Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

Is Money Mitt’s Ticket to Ride?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

If Romney was left to run only on his conservative credentials, voters would probably begin to see him as the emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes, someone in desperate need of a personality and an authentic conservative mantle. In states where Mitt Romney doesn’t spend lots of money, he loses.

Santorum’s triple-header win of Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado last night was not only a “stunner” but proof positive conservatives are rejecting Romney as their “front runner.” While none of the contests awarded delegates, Santorum’s victories cast huge doubts again on whether Romney is the inevitable Republican nominee. In big states like Florida, money and organization are Romney’s assets because he has been unable to win over the majority of Republicans with his fluctuating record.

Santorum with four wins under his belt has vowed to press on as has Newt, who is banking on adding to his South Carolina win by picking up more southern states. It looks like Romney will have go after the two men with both barrels of cash loaded. Let’s hope his money last longer than his conservatism.

Romney and his Romney PACs bought his Florida win by spending $15.6 million in TV ads compared to the paltry $3.3 million Newt and pro-Newt PACs spent. This left Newt unable to defend himself against Romney’s avalanche of negative ads. (That said Newt is falling woefully short on organization and money. Failing to make it on Virginia’s primary ballot, Newt complained Virginia’s 1970 ballot access law was too onerous. He also said he would challenge Florida’s winner take all primary results. When you’re running for president, excuses are unacceptable.)

Romney’s spending in Florida replicated the same tactics he used in Iowa just on a bigger scale. This begs the question: is Romney trying to buy the GOP nomination because he can’t convince voters he can be trusted as a conservative?

Romney’s policies resemble Obama’s.  His 59 page economic plan would cut taxes for the middle class, families earning less than $200,000. In a recent interview Romney unplugged said:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90%, 95% of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”

He then added: “You can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That’s not focus. My focus is on middle income Americans . . .We have a very ample safety net. . .we have food stamps, we have Medicaid , we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”

Compare this to Newt’s tax plan which would move all earners toward a flatter tax like the 15% Romney enjoys and Newt’s pledge to move people off of food stamps and into jobs.  Then ask yourself  of the two who sounds more conservative?

Aside from Romney’s economic plan,  the real reason Romney has to buy the GOP nomination is Romneycare, the Massachusetts healthcare mandate he signed into law, which he insists isn’t Obamacare. As Santorum said in a lengthy exchange with Romney during a Florida debate, “Romneycare is Obamacare.” Imagine Romney as the GOP nominee in debates with Obama, defending Romneycare in one breath then saying he wants to repeal Obamacare in the next. Tough sell!

Someone tweeted at me recently if our political reality were different and we had a Republican in the White House today instead of President Obama, we would probably see Mitt Romney on a stage debating Hillary Clinton in a race for the Democrat nomination. We know where Obama and the other Republican candidates stand on the issues but not Romney.

With a record like Romney’s, constantly seesawing from left to right, one understands why Romney is stuck in the middle of Santorum and Gingrich and why money may be his ticket to ride into the GOP nomination. It’s hard for voters to trust someone like Romney whose positions are like a box of chocolates– you just don’t know what you’re going to get. In a general election  this will matter, especially in wooing independent voters.

Newt Wins South Carolina & Romney Doesn’t Make History

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

A little over a week ago,  Karl Rove advised Republicans to wrap their support around Mitt Romney because it was pretty much a done deal Romney would grab the GOP presidential nomination.  “In an open race for the GOP nomination, no Republican has won both Iowa and New Hampshire, as Mitt Romney has,” wrote Rove. He went on to say South Carolina would be the last dance/chance for  several candidates like Newt Gingrich.

Rove also haughtily noted “a small membership committee does not govern the process. No group of power brokers can pressure others into uniting behind one candidate. Millions of primary voters and caucus-goers will select the GOP’s nominee.”   Well a truer word was never said. Despite all the liberal media’s wishful thinking and the likes of Rove and rest of the Republican establishment, South Carolina voters spoke and voted overwhelmingly for Newt Gingrich 40% compared to 27% for Romney. This was a landslide victory for Gingrich.

What a reversal of fortune this past week was for Romney. Rick Santorum was declared the winner of Iowa after a recount revealed he won more votes than Romney. Romney won New Hampshire. Then Newt took South Carolina. Three primaries so far with three different winners and Mitt Romney didn’t make history.

I’ve said repeatedly that conservative voters would decide who their GOP presidential nominee would be rather than abdicating the decision to  Republican establishment. Newt won South Carolina because voters aren’t stupid and debates matter. From the start Newt was a deft debater. Before his PAC received an infusion of cash from Sheldon Adelson, Newt dominated debates with brains and bold ideas to defend America at home and abroad.

There was never a question where Newt stood on the issues then Newt’s PAC Winning the Future got more money to combat Romney’s negative ads against him in Iowa and the game changed. Suddenly, what was good for Newt wasn’t good for Romney. Newt’s PAC ran a negative ad on Romney’s tenure at Bain and voters started questioning plastic Romney’s electability with more intensity.

Apart from these negative ads, it was Newt’s performance in the last two debates that sealed the deal for him with South Carolina voters. In an exchange with Ron Paul during the Fox News debate Monday, Newt showed he wouldn’t flinch over foreign policy issues. Newt disagreed with Paul that our enemies like Osama bin laden should be treated like a Chinese dissident and given shelter, adding bin laden was a terrorist and enemy combatant and should be treated as such and killing him was a good thing.

