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State of the Race: Romney with Clear Path to Victory

January 6, 2012 2 comments

With a win in Iowa, is the race over? On one hand, the “establishment” says it is, while the anti-Romney crowd says know way. Realistically, it is very difficult to see a scenario where Romney is not the nominee. Here’s why:

Momentum: Momentum is key in the nominating process, and Romney has most of it (followed by Santorum with some of it) and Gingrich (the frontrunner since November) has absolutely none of it. Romney was never supposed to win Iowa. He didn’t even try to win Iowa until the final few weeks and realized he had a shot. He only spent a little over $1 million and very little time there, less than 1/2 the time as the nearest contender, and less than 1/5 the time as Santorum. Iowa was suppose to select the clear “anti-Romney” – supposedly Newt – and Romney was going to finish behind Paul. None of that happened. Now, Romney rides a solid week into New Hampshire, where in a recent Suffolk Poll (take the day of and after Iowa), Romney had a higher percentage of votes in the state than Paul, Newt, Santorum, Perry, and Huntsman combined. So yes, even if Santorum (or Newt) were to get every single vote from the other anti-Romney’s, he would still lose Iowa.

The other bad news on the momentum front for the anti-Romney’s is, with a clear victory in New Hampshire, and with Paul likely finishing second, both Santorum and Newt will fail to create any separation from each other. Romney will be riding on 3 weeks with 2 important victories, while Newt and Santorum will be staking what is left on South Carolina. It seems they are refusing to go after each other, which doesn’t help either one since they are both each others competition. Polling had Romney close in a 2 way race in South Carolina. Add momentum and a 3rd entrant (plus Perry will be spending what he has left there), and PPP reported that Romney has a double-digit lead on Newt Santorum in South Carolina.

The Newt-Santorum battle will likely be unresolved by South Carolina. While some movement has been towards Santorum, he will be quickly vetted and already has some major problems. A video is now circulating where he blasts the Tea Party for wanting to change the way the Tea Party wants to change the GOP, specifically on earmarks and spending. In a separate issue where he talked about “black” people on welfare he is now bizarrely trying to claim he said “blah people.” In other words, Newt-Santorum will be fighting for second in South Carolina.

A Romney win in South Carolina is seeming increasingly likely. Obviously he will be riding on a wave of victories, and will be fighting against two poorly funded and unorganized candidates (and one well-funded candidate in Perry). Voters still view Romney as most able to beat Obama, and many times that over-rides a sense of who they like the best.

From South Carolina, it’s a 10-day sprint to Florida. Neither Newt nor Santorum can afford to do much in Florida right now. If Newt tops Santorum in the state (either finishing first or second) that would leave a split decision between him and Santorum. Neither will get out of the race, and they could again split the vote in Florida. If Santorum wins, he doesn’t have the organization to fund an operation in Florida in any event, and Florida is very expensive to compete in.

Figure that Romney is always one state ahead. He is in South Carolina right now while Santorum and Newt are unwisely wasting time in New Hampshire. What’s worse, is by wasting time and trying to knock Romney down, by failing it only makes Romney seem even stronger. If they would have left New Hampshire to Huntsman and Paul to battle over and lose, they could have easily dismissed the inevitable Romney win as a win in a state of RINO’s where he is supposed to win. Santorum already made a tactical error in this regarding by making the point that Reagan lost Iowa but won New Hampshire. Coveting the NH primary that will go to Romney helps Romney that much more.

February will be Romney territory. He should breeze through Nevada and Michigan (the two notable swing states on the list) and can afford to run ads in the other smaller states going at the time. Whoever is still in the race (Newt/Santorum) will have trouble trying to organize in all of the little states in between.

In March, on Super Tuesday, 10 states will be ready to go to caucus. Romney will have money to spend in all ten of them. Newt, Santorum, and Perry won’t even be on the Virginia ballot, the 12th largest state, and the 4th largest delegate count of the day. Absent a win in South Carolina or Florida, will they even have the funds to compete in half of the states?

