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Electability: Gingrich

January 2, 2012

Electability: Gingrich

If you want to get rid of Obama, you have to first defeat Romney.

Jeffrey Andersen of the Weekly Standard penned an interesting article titled: “The case for Newt Gingrich” on December 31, three days prior to the Iowa caucus, questioning the assertion that Mitt Romney is the most electable candidate in the GOP field. Recall that before Barack Obama trounced John McCain in 2008, Mr. McCain trounced Mr. Romney. The enthusiasm gap does not favor Romney, as the one candidate who has led in the polls all along, is “Anybody But Romney.” The predictive markets still push a Romney victory just as the Washington establishment has chosen Romney as a victory fait accompli. They claim he’s the most electable, the safe bet. Fine; let’s play along.

First of all, let’s stipulate that this election will be about jobs, the economy and ObamaCare. And secondly, lets stipulate there are certain states that are critical to win on the electoral map. Beyond the fact that Obama is culpable to his record on jobs and the economy [Emphasis mine], Andersen points out, if one were to design a Republican opponent tailor-made to Obama’s liking, that opponent would be uniquely vulnerable to Obama’s main rhetorical thrust (making class-warfare arguments), uniquely unsuited to take aim at Obamacare (RomneyCare), and uniquely strong in states that are unlikely to matter in the general election race. In all three of these ways, Romney is made to order for Obama – while Newt Gingrich, is not.

The Vulnerabilities

Romney’s Massachusetts electoral record hardly inspires confidence. He was elected in 2002 but couldn’t crack 50% of the popular vote. By the end of his first and only term, he had an anemic 34% approval rating and a 65% disapproval rating. Sound familiar? Survey USA ranked Romney’s popularity 48th out of the 50 governors. As Governor, he passed a host of new tax and fee increases, hitting the corporate world hard and devastating job creation. Sound familiar? Romney squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 0.9%, compared with job growth of 5.3% for the nation as a whole. Sound familiar? Read more about Romney’s MA economic record here.

By comparison, over the same period, job growth in Texas was 6.9%, in Utah it was 9% and in Minnesota it was 3.5%. By the end of his fourth year, the Massachusetts economy was so bad that 3.5% of the state’s adult population fled the state. This Boston Globe chart explains why Romney’s popularity plummeted. With that, the supposedly electable Romney limped away rather than face the voters again. He would have lost the 2006 reelection. But not until he purged records, scrubbed emails and wiped computer data from state central computers. Romney’s unforgiving fiscal record puts him on an equal playing field with Obama. Obama just took away a key wedge issue from the GOP.

And, think about it. It’s going to be very difficult to criticize Obamacare when you have to defend Romneycare. Especially after stating: “Repeal the Bad and Keep the Good.” Obama just took away health care as a key wedge issue from the GOP. It is going to be very difficult to defend tax cuts too when Romney raised millions and millions in taxes and fees as Gov of MA. This, in addition to passing over Republican lawyers for 75% of his judicial vacancies naming instead Democrats and ‘Indy’s. Is Obama going to be lucky enough to have Republicans nominate a candidate whose weakest issue are socialized health care, taxes, jobs and economy?

What happens in the general election if Romney has to face Obama on these key Romney pillars?

  • Romney’s Massachusetts was ranked 3rd lowest in job creation among 50 state Governors
  • Romney raised taxes and fees on MA businesses and residents by $750 million annually
  • Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts. Obama extended them.
  • Romney is ObamaCare’s architect; believes RomneyCare should be “model for the nation”
  • Romney lauded: “I’m moderate. My views are Progressive… regardless of party label”
  • Romney’s conversion to pro-life is suspect; ongoing support of homosexual rights is not
  • Romney’s environmental advisers now work in Obama’s White House for the EPA
  • Romney supports Arne Duncan’s and Obama’s Education Secretary’s reforms
  • Romney supported Obama’s stimulus bill
  • Romney grew MA government employment 7.2%; overall spending increased 20.7%
  • Romney led MA GOP into holding the fewest seats in the Legislature since the Civil War

In contrast, please read about Newt Gingrich’s Credentials.

