Romney commits to Florida debates

posted at 11:05 am on January 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Mitt Romney may not look inevitable after tonight’s South Carolina primary results — and that’s why this decision was, well, inevitable:

 Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) said during a visit to campaign headquarters here Saturday morning that he will participate in the debate scheduled for Monday in Tampa.

His chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, told reporters Romney would also participate in Thursday’s debate in Jacksonville.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be doing the debate on Monday,” Romney said in response to a reporter’s question as he worked the phones calling voters at his Greenville headquarters. “Yeah, I’m in.”

Just four days ago, Romney was “wavering” on committing to more debates, in Florida or anywhere else.  Four days ago, though, he had a comfortable if not safe lead in South Carolina.  Had Newt Gingrich cratered on Thursday with the Marianne Gingrich dish, Romney may have had an opportunity to put an end to both the debates and the race.  Instead, Gingrich predictably used it to go nuclear on the media in the next debate, and lo and behold, Romney needs a way to stop Gingrich in Florida, which suddenly looks uncomfortably like Romney’s firewall rather than his coronation venue.

Speaking of which, Florida still looks pretty solid for Romney, although we haven’t seen any polling there since Gingrich caught his second wind in South Carolina, and a win for Gingrich there tonight will have some impact on the Sunshine State.  Early voting begins today in Florida, though, in sixty-two of 67 counties in the state.  Five other counties started early voting last Monday, due to a loophole in the state law, and absentee voting presumably has taken place this entire month.  Ballots cast while Romney has a 20+ point margin in polling will overwhelmingly favor him, especially since his campaign has the most organization in the state to drive that early voting.  It’s very possible that Romney could build enough of a lead in early and absentee voting, thanks to his huge early polling lead and organization, to make the Florida debates much less impactful than this week’s debates in South Carolina.

Update: Just to give an idea of the scope of the absentee ballot effort, the AP reported this on January 12th, while Romney had a solid 20+ point lead:

Voting is already well under way even though Florida doesn’t hold its GOP nominating contest until Jan. 31. And both Mitt Romney, coming off of back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Ron Paul are aggressively reaching out to voters who have requested ballots.

None of their competitors has been nearly as active even though the victor in Florida would get a huge boost of momentum and all of the state’s 50 delegates to the national nominating convention.

As of Tuesday, 424,000 Republican absentee ballots had been mailed — to military personnel, overseas residents and other Floridians — and about 84,000 had been returned in a state that has 4 million registered Republican voters. Early voting in Hillsborough, Hardy, Hendry, Monroe and Collier counties begins Monday and runs through Jan. 29. Florida’s other 62 counties will hold early voting Jan. 21-28.

By this time those absentee ballots probably are well over 100,000.  In 2008, Republicans cast about 1.5 million votes in the primaries, so the absentees won’t be decisive, but they could make it a lot more difficult for late surgers like Gingrich to gain ground.

Update II: Marc Caputo reported on Thursday that the number of ballots returned has gone well beyond the 100K mark:

More than 138,000 Florida Republicans have cast mail-in absentee ballots already of the 455,622 requested so far and another 5,000 have voted early at the polls in some counties, according to Republican Party of Florida’s spokesman, Brian Hughes.

Republican insiders expect as many as a third of the GOP ballots to be cast early in the effort to choose a nominee to oppose President Barack Obama.

The total of 143,000 would be close to 10% of the votes cast in the 2008 Republican primary.  The early votes being cast starting today and the rest of the outstanding absentee ballots could mean that a third or more of the votes will already be cast before the second debate in Florida takes place.  That will give Romney a very big head start.

Update III: Caputo updated those figures this morning, and now the total is nearly 200,000:

But it could be a different story in Florida, where Republicans have been casting early votes by mail all month. Early voting at special precincts is now underway statewide as well. Only one campain, Mitt Romney’s, has made a concerted effort to target those voters.

So far, 185,435 absentee ballots have been cast and 11,836 early votes have been cast at precincts for a total of 197,271.

Assuming that Romney got 41% of these (80,881) and Gingrich 22% (43,400) as RCP’s polling average would suggest, Romney would have a 37,481 vote lead at this point in time — and that doesn’t take into account Romney’s organization and GOTV efforts on early/absentee voting.  That’s pretty significant, and as the early vote progresses, that advantage will continue to grow.  (via DebitKing)


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South Carolina is playing the contrarian role traditionally played by New Hampshire. The frontrunner from the Northeast hits a speed bump in the South.

Ted Torgerson on January 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM
And loses control.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Perhaps this will help.

http://www.roadkillcookingforcampers.com/my_weblog/roadkill_cooking_for_campers_cookbook.html

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM
layout one now….lololol

bloody idiot

cmsinaz on January 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM

cmsinaz:This will be thee worse SOTUA,in American History.
American voters are getting fed up,of Obama’s empty
speech’s!!:)

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

It would appear that CS and I live rent free in your mind given your constant patrols of the threads.
KJ, lord of the threads! Feel his thunder!!!

Bradky on January 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Quit whining. I realize your world is crumbling around you. Take it out on someone else.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

idesign on January 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM
kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Hahaha….her betrayal still stings doesn’t it Palinistas? Now she has betrayed you again by endorsing Gingrich, the only speaker to ever be sanctioned for ethics violations. Real nice coming from the person you all held up as the one to get rid of the corruption in her own party. And you dutifully lap up her bile like the unprincipled fake conservatives you are.