The bottom line is this: Romney knows a knock-out punch can be delivered in South Carolina, even though many deniers will stand on the roof tops and yell about the few number of delegates that have been awarded to that point. It doesn’t matter. Money dries up fast when you keep losing. And money keeps coming in when you keep winning. Romney popped into Iowa at the last minute because he saw he could win, he did, and picked up a state he never should have won. South Carolina is deemed the other state he shouldn’t win. He can afford to spend a lot of money in South Carolina, and he will.

Categories: General

Is Santorum electable?

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday, I touched on the Electability of Mitt Romney vs. Obama. (You can read it here)

Santorum supporters seem to have latched onto his argument (and are repeating it to no end) that he is electable because he won statewide twice in two very Republican years. And we can excuse his loss in 2006 because it was a Democrat year.

1994: Santorum was swept into office as part of the 1994 Republican wave, where the GOP picked up a whopping 9 Senate seats. Santorum’s pick-up actually had one of the smallest margins of victory (2.5%) and he was facing an incumbent who had never won a general election match-up and won a special election a few years earlier to finish out the term of Republican Heinz, who passed away.

2006: When Santorum lost, he lost in extra-ordinarilt bad fashion: 18%. For a swing state, this wasn’t even close. Santorum says that he lost because it was a “bad year” for Republicans. But other Republicans in other swing states in this bad year were at least competitive. Consider…

Santorum loses PA by 18% points

Allen lost Virginia by 1%

Jim Talent lost in Missouri by only 3%

Burns lost to Tester on MT by 1%

Dewine Lost Ohio by 12% (and you can’t get less inspiring than Mike DeWine)

Meanwhile, other losing Republicans in liberal states fared better in non-swing states than Santorum did in PA

Michael Steele lost by only 10% in Maryland

Kean lost in New Jersey by only 7%

Chaffee lost in Rhode Island by 6%

Finally, consider this:

To make matters worse,  after supporting Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey because “Toomey was too conservative to win in PA” and Santorum wanted to “hold on to the seat” Specter goes on to cast the deciding vote in Obamacare and Toomey goes on to win the Senate seat that Santorum said he couldn’t win.

Oh yeah, and remember Christine O’Donnell? She only lost her Senate seat by 16% in a solid Democratic state. Crazy Christine outdid the electorate in a liberal state what a 2-term incumbent did in a swing state.

Impressed yet by Santorum’s reasons to why he can win?

Categories: General

Is Romney Electable? What the Polls Say about Obama vs Romney (2012) and McCain (2008)

January 4, 2012 1 comment

 

Obama’s poll domination of McCain began in February, 2008 (McCain became frontrunner, Obama in battle with Hillary)

In 360 national head to head Polls from Feb-November 2008:

+ Obama led McCain in the final 94 polls leading to the Presidential Election

+ McCain led or tied in a sad 26 of the 360 polls taken, or just about 7% of polls, in 8 months of the campaign, Obama led in over 92%

+ Almost half of McCain’s brief poll leads were 1-2%

+ Obama’s average lead in polls in this time was about 8%, hitting double digits about 35% of the time

+ 7 of McCain’s 26 leads followed the Palin VP pick and Convention

 

2011 – Mitt vs Obama

There have been 52 Polls taken since September, 2011 between Obama and Romney

+ Romney has led or tied in 21 of the 52 Polls (15 leads, 6 ties), or about 40%. This 21 number is despite not being the nominee, and only 5 fewer than McCain had in almost 360 polls, and is equal if you remove the Palin “bump”

+ Most of Obama’s leads have been less than 3

So, why is Romney electable?

+ For starters, he’s the only one competitive in polling data

+ He is well known, not very well liked, yet still matches up well against Obama. People think he would make a good President.

+ In this stage of a campaign, polls heavily bias incumbents (incumbents are not in a nasty primary battle and large majorities of incumbent party voters express an opinion in a race. Whereas primaried challenger are more likely to say “unsure” when their desired candidate is not the one being polled against the incumbent)

Obama vs Newt

In case you were wondering, there have been 61 polls putting Newt vs Obama. Obama led in 58 of them, with over 70% being by 10+. Newt led in 2 (one by 1%, one by 2%) and one tie.

