Gingrich to challenge Florida’s “winner take all” rule, demand proportional award of delegates

posted at 7:50 pm on February 1, 2012 by Allahpundit

He’s got a case, I think. Simple rule: Every state that goes before April 1 is required to award its delegates proportionally. Florida was supposed to go after that date but moved up its primary in defiance of the RNC’s wishes. They were penalized by having half of their 99 delegates taken away — but for some reason, their “winner take all” rule was allowed to remain in effect despite the date change. So Romney ended up with 50 delegates last night while Gingrich got squat.

But maybe not for long:

The Newt Gingrich campaign is gearing up to challenge the results of the Florida Republican presidential primary based on the Republican National Committee’s own rules which state that no contest can be winner-take-all prior to April 1, 2012…

Fox News has learned exclusively that on Thursday, a Florida Gingrich campaign official will begin the process of trying to have the RNC rules enforced so that the Sunshine State delegates are distributed based on the percentage of the vote each candidate got.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus warned Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry of the violation in a December letter quoting the rule, “…’winner-take-all’ states cannot hold a primary or caucus before April 1, 2012.”

Newt’s goal here, of course, is to signal to his supporters that he’s in the race for the long haul by scrapping for every available delegate. If Florida used the simplest possible proportional rules instead of “winner take all,” Romney would win 23 delegates from his 46 percent last night and Newt would win 16 — reducing a 50-delegate margin to just seven in one fell swoop. Problem is, the RNC’s already punished Florida once for moving its primary up by taking half its delegates away; if they forced them to go proportional on top of that, it would be an additional sanction. So, to compromise, they could in theory restore all of Florida’s delegates and then award those proportionally. That would mean, obviously, 46 for Mitt and 32 for Newt for a margin of 14. Team Mitt will battle to preserve the current “winner take all” scenario, but as we get closer to the convention, Florida pols will inevitably start demanding that all of the state’s delegates be seated notwithstanding its violation of RNC rules. (The same thing happened in the 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and Hillary, you may remember. Eventually the full Florida delegation was reinstated when the results of the primary became immaterial to Obama’s overall victory.) It’d be hard for the RNC under any circumstances to ignore claims that it’s disenfranchising swing-state Floridians by penalizing the state, but the convention this year is in … Tampa. Good luck telling half the Florida delegation to go home when they already are home. Which means if Mitt and Newt end up battling to the bitter end, the proportional scenario may be the compromise solution.

Update: Ed e-mails with a good question: Why didn’t Gingrich raise this complaint before the primary? Did he think his South Carolina win was going to carry him to a “winner take all” victory in Florida too?


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Priscilla on February 2, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Neutron Newt is a typical Washington insider. His schtick is just the latest plan to fool the voters by using a populist message with some acrimony and hubris thrown in to fool the real dopes in the GOP.

Gingrich is the Elmer Gantry of the GOP primary this year. And Sarah Palin is his Sharon Falconer.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

The percentage of Newt supporters who say they’ll stay home rather than vote for Mitt seems much higher,

Here in HA world, that may be true, but I think that,among the Newt supporters there are a fair amount of liberal Democrat astroturfers who try to encourage that perception. In the real world, most Republicans are ABO and will vote for the candidate who gets the nomination…except for some Paul supporters, but that has always been the case.

Priscilla on February 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

The RNC imposed every sanction possible under the rules. They can accept a challenge and consider it, but the challenge has to be filed. And tell me again why Newt didn’t bring this up before the primary? Oh, yeah…..

Priscilla on February 2, 2012 at 8:34 AM

They theoretically could halve the 50 delegates for the second violation (halving of the total delegation and the barring of the state’s RNC members is the sole prescribed penalty regardless of the Newtonians’ claims). However, since the convention is in Florida, and Romney likely can’t win without the state, they won’t do that.

All that means is instead of Romney getting all 50 delegates, he gets all 25, and he is no further away from locking up the nomination.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

See this is why we love Gingrich. Why didn’t he challenge the rule before the vote? Because he would be perceived as a whiner? shame on anyone who supported his man and his “sacred” honor.

aloysiusmiller on February 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

It’s now the “Whiner take all” rule.

Philly on February 2, 2012 at 9:01 AM

It’s now the “Whiner take all” rule.