Be proud of your hypocrisy. It’s what you’re best at.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Romney needs the work if he is going to go up against Obama

KBird on January 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Mitt’s not my guy but I’m not sure it’s a bad idea to adopt some of Obama’s tactics, such as this one. We may need them in the general. It’s too bad it comes down to this but we have to fight at least as hard as Obama does.

Shay on January 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Oh the irony…You have so many people on HA saying that Romney does not fight (trying to project a McCain image onto him) and yet Romney DOES FIGHT and will knock your head off if you say something incorrect about his record…yet, then HA posters cry that Romney is playing dirty!

The point is you cannot have it both ways saying Romney does not fight and yet he does and call him dirty.

We do know that Obama is going to play cheap shot campaign for the next 6 months. Gingrich’s baggage is TOO EASY and thus will not be a good candidate to represent us.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Gingrich predictably used it to go nuclear on the media in the next debate

Yup, & the crowd cheered, & Newt’s poll numbers went up.

Conservatives can be stupid, too.

itsnotaboutme on January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

ARG Poll says SC GOP women favor Newt over Romney 42% to 26%

This statistic is in the social conservative south. How much less are women going to care about Newt’s marriages in the more liberal states. After Newt wins today, the money will flow in, Santorum will drop out, and FL is wide open. Go Newt!

Kaffa on January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Be proud of your hypocrisy. It’s what you’re best at.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

You’re Trolling.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Hahaha….her betrayal still stings doesn’t it Palinistas? Now she has betrayed you again by endorsing Gingrich, the only speaker to ever be sanctioned for ethics violations. Real nice coming from the person you all held up as the one to get rid of the corruption in her own party. And you dutifully lap up her bile like the unprincipled fake conservatives you are.

Be proud of your hypocrisy. It’s what you’re best at.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Sarah Palin haunts your dreams..:)

idesign on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

yes indeedy

cmsinaz on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Santorum will drop out, and FL is wide open. Go Newt!

Kaffa on January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Santorum will endorse Romney.

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I’ll vote for anyone who gets the GOP nomination.

Will you Newtnuts?

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM

You betcha!

Flora Duh on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Mitt Romney is renewing his anti-capitalist/anti-freedom attacks on Newt’s time as a consultant. I thought we were done with Bad Mitt. :-(

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You’re Trolling.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

That’s all that thing does. It failed the Turing Test a long time ago.

ebrown2 on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Sarah Palin haunts your dreams..:)

idesign on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Is in some people’s dreams I am told…

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Mitt Romney is renewing his anti-capitalist/anti-freedom attacks on Newt’s time as a consultant. I thought we were done with Bad Mitt. :-(

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

A rotten egg never ceases to be bad.

ebrown2 on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I’ll vote for anyone who gets the GOP nomination.

Will you Newtnuts?

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I will too, but until then we all have our favorites.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The more Romney speaks the more people have or feel a dislike for him

apocalypse on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahem,Mittens Strikes again,yup,Romney sure doesn’t think about
how much fun,the MSM are going to have with that soundbite,and
BrokenBentAxleRod has a nifty Campaign Ad,using Mitt’s own words!
=================================================================

Mitt Romney: Of Course The Economy Is Getting Better
Jan 20 2012
***********

Mitt Romney on Laura Ingraham’s radio program:
***********************************************

“Of course it’s getting better.

The economy always gets better after the recession. There’s always a recovery. There’s never been a time anywhere in the world where an economy has never recovered. The question is how is recovered by virtue of something the president has done or has he delayed the recovery and made it more painful? And the latter, of course, is the truth.”

“The president’s policies have made the recession deeper and have made the recovery more tepid and more difficult on the American people. This is the worst recovery that we have seen from a recession since Hoover. And President Obama wants to take credit for things getting better, he’s in fact made things worse. He’s made this recovery take much longer, but, will our economy get better someday? Of course it will.”

When Laura Ingraham asks Romney

if it is hard argument to make that ‘Obama is making the economy better,

but vote for me,’ Romney says ‘Do you have a better one Laura?’
=======================================

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/20/mitt_romney_of_course_the_economy_is_getting_better.html

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Mitt becomes Kooky Mitt when he is losing (starts to act super awkward and say really, really strange and un-presidential things.) :-(

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahem. For more information…

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Face Plam

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

“Palm”

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Mitt Romney: Of Course The Economy Is Getting Better
Jan 20 2012
***********

Total Kooky Mitt. :-(

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Sarah Palin haunts your dreams..:)

idesign on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

idesign:Gawd,I wish,up north in da wilds,and then…….
(sarc)

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Mitt Romney is renewing his anti-capitalist/anti-freedom attacks on Newt’s time as a consultant. I thought we were done with Bad Mitt. :-(

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

No. Just being fair. If Gingrich is asking about Bain and tax returns then Romney wants to see his Freddie Mac contract.

