Frum: Maybe we could use a President who knows how to fire people

posted at 1:55 pm on January 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’ve been a little mystified by the argument, advanced by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman this week, that Mitt Romney’s experience as a “corporate raider” disqualifies him for the Republican presidential nomination.  Put aside the fact that the attack is based on an absurd exaggeration of Romney’s track record at Bain Capital.  One of the overarching goals of Tea Party conservatives and Republicans in general is the rapid and sharp reduction in the size of the federal government.  How exactly, I ask in my column for The Week, do other Republicans expect to do that without pink slips?

Until recently, Republicans used to cheerlead this very system as providing economic growth and innovation, at least until this week when they became shocked — shocked! — to find gambling in the capital casino. As the Gingrich super PAC uses casino money to proclaim that shock, perhaps another question should be asked of the Republicans joining the outrage. They have all pledged to reduce the size and scope of federal government. Perry, for instance, pledged to eliminate three entire Cabinet-level departments, and Gingrich has made the size of the federal budget a priority, too. Exactly how do they plan to accomplish those goals without cutting jobs — perhaps hundreds of thousands of them? If the arguments for downsizing the federal government are based on red ink, inefficiency, duplication, and waste, perhaps they should explain why those arguments work for the public sector but don’t in the private sector.

Presidential contenders face enormous pressure to win, and the temptation to go all in on a promising line of attack is overwhelming when nothing else appears to be working. However, voters want a candidate that champions economic growth and innovation, not the same kind of class warfare and demonization that has brought us stagnation and misery. If Republicans can’t stand for those principles among themselves, what confidence can we have that they will stand for them in a general election, or in office? And if they argue that downsizing in order to rescue struggling organizations is a disqualification, what confidence can we have that they will have the nerve to reduce spending and the bureaucracy that Republican voters want right-sized?

Jim Geraghty puts it a little more succinctly:

So, here we are, at the day first primary, and the main objection to Mitt Romney from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry is that he fired a bunch of people? More than his liberal-softie sounding rhetoric in 1994 and 2002? More than his crusade to liberate us from the individual mandate of Obamacare in order to leave the states free to enact their own individual mandates? More than the fact that he’s won exactly one general election in his life, in a year that the left-of-center vote was divided?

Objections to private-sector layoffs from the party that wants to shrink government? How do we think all of those employees of the federal bureaucracy will get of the payroll? Mass alien abductions?

When you think about it, isn’t it possible that the layoffs enacted when Romney was at Bain constitute one of the boldest moves of his career? One of the times he’s been willing to do something unpopular because he thought it was right, and in the long-term interest of the institution he was managing, instead of following the polls and telling people what they wanted to hear?

Much of the focus came upon Romney’s comment that he likes being able to fire people who provide services to him, if he’s not happy with the quality of the service.

You know, the way you can’t with the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the way you can’t (or at least not without Herculean determination) with a crappy teacher at a public school. The way you can’t fire a tenured professor at a state university, whether or not he gives good value for his salary and benefits to those who pay his salary (the students and the taxpayers). The way we can’t take our business to some other government, without leaving the country.

David Frum asks whether good-government conservatives should view this as a plus, and not just in the context of smaller government:

The fact is, presidents (being politicians) get into much more trouble because they hesitate to fire than because they overenjoy it. Donald Rumsfeld lasted for years after it became apparent that his management of the Iraq War was failing. President Obama won’t take action against Eric Holder, not after he bollixed the trial of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, who has to date faced neither the promised civilian trial nor the substituted military commission. It was son George W. who had to carry the message to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu that he must go, because President George H.W. Bush could not bear to do it. For 13 miserable years, Franklin Roosevelt flinched from firing an incompetent and obnoxious White House cook.

Similar stories could be told about Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Even the ultra-irascible Richard Nixon delivered bad news in writing via messenger.

If Romney does happen to feel less reluctance to fire staffers and officials than recent chief executives, that could be a presidential feature, not a bug.

It’s doubly true for conservatives who want wholesale reductions in the size and scope of the federal government, too.


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Where did Romney Obama create those 100K jobs he keeps talking about?

The communist Chinese, and Brazilians, are very grateful to him because those jobs were certainly not in America

liberal4life on January 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:28 PM

“True Conservative” Frum likes “True Conservative” Romney? No surprise there.

