Confirmed: Gingrich and Romney met privately over the weekend

posted at 7:47 pm on March 29, 2012 by Allahpundit

I realize that the campaigns and even the candidates themselves are periodically in contact, but I can’t imagine how the interactions must be when you’ve reached this point in the campaign. Newt’s bitterness at Romney’s negative ads and his contempt for his “Massachusetts moderation” have been palpable for months. Is he political enough of a creature that he can lay that aside for a meeting like this? Even if he is, how does Romney engage with him on a personal level knowing that he feels that way? Is there small talk, feigned friendliness, etc? Or is it all no-nonsense “let’s cut to the chase” dealmaking?

I guess we’ll find out in “Game Change II.”

Mr. Gingrich, responding to questions from The Washington Times, did not deny the meeting, but explicitly said he hasn’t been offered a position in a potential Romney administration in exchange for dropping out…

“There is no agreement of any kind, and I plan to go all the way to Tampa,” Mr. Gingrich said, referring to the August GOP presi[JUMP]dential nominating convention in Florida…

On Tuesday, the former House speaker signaled that he is toning down the anti-Romney rhetoric he has used on the campaign circuit, telling reporters while campaigning in Annapolis that, “Obviously I will support [Mitt Romney] and will be delighted to do anything I can to help defeat Barack Obama.”

But Wednesday, the former congressman from Georgia struck a defiant note again. “Romney has to earn this. It’s not going to be given to him,” he told Washington-based radio station WTOP.

Romney confirmed the meeting on Hannity’s radio show today but was coy about what they discussed. I can imagine three sorts of deals — minor, major, and grand bargain. The minor deal would be for Newt to lay off him for the rest of the primaries in return for a decent speaking gig at the convention. The Times piece I quoted notes that Newt does seem to have turned more positive lately, but maybe he made that calculation on his own, without Romney’s prodding. How does it benefit him now to dump on the presumptive nominee when he has no chance of winning himself? The major deal would be for Newt to drop out and endorse Romney in return for a prime speaking gig — maybe the second night of the convention or in primetime before the keynote or Romney’s own speech — and some help with his campaign debt. Hard to believe Newt would turn around after all this and back Mitt, but if his money problem really starts to bite, he might have no choice.

The grand bargain would be, as the Times suggests, some sort of role in Romney’s administration in return for … what? What could Newt possibly do for him that would warrant that big of a plum? Campaigning for Romney around the country won’t add many more votes than simply endorsing him would, and his negatives might actually be a liability. Even if there was something Newt could do for him, what role could he possibly serve in a Romney administration? Space czar? Ambassador to Belgium or something? C’mon.

Here’s Jim DeMint at the Examiner’s editorial office today reassuring Republicans that Romney’s learned conservatism as a “second language” over the past four years. Whew.


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Comment pages: 1 2

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Hawk, thanks for the link. Excellent! I checked out the site and I will take your advice.

mozalf on March 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM

You bet Mozalf. I’ll bite my lip this time because of President Obama, but 2014; it’s all Conservative Party.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The Key West Reader’s choices:

Wouldn’t that be fun to watch during senate confirmation hearings, hopefully a Repub senate. I can see F U Shummer questioning Gingrich and Palin from my back porch.

democratsarefools on March 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

From your mouth to God’s ears – and it’s looking more ominous out there for us in 2012: Trump and Christy have sort of let the cat out of the bag in a no-confidence vote for Romney and their 2016 endorsements, Romney is even more unpopular than Bob Dole was at this point and Dole at least was a war veteran, we may not pick up as many seats in the Congress as hoped and may lose the 3 toss up Senate seats, Wisconsin is swinging towards Romney which means more liberal influence and bye, bye Scott Walker. So as much as we hope there will be some kind of large ground swell for Romney in the general and we conservatives will be beating our heads against a brick wall like we did for McCain, we had better start damage control now and not allow the republican establishment to blame conservatives yet again for their lousy candidate. Obviously the Romney endorsements are going to come back to haunt Ryan and Rubio so they may have already hurt themselves, but Michelle Bachman could make a comeback. At least we’ll have that hope to look forward to.

mozalf on March 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Hmmm, haven’t had the chance to read all of the comments here, but I’d think putting Newt in charge of Homeland Security would be an excellent decision for Romney – and for America, as well.

Failing which, I’d suggest putting Newt in charge of the Department of Education – maybe someone like Newt, who clearly understands the value of education – high school, college or vocational training – could at least START to turn our piss-poor educational system around.

realwest on March 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

“There is no agreement of any kind, and I plan to go all the way to Tampa,” Mr. Gingrich said, referring to the August GOP presi[JUMP]dential nominating convention in Florida…

He’ll be out by the end of April, if not the end of next week.

ghostwriter on March 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

They’re telling us to either sit down and shut up about conservatism, or leave. Okay, will do; a good portion of us conservatives are leaving the republican party and looking forward to forming a REAL conservative third party alternative.

IndeCon on March 30, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Click my name to see if that fits. Talk to a rep in your state.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Hallelujah, now that’s what I’m talking about. Thanks so much for the link; you betcha it fits. I’ll be talking to my reps and a lot of other folks.

IndeCon on March 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Michelle Bachman could make a comeback. At least we’ll have that hope to look forward to.

mozalf on March 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

We can do so much better. She cannot keep her foot out of her mouth.

alwaysfiredup on March 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM

a good portion of us conservatives are leaving the republican party and looking forward to forming a REAL conservative third party alternative.

IndeCon on March 30, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I’m in. I’m done with these bozos. And now that Ron Paul won’t be running for president again, the Paulians will probably be in, too.

alwaysfiredup on March 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Put Newt Gingrich in charge of NASA.

None better to run space than a space case.

SHOOT ME TO THE MOON!

(Seriously though, Gingrich would be epic at NASA.)

BKennedy on March 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM

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