In an opinion piece in The Street by Anton Wahlman titled: “Why Gingrich Remains Most Likely to Win,” Wahlman pen’s that Romney’s luck at this stage is that the 75% opposition remains so fragmented that he looks like a winner at 25%. Romney’s problem is the same mathematics that he faced already a year ago — or for that matter four years ago. Romney has a ceiling, perhaps at 25% to 30%. In a fragmented race, that makes a candidate look very strong. But when the music stops, one non-Romney candidate will occupy more than 50% of the chairs. In 2008, not only McCain but also Huckabee finished ahead of Romney. A candidate unable to beat either McCain or Huckabee — despite spending more money — cannot be a strong candidate.

Where Mitt Romney vehemently denied Ronald Reagan, instead embracing Ted Kennedy, Gingrich fully embraced Reagan. To date, Gingrich has faced far fiercer attacks — both from the Washington establishment and from his rivals than Romney has. But that would change quickly if Romney were actually to become the nominee. Romney has gotten off easy so far. There is a reason why the liberal media slammed Bachman, Perry, Gingrich and Cain non-stop when they were the front-runners but hasn’t said anything about Romney other than conservatives need to get used to him as the nominee.

The financial advantage that has afforded Romney the luxury of pummeling Gingrich with negative ads will disappear with Obama. In a GE, Romney would then face the war chest of Obama, while Gingrich would actually acquire a war chest. If you still don’t believe the Obama-friendly media are hoping Romney wins the GOP nomination, Google: “Mitt Romney money picture” and ask yourself why the media are – for now – holding back this unseemly photo. The media will turn on Romney faster and with greater vengeance than they did McCain in 2008, and when they do, his poll numbers will crater like McCain’s did. The Democrats tested negative ads on Romney in the early fall with successful results, Romney’s numbers dropped, then the Democrats slithered back.

Current national polls show Romney and Gingrich virtually tied. But, let’s forget the polls and predictive models for now. November 2012 is a long way off – and at this point during the Carter – Reagan election – the Gipper was down 30% in the polls. Gingrich has appeal in the GE because he stands for ideas and results at a time when both parties have failed. He is the only candidate who can both beat Romney and Obama. Just as Reagan proved, a leader who can espouse conservative principles clearly and unapologetically, those “independents” will flock to him.

Romney would suppress conservative and evangelical turnout in a GE leading to an Obama victory. Romney can’t undercut ObamaCare if he is the nominee. Obama would pursue a class warfare gambit against Wall Street Romney. It’s all part of the 99% vs. 1% strategy. Romney will be a custom-made villain for Obama as Bain Capital gutted companies, made millions and got a federal bailout with Romney benefiting. Romney, who would not have won reelection, only served as Governor for 4 years, allowing Obama to claim he now has more ‘experience.’ All told, the Obama machine then goes to work on the electoral map.

The States

Jeffrey Andersen: When contemplating the places on the map where Romney would provide the GOP with the greatest electoral advantages, the answer would seem to be in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast. But none of the states in those regions, save New Hampshire, would be up for grabs in a close race. Instead, Romney would merely succeed in helping the party lose the likes of California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, by more respectable margins.

Because of the nature of the electoral map this time around, the key to victory won’t be whether Republicans can win in Democratic territory but whether Obama can, once again, win in Republican territory. In that vein, the election will likely come down to whether the Republican nominee can hold three mildly GOP-leaning states: Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. If the Republican nominee wins these (and if other states go according to form), then Obama would have to sweep New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to win, which he isn’t likely to do.