29Victor on January 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

uhangtight on January 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Exactly right.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

When Rush Limbaugh and Mitt Romney are the poster boys for free enterprise and capitalism… ugh.!

At least, I guess, Rush at one time knew what it was like to actually have to work.

stenwin77 on January 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Straight out of the Occupy/Obama playbook. I guess researching material and talking to an audience for 3 hours a day doesn’t constitute work. How liberal of you///

JPeterman on January 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Romney is to big to fail for Pete’s sake…

Ironically, after having this line used to explain away dramatic expansions in the size and scope of government, the Republicans are indeed choosing a candidate on this grounds.

If you told me in 2010 that the Republicans would choose the original author of Obromneycare to run against the guy that federalized it I wouldn’t have bothered to work for the Republicans.

Go ahead and nominate Romney, Republicans, and watch an almost exact repeat of 2008 – because you really don’t want to change anything in DC, right?

18-1 on January 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Just read on drudge that dear leader has received more donations from bain folks than romney

Hello

cmsinaz on January 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

No the idiot that is Newt made it about Capitalism…

In his fury for vengeance towards Mitt for the PACS and by the way, why is Newt totally ignoring the fact that Ron Paul spent more money on ads that said the same thing as the PAC for Mitt? Oh, and let’s not forget Perry’s attack ads on Newt that were just as bad and more money spent?

Hmmm? Care to answer that? Newt is unhappy because he sees that he has to go at Romney before Virginia, because all bets are off for Newt at that point. So what does Newt choose to attack? Capitalism, not political policies but good old capitalism. So Newt who is Mr. Reagan Conservative attacks from the left of the policy spectrum. Seriously, Newt has now made his revenge all about Capitalism.

You tool

uhangtight on January 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Where did Romney create those 100K jobs he keeps talking about?

The communist Chinese are very grateful to him because those jobs were certainly not in America

liberal4life on January 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Make’s me miss crr6…don’t know about you!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

amerpundit on January 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

LOL! I don’t have a lot of room to talk either.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Just read on drudge that dear leader has received more donations from bain folks than romney

Hello

cmsinaz on January 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

% of people who will read about this in the MSM: 2-3

% of people who will or have seen/read about the Romney “I LOVE TO FIRE PEOPLE” in the MSM 99.99

That’s why these things matter.

angryed on January 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The honest ones are coming around to Romney. The lunatic Romney haters are still hanging on.

Keep ‘plucking’ that chicken guys.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Actually, noob, the honest ones are saying that Romney is no Conservative. He’s a squish Legacy. Hence, Mr. Frum’s support.
This is just the 2nd primary. A lot of Reagan Conservatives aren’t quite ready yet to go madly for Adlai…err…Romney.

kingsjester on January 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The communist Chinese are very grateful to him because those jobs were certainly not in America

liberal4life on January 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

lol :-), this coming from the champions of small government which by definition means cutting jobs and laying off people…are you going to shed some tears for the people who will lose jobs as a result of the cut in govt (that we all know it will never happen in reality, but at least we can hypothesize) that you all champion? :-)…yeah, right…so, what’s the difference? sometimes, somewhere, people will lose jobs, what’s new?…

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Talk about your all-time spectacular backfire! I’m not a Romney fan, but this whole debacle makes him look like the only competent candidate we have!

I’m starting to think that none of these people are as intelligent as I previously believed. Time to get into politics I guess. I’m certainly ugly enough.

Mord on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

This election is about the size, scope and power of the federal government as it has been added to since the Framing, and particularly over the past 100 years.

Anyone who tries to treat it as if it isn’t about that is asking for a tyrannical authoritarian State as Obama is now making it. And it doesn’t even BEGIN at Obamacare, that is just a telltale hallmark of this tyrannical system.

Yeah there are going to be pink slips.

Until Northern VA and most of MD get out of the federal housing bubble that has happened due to the sheer size of this monstrosity, the rest of the Nation will not recover. Stop the federal building boom in DC by killing off these agencies that wish to grow at the expense of the liberty of the people.

ajacksonian on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Very disappointed in Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman for such a losing, cheap, and ultimately STUPID line of attack. All Romney has to say is that he saved jobs through downsizing. But some folks don’t even understand this.

