Newt spokesman on Romney’s VAT idea: Let’s face it, he’s flirting with “European socialism”

posted at 5:10 pm on December 27, 2011 by Allahpundit

Two questions with one week to go. One: Is there still time to convince undecideds that Romney’s a RINO? And two: Are there any undecideds left who still need convincing?

I’m thinking “yes” on both counts.

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said that the Romney ruminations were part and parcel of the case Newt Gingrich will be making to voters this week: that he represents conservative values, while Romney is a “Massachusetts moderate.”

“The fact that he’s willing to look at European Socialism shows just how far out of the conservative mainstream he is,” Hammond said…

The other policy point raised by Romney came in a December 22 interview with the Concord Monitor, in which the former Massachusetts Governor said that “I don’t believe a path to make us more like Europe will make us stronger. I don’t think Europe is working in Europe. I know it won’t work here.”

Lest you doubt that this will be Newt’s closing argument against Romney, watch the two clips below. The first, from Gingrich’s campaign, is all sunshine and candy canes about creating jobs, etc. The second, from his PAC, hints darkly about the “liberal Republican establishment” that’s been attacking him with negative ads. I wonder who he means. Romney, meanwhile, appears to be reverting to his electability pitch by needling Gingrich about not getting on the Virginia ballot. Quote:

“I think he compared it to Pearl Harbor. I think it’s more like Lucille Ball and the chocolate factory,” Romney told reporters at a campaign stop at Geno’s Chowder House. “I mean, you got to get it organized.”…

This was the second time today Romney swiped Gingrich. This morning in Londonderry, Romney called Gingrich’s Virginia primary miss “not the best hour” of his bid for the White House.

“He’s running his campaign in a way he thinks best,” Romney said. “Obviously the Virginia setting was not the best hour of his campaign.”

Romney’s spokeswoman ripped Gingrich on MSNBC this morning too for his “desperate” attempts to revive a “failing campaign,” all of which is Romneyspeak for “Newt will never be organized enough to stop the Obama machine.” So there’s your choice, Iowa: The guy who pushed Massachusetts health care even further to the left, the guy who can’t stick to a bus schedule he planned a week ago, and a guy whose answers to questions about the Bilderbergers aren’t nearly as dismissive as they should be. Good luck, Hawkeyes.

Update: The gloves are coming off:

Newt on Mitt’s Lucille Ball comment: “I’d love to have him say that to my face.”

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Aslans Girl on December 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

I hope you are right..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Newt on Mitt’s Lucille Ball comment: “I’d love to have him say that to my face.”

So, let me get this straight. Mitt blurts an assinine insult out, saying Newt’s VA ballot issue is like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory.

Sorry, Mittsters, of both comments above, I’d say Romney’s is the most juvenile. Lucille Ball, chocolate factory trumps say that to my face every time.

Plus, Mitt started it; just looking for trouble. Na,na,na.

Whereas Newt was just stating an absolute fact; he would love Mitt to hurl juvenile insults at him in person. It’s called a mano a mano debate.

Oh, but Mitty said he doesn’t want to debate Newt, but it’s not because he’s afraid or anything like that….

IndeCon on December 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I detest Romney

Conservchik on December 27, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Romney doesn’t have the cajones to debate Gingrich. He’s a wussy.

Conservchik on December 27, 2011 at 7:53 PM

IndeCon on December 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I agree. I find both comments juvenile, but Newt’s is much less so. Newt is subtly reminding people that he challenged Mitt to a debate and Mitt back down.

Mitt hurls insults at his FELLOW candidates and makes fun of them for not getting on ballot — that just might involve a scandal that favored Mitt — but he won’t debate Newt. Not smart, Mitt!

Aslans Girl on December 27, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Is this string of candidates the best we can do? C’mon. Where’s Mitch Daniels? Where’s Paul Ryan? Where’s Marco Rubio? Somebody get in there before we screw ourselves over here!

Conservchik on December 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Romney doesn’t have the cajones to debate Gingrich. He’s a wussy.

Conservchik on December 27, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Why should he? Newt’s a nobody. Mitt spends his time going after Obama.


1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Romney doesn’t have the cajones to debate Gingrich. He’s a wussy.