“Romney couldn’t beat McCain who couldn’t beat Obama”

+ No one would have beaten Obama in 2008: The media refused to cover him. The nation was suffering from Bush fatigue. He spent, like, $1 billion. The media wanted to see a black President and were willing to do anything about it.

+ No one knew who Romney was. Yes, this is why he didn’t win the nomination. It actually would have been a shock if Romney were to win the nomination. Also, this is like saying Reagan couldn’t beat Carter because Carter beat Ford… who beat Reagan in a primary.

 

Categories: General

3 Ways Romney is different from the “Old Establishment” (McCain, Dole, Ford, Bush 1)

January 2, 2012 1 comment

First, let me say I agree with the premise that the general “establishment” type Republicans usually do very poorly in Presidential nominations. If you have ever read this blog, you would also know I am hardly the die-hard Romney fan, though I am “supporting” him as a practical choice. (And yes, I also agree in voting conviction over settling, but there is no candidate who is worth that vote either.)

I think McCain, Dole, Bush 1, Ford were all horrible candidates because they were all the same, boring, long-time Washingtonian moderate Republicans. However, Romney is very much different than any of these candidates. If anything, candidates like Gingrich and Santorum are far more like the McCains and Doles than Romney is. So, what makes Romney the least establishment establishment candidate ever and why do I think he can break the trend of loserdom?

1) Not of Washington: McCain had been in office for 24 years. Dole became a Senator in 1969 and stayed until his presidential defeat almost 3 decades later. George HW Bush started his career in 1964, and became a member of congress in 1966. Ford started his career in 1949 as a congressman. All of these establishment picks had been in, of, or for Washington for almost 3 decades when they ran for President. Romney took one shot at the Senate in an impossible battle…. when he was almost 50 years old.Romney is also the only candidate to have not made his millions by way of government (compare to any of the current candidates and Obama).

2) Business experience: Ironically, all of the “establishment” picks were in the Military in some fashion or another. This great service to the nation does little for electability (even on the Democrat side draft Dodger Clinton won while John “I was in Vietnam” Kerry lost a guy wasting hours in the National Guard. However, none of these candidates had meaningful business experience. This is a great advantage for Romney who was a very successful businessman and did an impressive job saving the Olympics from financial ruin. Again, Romney spent much more of his life running businesses than running for office. This is also a great point of contrast that Romney has against Obama compared to any other candidate on the GOP side.

3) Executive experience: None of the old hat establishment picks were Executives. In fact, very few members of Congress ever become President. 2008 was an obvious exception since both candidates came from the Senate. An advantage that Clinton had over Dole, Carter over Ford, Bush over Gore, etc. = Executive experience. We all argued against Obama in 2008 also in part due to his lack of preparation in the executive or business world. Romney is the only candidate with meaningful experience in both. And only Perry and Huntsman have meaningful experience as executives.

If anything, Romney is probably the least establishment “establishment” pick ever. On one hand, he fulfills many of the wishlist items that conservatives always argue in favor of: Executive experience and Business experience. And in a year when the Economy and Jobs is key, he is well-positioned here. That said, he does also fulfill the wish-list of “the establishment”: Doesn’t say stupid thing often; knowledgeable; and “most electable.” Yes, I am with you. I always laugh at who the Republicans deem most electable (McCain, Dole, really?).

While it is true that Romney has some liberalism in his closet (and frankly, I can lay out a strong case against all the GOP candidates on that front) he has moved to the right significantly over the past decade. If we are willing to forgive all other candidates past transgressions, Romney actually has one of the more conservative platforms of all the candidates. And no, he doesn’t say stuff that can be wildly blown out of context. And yes, he does come off as a wussy at times. Much of that has to do with him knowing how any misplaced word will be wildly taken out of context by the media and it will cause damage.