Newt also tore into Fox News Juan Williams, who as the only black moderator that night tried to play the race card, asked if Newt felt it was insulting to black Americans when he said blacks should demand jobs not food stamps and poor kids should perform janitorial jobs in their schools. Newt said  if poor kids worked in their schools, “they would be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor.”

Williams followed up with another racially charged question designed to make Newt look anti-black and asked Newt if he thought it was “belittling” to refer to our first black president as “the food stamp president.” Williams implied because Obama’s black he should be held to a gentler standard than white presidents and it’s somehow inappropriate to reference Obama and food stamps in the same sentence perhaps because more blacks per capita are on food stamps compared to the white population. Newt fiercely responded to rousing applause that he wasn’t going to play the politically correct game and said “the fact is more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in history.”

Then there was CNN’s John King, who opened last Thursday’s debate with more Newt bashing. (Do you see a theme here?) King asked Newt if he wanted to address an ABC News tabloid interview with his ex-wife Marianne in which she alleged Newt asked for an open marriage. Newt paused, smiled, stared at King and said “No but I will,” to thunderous applause. “I am appalled you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that,” he continued to which the crowd applauded more and gave him a standing ovation.

As Newt pointed out, for CNN to ask that question two days before the South Carolina primary was “despicable,” and appeared to be done to with the intent to tank Gingrich’s chances in South Carolina. But it didn’t work! Despite all the efforts made by the mainstream liberal media and the Republican establishment to prop up Mitt Romney, Gingrich is resonating with conservative voters of all types because his convictions on the issues shine through.

While the GOP party lords believe Romney is the safe bet, many conservatives don’t see him as the winning bet. During the last two debates he’s stammered and fumbled on releasing his taxes and defending his record at Bain Capital. Romney is looking and sounding less and less presidential and electable.

In winning South Carolina, Newt demonstrated he could appeal to women, men and the states broad voter base of social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, Tea Party supporters, and moderates. Exit polls also found South Carolina voters believed Gingrich was more electable than Romney. One thing is for certain, Newt changed the game and the people will decide who their nominee will be not a small club.

Mitt Romney’s Inevitability Factor

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Nothing is “inevitable in life,” how long we’re going to live or who is going to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. The media and so called Republican establishment’s incessant castigation of conservative voters who dare not support Romney as “Anyone but Romney” is insulting and only serves to intensify these conservatives dislike and distrust of Romney more.

Since when are Republicans obligated to anoint Mitt Romney with the GOP presidential nomination? Conservative voters don’t owe Mitt Romney anything. Last time I looked, we live in a democracy where the people decide and vote for whom they believe is the best candidate. This notion perpetuated and peddled by the Republican elite, whoever they may be, that conservatives must get behind Romney because he’s the GOP’s most compelling candidate in the field is laughable. If Romney is great as a candidate why over the past eight months hasn’t he been able to electrify the conservative electorate and tie up this nomination?

I’ll tell you why because conservatives aren’t buying his act. They don’t trust him or his policy positions. Barely winning the Iowa caucus by a meager eight votes is nothing to pound one’s chest over, especially considering the money Romney spent lots of money in Iowa on ads. In fact, Romney’s win over Rick Santorum is a good example of his inability to captivate Republicans.

Romney won 25% of the vote the same amount he got in 2008, when he lost to Governor Mike Huckabee. Santorum did well in Iowa not just because of his support of traditional family values, which appealed to evangelical voters there, but because he’s a candidate whose convictions and passion are evident. When it comes to Romney many Republicans are dubious of his convictions. Not only has he moved to the left on issues like abortion, guns and Romneycare, but he’s robotic and voters never seem to get a sense of his true beliefs and he’s void of passion.  How can you engender confidence in your candidacy if voters’ question how you would govern? And Senator John McCain’s endorsement of Romney is like a bad omen. You can hear the “anyone but Romney” crowd chanting “from one loser to another.”

In an email to his supporters, Santorum described Romney as “bland, boring career politician, who will lose to Barack Obama.” I think Santorum could be right. Romney is like the persistence engine that could. He failed in 2008; has been campaigning since and Romney  has outraised his competitors with $32 million on hand in individual contributions compared to Ron Paul’s $12 million, Newt Gingrich’s nearly $3 million and Santorum’s $1 million. More good fortune for Romney, polls reveal he’s pulled ahead of a surging Santorum and declining Gingrich in South Carolina.

Perhaps Romney is on the road to his coronation as the GOP 2012 presidential nominee.  But if he’s going to the conservative knight who battles Obama, Romney better bring more than bland to the race. The up for grabs, all important independent voters , who are unhappy with Obama, need to see some conviction and yes charisma oozing from Romney otherwise they have little reason to abandon Obama, walk across the road and vote for the other side. Maybe this is the GOP’s grand design.

By pushing the safe bet, emotionless Romney as their guy, the establishments knows Romney won’t stir the pot, jeopardizing Congressional races, which would give GOP good chance of winning control of the Senate and keeping control of the House whether Romney wins or loses. Being the Republican Party’s inevitable candidate may not be such a great thing after all but only time and the voters will tell.