Conservchik on December 27, 2011 at 7:53 PM

No, he’s just not a stupid loud-mouthed pig. Newt couldnt even figure out how to get on the Virginia ballot for hell’s sake. Who wants this clown running our country…well, a few HotGas types, but he has no chance in hell.

BTW, now that we know Gingrich was fully supportive of RomneyCare and even wanted to make it a federal thing, unlike Romney, is he going to stop attacking “Moderate Mitt” or is going to apologize like he apologized to Paul Ryand and he apologized for making the anti-capitalims comments about Romney’s Bain career and all his phony apologies for his serial adulteries. The man is a ghastly pig. I cant wait until New Hampshire when we can say goodbye to a few of these arseclowns.

Jailbreak on December 27, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Reminds me of a couple of adolescent boys, about to reach puberty arguing about, whose they think, is bigger!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Mitt spends his time going after Obama.


1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Romney spends his time creating policy for Obama to emulate …

besser tot als rot on December 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM

So, let me get this straight. Mitt blurts an assinine insult out, saying Newt’s VA ballot issue is like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory.

It was funny.Of course I’m a mittbot

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I don’t get the Romney hate on conservative blogs. He’s pretty much a pragmatist. He takes his cues from the prevailing winds–which are blowing in a conservative direction these days, even in Democrat circles. He’s got a good business background, he’s articulate, he’s well organized, he’s careful and intelligent. He may not be very charismatic, but he’s charismatic enough for most Americans–nice family, good morals, minimal baggage. What I like best of all is he’s a good fit in the Rust Belt which is Obama’s only route to victory. He would win MI, probably WI, is presently polling well in PA and OH. That’s what convinces me–nothing else. I can wait for perfection next time around.

writeblock on December 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

So, Gingrich showed up GHWB by disagreeing with him over the taxes? It’s Gingrich’s fault GHWB lost the election?

INC on December 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Don’t you know that it is the conservative’s job to always give in to the will of the RINO? That is what the Romney supporters have been telling me anyway.

besser tot als rot on December 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Newt screws up. Blames it on someone else. Hmmmm, where have we heard this before.

Priscilla on December 27, 2011 at 8:56 PM

If this ever did happen I see Romney as a hair-puller and Gingrinch as a biter.

bfinstock79 on December 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

If this ever did happen I see Romney as a hair-puller and Gingrinch as a biter.

bfinstock79 on December 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I’d like to see you say that to NEWTS FACE bro.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Look on the bright side, at least Newt didn’t challenge Mitt to another Lincoln-Douglas debate.

JPeterman on December 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Why would that be a bright side for Romney? Gingrich looks like a desperate fool every time he tries that bit of theater. The guy is broke and now can’t manipulate a better candidate (Romney) into a silly debate designed to give Gingrich exposure that he doesn’t deserve, and can’t get, or afford on his own.

It would be a plus for Romney if Gingrich were to try it again.

csdeven on December 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Don’t like either of them. But I’ll take Gingrich’s record in government over Romney’s any day.

ddrintn on December 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Gingrich has a good record for the most part. But he also has some real issues. His infidelities, ethics sanctions, and he was ousted by his own party. Add to that his involvement with Freddie, his support for a federal mandate for health insurance, and his wacky ideas about the moon etc.

No thanks, Obama will eat his lunch and send him home to his mamma. Romney on the other hand scares the bejesus out of Obama.

csdeven on December 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

If this ever did happen I see Romney as a hair-puller and Gingrinch as a biter.

bfinstock79 on December 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I’d like to see you say that to NEWTS FACE bro.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 9:15 PM

LOL!! Outstanding! :)

bfinstock79 on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Wow…Newt sounds desperate.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 11:35 PM

“RINO!” has become the new “RACIST!” It’s used exactly the same way – when someone has no argument to justify their beliefs or behavior and seeks to divert attention by calling names.

You people would surely have called Reagan a “RINO,” too – former Democrat, FDR supporter, Union official, Governor who raised taxes and spending, movie star.

Romney is far from an ideal candidate, but we were short of flawless people this cycle. Like every other cycle. He was, however, the conservative alternative to McCain after Thompson fizzled early last time. He was already out of the Governor’s office by then.

