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.
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 TARP bailouts
- 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.
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.
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
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