Isn’t this what you all were asking for in Romney? A Fighter. Oh, I see when he does it you do not like it. :o)

Romney does NOT get to be an creator/owner of a very successful company, turn around a failing Olympics, and a failing State…without having FIGHT in him. Show me an executive worth any salt that does not know how to carry himself and be a fighter. You have to be.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Per Byron York’s article:

The problem for Romney is that even if some in the campaign are tired of debates, the viewers — the voters — aren’t. Television ratings for the debates have been quite high all year, and it’s likely that trend will continue for the South Carolina debates. In addition, even at this late date, a lot of voters are just now tuning in to the Republican race. In a casual conservation Sunday, a top South Carolina Republican recalled an extended-family dinner over Christmas in which he asked relatives whether they had watched the debates. No one in the family — several dozen people — had watched even one. Now, with the campaign in their state, they’re taking a look.

That phenomenon of late voter engagement and high ratings will likely continue, at least through Florida — provided, of course, the frontrunner decides to take the stage.

My question is: Is this a ratings show for the media, and how much more will they the liberal media dig dirt up for Obama? York thinks “voters” are just now getting interested, but I’m not buying it.

Rovin on January 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Sarah Palin haunts your dreams..:)

idesign on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

You’re projecting.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahem. For more information…

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

kingsjester:Ya know,it pains me to discover this(stupidity),
and,i heard Madcow,on MSNBC,droning on and on
about this!!:)

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahem. For more information…

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

what you call desperation, others call a Nationwide organization that one needs to make run for POTUS something that Santorum nor Gingrich have.

I do not see stories of buses of Gingrich’s coming from Nebraska or Minnesota…yet Mitt could make one call and would have people from any of the 50 States head to wherever he needed them. THAT. is a POTUS organization. THAT. shows that you have strength and support.

Go Romney!

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

So you vet a candidate for President by how well he’s organized?
Solyndra was well organized too, having all the latest technology and stuff, but it went belly up because what it had to offer wasn’t received well by the consumer. Romney, although better organized and funded than Solyndra, will fail too because of what Romney is trying to sell to the people. Like in Tennis, pay more attention to the serve and not the server.

timberline on January 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Santorum will endorse Romney.

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I don’t think so. One of the reasons Santorum stated he got into this race is the debacle of Obamacare and what it will do to this country. I really don’t think he would endorse the guy who is responsible for the daddy of Obamacare – Romneycare.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Show me an executive worth any salt that does not know how to carry himself and be a fighter.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Mitt Romney. Mitt “ducked out” from a Newt encounter at the Ham House. If he had any stones — or political skills — he would have offered to sit down and share a meal with Newt.

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

You’re projecting.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Nope. You brought her into a thread that’s not even about her, in order to cover for your failing candidate. That’s called Tolling.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Well when the crowd is obviously angry from being on a moderate vegetarian diet for so long with GW Bush and now Boehner and McConnell coupled with the vegetable Romney, a little red meat goes a long way.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Snappy rejoinder and analogy. Good job.
Now, eat your broccoli, MittBots.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Yep Mr Electable with his “Of Course the economy is getting better” line on Laura Ingram.

Can just see him now debating the marxist:

Mr President there is really no need for us to debate, we agree on health care, and for the most part we are not too far off on other things. Let’s set aside our differences and take in a round of golf. I’ll even caddy for you.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Like in Tennis, pay more attention to the serve and not the server.

timberline on January 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Yep. The surge Gingrich is getting in SC is a result of those who like the delivery and pay no attention to him and his record. He’s an anti-capitalist, unethical, adulterous, erratic narcissist who thinks that his childish rants at the media are going to win him the nomination.

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahem. For more information…

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

kingsjester:Oh sh*t,a linky SNAFU,from,

Real Clear Politics!!!:)
============================

Mitt Romney: Of Course The Economy Is Getting Better
Jan 20 2012
***********

Mitt Romney on Laura Ingraham’s radio program:
***********************************************

“Of course it’s getting better.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/20/mitt_romney_of_course_the_economy_is_getting_better.html

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I expect Barack Hussein Obama to steam roll Romney… although I do think Romney’s thinking up a lie quickly on his feet skills are awesome.. may make it somewhat interesting

apocalypse on January 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Gingrich leadership style:

“When both were serving in the House in the early 1990s, Mr. Santorum said Mr. Gingrich resisted helping him expose abuses at the House-run bank. The extensive practice of members writing bad checks became a major scandal that rocked Washington and eventually led to ethical reprimands for 22 members of Congress, as well as convictions of four former members, a delegate and the House sergeant-at-arms.

The public was outraged over the check-kiting scandal, which Mr. Santorum and six fellow up-and-coming House Republicans helped expose in 1992, creating a throw-the-bums-out atmosphere that contributed to the resignations or defeat of 77 members, mostly Democrats, by 2004.

“You also have to admit that this freshman congressman who wasn’t supposed to win a race, came and did something you never did, which is blew the lid off the biggest scandal to hit the Congress in 50 years,” Mr. Santorum said in an intense moment during the Thursday night CNN debate. “You knew about it for 10 or 15 years because you told me you knew about it. And you did nothing, because you didn’t have the courage to stand up to your own leadership, the Democratic speaker of the House, take to the floor of the Senate, demand the releasing of the checks that were being kited by members of Congress, risk your political career, risk your promotion within the ranks and do what was right for America.”

The accusation, not previously raised in the GOP primary battle this year, electrified the audience, who cheered and applauded wildly.