Romney isn’t the one who’s changed, it’s some of you guys. And some others who pay too much attention to what the others say. Yeah, I know, they keep ranting and raving the same tired lines day after day and after a while you just want it to stop.

He was far from my first choice, but he is the only one who hasn’t done anything imbecilic yet, and he hasn’t failed to qualify for any ballots.

“ROMNEY: Because the rest are a bunch of flock-ups.”

Adjoran on December 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM

I’m cross-posting what VA AG, Ken Cuccinelli said today regarding

VA’s ballot access:

I would throw out for consideration that we should lower our requirements to 100 legitimate signatures per congressional district.

Let’s face it, absent a serious write-in challenge from some other candidate, Virginia won’t be nearly as ‘fought over’ as it should be in the midst of such a wide open nomination contest. Our own laws have reduced our relevance. Sad.

He agrees with Perry and Gingrich. This is not over. Not by a long shot.

Aslans Girl on December 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Thanks for the news.

Funny, I was thinking that VA AG Cuccinella just might possibly be involved if there was any collusion on changing requirements to keep Gingrich and Perry off the ballot.
He was very condescending and nasty to Gingrich on Huckabee’s AG Inquisition of the candidates.

More on the VA ballot isssue:

Conservative group teams up with Democrat to help Gingrich and Perry in Virginia

IndeCon on December 28, 2011 at 6:13 AM

There is no question that Virginia will open up the Ballot again and those still in the race at that time WILL be on that Ballot come primary day. MARK THESE WORDS….

coach1228 on December 28, 2011 at 7:55 AM

Mitt Romney is the worst candidate in GOP history. A Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t come up with a more ridiculous caricature of a candidate. Radical Left-wing track record. Mormonism. Pandering. Lies about his record. Insincerity. Lust for power. Across the board flip-flopping from liberal to “conservative” on every issue under the sun just so he can secure the Republican nomination. Political opportunism at its worst. It’s an understatement to say the man is a danger to the Republican party and the entire country.

Here’s what Mitt Romney supported in Massachusetts:

1. Pro-abortion with taxpayer funding (added it to RomneyCare, kept it, refused to line-item veto it).

2. Pro-government mandated healthcare (RomneyCare has cost the state over 20,000 jobs and has actually increased the cost of healthcare in Massachusetts).

3. Pro-government mandates in general (“I like mandates” his own words on tape).

4. Pro-gay marriage with full state sponsorship (was first Governor to install it, earlier broke a law in his zeal to issue gay marriage licenses, then called opponents of his actions “right-wing”).

5. Pro-transgender education to children in public schools (promoted by Governor Romney’s administration, read Amy Contrada’s book: “Mitt Romney’s Deception”).

6. Pro-openly gay scout masters in the boy scouts (“I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.” U.S. Senate debate on Oct. 26, 1994. Massachusetts News, June 18, 2002.)

7. Pro-global warming caused by human activity (his own words)

8. Pro-environmental regulations to combat global warming (imposed massive environmental regulations in Massachusetts, according to the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Romney joined activists outside an aging, coal-fired plant in 2003 to show his commitment to the emissions caps. “I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people, and that plant, that plant kills people,” he said. On Dec. 7, 2005, the Romney administration unveiled the final orders. “These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment,” then-Gov. Romney said in a press release touting Massachusetts as “the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants.”).

9. Pro-taxes on businesses (closed loopholes, then raised business taxes by $300 million as Governor of Massachusetts, according to USA Today).

10. Pro-taxes and fees on the public (Romney raised state fees and taxes more than $700 million per year, according to independent experts. He raised fees by roughly $500 million in his first year alone, a figure that was highest in the nation. The state and local tax burden rose more than 7% during Romney’s administration).

