Gingrich Steps Back and Romney Steps Up

Bookmark and Share    It is most likely too late to make a difference for Newt, but the one time Republican presidential frontrunner has walked back his class warfare inspired attacks on Mitt Romney from the left and denounced a Super PAC for their use of an over the top anti-Romney mini-drama that went after Mitt for his days at Bain Capital.

I previously explained that despite my endorsement of Newt Gingrich, I could not deny my disappointment in his decision to focus more on taking Mitt Romney down with a typical liberal argument, than he was to build himself with conservative oriented, savvy solutions.  The tactic was so disturbing that I considered withdrawing my endorsement but in the end decided that the reasons for my endorsement of Newt have not changed.  However I did make clear that Newt needed to denounce the pro-Gingrich Super PAC airing the anti-Romney movie and the movie itself.  I even went so far as to claim that his unfortunate decision to go the route he did, signaled the end of his campaign and stated that  “I don’t mind defending the candidate I support, but when I have to find good reason to defend my own reasons for continuing to support that candidate, that candidate’s campaign is over.”

Newt apparently came to a similar conclusion.

After opening a campaign headquarters in Orlando, Florida, Newt announced that he was  calling on Winning Our Future, the Super PAC behind the movie to “either edit out every single mistake or pull the entire film”.

Two days earlier, Gingrich publicly stated that his own attack on Romney’s business record were not appropriate.  He told an audience in south carolina that given the backdrop of President Obama, it is impossible to legitimately challenge free market conduct without it being taken out of proper context.

I for one am glad that Newt realized and publicly acknowledged his mistake.  At some point in the future, when the issue is less fresh on the minds of voters, when it comes up again, it will be easy to squash by simply reminding people that even Newt agreed the ad was a dishonest portrayal of Mitt Romney.  However, the damage this did to Newt is undeniable.  It is a hit that he can hardly afford.  And while his numbers in South carolina are looking a tad better than they were a day or two ago,  nationally Newt is still taking hit.  But a new Rasmussen poll shows in South Carolina alone, Newt may be recapturing the momentum.

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll finds Romney ahead with 28% support and Gingrich back on the rise with 21% of the vote.  Rick Santorum on the other hand is trending downward.  He has fallen 8 percentage points and is now tied for third place with Ron Paul at 16%.

If this trend continues, South Carolina will offer Newt Gingrich his very last chance to become an enduring challenger to Mitt Romney.  A win by Gingrich, or anyone else other than Romney in South Carolina will dramatically change the course of this nomination contest.  And if Gingrich can defeat Romney in South Carolina, it will be a new race in Florida and beyond.

Meanwhile the Republican attacks against Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital have prompted the Romney campaign to launch its first ad defending that record. In addition to reasserting the claim that Bain Capital created far more jobs than may have been lost in any one venture, the spot also takes a jab at Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry for their attempts to attack Governor Romney for his work at Bain.

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Second Thoughts: Newt Goes Over the Edge with “King of Bain”

Bookmark and Share   I endorsed Newt Gingrich.  This came about after Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan, all refused to run for President.   Clearly, Newt was not my first choice but for reasons that I outlined in my endorsement, I preferred him to the other choices that were available.    I still stand by my reasoning but Newt’s newest strategy has me regretting my choice.

I am generally a little forgiving.  I understand that no candidate is perfect and that each candidate is only human.  So I excused Newt’s poor judgment back in 2009 when he endorsed liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in a special election for Congress in New York State.  I forgave Newt for his mangling of language which seemed like he was opposing Paul Ryan’s budget proposals.  I instead chose to see the promise that existed in Newt’s reform minded, conservative based, solutions and ideas, and his record of anti-establishment thinking and significant accomplishments.  I felt that all that he could deliver was worth the extra effort it would take to try to elect a candidate with as much baggage as him.  A part of me still feels that way.

But since Newt lost Iowa, he has put his baggage in the front seat and his solutions in the trunk.  Meanwhile, the car he is driving has four tires that have been flattened by all the stones that he has been throwing on the rocky road he has taken his campaign down.

Understandably angered by several weeks and $8 million worth of attack ads against him that were sponsored mainly by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, Newt has decided to take the low road that he once adamantly refused to take.  Now, instead of building himself up and focussing on the issues that could use his help, Newt is focussed more on revenge than revitalizing America.  That I cannot endorse.

Newt’s latest strategy is designed to use capitalism in the same ugly sense that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the term Kapitlaist in The Communist Manifesto.  He is trying to blur the lines between free market capitalism and human greed in a way that ignores the whole picture in an attempt to create a false impression.   In the case of Newt Gingrich, to create a false impression of Mitt Romney.

When Newt initially launched this line of attack, I was not offended.  I found his carefully chosen words explaining how he was not denying the natural dynamics of winners and losers in the free market, to be quite palatable.  Newt explained that he has long been a proponent of the type survival of the fittest competition in the free market that increases quality and cost effectiveness of goods and services. Newt made it clear that his problem was that he felt Mitt Romney abused the system and that he sought to take advantage of people through the system, not of the system with the people.

My willingness to listen to Newt’s unique conservative line of attack intrigued me.  So I was willing to listen.  I wondered if we were seeing a true genius at work as he gave birth to a new ideological spin based on compassionate capitalism or caring capitalists, the type of thinking and approach that could undermine President Obama’s attempts to demonize capitalism as a mean spirited, greed driven excuse for taking advantage of the down trodden.   So instead of jumping down Newt’s throat, I gave him 36 hours to prove to me that he was on to something.   I know that if anyone can properly articulate the virtues of capitalism and the opportunity for self help that it provides to those who value liberty, it was Newt.

Then quite sadly I watched the 28 minute film that a pro-Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Out Future, bought and has decided to market.  [see the movie below this post]

The film is all about how Mitt Romney destroyed the lives of thousands of people whose businesses were ultimately closed because of Romney’s venture capitalism company, Bain Capital.  As I watched the film, I could not help but feel as though I was watching an old Soviet style propaganda film aimed at grade school communists.  I expected Eugene Debs to make an appearance and for Upton Sinclair to pop up and deliver a PSA for EPIC.

Then I remembered how just two days ago, Newt ran around and in interview after interview, urged people to be sure to see this anti-Romney film that Gingrich supporters were going to soon make available to the public.  Recollection of that endorsement of the propaganda film before me triggered a true sense of anger in me over Newt and great  disappointment in him too.  These emotions were only intensified as I began to  see the extent to which this anti-Romney film was actually lying about the Romney record.

In one instance, Romney is caught saying, “for an economy to thrive, there are a lot of people who will suffer as a result of that.”   But the hit piece doesn’t include the rest of Romney’s  comment which went on to say; “It’s important for us as a society to find ways to help people be able to move through this process of losing a job in one industry that becomes outmoded, and finding a position in a new type of industry that is growing.”

The irony here is that just yesterday, Newt Gingrich rushed to Mitt Romney’s defense and chastised Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, and the DNC for taking Romney out of context and running with a quote claiming that Romney likes to fire people.  Of course the complete phrase was an inference to his liking the ability to fire insurance companies who aren’t providing proper services, but when taken out of context, you would never know what Romney meant, except for what you are allowed to hear…..”I like to fire people”.   So here is Newt attacking others for taking Mitt out context one day, and then pinning his entire campaign on a film that does nothing but take Mitt Romney totally out of context the next day.  That to me is a sign of hypocrisy, desperation, and instability.  Such qualities are not what I want in a president. Besides, we already have a President who possesses such characteristics.  So who needs another one.

Other lies in the anti-Romney docu-drama are outlined quite well in a piece by Bloomberg News.

This entire Newt endorsed film is nothing more than a pitiful attempt to play on our inherent sensitivities through half truths, and outright lies.  In the end, this film could have easily been produced by Keith Olbermann  for Al Gore’s new cable station Current.  It is nothing but a Debbie Wasserman-Schultz authored, DNC talking point memo and for Newt Gingrich to associate himself with this shameless example of politics at at its worst, is demeaning and an unflaterring sign of a man who is desperate and who has lost sight of the greater mission which he set out to serve when he first began his campaign for President.

On several occasions, I aggressively denounced Ron Paul for what I called his scorched earth campaign strategy that seeks to destroy the candidacies of his Republicans opponents through a slew of highly negative ads, that will only come back to haunt us in November.  Now I am forced to ask myself,  how can I not denounce Newt Gingrich for doing the same that Ron Paul did.  If I still have any sincerity left in me after 23 years of political involvement, I must.

So here I go.

I am denouncing Newt Gingrich for his tactics and asking that he admit he has gone too far.  He needs to admit that he lost sight of the real reasons behind his presidential candidacy and became so consumed by his desire to exact revenge upon Mitt Romney that he betrayed his own initial desire to run a forward looking campaign based on solutions not slander.

As for myself, I am now in the uncomfortable position of having to defend my endorsement of Newt Gingrich.  That is not a position any supporter should be placed in.  I don’t mind defending the candidate I support, but when I have to find good reason to defend my own reasons for giving that support to a candidate, that candidate’s campaign is over.    I just hope that Newt realizes that sooner rather than later.

 

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Mark Levin: Why I Can Not Vote For Ron Paul

Bookmark and Share    Mark Levin continues to stick to his guns about his personal choice for the Republican presidential nomination is between Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann.  Levin believes that are the most consistent conservatives in the race and have what it takes to get the nation back on track.  But he recently began addressing the attempted conservative assault on newt Gingrich. He then questioned whether or not they will continue that strategy if next November if he is the Republican nominee. He also states how he believes that many of those conservatives who are attacking Newt for not being consistent, are themselves inconsistent in their thinking. But then Mark told his listening audience about a question  asked of him by a friend who works for a conservative website.  The friend asked Levin who he would choose if it came down to Gingrich or Romney.

Mark said in that scenario he would vote for Gingrich over Mitt Romney.

But then he went to explain that the only one he really could not vote for was Ron Paul.

As he explains in the clip below, Levin just does not believe that Ron Paul has a realistic foreign and national security policy.  He calls it dangerous and then interjects some of the arguments that Ron paul and his supporters spew as examples of the United States being an empire, a description which “The Great One” does not believe fits the United States.

He also goes on to characterize the knee jerk reactions that Ron Paul supporters consistently respond with as a “shutting down of their thought process”.

While many will disagree with Levin’s assessment, I for one totally agree with him.  And more than that, he  also captures the same sense of dislike for the Pauliacs who try to parrot Ron Paul, that I also share with Martk Levin.

Levin brings up many more valid points about Ron Paul’s thinking and calls the whole Ron Paul crusade a cult of personality.  Those of you who are Ron paul fans will certainly not like the clip below.  In addition to his mocking tones, Mark Levin intejects many valid points which make a strong case against Paul.

 

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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 11/08/11

Bookmark and Share   Today’s political news sees Occupy Wall Street vacated, Rick Perry promising to tear D.C. apart, Republican presidential aspirants leery of the super committee’s deficit deal, comparisons of Newt to Churchill and Herman to FDR, two potential senate power players weighing endorsements, Michele Bachmann putting the boys in their place and much more, all for you in Trunkline 2012.

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Is President Obama “Nervous”?

Bookmark and Share  I was preparing to write a brief post on how President Obama and his strategists have seemed to resolve themselves to running against Mitt Romney in the general election.  And then the Romney campaign released the following online ad;

The ad does demonstrate that Team Obama certainly does seem to have Romney on their mind.  So much so that you can make the argument that they have been preoccupied with Romney.  But such preoccupation with Romney could be premature.  While Mitt is looking more and more like the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, it is far from definite yet.  And it is not like the Administration has not been wrong about this before.

Four years ago, Obama’s closest advisors deemed Utah Governor Jon Huntsman to be the Republican who could give him the most trouble in 2012.  That is one reason why they appointed him Ambassador to China.  They had hoped that his active participation in his Administration’s first term  would prevent him from challenging the President for a second term.

Well that didn’t work.

As we know,  Huntsman resigned midway through the President’s first term and is now running for President.  But contrary to the original thinking of the White House, Huntsman is far from becoming the greatest threat to Obama’s reelection that Republicans  can produce.

That said, it is still worth it for Romney to highlight the fact that it seems as though President Obama “is nervous” about running against Romney.  At some point, the electability argument will begin to carry more weight than it does right now.  For that reason, it is to Romney’s advantage to create impression of being the Republican with the best chance to defeat the President.  Even if hardcore conservatives are unwilling to be swayed by the “electability” angle at the moment, it will eventually have an impact on some of them and even a subtle, subliminal impression of electability, will help Romney in tight primaries and caucuses.

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Yes We Cain! Herman Cain Wins Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share  From a pool of 2,657 registered Presidency 5 voters in Florida’s presidential straw poll , Herman Cain pulled off a significant victory by a significant margin, upsetting both favorite Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

The Final vote was as follows:

 
 

986 votes  –  37.1%   –   Herman Cain

428 votes  –  15.4%    –  Rick Perry

372 votes  –  14.0%   –   Mitt Romney

289 votes  –  10.9%   –  Rick Santorum

276 votes  –  10.4%   –   Ron Paul

224 votes  –    8.4%    –  Newt Gingrich

  60 votes  –    2.3%    –   Jon Huntsman

  40 votes  –    1.5%    –   Michele Bachmann

 
Herman Cain’s upset victory was a direct result of Perry’s poor performance in Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in which he argued that those who did not believe in offering in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, did “not have a heart”. 
 
Those remarks, combined with good showing by both Romney and Cain, put Cain’s victory in to motion.  During the past two days of Republican electioneering in Friday’s CPAC-FL conference and today’s Presidency 5 convention,there was a clear sense that participants were changing their minds from Perry to Cain and Romney.
 
In addition to that, unlike Perry and Romney, Herman Cain stayed in Florida since Thursday’s debate and attended today’s Presidency 5 event where he delivered a speech that tore the rough of the convention center.  His speech struck at the heart of the limited government cause and beyond that, it conveyed to the audience, that he truly gets the need for real changes in the way government does business.
 
Cain’s vote which was more than twice the size of Perry’s second place vote total, is a strong sign that both Perry and Romney have a long way to go if they intend to win.  The sentiment expressed in Florida today, was a definite indication that the G.O.P. is still looking for a hero and that neither Romney or Perry fit that description yet. 
 
However, Herman Cain just might.
 
He is the perfect anti-establishment candidate.  And that is what voters want.  They do not want politics-as-usual.  On top of that, Cain has an uncanny and quite natural ability to inspire conservatives with his words and tap into their hope for a responsible figure who can be a citizen leader, not a career politician.
 
But the P5 participants are a very Southern evangelical sampling of Republican activists and many of them are also quite familiar with Herman Cain.  Many have made him a part of their lives every weekday via his Atlanta based radio talk show which is widely heard in that region of the U.S..   This gave Cain the perfect opportunity to be the vessel for which voters could send their protest vote through.  That is  not to say that Herman Cain did not earn today’s victory in his own right.  He did.  In his speech he not only demonstrated the capacity to lead, he provided inspiration to a movement that seeks the type of change that is meant to restore liberty to America.  He also showed the career politicians that politics-as-usual will not be good enough this time around.
 
If  Herman Cain can parlay this straw poll win into future victories remains to be seen.   Not long ago, Minnesota Congresswoman Michel Bachmann won the famous Iowa Straw Poll in Ames.  But by her 40 vote, last place finish in Florida, it is safe to say that her Iowa Straw Poll results did not get her very far.
 
One thing that this win is sure to do for Herman Cain, is propel him from back tier candidate, to serious contender.  In addition to raising his name ID, this victory will help him raise money and inject a sizeable dose of dollars into his campaign war chest.  What will also be interesting is whether or not South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s recent claim that she will be endorsing someone who is a true business person, is a reference to Herman Cain or Mitt Romney. After today’s surprise win by Cain, one has to wonder.   
 
An endorsement of Cain by Governor Nikki Haley, is not likely but if it did happen, it would place Herman Cain in a position to win back-to-back primaries in South Carolina and Florida………….a scenario that few have imagined, up till now. 
 
On the flip-side of the coin, the man who probably faired worst in this contest was Ron Paul.
 
Paul’s fans are usually good at hijacking straw polls with ringers brought in from all over the place.  But Presidency 5 is unlike Iowa and other straw polls.  Participants in P5 must be certifies as registered Republicans through their county organizations.  Such certification allows for a more accurate measure of Republican sentiments  than do other forums which do not create conditions similar to actual primary contests.
 
But regardless of anyone else, today belongs to Herman Cain.  Today he stunned the political world and put himself on the map.  There’s a new candidate in town as of today and he promises to make sure that voters don’t just rollover for the perceived frontrunners.  As of today, Herman Cain is going to ensure that the Republican who is nominated president, earns the nomination. 
 
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Independence Day. It’s More Than Just a Day at the Beach


Bookmark and Share   On this day in 1776 was born a concept that blossomed into a government that founded the greatest nation in the world.  The concept of a government that believed freedom came first and that government’s main purpose was to defend our freedoms,  inspired a force that brought an end to tyranny and gave birth to a Republic that became a beacon of hope for the world.

The celebration of our nation’s birth is not partisan.  It is a celebration shared by us all.   Yet as we struggle with the responsibilities that come with freedom, there exists a partisan divide regarding how we proceed to keep our nation strong.  For me though, there is no question about the direction we must go in.  I believe that the very concepts and principles which gave birth to our nation, are the very principles and concepts that we must adhere to.   That direction is found within the conservative ideology.

As evidence, I would like to present the arguments once made by one of my political heroes,  a former member of the House of Representatives named John Ashbrook.

On the topic of overegulation, Ashbrook once wrote;

“This nation was founded on a number of principles. One of the main ones was the concept of limited government.

The virtues of limited government seem to have been forgotten by many political leaders. Government bureaucracy has grown. Regulations stifle more and more aspects of life. Regulation by government has taken on awesome dimensions. Proof of this can be seen in the regulatory agencies.

Federal agencies have steadily grown in number, in size, in complexity, and in the number of regulations issued. Just stop and think for a minute. There are so many agencies: EPA, FCC, FPC, FTC, ICC, EEOC, OSHA, CAB, CPSE, FAA, and the SEC. And this is only a partial list. I am sure that if you gave a few more seconds of thought, you could easily add another half dozen to the list.”

Ashbrook’s statement was not intended to commemorate our nation’s birth, but on its birthday, those words offer us a reminder of why we became a nation and what our government is supposed to be about.  The statement was made several decades ago, yet Ashbrook’s contention that the virtues of limited government  have been forgotten by many political leaders, still applies today.  Especially in the case of our President.

More government means less freedom.  Yet today, while we celebrate our independence, our political leaders are burdening us with more government and less freedom.  To debate the issue, the dynamic of left versus right, liberal versus conservative, Democrat versus Republican, is inevitable.  But if one were to base the argument on the principles that founded this nation, the debate is not as much left versus right as it is right versus wrong.  Many may disagree and at times such basic ideological differences can become heated and create greater divides than they should.  But on this day we can all unite in celebration of  the fact that thanks to the limited government principles that created us, we are free to disagree.  For that we thank God ……and America.

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