Neither Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich mentioned that Mr. Gingrich’s own vulnerability in the banking scandal — that he had 22 kited checks, including a $9,463 check to the Internal Revenue Service.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/20/gingrich-ambushed-by-house-bank-attack-santorum/

That’s going to leave a mark. I am just making sure WE ALL remember Gingrich during the 80-90′s as it seems many are just glossing over his record.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

She endorsed Gingrich, you cannot separate them. Gingrich pokes the media to excite his brainless base and he reminds people of her. So it follows that someone as erratic as her would endorse someone as erratic as Gingrich. He will follow in her footsteps and utter fail in a national race.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM

RT @JoeNBC: CNBC reports that early polling has Newt beating Romney by 14%.

andy85719 on January 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I do not see stories of buses of Gingrich’s coming from Nebraska or Minnesota…yet Mitt could make one call and would have people from any of the 50 States head to wherever he needed them. THAT. is a POTUS organization. THAT. shows that you have strength and support.

Go Romney!

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I wonder how the people he bussed from Virginia to The Ham House are feeling right now.

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

That’s called Tolling.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Trolling is when you don’t agree with kingsjester

Foxhound on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Yep. The surge Gingrich is getting in SC is a result of those who like the delivery and pay no attention to him and his record. He’s an anti-capitalist, unethical, adulterous, erratic narcissist who thinks that his childish rants at the media are going to win him the nomination.

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Yep that explains why the leftist media is so anxious to take Newt out now.

Mr Electable got very little scrutiny from the leftist media until it looked like he was a shoe in for the nomination, then the left could hardly contain their glee at running against him. But lo and behold the left’s attempt to take out Newt for good backfired on them Thursday night. Now all of a sudden they have shut up about Mr Electable’s shortcomings. I wonder why.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Show me an executive worth any salt that does not know how to carry himself and be a fighter.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Mitt Romney. Mitt “ducked out” from a Newt encounter at the Ham House. If he had any stones — or political skills — he would have offered to sit down and share a meal with Newt.

Punchenko on January 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

haha Seriously? That is so weak. WE ALL have no idea why they decided not to meet at the same time. It could have been out of respect for the other candidate. We already knew it was a scheduling conflict.

Romney did not duck out from an encounter. Of course I have been reading your posts for awhile Punchenko and so your response as when it comes to Romney does not surprise me.

The thing with many Romney bashers here at HA is that you cannot give him ANY ounce of credit for anything which is sad as a conservative. Romney is a great man of service.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

O/T a tad!
===========

Newt defends torching of John King and CNN
The Right Scoop on Jan 20, 2012
**********************************
**********************************

Newt went on Greta last night, post debate, to discuss among other things his torching of John King for starting the debate with the ‘open marriage’. They also talked S.C polling, tax returns, and more. Pretty straight forward:
(Video-8:50)
===============

http://www.therightscoop.com/newt-defends-torching-of-john-king-and-cnn/

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

cs deven says, “blah, blah, blah Palin. Blah, blah, blah.” Palin is living rent free in your head deven. Let her go man.

magicbeans on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

“Of Course the economy is getting better”. Now there’s a real fighter. I guess we cannot mention Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, nor call Obama “Hussien”. Gee this all sounds familiar. What an idiot!

Kaffa on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Trolling is when you don’t agree with kingsjester

Foxhound on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Nope. Trolling is when you insert Sarah Palin into a thread to try to distract from Romney’s tanking. Or, haven’t you been paying attention…Troll?

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Romney is Obama’s pick. He will use the class warfare tactic, Rich vs. poor strategy and paint Oromney as being a greedy capitalist who closed businesses and killed jobs so as to suck out the profits. He will paint him and other investors as having cost America millions of jobs by being only interested in maximizing profits for shareholders and thus moved all the jobs overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and get away from union labor. Wall street will be the villain as well as corporations and the wealthy. Oromney and Pubs. will be on the defense so much, they will never be able to talk about anything else. The DNC media will carry Obama’s water.

Gingrich or Santorum can not be as easily painted in this manner, though the Obama class warfare machine will try. Oromney loses by a landslide if he is the nominee.

they lie on January 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Yep. The surge Gingrich is getting in SC is a result of those who like the delivery and pay no attention to him and his record. He’s an anti-capitalist, unethical, adulterous, erratic narcissist who thinks that his childish rants at the media are going to win him the nomination.

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Would you just put a sock in it?! You have been spamming this site for Romney for weeks throwing your bombs at all the other candidates. Not only that, your attacks are usually half-truths or gossip. Trust me, you, bluegill, jailbreak and some others are really rubbing people the wrong way. Please don’t think you are convincing anyone here to vote for Romney with your carpet-bombing tactics.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I wonder how the people he bussed from Virginia to The Ham House are feeling right now.

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

katy….haha true. Probably tired and needing a ham sammich.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Nice try. He cut and ran.

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Look, your doing a valiant job shilling for Romney, but the truth of the matter is that Romney is a wimp and the base of this party is sick of wimps. We want someone who is going to come out swinging for conservatives (social and fiscal)and not sell us down the river like the Rockefeller wing of the party has been doing for years. Newt has some ugly warts, but I don’t have to ever wonder whether he’ll fight to make this country great again.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Yep. The surge Gingrich is getting in SC is a result of those who like the delivery and pay no attention to him and his record. He’s an anti-capitalist, unethical, adulterous, erratic narcissist who thinks that his childish rants at the media are going to win him the nomination.