Philly on February 2, 2012 at 9:01 AM

+100

itsspideyman on February 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Newt must be spending a ton of his campaign funds on lawyers. Maybe that’s why he courted Donald Trump. He needs a legal defense fund.

Philly on February 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Priscilla on February 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

There are way too many folks at Hot Air who believe that this site is representative of the base of the GOP. All the polling proves that to be false. So I ignore those who insist that the base will not turn out for Romney because they are going to sit at home and hack their nose off to spite those who don’t see how wise they are.

Those folks are such a tiny portion of the most miniscule iota of the smallest minority, that their non involvement will be statistically unmeasurable. They only serve as comedic relief during this long primary.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 9:19 AM

shame on anyone who supported his man and his “sacred” honor.

aloysiusmiller on February 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Gingrich embraces the same tactics that other famous leftists have used in the past. The bigger the lie, the more likely the idiots of the society are to believe them because they cannot believe anyone could be that evil. The lying corrupt Gingrich talking about his sacred honor is a joke.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Complaining about it after the fact after you lost makes you an incompetent dooshbag.

Pointing it out beforehand makes you an adult.

If Noot had won, would he be saying hey – we need to divvy it up? Uh, no.

Dave Rywall on February 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

It’s identical to the Virginia case where the judge went so far as to concede the likelihood of success at least on one point, the requirement that signature-gatherers be Virginia residents, but still threw the case out because of when it was filed.

You don’t get to see the result first and then decide to sue. Newt knew the Florida rules for over a month, there was no impediment to a challenge before the primary.

Adjoran on February 2, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Update: Ed e-mails with a good question: Why didn’t Gingrich raise this complaint before the primary?

I am surprised that Ed would ask this question. It’s what a fevered Mittbot would ask being afraid that Newt might prevail.

Why in the heck would he raise this question and give the perception that he was going to lose? Why wouldn’t he wait and if he won then Mitt would have to raise the issue.

Duh!!!

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Pointing it out beforehand makes you an adult.

If Noot had won, would he be saying hey – we need to divvy it up? Uh, no.

Dave Rywall on February 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

No. It would make you an idiot.

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM

He’s got a case, I think. – AP

You bet he does. Mittens has had great success in sinking others.

BTW, Ed, why ask a question re: ~coulda, woulda, shoulda~ ??
Only ones intent knows the answer. Speculation and/or questioning motives by others lends little to nothing to the issue or debate.
If we all wasted the time to ruminate ~coulda, woulda, shoulda~ we’d all be crazy.

Just a Thawt
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Newt must be spending a ton of his campaign funds on lawyers. Maybe that’s why he courted Donald Trump. He needs a legal defense fund.

Philly on February 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Probably the Sore-Loserman lawyers. The only possible further sanction contemplated by RNC rules (specifically, Rule 16) is a second halving of Florida’s delegation. Indeed, the Florida GOP’s declaration that instead of 42 “at-large” and 3 RNC delegates bound to the statewide winner, there would be 50 “at-large” delegates (or 25 if that halving gets halved) bound to the statewide winner due to sanctions is authorized by the same rule that instituted the sanctions.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Dave Rywall on February 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Holy Crap. I am agreeing with Drywall.

DuctTapeMyBrain on February 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Pointing it out beforehand makes you an adult.

If Noot had won, would he be saying hey – we need to divvy it up? Uh, no.

Dave Rywall on February 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

No. It would make you an idiot.

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM
——-
Ohhh right -because in your retarded 2 year process to pick a candidate, that would show weakness, right?

Crybabying after the fact just shows slimeyness, which is perfectly fine.

Okay.

Dave Rywall on February 2, 2012 at 9:48 AM

A memo to the Florida types who hate how the Establishment stole (yes, I am using that word) all of the delegates for Romney – while it’s too late to fix that particular mistake, it’s not too late to toss the members of the Establishment that made that happen.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Who said Gingrich is the smartest man in the room? Must have been the dumbest man in the room!

lhuffman34 on February 2, 2012 at 9:51 AM

From the post . . .

He’s got a case, I think. Simple rule:

Wrong. Simple rule.

As Ed correctly points out, he did not raise the issue in a timely fashion — i.e., before the primary was held. He is only raising it now because he lost, and is consequently seeking to change the rules after the fact.