Anyway, all three lost credibility IMO.

For the record, I have not yet decided who is best but will support the eventual nominee.

LetsBfrank on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

“How exactly, I ask in my column for The Week, do other Republicans expect to do that without pink slips?”

LOL. It’s not a question for me that Romney might fulfill his pledge to hand out pinks slips. I’m just concerned there’ll be no conservatives left in government when he’s done handing them out.

Dusty on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

No, but his Big Oil pals will sure profit when he closes down the Eneregy Department and the EPA. Right?

rockmom on January 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

We will all benefit from closing those down.

carbon_footprint on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

When Rush Limbaugh and Mitt Romney are the poster boys for free enterprise and capitalism… ugh.!

At least, I guess, Rush at one time knew what it was like to actually have to work.

stenwin77 on January 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

If i remember correctly in the days when Palin was not sure that she was running or not, you sure used to comment a lot about how Rush loves Palin,

I just love the last few days, it makes EVERYBODY look like a hypocricy even myself included LOL

OrthodoxJew on January 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

If only Frum could be fired.

kunegetikos on January 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I’m starting to think that none of these people are as intelligent as I previously believed. Time to get into politics I guess. I’m certainly ugly enough.

Mord on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

none are, indeed. not only that, but they double down on the same stupidity that brought them where they are, which is nowhere….

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

If only Frum could be fired.

kunegetikos on January 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

why, coz he’s telling the truth?…

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

On “RIP” – Rush is ripping Newt a new one.

whatcat on January 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Yes he is. But Rush also said he doesn’t blame him because Romney systematically took Newt out in Iowa. And Rush also ripped Romney for supporting TARP and then said Newt and Santorum were the only ones against it.

I’m beginning to think that Rush’s endorsement strategy is to alternate buiding up and tearing down all our candidates so he can’t ultimately be blamed for picking anyone. He’s talking out of every side of his mouth today.

BettyRuth on January 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I was wondering the same thing. He seems to be on a roll today. And then, Rush said * this is fun*- or something along those lines!

I am so curious to see how this all shakes out in the next couple of weeks- but it sure doesn’t seem *fun*!… More like pins and needles!

AZgranny on January 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I don’t listen to Rush everyday (or for a while) but I have been surprised to see repeated and different stories about his “endorsements” on HotAir. Given that it has been reported about several different candidates I have to assume that they are not, in fact, endorsements but just the normal positives and negatives about whoever is in the news on any given day.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Good interview with Megyn Kelly.

I want to know how many jobs that Mitt created are overseas.

stenwin77 on January 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I hear ya angryed

cmsinaz on January 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

kingsjester on January 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Hey dummy, I’ve been a HA reader since the first day MM brought it in to existence. If I wasn’t registered in the first open reg, I was in the second. You go ahead & keep waiting for Palinmania to sweep the nation. Politics exists in the real world not in a vacuum of your own reality.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Where did Romney Obama create those 100K jobs he keeps talking about?

The communist Chinese, and Brazilians, are very grateful to him because those jobs were certainly not in America

liberal4life on January 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM
Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Schadenfreude…is it me…or is this the first human beanie, that stutter’s out a whole sentence, instead of words?
Whe you guys used to interact with crr6, she was only wrong in her views…so it was educational… the back and forth, that went on.
What do you guys do…when they are wrong &
stupid?
I have not seen that often.

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Hey all you purity conservatives: Keep taking people off the 100% pure conservative list, & you’ll be left with nobody.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Let’s Fire Obama. And some government workers. Hiring freeze Now!

Fleuries on January 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I don’t listen to Rush everyday (or for a while) but I have been surprised to see repeated and different stories about his “endorsements” on HotAir. Given that it has been reported about several different candidates I have to assume that they are not, in fact, endorsements but just the normal positives and negatives about whoever is in the news on any given day.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Rush has had a tough time just like the rest of us this primary season. It’s due to all of the candidates sucking. Makes it tough to passionately get behind anyone.

Kataklysmic on January 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I’m starting to think that none of these people are as intelligent as I previously believed. Time to get into politics I guess. I’m certainly ugly enough.

Mord on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Henry Waxman ugly?