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You seem tense. Is there something wrong?

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Somebody in the Romney camp better wise up their man. When he told Laura Ingraham that, yes, the economy was getting better without mentioning it could be great if Obama and the government would get out of the way, he fumbled the ball. And how about bobbling the ball by hemming and hawing on when and if he would release his taxes. His team should have prepped him on how bad it looks to have accounts in the Caymans, legal or not. And not once did he mention that his 15% tax rate was on money he already made and paid 35% taxes on already. And to say that he did not want to release them until around April because Obama might use them against him implied there something in them he’s afraid will hurt him even there isn’t. Ugh!!! All missed opportunities!! He better be ready too, to explain why there are so few blacks in the Mormon church, too! Did he even try to ‘missionary’ them instead of laboring in the French countryside???

Ever notice in the debates, when Romney is flummoxed and dithering about answering some questions, he quickly appends to the end of his answers by saying things like ‘…and I’ll make America the shining city on the hill again’, . . . and I’ll make America great again’ sort of like an after-thought to make sure he covered everything. It’s making me cringe!

Bob in VA on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Kick,
Are we not allowed to support and defend our candidate? I think that is all csdeven, myself, and others are doing.

I agree that some supporters including Romney, Gingrich, Palin, Paul, Perry, etc over time can be brusk and outright mean but we should be able to “carpet bomb” our support.

Who are you supporting? :o)

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

CNBC reports that early polling has Newt beating Romney by 14%. I cannot find % on other candidates. If Santorum is below 10% and/or in last place, he’ll drop out. He has no money to continue.

Kaffa on January 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM

After some uncertainty,

all 4 remaining GOP candidates to appear at debate in Florida

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Submitted 56 secs ago from firstread.msnbc.msn.com by editor

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

That’s going to leave a mark. I am just making sure WE ALL remember Gingrich during the 80-90′s as it seems many are just glossing over his record.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Gingrich was responsible for the Republicans to take the House from the Democrats for the first time in forty years—no “glossing” over this fact. Cherry-picking Gingrich’s account in the house bank was not the story—it was tons of money the Dems had “borrowed” with no intention of returning it.

Rovin on January 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM

He better be ready too, to explain why there are so few blacks in the Mormon church, too! Did he even try to ‘missionary’ them instead of laboring in the French countryside???

Bob in VA on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Bob,
First off thanks for your Governor’s support! ;o)

When one chooses to go on an LDS mission you have NO CHOICE in where you are CALLED TO SERVE. Just as the Disciples did not tell Jesus where they wanted to go, He just sent them to where He knew they were needed.

I do not think he needs to explain that at all as far as the COLOR of the Church membership. I bet you did not know there are likely more non-Caucasian members in the Church than white. Why? The Church’s membership which is over 14 million has MORE members living outside of the USA than inside. Many of these members live in Mexico, Central and South America, and Africa. Does that answer your question on the Church’s color qualifier? :o)

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

@daveweigel: Every voter I’ve talked to so far (5): Late-deciding for Newt.

Flora Duh on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

That’s going to leave a mark. I am just making sure WE ALL remember Gingrich during the 80-90′s as it seems many are just glossing over his record.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Gingrich was responsible for the Republicans to take the House from the Democrats for the first time in forty years—no “glossing” over this fact. Cherry-picking Gingrich’s account in the house bank was not the story—it was tons of money the Dems had “borrowed” with no intention of returning it.

Rovin on January 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Rovin,
I am not cherry picking here… I lived through this, Reagan, Carter, Ford, etc and so I am putting out what we know about Gingrich JUST AS SANTORUM DID as this came from him remember? I want to make sure people remember the tumult that Gingrich brought about in the House and as many articles, some that I have linked to, should not be so quick to give Gingrich so much credit…that is Gingrich tooting his own horn which he is good at.
See here: http://spectator.org/blog/2012/01/20/bill-clinton-of-the-right-minu

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM

@daveweigel: Every voter I’ve talked to so far (5): Late-deciding for Newt.

Flora Duh on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Nooooooooo! Luke, I am your father! Noooooooooooooo!

haha

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:47 PM

You seem tense. Is there something wrong?

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

You’d think someone so sure of a Mitt victory would be more jovial.

Night Owl on January 21, 2012 at 12:47 PM

@nationaljournal
South Carolina curveball? Tornadoes are possible in multiple counties across the state today: http://t.co/gJpSuVy6

Flora Duh on January 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Again, thank you for service. Your statement about csdeven, jailbreak, bluegill and the like, just defending their candidate, does not hold water. I personally have been called everything but a child of God by csd and MJBrutus. I realize that a great degree of your loyalty to Mitt comes from the fact you’re both LDS, and I can certainly understand that. But, the documentation of his political history shows that Mitt is not a Conservative by any stretch of the imagination and that Romneycare is, indeed, the blueprint for the out-of-control bureaucracy known as Obamacare. Therefore, Newt remains our best chance at booting the Marxist out of The People’s House.