And it’s easy to dismiss Romney’s turn to the right as pandering. But at the same time, he refused to back down from his signature legislation in Massachusetts. And if he truly were a pander-monger, wouldn’t that have been the way to go? After all, who would he have pissed off? Earlier this year he backed ethanol subsidies. His views changed around the summer. And though he could possibly endear Iowans to vote for him he stands by a phase out of subsidies while Newt Gingrich is, figuratively, sucking the ethanol out of corn in diners across the state to show how much he loves subsidizing them. So maybe Romney is somewhat more genuine about his flip-flops. It’s also a lot more understanding to see someones views change early in their political careers than 30 years into it.

 

Categories: General

Fact-checking WaPo Fact-checkers (Newt vs Romney)

December 21, 2011 1 comment

The Washington Post took to defending Newt against the “4-Pinocchio” ad run by a pro-Romney Super-PAC. Newt went on to whine further about the ads against him, and then cited the above Washington Post “analysis” of the ads. WaPo “fact-checkers” essentially declared the ads were True (!) but also Not True (!) if you factored in many other things…

The Ad makes 4 points that the WaPo rebutt’s and calls “lies” (Newt is now pointing to this “fact-checking” as proof that the ads are untrue”)

So, let’s look at the What the Ad says, what WaPo says about the Ad, and the Truth about both:

1) Ad cites that Gingrich made $1.6 million from Freddie Mac noting that it helped usher along the economic collapse. WaPo does not dispute the sum. In fact, WaPo’s main complaint is that the SuperPAC says that Freddie/Fannie were primary causes of the economic collapse, a point in which most conservatives agree (and, I’d assume, even Newt Gingrich). So WaPo is more defending whether or not F-Mac helped cause the collapse rather than the amount of money Gingrich earned from them. The second point of contention is the ad claimed Newt made $30,000 an hour. Ironically, this figure was calculated by… the Washington Post. (Read it here). The figure came about because Gingrich said he spent 1 Hr a month working with Freddie Mac. For this, the Romney PAC gets a “Pinocchio.” Not for correctly mentioning Newt’s role w/ Freddie, but claiming Freddie had something to do with the economic crisis.

2) The second Pinocchio comes when the ad claims that Gingrich co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi in 1989 that gave $60 million to China’s brutal One Child policy. Despite admitting this is true, WaPo offers excuses for Gingrich (it like they are fact-checking in favor of Obama or something. Peculiar, no?) The AD declares it a lie because…

*The bill was co-sponsored 23 years ago

*Their were 144 sponsors to the bill (not just Pelosi and Newt),

*The bill didn’t actually pass

*That portion of the bill was only a portion of a much larger bill titled “Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989.”

As you can tell, since it was true, it was obviously a lie, because WaPo says so.I guess if it doesn’t pass and you weren’t the only sponsor, then you didn’t actually support it.

3) WaPo gives a third Pinocchio when the ad claims Newt supported federal taxpayer funding of some abortions. The “fact-checkers” try to dismiss it, first, by noting that this was way back in the 90’s (also when, duh, Newt was in office). Amazingly, the article even specifically quotes where Newt states he supports taxpayer funding of abortion in the case of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Also known as “some.” (Also, many conservatives would argue against the “life of the mother” claim as McCain did in the 2008 campaign when he correctly noted that such cases were exaggerated.) Either way, the ad says “some abortions” and it is true Newt supported federal funding of some abortions. Also apparently making this ad “untrue” is the fact that Romney was once declared as pro-choice. That might make Romney a hypocrite, but it doesn’t make the ad a lie. And certainly, anyone can run ads showing Romney’s past liberalism, as if conservative and Tea Party groups were not astutely aware anyway.

4) The WaPo does not like that the ad states that Newt was the only Speaker of the House ever to be reprimanded. Again, before giving the ad a Pinocchio, they note that, yes, it is true that Newt is the only Speaker to have ever been reprimanded (confused yet). BUT it is only true because former House Speaker Jim Wright (D) resigned before he was reprimanded.