But don’t take my word for it. Consider the ABC report on the reasoning of the federal Court of Appeals in the Perry/Gingrich challenge in Virginia in which they each sought the imprimatur of a federal court to essentially change the rules after they both had failed in a timely fashion to comply with the Virginia rules for gaining ballot access. It did not matter to the court that they had each failed for different reasons.

. . .
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with a lower court and ruled today that the candidates had waited too long to file their suit.

The court ruled unanimously that Perry and the other candidates “had every opportunity to challenge the various Virginia ballot requirements at a time when the challenge would not have created the disruption that this last-minute lawsuit has.”

The court said that if it had ruled in favor of Perry, then it would encourage other candidates for president “who knew the requirements and failed to satisfy them to seek at a tardy and belated hour to change the rules of the game.”

“This would not be fair to the states or to other candidates who did comply with the prescribed processes in a timely manner and it would throw the presidential nominating process into added turmoil”, the court said.

Unfortunately, this is just another glaring instance of Newt Gingrich playing the part of crybaby. The vote in Florida didn’t come out the way he hoped, so now he wants to retroactively change the rules that he could have challenged in a timely fashion before the primary was held.

From an equity point of view, Gingrich simply does not have clean hands.

And, by pursuing this course, he is also inadvertently proving that some of his harshest critics have been spot-on about him all along.

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

It’s not at all like the Virginia thing where the case was about getting on the ballot.

The rule is that any Primary, with exceptions already made, held earlier than a certain date would be porportional. Fl. was moved up into that earlier period so you would think they would follow the existing rules and make it porportional.

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Surrrrrrrre. It couldn’t be that losing delegates after having them all awarded would make one look weak. Which is the reason Gingrich is doing it. He wants to take Romney’s delegates to weaken him. He knows that the GOP is not going to nominate a corrupt politician, so he has embarked on a scorched earth campaign to exorcise his demons upon Romney’s soul. Neutron Newt has a sick soul. His entire history proves this and losing the nomination is unconscionable to him.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM

A memo to the Florida types who hate how the Establishment stole (yes, I am using that word) all of the delegates for Romney – while it’s too late to fix that particular mistake, it’s not too late to toss the members of the Establishment that made that happen.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

This is the epigram of a sore loser, Steve.

It’s like saying:

“We didn’t challenge the rules before the contest (as we could have) because, according to a few polls, there was a chance we might have prevailed and walked away with the whole megillah!

But now that we lost, why . . . we’re going to go “get even” with the people who made those hateful rules — you know, the ones we would have loved if we had won?”

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Vince on February 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Go ahead and argue the “facts” all you want. But even though the facts related to Newt’s challenge and Perry’s challenge were different, the court recognized that the fundamental principle inveighing against both of their challenges was the same — that they both were seeking “at a tardy and belated hour to change the rules of the game.”

In fact, it seems to me that that principle is even more applicable in this case because the Florida primary is all over. The court in the Perry/Gingrich case was only ruling on the question of ballot access — for a primary yet to be held, on Super Tuesday, March 6th.

It is that fundamental principle that you Gingrich die-hards are all woefully missing — or, which you are understandably unwilling to address.

But please keep it up!

Please keep shrilly arguing that close after the fact supervision by the least democratic of our institutions, the federal courts, is where our election outcomes should be resolved!

That ought to sit real well with Republican primary voters in the future contests.

Yep!

And by the way, while you are at it maybe you can tell us whatever happened to that very recent Gingrich call to “reel in the federal courts?”

Huh?

Well, I guess he jes plum fergot to ‘splain that he didn’t want it to apply to instances where he, Newton Gingrich, wanted to be able to use the courts to scrap the rules after the game is all over!!

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Did I offer that “prepare to win the next war” advice to the citizens of the other 46 states (yes, I know only Paul can challenge Romney in Virginia, but I also know that there were exactly zero delegates awarded in Iowa last month), or did I offer that to Floridians? For those of us in the other 46 states, there is still this fight.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

There are way too many folks at Hot Air who believe that this site is representative of the base of the GOP. All the polling proves that to be false. So I ignore those who insist that the base will not turn out for Romney because they are going to sit at home and hack their nose off to spite those who don’t see how wise they are.