Good hunting in the field of battle and may God protect you.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Look, your doing a valiant job shilling for Romney, but the truth of the matter is that Romney is a wimp and the base of this party is sick of wimps. We want someone who is going to come out swinging for conservatives (social and fiscal)and not sell us down the river like the Rockefeller wing of the party has been doing for years. Newt has some ugly warts, but I don’t have to ever wonder whether he’ll fight to make this country great again.

KickandSwimMom on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Well said. I’m tired of the pandering for the independent vote; we conservatives would like a little of that for a change.

silvernana on January 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I know it’s cliche to say, but I really do like Newt. The problems, however, with his candidacy in the general could be calamitous. For all the issues about Mitt not being conservative enough, Newt has even more, and it’s from this perspective that I highlight some of the issues team Barry0 will carp about relentlessly.

Newt supported a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions, and the 1989 Global Warming Prevention Act which called for global population control– Hence the infamous couch commercial with San Fran Nan. Population control is also the operative here.

Supported a health-care plan with an individual mandate. In his own words in 2007 he called on Congress to: “require anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year to purchase health insurance or post a bond.”

He took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac and said it was for his analytical services as a historian.

Launched his campaign with six figure debt to Tiffany’s.

Extramarital affairs bonanza. He brought a yellow legal pad to work out the details of his first divorce while his wife was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery.

Supported the TARP bailout

In his own words, he said that child labor laws are “truly stupid”

After congressional members of his own party forced him out, he resigning from the House in 1998 after being fined $300,000 for ethics violations.

Criticized Paul Ryan’s budget plan last June.

Publicly opposed drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

Was intrigued by stem-cell research (per WSJ)

His own words, his language can be “careless.” Language which can be red meat that wins ovations, but can also amount to shooting from the hip and hitting his own foot.

His stance on immigration includes the gem from the last debate about how we shouldn’t just deport illegal aliens who happen to be grandparents.

Slainte on January 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

santorum would endorse paul before mitt. the good news and bad news for mitt. newt doesn’t have the money to turn mitt’s horrible week into 3 or 4 weeks. obama will

rik on January 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Again, thank you for service. Your statement about csdeven, jailbreak, bluegill and the like, just defending their candidate, does not hold water. I personally have been called everything but a child of God by csd and MJBrutus. I realize that a great degree of your loyalty to Mitt comes from the fact you’re both LDS, and I can certainly understand that. But, the documentation of his political history shows that Mitt is not a Conservative buy any stretch of the imagination and that Romneycare is, indeed, the blueprint for the out-of-control bureaucracy known as Obamacare. Therefore, Newt remains our best chance at booting the Marxist out of The People’s House.

Good hunting in the field of battle and may God protect you.

kingsjester on January 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Kingsjester,
Thank you first off. Believe me if you want but MY LDS membership has NOTHING to do with Romney support. It just helps me better understand and explain his abortion (against) and gay marriage stances (against) from a Church standpoint.

I am ONLY for Romney because AT THIS MOMENT in time where our nation is faced with an ECONOMIC crisis I look at the candidates that can best turn this around and who has a TRACK record of doing it in the real world. Romney is THE only one that qualifies and I believe that many voters across the country see this as well.

Nothing else matters RIGHT NOW to me than to first fix the economy and Romney has done it both in the private and public sector. That is why Romney has my vote. My LDS affiliation with him has NOTHING to do with it.

kings, Thanks for asking and your support of the military out here.

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Voters who support Romney, well educated super smart, informed on the election, serious and honorable people.
Voters who support Newt, uneducated neanderthals unworthy of respect, totally uninformed on the election, poop throwing monsters who have no honor.
Yes, they are talking to you South Carolina voters. Romney, if he cannot buy your vote, your the most disgusting human on the planet.

Romney 2012

astonerii on January 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Voters who support Romney, well educated super smart, informed on the election, serious and honorable people.
Voters who support Newt, uneducated neanderthals unworthy of respect, totally uninformed on the election, poop throwing monsters who have no honor.
Yes, they are talking to you South Carolina voters. Romney, if he cannot buy your vote, your the most disgusting human on the planet.

Romney 2012

astonerii on January 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

love the sarcasm…haha

however, I do not see it that way! ;o) Actually we are the ones that are not conservatives for supporting Romney, right?

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Newt will NEVER be the GOP nominee – neither the base nor the Establishment will ever stand for it. Newt has no money, no organization, no principles, no infrastructure, no executive experience, and clearly no discipline.

Note to all: before and after the two debates, Newt was yukking it up just fine w all the MSM – he uses them as a foil to throw red meat to the base. Sadly the SC primary devolved into Newt vs Juan Williams and John King; not Newt vs Mitt and Rick. Cheap trick, Newt, to fool otherwise well-meaning people; and this same Newt says Romney is the fake.

Newt’s high point begins and ends tonight.

