give it a rest. There are other candidates to dig stuff up on – and some of them are easier than others. Take Newt, for example…

aprazman on December 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

The times still request and need their man of the moment.
Schadenfreude on December 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Who would that be, pray tell?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Give it a rest. There are other candidates to dig stuff up on – and some of them are easier than others. Take Newt, for example…

aprazman on December 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Ed Morrissey has been too easy on Newt, who would be a DISASTER as the nominee. Take a look at the number of negative Romney stories that Ed has done VS. the negative on Newt stories.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Romney/Huckabee is a realistic option, and it’s only going to hurt him with a lot of people. Lot of the so called moderates are going to bail b/c they don’ tlike Huckabee’s social conservativism, while most conservatives see Huckabee as a pro-life anti-gay marriage Democrat.

That’s my nightmare ticket.

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

So, in other words, it is the loser of a campaign that complains about negative advertising.

tbrickert on December 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Well said.

aprazman on December 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Newt is flailing.

Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Perry, Santorum’s attacks at Newt is exactly how Obama is going to attack him and Gingrich isn’t showing strength.

For the last couple of days in the midst of his poll numbers falling he’s been complaining and whining about being attacked.

Newt asking Romney in several interviews to direct his SuperPac to stop the ads; translation: “Mitt tell them to stop picking on me!!”

Even worse, he retorts by challenging Mitt to a one on one debate (dismissively disrespecting all the other candidates in the process) like he’s just pulled out the huge artillery on Mitt….lame. It’s right up there with his threat to stalk Obama around until he debates him.

Also on the stump Newt was telling supporters that the reports about his lack of organization aren’t true, even while he’s in Virginia scrambling to submit enough signatures to get on the ballot. It was worthy of Bagdad Bob moment…. it was surreal.

All the while Romney is keeping steady in the polls and moving up; turning in even more signatures needed in Virginia and a couple of days ahead of the deadline.

Mitt declined Newt’s debate challenge with great class, respect for all the candidates and with a humble agenda saying that when the field narrows and if he and Newt are left sure he will debate Newt then.

Also Mitt gained a wonderful endorsement from a much respected former president GHWB. Mitt’s acceptance was personal, touching and heartfelt.

The optics couldn’t be more different.

Romney is remaining strong, steady and statesmanlike.

Newt is disorganized, defensive and whiny.

sheryl on December 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

There’s plenty of people dumping on Newt at other websites if you find there is a lack of criticism of Newt on this one.

Try National Review…it’s the anti-Newt war room.

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Sheryl and bluegill are the Jennifer Rubin and Ann Coulter of this website’s comment board.

There will be no objectivity about Romney when they speak. :)

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

[...]Romney is remaining strong, steady and statesmanlike.

Newt is disorganized, defensive and whiny.

sheryl on December 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Spot-on summary. Agree 100%.

bluegill on December 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Newts problem is that all the ads run against him are true or are said in his owns words by him in video.

gerrym51 on December 23, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

In the name of backatcha, I’m going to take the liberty of editing one of your statements:

There are young men being killed overseas in our military and you are whining about me Sheryl and bluegill.

And yes, I realize you aren’t “whining” (for a change), but you have a bad habit of using that word inappropriately, whereby any critical comment lobbed in your direction is called “whining” by you, so I’m just following the example you set.

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Romney is a loser. He was a loser in 1994,2006,2008 and he will be a loser in 2012. For all of you proclaiming Romney the best chance to beat Obama you make me laugh. The guy doesn’t have the support of the base and he couldn’t even run for re-election after a single term as governor (his only experience). After South Carolina ol switch hit Mitt (if he is still in that is) will be facing either Newt or Perry. At that point his 20 to 25% in the polls will look as pathetic as it is. He has been running for president since 2006 and his numbers haven’t changed since 2008. Think about that. The only reason faux news can act like he has credibility is that the base is splintered amongst the others now. The bad news for Mitt is that all of those people have already decided its not him. As the field clears so does the myth of Romney dominance. I am personally a Perry supporter, I believe his record of achievements is the compelling factor. Perry has actually DONE all the things Mitt promises to try and accomplish. However should the good governor of Texas drop out you can bet your last dollar on the fact that I am not backing Romney. In fact Romney is not going to find a lot of support in Texas period after running down our state and lying about our governor. There are a lot of Bauchman,Santorum and Gingrich supporters that feel the same way as I do. South Carolina is Romney’s waterloo, after that he is through.

iidvbii on December 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

And yes, I realize you aren’t “whining” (for a change), but you have a bad habit of using that word inappropriately, whereby any critical comment lobbed in your direction is called “whining” by you, so I’m just following the example you set.

Buy Danish on December 23, 2011 at 2:04 PM

You one of the control freaks that think you moderate this website.

Your idea of somebody whining is somebody criticizing your hero Romney. If he can’t handle the heat from conservatives, he free to drop out. I won’t miss him.

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I’ve seen Sheryl post on National Review, and she seriously compared Romney to Don Draper in Mad Men. For you guys who don’t watch that show, Don Draper is this slick guy who has a lot of affairs. It’s basically all he does outside of his work.

But then’s dumping over Newtie Poo for having affairs 15 years ago.

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I see Ed Morrissey is still working overtime trying to derail the nominee. Mitt’s the best. Merry Christmas everyone.

Basilsbest on December 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I see Ed Morrissey is still working overtime trying to derail the nominee. Mitt’s the best. Merry Christmas everyone.

Basilsbest on December 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I just wanted to point out this post, because this one of member of the lynch mob trying to get me banned, and he’s personally attacking Ed here. You’ll never see me personally attack Tina, Ed, or Allahpundit for an opinion.

If this one post can derail Romney in a general election, was he ever really that electable?

Romney’s not the nomineee yet, there’s a small matter of voting that needs to occur first.

Dr. Tesla on December 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I’m glad to see that he’s learned about campaigns. When this gets beyond the primaries, Obama won’t spare the slander and cheap shots and complaining won’t help.

flataffect on December 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

It is so weird that Gov. Romney is going to get the nomination because of the destruction of the other not-Romney candidates. Only 25% can give their unqualified approval but he’s the “winner”. That’s a sad story.Cindy Munford on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

It’s a sad reflection on the astuteness of the average Republican that Mitt doesn’t have more support. He will make a great President. The only other candidate that has even a faint hope of beating Obama is Gingrich.

Basilsbest on December 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

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