11. Pro-amnesty for illegal immigrants (supports path to citizenship for illegals, his own words in 2006)

12. Mitt declared himself a “moderate” and says his views are “progressive!” (his own words on tape).

Mitt Romney’s track record is indistinguishable from a liberal Democrats’. Romney’s record is even to the Left of most Democrats! Consider how people destroyed Mike Huckabee in ’08 over a couple of liberal blemishes in his record, but give a free pass to Mitt Romney who’s track record is even worse. Across the board liberal worse! The man is a left-wing deceiver and it’s the responsibility of real conservatives to expose him since the establishment GOP and “conservative” pundits aren’t doing it. I see through the man. Can’t you? He is utterly insincere. The man is a pathological liar. Is there a conspiracy to give this snake the nomination?

“I’m not convinced that a state would be better off with all Republicans. As a matter of fact, I’ve been in a state like that. Not a good thing.”
–Mitt Romney

“My views are progressive.”
–Mitt Romney

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Mitt Romney’s record of higher fees and taxes as governor

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney raised state government fees and taxes by three quarters of a billion dollars a year. During his four year tenure, Romney nickeled and dimed Massachusetts families and individuals with over a hundred fee increases, on everything from getting married (he upped the price for a marriage license), to buying a new home (he increased charges for Registry of Deeds paperwork), to owning a gun legally (he tripled the fee for a Firearms ID Card). He also proposed and obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues from business, with tax changes he dubbed loophole closings but critics said were really just tax increases. The fee hikes and tax revenue increases described here were all proposed by Romney himself, as elements of various budgets, revenue raiser packages, or other measures or policy proposals originating in Romney’s office.

Increased state fees and taxes by three quarters of a billion dollars

$432 million in fee hikes:

As governor, Romney increased state fees on residents on businesses by $432 million annually. These fee hikes were all proposed by Romney; they were not items originated by the Legislature. (Note that Romney originally sought an even higher amount, but the Legislature reduced or rejected some of his demands for higher fees.)

$309 million in higher taxes:

As governor, Romney increased various taxes on businesses by $309 million annually, via three “corporate loophole” closing packages, one each in 2003, 2004 and 2005. (Note that Romney originally proposed an even higher amount of increased taxes on business but reduced or dropped some proposals due to opposition from business and/or lack of Legislative support.)

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

The case against Mitt Romney and his Leftist track record:

The biggest myth of all, perhaps, is that he didn’t raise taxes. The reality is that in 2003, Romney actually set the record for the most fee increases enacted by a state, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. In addition, he raised over $300 million dollars from businesses by “closing loopholes” on subchapter S corporations but this loophole closing actually resulted in doubling the tax rates. Indeed, as Peter Nicholas, chairman of Boston Scientific stated, “when Mitt Romney became governor in 2003, subchapter S corporations that were owned by Massachusetts business trusts were taxed at 5.3 percent. By the time Romney left office, the tax rate on these corporations had climbed to 9.8 percent.”

Indeed, as Nicholas stated, the doubling of tax rates on these corporations created an “important disincentive to investment, growth and job creation.” But that’s not all. Romney signed a bill allowing local governments to raise business property taxes. He attempted to raise taxes on internet commerce. He supported commuter taxes on non-residents. He refused to support an initiative to abolish state income taxes. He raised gas taxes two cents a gallon. He supported a federal gas tax hike; he tried to impose a new excise tax on SUVs. He attacked the Bush tax cuts. Overall, the tax burden in Massachusetts went from 9.3% to 9.9% under Mitt Romney.

Not surprisingly, as a result of over a hundred fee hikes, new corporate taxes, new gas taxes, commuter taxes and increased business property taxes, combined with his environmental agenda and the health care “reform,” the Massachusetts economy took a nose dive with job creation stats among the worst in the country. Indeed, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Massachusetts, under Romney, ranked 49th in job creation, with only Louisiana performing worst, thanks to Katrina. Unemployment actually increased under his watch and his Gross State Product stats were anemic, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. By every economic measure, the Romney economy was a disaster.

State spending was $5.2 billion dollars higher when he left office than when his term began four years earlier. Moreover, he left a $3 billion deficit to his successor. He spent millions on pork projects and on goofy expensive welfare schemes such as buying – yes, buying – new cars for welfare recipients.

When Romney speaks on judicial philosophy, he gives the impression he knows what he’s talking about. But the chances are he doesn’t. His team of speechwriters, however, understand all the buzz phrases important to conservatives, such as “rule of law” and “original intent” and they always throw in a few attacks on “activist judges.”