Those folks are such a tiny portion of the most miniscule iota of the smallest minority, that their non involvement will be statistically unmeasurable. They only serve as comedic relief during this long primary.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 9:19 AM

If this is true, one must ask why you bother. Mitt must send his missionaries to the statistically benighted to tell them what? That he doesn’t want their support and besides they’re stupid, rubes who live to give Mitt’s mafia commedic relief? Wouldn’t you better use your time calling the posters at Politico names? You might just get a convert.

It’s just odd that you’d all show up to call names when you think we’re all a non-issue…non-person, er non-wanted, insignificant, etc. etc. Your other unproductive hobbies include watching the grass grow?

Portia46 on February 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Portia46 on February 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Hahahaha!! You dumb @sses make yourselves the issue by insisting that you are the base and will stay home just to watch the country burn down so you can get your jollies. And now you want everyone to just shut up. You and Neutron certainly do deserve each other.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I don’t recall seeing any Romney supporter state they’ll stay home rather than vote for Newt. The percentage of Newt supporters who say they’ll stay home rather than vote for Mitt seems much higher, but if you could link a couple posts showing a similar statement from Mitt supporters, I’ll believe it.

My first 3 choices didn’t run. My 2nd 2 have dropped out. I think Mitt is the best choice of the 4 remaining.

I didn’t save the link, but as stated by another poster another night, I don’t care if the Republican nominee is caught on the Capital steps, wearing a tutu, getting a BJ from Barney Frank,while shooting puppies and smoking a J, I’ll stil vote for him to get Obama out of office. I don’t think Newt has an actual true conservative bone in his body or principle in his mind or heart, but if he gets the nomination, I’ll still vote for him.

O/T-on Fox-slain border agent’s family bringing suit against ATF for $25 million. That should keep the heat on.

talkingpoints on February 1, 2012 at 10:37 PM

There were some of us who said we’d vote for the nominee regardless. Then we were told by the Mormons that they didn’t WANT our vote, that we were stupid rubes. They mock Jesus, the Shroud of Turin, Marian sites…I’ve spent four years being called a racist, a stupid rube, etc. etc. by Obama supporters. You really think I’m going to VOTE for exactly the same type of politics. I’m going to help elect a man who will send his troops out to abuse any detractors?

Voting for the people who will stab you in the back isn’t very bright. At least with Obama, it’s a frontal assault and we have the dignity of knowing who’s out to get us. There’s just something really pitiful to support a man whose army is out to destroy you and who despises you.

You don’t ever draw a line in the sand? I think I decided when Romney’s people started attacking Jesus.

Portia46 on February 2, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Hahahaha!! You dumb @sses make yourselves the issue by insisting that you are the base and will stay home just to watch the country burn down so you can get your jollies. And now you want everyone to just shut up. You and Neutron certainly do deserve each other.

csdeven on February 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Actually, Newt wasn’t my first choice. He’s not my first choice even now. How would YOU describe the Republican base? I’ve voted in every election, bi-election and primary since 1964. Mitt Romney says I’m not significant. In fact, Mitt says I’m a “dumb @ss..”

I’ve been fighting in the trenches for this country and your freedom for many, many years. You and yours and I assume Mitt believe I am expendable. Are you now throwing rocks because we did exactly what YOU and Mitt told us to do? Stay home. We’re expendable and thus fodder for your abuse?

You call us names and tell us we’re unimportant.

We say, OK.

You call foul?

Portia46 on February 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Did I offer that “prepare to win the next war” advice to the citizens of the other 46 states (yes, I know only Paul can challenge Romney in Virginia, but I also know that there were exactly zero delegates awarded in Iowa last month), or did I offer that to Floridians? For those of us in the other 46 states, there is still this fight.

Steve Eggleston on February 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Well, best wishes. However, I’m not going to wish you luck because from what I can see that is precisely what you’ll all need in spades in order to pull this one out of the hat! As for Iowa, Newt came in a distant fourth there, so have fun making that case!

What I was responding to was your statement that “it’s not too late to toss the members of the Establishment that made that happen.” (emphasis supplied)

No one in the remaining 46 45 “made that happen” in Florida.

Trochilus on February 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Gingrinch is a sore loser.

“Hey I have an idea! Let’s contest the rules of the game after the vote has taken place.”

scotash on February 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM

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