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

O/T The picture of Newt now on Drudge will not help Newt get votes,

Gotte love Drudge, always good for a smile

OrthodoxJew on January 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Hey all you purity conservatives: Keep taking people off the 100% pure conservative list, & you’ll be left with nobody.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I’m not sure what you are talking about. I gave up on my “perfect” candidate when she said she wouldn’t run on Oct. 5th.

I’d gladly support Newt or Perry, maybe even Rev. Santorum. Heck, I’m even considering Ron Paul at this point.

But Romney? I’m thinking about defeating Obama and Romney falls right into Obama’s OWS strategy. My main concern at this point, since Palin isn’t in it, is the Supreme Court.

That is pretty much the ONLY issue that is still salvagable now, and I do not trust Romney with appointing constitution-believing judges. That’s where my issue with Romney is.

That, and I do not believe he can beat Obama.

stenwin77 on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Really? Because Frum said it and because he may like Romney as a candidate, that’s the kiss of death and automatically invalidates his argument?

What I have been seeing in the comment sections here over the past few days has been mind-boggling. Substitue a self-made wealthy conservative for Romney and then ask yourself if you’d be agreeing with Frum or not. If it were Paul Ryan or Mitch Daniels, would you be all over them for firing people or being successful?

For years we have been telling the Left they have LDS (Lefty Derangement Syndrome). The other GOP contenders and their supporters are dangerously close to turning into the very caricatures they so rightfully made fun of these past years.

bigdubs on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

AMEN and AMEN!!! This is manna from heaven if Team Romney doesn’t screw it up. Take it as a badge of honor and promise to cut Cut CUT!!!

Then actually do it in January 2013!

sidemeat on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Go gulching and let the lefties and the dummies on the right perish. They both deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:14

:-) methinks that people of your persuasion (or sharing your ‘philosophy’) are first in line to ‘extinction’ :- :-), look around you :-)…

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Meh, you assume, erroneously, that it might be something bad.

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

For years we have been telling the Left they have LDS (Lefty Derangement Syndrome). The other GOP contenders and their supporters are dangerously close to turning into the very caricatures they so rightfully made fun of these past years.

bigdubs on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

they are that already…the caricatures that you just mentioned…sadly enough…

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I absolutely agree with the sentiment of the title of this thread. The direct contrast to having

the ability to fire people

is what we get from unions and government bureaucrats. If we can’t fire people, how on earth are we ever going to shrink our bloated government down to a reasonable size and cost? What we need to do to the federal government is EXACTLY what Romney and Bain Capital did for many years.

BUT – this is NOT an endorsement for Romney specifically – just sayin – this issue is not a negative for him in my view.

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Hey all you purity conservatives: Keep taking people off the 100% pure conservative list, & you’ll be left with nobody.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Hope you’re not playing with matches too close to your strawman.

angryed on January 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Hey dummy, I’ve been a HA reader since the first day MM brought it in to existence. If I wasn’t registered in the first open reg, I was in the second. You go ahead & keep waiting for Palinmania to sweep the nation. Politics exists in the real world not in a vacuum of your own reality.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I thought I recognized your name, but, you hardly post. Listen, Skippy, if, “reality” is settling for a guy who has changed his position more often than a 4 year old in the back seat, no thanks.

At least, not until it’s all said and done. Then, I will, as Rush said today, do what I have to, to get that Marxist out of the Oval Office.

kingsjester on January 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I’m not sure what you are talking about. I gave up on my “perfect” candidate when she said she wouldn’t run on Oct. 5th.

stenwin77 on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Palin? That’s all I needed to know. Let me just say I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that a Palin fanatic would have such an unrealistic outlook on politics. Yes, in fantasy land Saracuda would have run unopposed & walked in to the presidency. But I’m guessing she didn’t because the handwriting is on the wall & she would have lost all of her credibility when she lost 47 states.

mattshu on January 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

What I have been seeing in the comment sections here over the past few days has been mind-boggling. Substitue a self-made wealthy conservative for Romney and then ask yourself if you’d be agreeing with Frum or not. If it were Paul Ryan or Mitch Daniels, would you be all over them for firing people or being successful?

bigdubs on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I don’t think you’re reading comments as much as skimming.

People aren’t anti-capitalism. They’re saying Romney will be portrayed as Mr. Burns from The Simpsons by the MSM/Obama/Soros machine. He is the rich old white millionaire Wall St executive personified. And in the year 2012, rich old white millionaire Wall St executive is not very popular in America.

Why do you think Obama created OWS? He knew Romney would be the GOP nominee. The entire meme of “income inequality” was created solely for the purpose of beating Romney over the head with it.

And Romney just gave Obama the biggest late Christmas gift he could have hoped for with the “I LOVE TO FIRE PEOPLE” soundbite.

GOP – once again the Stupid Idiotic Party

angryed on January 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Quick show of hands: is anybody REALLY stupid enough to believe that the Matthews/Frum crowd desperately want to see Obama voted out of office?

The media want Romney to b the Republican nominee just as badly as they wanted McCain — and for the same reason.

logis on January 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Makes it tough to passionately get behind anyone.

Kataklysmic on January 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Amen to that.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

This is a tough issue for Romney. It provides some strong fodder to tap into Obama’s class warfare.

But Romney may be able to turn this issue to his advantage by arguing that government never decreases because politicians who do the dirty work of shrinking the government are generally punished, negating any reward or incentive to do the dirty work necessary to shrink government.

Government spending will never be adequately addressed unless a strong political leader can sucessfully navigate the political minefield of shrinking government.

Think of it this way: why are quotas for sugar never seriously challenged even though the quotas only benefit a few large firms? It is because the few firms that benefit from these quotas can pay the cost necessary to preserve these benefits, while the general public (who has to pay higher prices for sugar and sugar products) has no incentive to somehow pool their assets to overcome the money and time spent by the firms.

Again, government is structured in a way that it will always expand and never contract; only a strong leader with some exerience in contracting entities may be able to do this. And only Romney fits that bill…

But I still worry about the easy political points Obamna will score wtih the liberal media…

RedSoxNation on January 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

logis on January 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

They have “won” again.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Just read on drudge that dear leader has received more donations from bain folks than romney

Hello

cmsinaz on January 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

They don’t like him, either.

sandollar_sa on January 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I’m certainly ugly enough.

Mord on January 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Henry Waxman ugly?

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

haha! I can’t use my nostrils as thumb-warmers, no.

Mord on January 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

J_Crater on January 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Thanks for this. It was on my list, but I lost it.

“One sometimes wonders why the idiots in Washington have still not bailed out the private equity industry.”

Heh. Maybe *that’s* why they’re pushing Mittens so hard. The insurance industry/ PhRMa got theirs with Rombamacare, but the PEI is still wanting (greedy little suckers, aren’t they?).

Now. Who hasn’t gotten their bailout yet? Raise your hands…

This is disgusting.

sandollar_sa on January 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

People aren’t anti-capitalism. They’re saying Romney will be portrayed as Mr. Burns from The Simpsons by the MSM/Obama/Soros machine. He is the rich old white millionaire Wall St executive personified. And in the year 2012, rich old white millionaire Wall St executive is not very popular in America.

angryed on January 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

wow, how sensitive of you to be so concerned about how Romney will be portrayed come the general elections, coming from such an ardent fan like you, this means a lot :-)….soo, what does it matter how he will be portrayed by the MSM/Obama whatever machine, if he was right to do so? If he was right on principle to fire those people to save other jobs (see Staples a.o.) why does it matter how the media will portray him? Silly me, I thought it’s the lack of principles and convictions that you mostly object to him, now the fact that he is/was a principled capitalist seems to be a flaw…and jeez, media is going to actually destroy him by insisiting that he likes capitalism and is one himself, and had the audacity to make more money than he inherited using the same much blamed system!…terrible indeed! But then you are right, a marxist liar will be portrayed much kindly by the MSM (might be coz of his newly discovered, softer OWS side lol :-), as the good samaritan and poor old boy, from humble origins, who never pocketed any money from the very entity responsible for the 2008 meltdown, never lobbied or was involved with business ventures, a model politician, husband and father…oups, I forgot grandfather too, and Catholic…jeez….

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Ed, methinks you were trying to tweak your readership a bit by invoking Frum. Ok, so I agree with the blowhard on THIS occasion. But I wonder what the comments would have been like had the post been titled “Geraghty and I”…?

Erich66 on January 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

No one in the field is for small government.

mythicknight on January 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Except for my guy :)

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on January 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Newt, Perry, and Huntsman all jumped the shark on this one. Romney has sooooooooooo many things to attack, yet they chose this?

SouthernGent on January 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Frum says we need a president who can fire people? Well, Frum ought to to know, since Bush 43 fired him. That’s funny.

DaydreamBeliever on January 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Newt must be crushed like a bug. He must be absolutely punished, humiliated, debased, degraded, thrown under the bus and out the window. He can go back to lobbying for Freddie.

NealK on January 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Wow, another Hot Gas post whining for Romney.

Hey, can we please get some more posts whining for Romney?

IcedTea on January 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

NealK on January 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Why don’t you direct some of that ire at Obama, this isn’t Gov. Romney’s first rodeo and it’s not the first time he has had to answer questions about Bain. I am sure he was prepared for the eventuality.

Cindy Munford on January 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

ABO- anyone but Obama, a friggin toaster or doorknob would be better.

gbear on January 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Hard to believe some conservatives are still trying to help Romney spin his way through his gaffe yesterday.

The close to 16% unemployed folks who got fired or laid off cant wait to vote for someone who is eager to fire them.

Uppereastside on January 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

ABO- anyone but Obama, a friggin toaster or doorknob would be better.

gbear on January 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I’m with you on that one.
At this point I don’t have any preference out of the choices we have – but solid ABO.

dentarthurdent on January 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

what the hell has happened to the Republican party? And the elephants wonder why people are turning to Ron Paul and Libertarians…

burserker on January 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I find myself agree with Frum for probably the first time. I see Ron Paul just came out with a strong defense of Romney and condemnation of Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman.

jan3 on January 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Frum: Maybe we could use a President who knows how to fire people

I know we could use a few less people trying to spin Romney into some mutation of a conservative….

tom on January 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I finally agree with Frum. First time I think. I see Ron Paul also came out today strongly defending Romney and condemning Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman for either demagoguery or stupidity, whichever applies.

jan3 on January 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Rush has had a tough time just like the rest of us this primary season. It’s due to all of the candidates sucking. Makes it tough to passionately get behind anyone.

Kataklysmic on January 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I’ve found this primary season to be incredibly easy to predict. Oh, not the timing of which not-Mitt is the next to get on the see-saw but the fact that not one of them could stay on top. It was perfectly clear to me that Romney was the only choice from shortly after the time that Perry got in the race. The only drama has been the manufactured kind as folks keep trying to escape the inevitable only to be whacked between the eyes time and again by reality.

MJBrutus on January 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Ed, really strong post until you quoted Frum. Totally ruined it.

stefanite on January 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Headline…is Ed looking at TRUMP?

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

The jackass Gingrinch has unwittingly handed the progressives an almost certain victory in November because he’s endorsed their game of destroying capitalism, the friggin’ moron.

LizardLips on January 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM

LizardLips on January 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM

I don’t think so. This is the same kind of malarkey that would have been used later if Newt didn’t do it now. I say it’s better to dispense with the smears now and pull that arrow from the donkeys’ quiver. If Newt wants to be a junior PBHO in this campaign I say good. It’s great practice for Mitt.

MJBrutus on January 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I would never vote for Newt.

These anti-capitalist rants from Newt may toughen up Romney and be good in the long run for Romney, but that pales in comparison to the damage Newt is doing.

Newt went from nice, new “Uncle Newt” to the old, mean Newt in a twinkle of an eye, all to express Newt’s anger. I don’t want anyone who behaves so childishly for President. These are not the actions of a sober adult male but of a peeved little boy. What will Newt do if miffed by some foreign leader? Would he rule by tantrum?

In my mind, Newt has disqualified himself by his destructive behavior.

It is worse, I believe, than even that. It appears that Newt knows he cannot win at this point, and he appears to be trying to take Romney down with him. If successful, Newt’s petty, pouty tirades might remove the most electable opponent to Obama.

Newt seems to be carrying Obama’s water now, and you may be sure Obama will run endless commercials of Newt haranguing Romney on Bain Capital if Romney survives and wins the GOP nomination.

Capitalism is taking enough knocks from the Marxists in the White House, we don’t need Newt Gingrich-Engles or Newt Gingrich-Marx knocking capitalism for petty his political gain and revenge.

billrowe on January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Romneys own words describe who he is.