Romney’s speeches attacking “activist judges” do sound terrific, but that’s not how he governed. Internal Romney administration documents in the possession of the author demonstrate Romney heavily relied on “diversity” as the most important consideration when nominating judges. In other words, he appointed judges based on qualifications having more to do with race, gender and sexual orientation than with what their worldview may be. Administration documents are full of liberal gobbledygook such as how judicial nominees “should be drawn from a cross-section of our community…reflecting as well a diversity of our communities.”

Romney even told a reporter he had “not paid a moment’s notice to nominee’s political leanings.” It showed. As the Boston Globe elaborated, “Romney passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents, including two gay lawyers….”

The result of this approach, of course, was that the Romney years produced a slew of activist judges. Incredibly, Romney even sent out a press release boasting of nominating Stephen Abany, a leading gay activist and supporter of gay marriage. When Romney was criticized for not nominating enough females, he quickly appointed an incompetent ultra- liberal woman who released a killer early from jail leading to the deaths of a young couple.

–Steve Baldwin

Steve Baldwin is the former chair of the Right to Life caucus in the California state legislature and executive director of the Council for National Policy.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

A lot of exaggeration about Romney’s record. By MA standards he was a pretty conservative governor.

Boston Globe – Jan 29, 2003 (archived copy on

Governor Romney held firm and balanced the budget every year without raising taxes. [3] He fought to roll back the state income tax from 5.3% to 5.0% and created budgets based on a 5% income tax rate. [4] The legislature refused to reduce the tax rate, and by the end of his term, he had taken “Massachusetts from billions in deficit to billions in surplus”. [5]

Although he did not succeed in cutting the income tax for everyone, like he wanted, he was able to get income tax cuts for many of those with the greatest need for tax relief. For example, in order to aid older homeowners and young families, he created an $800 tax deduction for home heating expenses for individuals with less than $50,000/year income or families making less than $75,000/year. [6]

And there’s this:

Jim Cramer – Mad Money
Assesses Mitt Romney

USATODAY reported “Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, signed a law that creates the nation’s biggest tax holiday. All retail sales under $2,500 will be exempt from the state’s 5% sales tax Aug. 12-13.” [7] And when the legislature tried to raise the capital gains taxes, he not only successfully opposed it, [8] but he also got the capital gains taxes cut. [9]

But Governor Romney did raise some fees. Some critics have overstated the impact this had on the taxpayer, most of whom were not directly effected if effected at all, with one exception, as raising broad-based fees were avoided. Fees were raised on some business or individual services in an effort to cover the cost of services the fees were charged for, as in this case:

“Governor Mitt Romney is raising fees on the use of state golf courses … it’s fair to ask golfers to pay for the cost of maintaining these facilities rather than expecting taxpayers to subsidize them.”

He’s obviously a fiscally conservative Republic who functioned well in a very liberal state.

writeblock on December 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I am a Romney suppporter.having said that it still seems to me that Newt would be better off attacking Perry,bachman,santorum to get that vote.

gerrym51 on December 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

If I’m not mistaken, when Romney mentioned a VAT, it was in the context of a list of possibilities for tax reform. Isn’t a VAT the same thing as the applauded “9-9-9” I think it is. By the way, try and remember back to 2008 when Romney was considered “the conservative” when he was running against McCain. In 2008, Romneycare had already passed in MA (2006) Why wasn’t this a big disqualifier for Romney? The answer is – there was NO Obamacare at that point. In fact, if you compare Romneycare and Obamcare side by side, they are FAR different animals. Romneycare was a Bi-partisan bill, Obamacare not. Romneycare was under 100 pages and was read by all, Obamacare was much bigger and never read. Must I go on? If you all don’t recall, I actually watched Newt on C-span, back in 2005 (yes, 2005) standing with Hillary Clinton and Tom Daschle pushing a FEDERAL mandate. I have supported Romney since I voted for him in the 2008 FL primary – never tasted all those “flavors of the month” – never needed to. Please folks, we have an opportunity to send Obama packing – please, we can’t blow this. Romney is that Generic Republican that beats Obama in polls consistently.

BabysCatz on December 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM