Democrats Seeking to Neutralize Romney on Economy

An Improving Economy Means Republicans Need a ‘Plan B’ To Beat Obama

This is the headline of a Morgan Korn article at the Daily Ticker, where he explains exactly what I wrote on March 2nd, when I said It’s Not About the Economy, Stupid.  So despite the high gas prices, the lower homesales in February, the still anemic job growth, the still high unemployment rate, the story the media will be touting is how the economy is recovering and we don’t need Mitt Romney.

This is all part of the Democrat strategy playing out.  First they focused on Romneycare and Obamacare, trying to take away the biggest issue of the 2012 election.  In fact, they may have succeeded.  Romney both supported an insurance mandate and allowed the legislature to turn his healthcare plan into everything Obama has been dreaming of.  The state’s rights defense may calm the fears of his supporters, but the premise behind the plan doesn’t make most conservatives feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The question you may be asking yourself right now is how Obama is going to convince everyone the economy is fine when gas hits $5 this summer.  The jokes on you.

First, Obama and the AP have done plenty of groundwork to provide Obama with scapegoats.  Greedy oil companies, speculators, even you are at fault for high gas prices.  Have you inflated your tires?  Are you still driving that old gas guzzler?  It’s odd to think that this strategy will fool anyone, especially when Obama and Chu’s stated goal was European gas prices here in America.  But Obama only has to fool enough people to get re-elected.  He can say he has vastly expanded oil drilling, in fact he does say this, and anyone who doesn’t know any better believes him.

The second thing Obama is counting on is timing and the short memories of US voters.  What happens to gas prices in October every year?  I’ll give you a couple hints.  Summer vacations are over, half the country rolls down their windows and turns off the A/C, the kids go back to school, and the price of oil drops.  When this happens, mark my words, Obama will say that it is because he has done all the things that today he is saying wouldn’t work or make a difference.

Mitt Romney has to learn how to run on small government, the constitution and social issues.  It’s the only thing the media can’t take away from him.

Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

It’s NOT About the Economy, Stupid

Republicans are preparing to come to a rugby game in their best golf pants.

The world is different than it was in 2008 when we were caught with a war candidate going into an election that was all about the economy.  This time we have the best business man money can buy and we are about to go into an election that is all about the constitution, social issues, personal freedom, and the size of government.

Yes, I know.  Today the economy still sucks.  However, with the expanded power of the Fed and the Presidency, we are going to see just how much the President actually can affect it in the short term.  For example, leading into the 2010 election, the Fed had over $2 trillion in stock securities on their balance sheet and Wall Street was inflated.  Mainstream Media and administration spokespeople called that Obama’s summer of recovery.  Obama also ramped up federal spending and provided tons of government jobs.  Unemployment, as it is in our current “recovery”, remained mostly unmoved.  Despite all the tax hikes hidden in Obamacare, Obama said he was a tax cutter.

So why did we win big in 2010?  Social conservatives, lead by the TEA Party, made the election about deficit spending, constitutional rights, social issues, and personal freedom.

I keep hearing that only Romney can win because only Romney is focusing on the economy.  But Romney’s solutions on the economy include a redistributive tax policy that hits up the top 1% and a plan to increase the minimum wage and price low skilled labor out of the work force.  So why is Romney the economic guru who can save us?  Because he is a successful businessman.  But that won’t get voters to the polls in 2012, especially when Obama sinks another trillion dollars in imaginary money into the economy this summer to make the election about what Americans really care about: social issues.

Think about it this way.  How much more would you pay in extra taxes if it meant abortion would be made illegal?  Or legal, if that is your preference.  Democrats are willing to pay a great deal to force everyone to cover birth control and abortion pills.  I don’t think most Democrats have realized yet just how much Obamacare is going to cost them in higher insurance premiums.  The only Democrats who don’t know that Obamacare is all about social issues and government usurpation of personal freedom are still waiting for insurance rates to magically fall.  I have bad news for them.

Obama and his energy secretary have openly admitted that they want to let oil prices keep going up so that Americans will stop using oil.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t put wind, solar, coal, nuclear, ethanol, or algae in my gas tank.  And I’ve already inflated my tires.  That’s ok though because it’s not about the economy, stupid.  It’s about social issues.  It’s about greenhouse gasses and global warming and Obama is going to win on that because Romney is focusing on the economy.  Instead of fighting Obama on the social issue of whether the government should steal our freedom to protect us from made up scientific threats, Romney will be talking about how he is the best guy to grow the economy.

When the economy is artificially inflated this fall and “I’m the best candidate to grow the economy” rings hollow, what will we have left?  Don’t be fooled, Obama is already running on social issues.  Obama and his party are fighting for big government that will take care of and coddle every poor voter they can get their hands on.  What will we have?  Someone who will promise those poor coddled voters that he will provide them with the opportunity to work hard and be successful?  That’ll get the moderates to the polls.

In general, Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortion.  They oppose federally mandated gay marriage.  They oppose federally mandated funding for abortion.  They oppose big government and big deficits.  They oppose the current size of government.  They oppose the President stealing their rights in the name of coddling them.  These are TEA party issues, not establishment issues.

2012 isn’t about the economy.  At least it won’t be.  We’re about to run the wrong candidate, again, based on January issues for a November election.  What will get people to the polls in November is whether we want a President who will prevent taxpayer funded abortion, or a President who once voted to let doctors perform abortions after the baby is born.  Where do you stand?

The worst possible scenario for Republicans in 2012 will be a race where a significant percentage of Americans don’t care who wins or think the candidates aren’t that far apart.  We saw that in 2008.  The only way Republicans will win in 2012 is if we run a distinctly conservative candidate who gives Americans a clear choice.  Vote for the radical Liberal or the radical Conservative.   The more moderate a candidate we run, the more moderate Obama will look in comparison.

If the moderates stay home in 2012 and the 40% of conservatives beat the 20% of liberals in the country, I’m ok with that.  The strategy of getting the moderate vote and praying the 40% of conservatives will hold their nose and show up is a sure loser.

A remarkable success by Santorum – a devastating night for Team Romney

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum claimed a remarkable trifecta of wins and massive surge of momentum by sweeping Mitt Romney in all three contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Santorum’s victories are all the more remarkable considering Romney’s advantage in financing and organization. Tuesday’s results included losses in two states – Colorado and Minnesota – that he won in his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. Minnesota also became the first state where Romney did not end up in first or second place despite having the support of former presidential candidate and State Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The stunning results by Santorum have raised fresh doubts about whether establishment favourite and perceived frontrunner Romney, can in fact win a General election or even the nomination itself after struggling to get support from the party’s conservative base.

Santorum has now finished first in four of the first eight primaries and caucuses, after his narrow victory over Romney in Iowa’s caucuses on January 3.

The former senator said his campaign was already bringing in more donations, an important consideration for a candidate who trails far behind Romney in the fund-raising race.

As he has before, Romney had seemed on track to win the nomination after big wins in Nevada and Florida last week. He had been expected to win easily in Colorado and did little campaigning in Minnesota and Missouri.

In Minnesota’s caucuses, Santorum won with 45 percent of the vote. But the state became the first this year in which Romney did not finish first or second. Congressman Ron Paul was in second place with 27 percent and Romney was third at 17 percent.

Santorum trounced Romney by 30 percentage points in Missouri, 55 percent to 25 percent. That vote was a non-binding primary, but has symbolic value as a measure of support in a big Midwestern state.

The race was closer in Colorado where Santorum won by 5 percentage points over Romney, 40 percent to 35 percent.

Santorum in his victory speech also appeared more presidential then before, setting up a contrast between himself and President Obama as more of the aloof and arrogant policies from a person out of touch with the American people, or a true conservative alternative who will listen to the voice of the people. Santorum essentially positioned himself as the champion of the American people, economic policy, social values, and defender of the constitution and first amendment in particular. It was a passionate and heartfelt speech that connected with the audience.

“I don’t stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum said. On health care, cap and trade and the Wall Street bailout, he charged, “Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama.”

Romney addressing his supporters said, “This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Senator Santorum and wish him the very best. We’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee with your help.”

I asked the question in a recent article about Mitt Romney – What does he stand for? (worldviewtonight.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/romney-florida-an-expected-success-can-he-stand-up-to-the-obama-machine/)

The reason I asked the question was not out of any dislike for Romney, I admire a lot about Governor Romney and his business success in particular. The reason I asked the question was that Team Romney were very effective at attacking President Obama and Newt Gingrich with his powerful advertising spending however; I honestly didn’t know what his vision for America was and where he stood on the key issues of the day.

Team Romney will need to have a very detailed reassessment of their strategy going forward. The tried and tested approach of going negative on his opponents, and touting his business experience combined with large rallies, has left voters and supporters devoid of enthusiasm for his candidacy.

Romney’s speech last night was almost parrot fashion repetition of his talking points from the last week. He is failing to connect with the ordinary voter and too often has appeared rehearsed and uncomfortable when put in personal one to one interviews. Romney will need to throw off the consultant shackles and be more energetic, more personal and more natural on the campaign trail or face certain defeat.

Ironically, despite his poor showing in contests which he barely contested, Santorum’s victories may also be good news for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Team Romney will now need to develop a strategy to attack Santorum and need Gingrich to stay in the race. The longer Gingrich stays in the race, the longer it will split the conservative vote. Three weeks out of the cross hairs for Gingrich may enable him to lay the ground work for a series of victories himself on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

The Romney strategy was based on spending massive early to knock-out his rivals and claim the nomination early before turning his attention towards President Obama. Last night’s remarkable series of wins by Santorum, now appears to have changed the GOP race into a near certain long drawn out affair, and even if Romney prevails as the nominee, his chances of defeating President Obama in the race for the White House in November have been damaged.