In other words, all of the points made in the Pro-Romney ad are true. However, WaPo declares them “Untrue” based on irrelevant outside circumstances that might have made them untrue if other things might or might not have happened. So remember folks…

1) If you co-sponsor a bill that eventually does not pass and there are more co-sponsors to that bill and it was 23 years ago… you did not in fact co-sponsor that bill according to WaPo

2) If you make $1.6 million dollars from a company and claim you only worked one hour a month for that company, you cannot divide salary by hours worked to determine hourly wage, according to WaPo

3) If you do in fact support some federal funding of abortions, you actually do not support some federal funding of abortions. I know this doesn’t sound logical, but the WaPo says it is.

4) If you are in fact the only Speaker ever to be reprimanded, and one other person was also almost reprimanded once, but wasn’t, you actually aren’t the only person to ever be reprimanded because the guy who wasn’t reprimanded, kinda-sorta was (or something).

Finally: Stop whining. “Attack Ads” have always been around and they always will be. Newt should know. He based the entire 1998 midterm elections on going after Bill Clinton and lost.

Second Finally: It is not an attack ad if it is true. And all the claims are true, even if WaPo says otherwise.

Third Finally: Why is WaPo stretching the truth to defend Newt?

Fourth Finally: Newt, seriously, stop whining.

Categories: General

The Pollinsider (unfortunate) Endorsement

December 3, 2011 8 comments

A little less than a year ago I started this website, mostly to combine my obsessive-compulsive number disorder with my desire to help get Sarah Palin elected President. I had left the politics world several years ago in my mid-20s. I was a columnist for Townhall.com and wrote for a number of other magazines and conservative publications until I came to realize that politicians were politicians, no matter if they had a D or R next to their names. I quit, I got married, and I abandoned writing and politics altogether. Then Sarah Palin came along 2 years later and changed everything, my perception of politics and that one person could make a difference. I knew she was going to run. I could tell she had prepared. I had vetted all of the candidates in depth and realized no one could hold a candle to her. Her ethics. Her worldview. Her life. I created this website to dispel the popular Establishment theme that she could not win and to crunch the numbers to make a factual case. And then the headline popped up on the Drudge Report, and it was all over.

So here I am. I’ve spent the last two months debating myself (and friends here on the interwebs and on Twitter). I’ve played devil’s advocate. I’ve researched archives to find out as much as I could. I drifted to Cain, and thought “What the hell?” But his inability to answer… anything, was troublesome. He was a talk-show host for years an he was running for President, yet he couldn’t answer simple questions. He always said the wrong thing. He got tricked to easily. He issued to many corrections and clarifications. He said too often he would hire good people to answer stuff he didn’t know. He had no general vision.

Then I was stuck. Romney refused to renounce his horrible healthcare plan in Massachusetts. Newt is an egotistical narcissist, a Bush-Dole-McCain clone who debates better and wraps himself in the flag of a movement he always opposed. No executive experience. No business experience… other than the business of getting rich by promoting big government Republicanism. Santorum… Bachmann… Paul… minor fringe candidates who sing one note over and over. A bunch of legislators whose only accomplishments are how they voted one day three years ago, most of the time with 95% of their party anyway.

Then there was Perry. At first it was hard to get by the fact that he looked, sounded, and moved like George W. Bush. He had the personality of a rock, debate skills unworthy of a Junior Varsity squad, and a nasty attacking style. He seemed petty and vindictive.

So, with Palin gone, it became “Who best can defeat Barack Obama.” Newt says it repeatedly, and all of the candidates make the case that they are that candidate. Let’s be honest, most of the candidates agree with each other most of the time. They all want to get rid of Obamacare, make taxes lower/fairer, and help the economy. All the squabbling is about the candidates pasts, and them denying their pasts. As of today, they all basically have the same goals. Whether I believe any of them… well, there’s a reason I got out of politics in the first place. I don’t necessarily. But I would take any of them over Obama. But, alas, some have better chances at winning then others.

So, I looked at the things that conservatives always argue in favor of or things that were important to me (all of which Palin scored high marks on):

Executive Experience: That gives us Romney, Perry, and Huntsman.All with varying degrees of success, but none a failure.

Citizen-Politician: Cain is a prime example, and he’s not obsessed with running for office (just two attempts). I’d also say Bachmann fits in here, though she has been around for awhile here. Though many say Romney has been running for President his whole life, he was almost 50 the first time he ran for office, so not a lifetime politician. Perry and Gingrich have never lived away from government.