On the other hand, if the Republican nominee loses even one of these three key states, then the advantage would tilt to Obama. And if the state that’s lost is either Florida or Ohio (and especially if it’s Florida), the GOP nominee would essentially have to win Pennsylvania. The problem is that, in presidential elections dating back to 1960, Pennsylvania has always been less favorable to the GOP than Ohio has been, and it’s been less favorable than Florida in 12 of the 13 elections over that span (with the success of Georgia’s Jimmy Carter’s in Florida versus Michigan’s Gerald Ford being the only exception). In other words, the Republican nominee simply cannot afford to lose Florida or Ohio, and probably cannot afford to lose Virginia.

The fact that Gingrich is from neighboring Georgia, as opposed to Massachusetts, would presumably help him in Florida, as would his demonstrated strength among senior citizens. (Gingrich is from the Silent Generation and is four years older than Romney, who is a Baby Boomer.) Gingrich’s being from Georgia, as well as currently living in Virginia, would also presumably help him in the Old Dominion. Moreover, a GOP candidate who loses in Virginia would also be in danger of losing North Carolina — which would essentially seal that nominee’s fate — so it’s an added advantage that Georgia borders the Tar Heel State.

Ohio seems more like Gingrich country, and it would seem that way even if Ohio voters hadn’t recently rejected an individual mandate to buy health insurance like the one that Romney still stands by in Massachusetts — and even if that rejection hadn’t been unanimous across all 88 of Ohio’s counties. Obama’s class-warfare strategy seems designed to play well in Ohio, and — partly because of this — it would seem to be a place where it’s particularly important to talk early and often about Obamacare. Thus, in addition to his regional advantages in Florida and Virginia, Gingrich might well pose a more formidable challenge to Obama than Romney would in the Buckeye State — which Republicans have won every time they have ever won the presidency.

In politics, political fortunes can wax and wane. And weak incumbents can defeat even weaker challengers. But, structurally, 2012 is not at all friendly to Obama. In 2008, Obama won NC by less than 1 percent – 0.3% in fact. In Florida, he won by 2.8%. In Virginia, Obama won by 6%. In 2010, the entire Ohio River valley and Upper Midwest outside of Cook County Illinois rejected Obama. And, the Republicans control all the major governorships and legislative state houses in just about every one of those states. North Carolina voted for a D candidate once in 40 years pre-Obama. Virginia last voted for a D candidate – NEVER.

The Summary

Romney cannot get the Republican voter base behind him. He has a ceiling of 25-30% among Republican Primary voters, his public record of holding completely opposite positions inspires little confidence, and the ever-critical evangelical voter and conservative base will not go to the ballot box for him in a general election. He shares too many positions with Obama; EPA mandates, RomneyCare, Tax-fee increases, liberal appointments to judicial vacancies, miserable job-creation record, pro-abortion, gay advocacy, and gun control, among others. And, like Obama, the unlikable, cold and calculating Romney will say anything to anyone to advance himself.

The one person Democrats and Obama want to run against most is Romney; the DNC war room has been working on this for over a year. The 99% vs. the 1%, ring a bell? Wall Street vs. Common man. More class warfare. If you want to get rid of Obama, you have to offer an alternative. Romney is not an alternative. On jobs, the economy and socialized health care, Obama and Romney reside in the same sandbox on results. Where Gingrich campaigns for the rule of law, Romney seeks the continued status quo. Only Newt can unite the various wings of the Republican conservative base and play well on a national level.

If candidates seem repentant, most voters will forgive. Gingrich’s ‘foibles’ are well known. Click here to read Newt’s responses to his record and positions on those issues. Most of Gingrich’s verbal missteps made were that of a private citizen not as congressional record in governing; voters will have to weigh these against his conservative voting record and virtues. Once a politician becomes this well known, new scandals do less damage and old/rehashed scandals mean even less. No candidate in the race can match Gingrich’s career advocating and achieving conservative reforms in government. And, no candidate has led a national movement in electing a Republican majority.

Voters should recognize Gingrich’s “concrete accomplishments.” In an election where the imperative is to repeal Obamacare, Gingrich is the candidate who defeated Hillarycare. In an election where unemployment is 9%, Newts credentials are 4.2%. In an election where spending is out of control, Gingrich is the only candidate who last balanced the budget. Gingrich is better prepared to challenge the media on Obama’s record; the premise of the questions that the biased media asks – and just as Reagan knew the enemy was the media – so does Gingrich. And Newt, like Reagan before him, does not shrink from the attack.