There are three winners from last night’s results. Santorum’s victories give him the momentum he needs going forward and hopefully an injection of much needed financial support. They give President Obama renewed confidence that former Governor Romney is not as strong an opponent as initially believed and the longer the race GOP race on, the more damaged he will become. Finally, it gives Gingrich hope and time to re-organise his campaign and ground work ahead of Super Tuesday to deliver a series of southern victories himself.

A bad night for Romney.

You’re the Nominee – “The Donald” endorses Mitt

Dynamic Businessman – Donald Trump turned the Republican presidential race into a scene resembling one of his Apprentice shows by keeping everyone guessing on whom he would endorse for president. The rumours had been back and forth that he would endorse Newt Gingrich, then it was leaked that he would endorse Mitt Romney however, in true Trump fashion, he kept everyone waiting until the end before confirming his support behind Mitt Romney.

The Romney campaign did not release their public schedule until Thursday morning in an unusual move for them and even then their 20:30hrs GMT slot stood vague, offering only: “Romney for President Event. TBD Location. Las Vegas, Nevada.” Mr. Romney will appear with Mr. Trump at his Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Trump have not always enjoyed the strongest of relationships with Romney as recent as December, referring to Trump as a real estate mogul and reality television star and declined an invitation to attend a Republican debate, which “The Donald” had planned to host, but was later cancelled after other candidates pulled out and included a very public spat with Jon Huntsman.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump suggested the Romney camp would be releasing an official statement soon, and in manner typical of Trump showmanship, said, “I strongly suggest you be there no matter what.”

Trump is a controversial figure and the world’s greatest self-promoter however, like him or loath him, he brings considerable media attention where ever he speaks and when he speaks. Trump did toy with the idea of entering the race last year himself and actually led the polls prior to pulling out with catchy sound bites on U.S. trade policy being weak towards China and regarding Iran. Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of President Obama and his economic record as president. He has made no secret of his concern about the direction and future of America under another four year Obama term and has also criticised the president on the polarising approach to his presidency and his failure to unite American’s in a common cause.

Trump promised to “push our president and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness.” Following his announcement last May, that he would not be a candidate for the GOP nomination, Trump welcomed other hopefuls to his office at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for strategy sessions. Romney made the trek, as did former candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Gingrich visited in December when he was topping polls in Iowa and nationally.

Trump’s weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he run last year, stole the media coverage and his decision to question the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate, caused such a news media firestorm that the White House was forced to publicly release the document. A feat even Hillary Clinton her campaign team had failed to achieve during the heated Democratic primary campaign four years ago.

Many will question the impact of a Trump endorsement, I believe it will not have a considerable impact on Republican voters, but most certainly on Independent voters where Romney has an increasing negativity rating in recent weeks, due to his attack ads in Iowa and Florida against Gingrich. Trump will be able to command a media audience and spotlight that no other previous endorser of Romney could hope to deliver. The media love “The Donald” and he equally loves them.

Trump said he made the decision after getting to know Romney after meeting with him several times in the past few months and it was his real honour to endorse Mitt Romney. He said Mitt was tough, his smart and he’s sharp and he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to the country. Trump also cited Romney’s performances in presidential debates and his tough stance on China and OPEC as reasons for his support.

It is certain that Trump’s announcement has all but ruled out a third-party run for the White House which he threatened if the wrong GOP candidate was selected to run as the nominee. One would also have to say that with Trump’s ability to command a media audience and great communication ability, Speaker Gingrich’s hopes of winning the nomination appear to be dwindling by the day now. It will come down to his performance in the Lone Star state of Texas on 3 April, 2012. A poor showing by Gingrich in Texas will effectively finish his campaign and hand Romney the nomination.

Palin polling strong…on issues

Can Palin Make a Comeback?

Sarah Palin has front runner Mitt Romney out polled on social issues and national security. She tops Gingrich on social issues, national security, and the economy. Her biggest weakness according to a recent Gallup poll is on Government spending and power, where she ranks behind Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich. Unfortunately for her, that was also the top issue according to respondents.

Huckabee wins the Government spending and power question with Romney right behind him.

Mitt Romney had a balanced performance in the poll, except when it comes to social issues. Here he only garnered 7%, where he still beat Gingrich by one point.

Gingrich took it on the chin in this poll, falling behind in every category except the Government spending and power category where he barely edged out Palin.

Gingrich Faces Uphill Battle

CPAC demonstrated that the issues that drive Republicans to the polls in 2012 will vary between libertarian, social conservative and fiscal conservative with surprisingly less overlap than the party has seen in the past. Romney will do well with fiscal conservatives, but may struggle to get enough of a majority if he cannot improve his social image among conservatives.

Palin’s low rating for Government spending and power surprised me a little bit. She was hit hard in this area when she ran with McCain and put herself forward as a standard for fiscal conservatism and smaller government. This standard was severely tested in the 2008 election and no stone was left unturned. Even her prominence in the TEA party has not helped her restore her image in this area.

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