Business experience: Another win for Cain and Romney. Not so much for the rest.

Debate Skills: Gingrich and Romney both excel here. Bachmann does well at times. Santorum looks angry (and he gets pissed when you say that). Huntsman is a bore. And Paul is Paul.

Knowledge Base: Gingrich, Romney, Bachmann, and Santorum have the best grasp of issues. Cain is awful. Perry is average. Paul is… Paul.

Personal Life: This can’t be discounted. Team Obama is known for their ability to find dirt (even when it doesn’t exist), rip open divorce records, and to generally destroy people. Romney, Santorum, Huntsman, and Bachmann all seem to live normal, happy lives with normal families. Newt is an absolute mess. Between the messy divorce with wife #2 and the ways Newt has earned his millions since leaving office penniless, he is the biggest risk. Cain is a Question Mark.

Supports Tea Party Movement: Cain and Bachmann win here. Romney is afraid of looking “too conservative.” Newt opposed the tea Party ascension and their goals of turning back RINO’s.

Has Guts: Bachmann and Santorum are the most aggressive. Romney is the most Passive. Newt is both the most aggressive and most passive.

Ethics: Most tie here, with, again, question marks on Newt, both personally and professionally.

Ability to raise Money: Romney. He is the only one who has done it consistently. And it will take a war chest to defeat Obama, especially as Obama uses extra taxpayer money to campaign.

Has been Vetted: Cain, Bachmann, and Perry have all been fully vetted, hence their rise and fall from the polls. As the front-runner, Romney has also been thoroughly vetted, and honestly there is not much there as far as controversy is concerned. Newt is being vetted.

So, here it is. My Sad, Pathetic, Meaningless, Uninspired, Dropped at 1AM on a Friday night Endorsement: Mitt Romney

I attacked Romney frequently and often. But, I always thought he had perhaps the best shot at winning (even when I thought Palin was running, but she was worth the shot.) He has both business and executive experience. He also has RomneyCare. But he vigorously opposes Obamacare (and since the nation agrees with him, I am confident he will stomp it). He has a great family. I think he would be great for business, which is important in my life, and the lives of many of my friends and family members who are suffering in this economy and with life under Obama. He is unpopular, but people are willing to vote for him. He leads or ties Obama in many all the important states, even when the voters don’t much care for him (Same can’t be said about any of the other candidates). He has the greatest ability to woo conservative Reagan Democrats and Independents, perhaps in part because he has been attacked so much by Conservatives, often rightfully so (but perhaps to an over-the-top degree). He looks like a President (and as some joke, could play one on TV). I won’t defend his past policies, because I can’t. I understand the political expediency of running as a liberal in Massachusetts. I also understand the political expediency of wrapping one’s self in the Tea Party flag as others have done, but being a fraud. But to also be fair, when it would have been easy, popular, and perhaps even politically smart for Romney to reject his Mass healthcare plan, he refuses to do so. So, maybe he isn’t all just politics. I even like the way Romney debates. he is solid and he doesn’t make mistakes. When Romney and Perry were pitted against each other in debates, he always came out looking better. And I think Obama would more-so take the place of Perry in the “nasty” regard.

At the end of the day I am afraid for my son and my soon-to-be child and their futures if Obama get’s re-elected. I don’t think it is worth the risk of going with a candidate who is simply the “Anti-Romney,” when that candidate may be little better politically and have little chance of winning. I understand the concept of voting principles, but none of the candidate’s cut it for me in that regard anyway.

So, there it is. I will vote for Romney and I will urge my friends to vote the same way. I can think of no single event more devastating than the re-election of Barack Obama, a President with no regard for the law or the legislative process. A president who makes things up as he goes along. I wan’t him defeated in November of 2012.I might be called a “RINO.” I will get messages about his policies, and like I said I won’t defend them. I will probably say “Yeah, the dude sucks.” And yes, I am voting electability over principles, and to vote principle I would be writing a candidate in who doesn’t want to run.