If you want to get rid of Obama, you have to first defeat Romney.

Decorum is fo suckas. Obama vs. Romney, Obama wins.

Please read: Credentials; Gingrich.

What Mitt Romney does not want you to see:


Newt Gingrich: Solutions
Newt Gingrich: Answers
National Taxpayer Union: Scoring
American Conservative Union: Scoring
The Romney Scorecard: Romney RINO
Club for Growth: White Paper
Gingrich’s daughter: Misinformation
Gingrich’s daughter II: My Father
The Evangelical Case for Newt Gingrich: Article
Social Network & Grassroots Supporters: Get Involved

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 12:27 pm

    Newt Gingrich Can’t Beat Barack Obama!!

    And there are a zillion reasons why Newt has more problems the Romney when it comes to electability on the national level including the most important electoral college!!

    Newt couldn’t even get on his home state ballott! Failing to qualify for the ballot in Virginia will mark the beginning of the end for Newt Gingrich and his Presidential aspirations. It is quite amazing that someone who hopes to be President in the very near future cannot gather the required number of signatures to be put on a primary ballot– a ballot in a state that will be a key battleground state.

    Plus, Newt has no grassroots support !!

    Even with all of Newt’s accomplishments, it’s almost enough to make you forget his central handicap, which is that he is Newt Gingrich!!

    • January 8, 2012 4:12 am

      Hysterics are such a poor way arguing.

    • January 13, 2012 12:36 pm

      Grow up. I know many, many grassroots people who support Newt and your min-lib-rant will not change that with lies.

      • February 26, 2012 1:03 am

        Daniel you cannot win argument with empty heads. They will learn in November that we will have Newt in a White House.

  2. FredTX permalink
    January 2, 2012 3:33 pm

    Candid, frank, well documented analysis of Mitt Romney, and why political consultants for President Obama simply cannot wait to drag him down into the gutter.

    Thanks very much for putting down precisely why we cannot afford to let Mitt Romney become the GOP nominee in 2012, regardless of how many millions he dedicates to hamstringing his primary competitors in false attack ads.

    This article, along with your other one analyzing Speaker Newt Gingrich’s candidacy, together provide a well formed opinion of who is best able to defeat President Obama in November and immediately put this country back on track to recovery. Well done sir!

  3. January 2, 2012 11:49 pm

    Well, you would think with Newt being such a Washington Insider, he would know how primary elections work and if you do not have the infrastructure to get on the ballot, how are you going to get nominated?? By hope and chance??

    • January 8, 2012 3:56 am

      OR why he let a used car salesman like Willard rake him over negative ad coals by apparent surprise.

      Both righteous questions. Best asked to a man with his remarkable memory right to his face.

  4. retire05 permalink
    January 4, 2012 7:59 pm

    I found this blog some time ago and bookmarked it because I wanted to be able to use it as a reference to Mitt Romney. I am glad I did.

    And while I agree with everything said about Romney in this latest piece, I would like to make a few corrections about Newt, who I do admire and think would do a [pretty] good job as POTUS.

    It is correct to point out that Newt has done some things on the national level that are admirable. But there is another candidate who has, for the last 13 years, walked the walk of a conservative and it is unfair to brush off his acheivements simply because they were on a state level.

    Rick Perry has balanced the Texas budget, more than once, and more than once when Democrats still had some measure of control in the state legislature. He has, also, moved his state to the right, giving Texas the first filibuster proof Republican Congress since Reconstrution. He has vetoed driver’s licenses for illegals (passed under Democrat control), promoted and obtained Voter I.D. legislation (now being challenged in federal court), has taken on the federal government agencies like the EPA and TSA, requested legislation that would make “sanctuary” cities illegal in Texas (defeated by the current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, now running to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate), got legislation that defunded Planned Parenthood in Texas (also being challenged by the JoD in federal court), has been consistantly strong pro-life and fiscally conservative (rated in 2007 as the #1 fiscally responsibile Governor by Cato). I don’t think even Ronald Reagan’s conservatism as a governor can compare.