Watch Romney praise the Obama Stimulus and castigate GW Bush for not enacting it.

I think the Bain is a bit overblown but the fact is many of Americas problems do stem from Bain’s core philosophy of maximizing profits over employees by stealing pensions and lowering wages or outsourcing jobs here in America to Aliens or just plain to other countries.

My occupation as a Computer Programmer ended because H1B Aliens would work for far less I was told this flat out. I read articles of how this was being done and had interviews where Americans need not apply. So that part is totally fair. It is a fact that middle class wages have been purposely depressed by companies like Bain.

Steveangell on January 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I would never vote for Newt.

These anti-capitalist rants from Newt may toughen up Romney and be good in the long run for Romney, but that pales in comparison to the damage Newt is doing.

billrowe on January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

me neither, especially since he publicly started to channel his inner-marxist (oups OSW-er) :-) suddenly became part of the 99% :-)…

jimver on January 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Capitalism is taking enough knocks from the Marxists in the White House, we don’t need Newt Gingrich-Engles or Newt Gingrich-Marx knocking capitalism for petty his political gain and revenge.

billrowe on January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Except Romney is nearly as liberal as Obama see for yourself:
Furthermore Romney did exactly the same thing to Newt over the 1.6 million Newts Company got from Freddie over three years for work his employees performed and got paid most of the money for. Romney knew that just like himself Newt does not get all the money his company makes yet made out like he did. Romney also focused on a very small part of what Newts company did.

Steveangell on January 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The topic is not Capitalism.

It’s the turdfest which Romney and his goons started.

A gold/platinum sprayed horsecaca wreath is still a horseturd wreath.

Live with it.

The Romney folks are as hypocritical and whining as the Obama folks. The last few days have been very revealing.

Ronald Reagan would NEVER approve of the Romney tactics.

Good luck uniting the party…and he speaks of “leadership”. Dearth of it on the left and on the right…the land is scroomed. Go gulching and let the lefties and the dummies on the right perish. They both deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The sheer stunning hypocrisy of those who mouth-vomited “To Hades with principles…

ELECTABILITY!

ELECTABILITY!

ELECTABILITY!”

now turning around and demanding a principled and nuanced understanding of advanced capitalism from the people they regard as Tea Party flyover rubes is truly breathtaking.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mitt making money legally (assuming that he wasn’t violating contracts or law), even if it means laying off people and making a profit by downsizing companies. However, if you are going to enter into a second career field where POPULARITY is the key factor, as it is in modern small “d” democratic politics, then you had better be able to passionately and concisely defend your actions and have personal appeal and charisma.

Romney can’t and doesn’t. He’s a lifelong liberal Rockefeller Republican who can’t make a political case for his own business affairs and attacked companies who did what he did at Bain when he was MA governor, plus he’s a moral coward, ill-at-ease and unappealing on the campaign trail.

Mitt is not a competent Presidential candidate and will be slaughtered by the Axelrod machine, as he would have been in 2006 by Deval Patrick.

ebrown2 on January 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I see nothing in Romney’s GOVERNMENT experience to make me think he believes in smaller government or firing government workers.

The fact that as an investor at Bain he oversaw firing people means nothing to me – his constituents in that setting, his investors, demanded results that required firing.

When he’s in government his loudest constituents in each setting will be demanding more government.

I do not believe Romney can beat Obama because too many of us will not support him. If somehow Romney wins, the results of his administration will not look terribly different from that of Obamas.

Where is the candidate who will say cut 20% across the board now?

Over50 on January 10, 2012 at 8:14 PM

“The liberal media has, of course, taken that ‘I like firing people’ line out of context. But the truth is, I’m gonna like firing people in government because the truth is, you taxpayers can no longer afford to keep this bloated government going. It’s time to get serious about government spending and paying down the debt.”

Or words to that effect.

If Mitt wants to mitigate the Bain Capital damage and the “invented gaffe” (what I call a potentially damaging phrase taken out of context), he could make an ad owning up to what he said. Trouble is, I figured that would work for Perry in his “oops” ad. :/

TMOverbeck on January 11, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Last!!!!!!!!

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!

cabbie25 on January 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

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