When was the last time that any presidential candidate won a general election debate by acting indignant and ill-tempered to the moderators? Never, because millions of Americans would recoil. Newt would demonstrate that his temperament is unsuitable to the Oval Office.

matthew8787 on January 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

If Newt wins SC I think all Romney supporters should get behind him. Our main target should be Obama. Lets come together and follow SC tradition of creating Presidents!

social-justice on January 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Rovin,
I am not cherry picking here… I lived through this, Reagan, Carter, Ford……

So did I my friend….all the way back to Edmond G. Pat Brown in California. (my aunt was his private secretary). Watched Reagan turn this state into a fiscal boon, while bucking every liberal Democrat who hated Reagan’s reforms. Reagan won most of his battles by taking his programs to the power of the public. On the scale of Newt’s participation in the House banking scandal, you are cherry-picking. The scandal broke in 1992 and 90% of the accounts were owned by DEMOCRATS. (see the list)

In the early days of the scandal, when the media began reporting on the loose practices, Republican Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, along with 7 freshman Republicans referred to as the Gang of Seven or “The Young Turks”, made the strategic decision to publicize the scandal in an attempt to sweep congressmen with overdrawn accounts, most of them Democrats, out of power; Gingrich himself had 22 kited checks, one a $9,463 check to the Internal Revenue Service.[4] Gingrich realized that far more Democrats could be implicated in this scandal than Republicans, so he made the decision to make the identities of all of those involved public and “let the chips fall where they may”. Jim Nussle, one of the Gang of Seven, came to national attention when he made a speech from the well of the House while wearing a paper bag over his head to protest the “shameful” ethical behavior involved in the scandal.

Gingrich pressured the then Speaker of the House Tom Foley to ensure that the special counsel appointed to investigate the matter informed the voting public of the overdrafts and the identities of all of the Congressmen responsible.[5]

Yes, I know this Wiki, but I find little in the story to refute these facts. If you’re going to pull Newt’s involvement, at least try to link the full story if you can. Just sayin’

Rovin on January 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Actually we are the ones that are not conservatives for supporting Romney, right?

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I dunno. Some might be. Most do not seem to be. Mitt Romney likes Romneycare, says it is free market capitalism at its best. You agree with that I would have to suppose. Since Obama care is almost exactly identical to Romneycare, that means that Obamacare is also free market capitalism at its best.
It forces people to buy a product they may or may not want or even able to afford. It uses taxpayer monies to transfer wealth. It prevents business from providing the services that the customer request. Prevents the customer from getting the services they request. They limit profit on an already low profit business. They control the prices allowed to be charged.
As the Romney supporters pointed out to me, we are a Republic, and that means that just because it is popular does not mean it is constitutional or right. Because 900 of the people in your 1000 person town want to resume witch burnings does not make that activity any more palatable than the argument that Massachusetts residents wanted to strip the rights of others and force them to buy insurance is any more palatable.
So, judge yourself on your merit. I for one say that if you support Romney, you can call yourself what ever you want, but conservative? It would be a very hard sell to make.

astonerii on January 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Social justice: thanks but no thanks.

Notwithstanding his many accomplishments, Newt would be a general election disaster; he would be destroyed by Obama and we’d lose the House, as well.

matthew8787 on January 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Social justice: thanks but no thanks.

Notwithstanding his many accomplishments, Newt would be a general election disaster; he would be destroyed by Obama and we’d lose the House, as well.

matthew8787 on January 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

SO you expect Newt supporters to vote for Romney with this statement?

social-justice on January 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

McClellan: Solid, wealthy, well-liked, respected by the enemy, superb organizer, successful as a civilian, sober, clean-cut, saved West Virginia, well-connected in Washington, great plan to attack Richmond.

Grant: Unsuccessful in business, poor, alcoholic, forced out of command after insubordinate attacks, got surprised at Shiloh, crazy ideas about attacking Vicksburg, scruffy appearance, no friends in DC.

Lincoln’s dilemma.

spiritof61 on January 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

social-justice on January 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

It’s looking less and less like we’re going to have to worry about Romney. The establishment will just have to get over it and understand that we’re not doing it their way this time. It will all work out.

mike_NC9 on January 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The repeated allegation that Newt was fined $300k by the House for his ethics is BS.

He was investigated for a college course he taught at Kennesaw State in his home district for which he set up a non=profit educational 501c3 entity. The allegation is that since it paid him for his work, it was a sham to avoid contribution restrictions.

Newt had blown many ethics whistles himself on the Dems including the one on Speaker Wright for using a ghost written book sale sham where only his contributers bought thousands of books in bulk to be thrown away.

The difference was Mitt actually taught the college course and wrote its materials himself.

By then Newt’s refusal to join the loot the treasury orgy of the GOP House members gave an opportunity for rivals for power to push this sham investigation to weaken him. Finally Newt cut a deal to close it that included Newt paying the “Costs of the investigation.”

Going after Newt’s character for this engagement is like the USMC accusing John Basilone of wasting machine gun ammunition ten years after the end of the War to get his Medal of Honor revoked.

jimw on January 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM

McClellan: Solid, wealthy, well-liked, respected by the enemy, superb organizer, successful as a civilian, sober, clean-cut, saved West Virginia, well-connected in Washington, great plan to attack Richmond.

Grant: Unsuccessful in business, poor, alcoholic, forced out of command after insubordinate attacks, got surprised at Shiloh, crazy ideas about attacking Vicksburg, scruffy appearance, no friends in DC.

McClellan – timid, afraid to take the fight to the enemy without overwhelming odds.

Grant – a fighter.

Ultimately, Lincoln picked the man who would take the fight to the enemy.