    One other thing; Rick Perry is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, piloting C-130s all across the globe. No other candidate holds such loyalty to our military as does Perry, accounding for the endorsements from Medal of Honor winner, Dakota Meyer and Marcus Luttrell of Lone Survivor fame. These men, who have walked the walk, not just talked the talk, understand that Rick Perry will have their backs in an ever exploding Middle East and nations to the south of us joining hands with China and Iran.

    Now, a few things not generally known about Rick Perry: he lobbied for, and obtained legislation that abolished ad valorum taxation (home property taxes) for veterans with 100% military related disabilities and a reduced tax base for veterans with 50, 70 & 90% disabilities. He had befriended Israel like no one else, doing so long before he was governor when he was still Ag Commission (no small position in Texas).

    Now, why do I point all this out? Because Newt is not the only viable candidate in this race. And while I have great respect for Newt, he could have done more. The border was an issue when Newt was speaker, and he never addressed it, leaving the states to pick up the bill and the pieces from lax border security. Texas has spend over $400 million of state money to try to protect its citizens from the illegal crossers on its joint border with Mexico.

    And all of this has been done with an ever expanding population. 20% growth in just 10 years reaching a population of 25+ million, and growing every day by 1,000 a week. And no one, and I do mean no one, can compare to the jobs produced by Texas (and no, they are not all minimum wage jobs) while the nation continues to loose jobs and Obama pads his unemployment numbers by dropping Americans off the work force roles.

    I know there are those who view Rick Perry as dumb. At least that is the meme being put out by the liberal media. But if you remember, the same liberal media claimed Reagan was dumb and Bush was dumb, and the next Republican candidate to come from anywhere other than the NE beltway will also be labeled dumb. Dumb men cannot run states that are as successful as Texas.

    And last, but not least, I will give you a window into the soul of the Rick Perry you will never hear about. Read it, and tell me if this is not a man to be considered:

    • January 6, 2012 3:29 pm

      Perry, like Newt, has a serious fault with illegal aliens. We all didn’t fight tooth and nail against Bush, McCain, Kennedy, Reid and Pelosi against their Shamnesty bill (and nearly lose) to turn around and hand this election to another idiot who thinks American Sovereignty is some kind of a coin;

      Rick Perry not a true conservative by Tancredo

      The Phony Right-Wing, Part 5: James Richard ‘Rick’ Perry

      Rick Perry’s dangerous Muslim compromise:

      Rick Perry AGREES with Obama: Open Borders for America

      Rick Perry thanked by Vicente Fox for Illegals In-State Tuition (TX Dream Act)

      Does GOP want Perrys DREAM act too?

  5. retire05 permalink
    January 4, 2012 8:00 pm

    Oh, and no, I don’t work for the Perry campaign before some troll accuses me of that.

  6. January 8, 2012 6:03 pm

    History proves that in order to win the Presidency you must be attractive physically not just fiscally, so the idea that we would actually elect an over weight middle aged man with a 1970’s combover is preposterous!
    Wake up and remember the masses elect our President in the general election not well informed political junkies like us.
    Sorry the only 2 candidates we must not dare nominate are the two ugly old guys. I agree it is a SAD commentary on our society but we have been trained to respond to attractive people and reject unattractive people, so do not discount this critical criteria when selecting our Presidential nominee, as we did with McCain in 2008.
    Vote for Rick Santorum he is good looking, conservative and was endorsed by the Conservative Party USA before the Iowa Caucus!


  1. Credentials: Gingrich « Furthermore
  2. Romney views & actions… « Trying Times
  3. Newt campaign…tweets « Trying Times
  4. Romney’s Credentials vs. Gingrich’s Credentials « Trying Times

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