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Oops, it was Newt who was the college professor. Mitt was speculating at the time.

jimw on January 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

BacaDog on January 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

You nailed it in two minutes. One saved the Union; the other played a political game and loses.

spiritof61 on January 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Steely of him!

Irrational rationality

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Kick,
Are we not allowed to support and defend our candidate? I think that is all csdeven, myself, and others are doing.

I agree that some supporters including Romney, Gingrich, Palin, Paul, Perry, etc over time can be brusk and outright mean but we should be able to “carpet bomb” our support.

Who are you supporting? :o)

g2825m on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I don’t think there are many people here who started out with Newt as their candidate. For whatever reason, everyone who supports him now has decided that he is the best of the remaining few. You don’t seem to, but some of the other Romney supporters seem to think belittling people who don’t agree with them will somehow win them over to your side. It doesn’t.

Night Owl on January 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I dunno. Some might be. Most do not seem to be. Mitt Romney likes Romneycare, says it is free market capitalism at its best. You agree with that I would have to suppose. Since Obama care is almost exactly identical to Romneycare, that means that Obamacare is also free market capitalism at its best.
It forces people to buy a product they may or may not want or even able to afford. It uses taxpayer monies to transfer wealth. It prevents business from providing the services that the customer request. Prevents the customer from getting the services they request. They limit profit on an already low profit business. They control the prices allowed to be charged.
As the Romney supporters pointed out to me, we are a Republic, and that means that just because it is popular does not mean it is constitutional or right. Because 900 of the people in your 1000 person town want to resume witch burnings does not make that activity any more palatable than the argument that Massachusetts residents wanted to strip the rights of others and force them to buy insurance is any more palatable.
So, judge yourself on your merit. I for one say that if you support Romney, you can call yourself what ever you want, but conservative? It would be a very hard sell to make.

astonerii on January 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

astonerii, this is one of the best characterizations of RomneyCare I have ever read. Bravo.

Just Sayin on January 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I don’t think there are many people here who started out with Newt as their candidate. For whatever reason, everyone who supports him now has decided that he is the best of the remaining few. You don’t seem to, but some of the other Romney supporters seem to think belittling people who don’t agree with them will somehow win them over to your side. It doesn’t.

Night Owl on January 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Excellent points especially about belittling people who don’t agree with them. I would add that vicious attacks against Newt don’t help either. All of that is something you usually see from liberals.

bgibbs1000 on January 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I don’t think there are many people here who started out with Newt as their candidate. For whatever reason, everyone who supports him now has decided that he is the best of the remaining few. You don’t seem to, but some of the other Romney supporters seem to think belittling people who don’t agree with them will somehow win them over to your side. It doesn’t.

Night Owl on January 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Its what the Romney surrogates do. They act like insects crawling out of the woodwork. Turn the light on and they scatter.

SparkPlug on January 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Yep. The surge Gingrich is getting in SC is a result of those who like the delivery and pay no attention to him and his record. He’s an anti-capitalist, unethical, adulterous, erratic narcissist who thinks that his childish rants at the media are going to win him the nomination.

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You seem tense. Is there something wrong?

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

LoL. Grammy abdicated and didn’t break the crust off its bread this morning.

SparkPlug on January 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Watch J. Granholm “watch what you wish for, they (lefties) wished for Reagan”…

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Obama is salivating at running against him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

On this you are wrong, good one. Obama, his capos and the media want Romney. They know precisely why. With Newt they can’t plan.

They wanted Reagan too. Heh, heh, heh.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Trolling is when you don’t agree with kingsjester

Foxhound on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

It’s hilarious that he thinks he can criticize anyone considering he is constantly spamming Hot Air with links to his lame blog disguised as legitimate sites for information.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I want to make sure people remember the tumult that Gingrich brought about in the House

We should be so lucky. Gingrich’s volatility is a mark against his candidacy, but not his Presidency.

The US government – Social Security, the military, all of it – is hanging on by the fact that US Treasuries are nowhere near as bad as every other place in the world to put money right now. The moment that other options start to look acceptable – certainly by the end of the decade and probably within the next Presidential term – the interest compounds and the entire system comes down within a month. You go broke gradually, then all at once.

The only thing that will save the US government is the dismantling of vast parts of it. This is not going to be done by Mitt Romney. It’s going to be done by an individual who will be universally condemned as destructive, petulant, volatile, and a mistake by the public.

HitNRun on January 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Romney supporters seem to think belittling people who don’t agree with them will somehow win them over to your side. It doesn’t.

Night Owl on January 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

When Romney was surging all the ABR crowd did was belittle his supporters. Now they are getting it back.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 2:19 PM

On this you are wrong, good one. Obama, his capos and the media want Romney. They know precisely why. With Newt they can’t plan.

They wanted Reagan too. Heh, heh, heh.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I disagree. They don’t attack Paul because he is no threat. They (LSM) attack their biggest threat and since Jan 1, 87% of the stories on Romney were negative. If Gingrich can get past SC and be a credible threat, they may start going after him full bore.

And the Marianne story was too juicy to pass up and is not part of a campaign to take him out because they fear him.

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

You seem tense. Is there something wrong?

katy the mean old lady on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Why do you ask?

csdeven on January 21, 2012 at 2:23 PM

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