I am also completely open to a 2016 Primary Challenge. if Romney wins and falters, falls back on his promises, gets sucked into progressivism, I will gladly welcome a challenge to him from the right. Even if he does a good job, I might still be supportive of a better candidate. My priority now is singular: “Making Barack Obama a ONE TERM PRESIDENT!” Hahaha, get it? So I will hope…

Romney-Rubio?

Romney-Ryan?

Romney-West?

Categories: General

Newt: Champion of Moderation

November 16, 2011 1 comment

A November 1st article appearing in The New American wondered if Newt Gingrich was the next “Anti-Romney” or simply just “The Other Romney.” A review of the past decade of Newt’s public efforts, described in that column, clearly builds the case that he is much closer to the latter. A poor campaign start and a mass staff exodus led Newt to be written off months ago. But with an oratory skill that was severely lacking in Rick Perry and the ability to have a well-reasoned, articulate answer to any question, a skill missing in most of the field, Newt has been able to move into the top-tier of candidates. But who is Newt Gingrich?

Read the left, and you might be led to believe that Gingrich is a rabid right-winger, out to unleash a whirlwind of evil conservatism on the country. On the heels of a number of impressive debates, conservatives are starting to reconsider the former House Speaker as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Romney, with a past that includes support for socialist medicine, abortion, and fill-in-the-liberal-policy-blank, has wrapped up the the slot as “establishment candidate.” Enter Newt, the latest anti-Romney. Or so some think.

Since leaving office, the real Newt has been real elusive. He puts party over principle and political viability over conservative conviction. He refuses to take stances on big issues until the outcome is known. Some would say he is “practical” or, perhaps, compassionate. Others might say he is a conservative coward. At best, Newt is a hybrid Dubya-Clinton politician: He has the political instincts, policy-nerd intellect, and debate presence of Bill Clinton, yet the mushy conservatism of George W. Bush. He is innovative, but not bold. He proposes ideas that don’t push conservatism, but moderation.  He favors big tent over big results. He is not a conservative of conviction, but a conservative of convenience. Newt’s skill is that he holds moderate views, but drowns out those details by seeing how many times he can say “free-market solutions” and “Reagan” and “liberal extremists.”

During the 2004 Republican Convention, Business Insider called Gingrich the GOP “centrists’ newest champion.” At a forum with a centrist GOP group, Newt declared: “Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve argued in favor of electing the moderates.” Discussing Conservative groups who aimed to challenge liberal Republicans like Arlen Specter during the 2004 cycle, Newt went on: “”The key is to elect more Republicans and have a bigger majority and be more inclusive.” With the help of “Conservatives” with this mindset like Newt and then-President Bush, Specter was able to barely defeat his conservative primary challenger Pat Toomey in 2004. Five years later, Specter would cast the deciding vote in Obamacare – as a Democrat. This party-over-principle mindset would become all too apparent in future election cycles.

Recent elections have shown how empty Newt’s conservative backbone is. In 2009, he declared it a “mistake” for tea party groups and conservative leaders like Sarah Palin to try to replace moderate republicans with conservative ones. His argument could make sense in states like Massachusetts, where conservative victories are rare. But he was especially verbal when, as Newt called the Tea Party at the time, the “militant wing” went after Utah Sen.  Bennett. While not the worst offender, Bennett is not as conservative a voice as such a solid red state deserves. There was little question that any Republican would win that seat, so why not get the most conservative one you could find?

Newt’s conservative cowardism was apparent in a number of other 2010 races as well. Supporting Pat Toomey in PA and Marco Rubio in FL during the 2010 cycle were no brainers for most conservatives. But Newt, who has an opinion on everything, remained “neutral” as the conservative stars fought against soon-to-sell-out candidates Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist. But Newt was unwilling to risk going against two big names in two important states. After all, if Specter and Crist were to win, who better for them to support than Mr. Moderate, Captain No-Labels himself should he run for office himself a few years later?  While he did not publicly back Specter and Crist, his pro-moderate, anti-incumbent-challenger statements made that case clear enough. He finally summoned the courage to back Marco Rubio when Crist announced he was leaving the party. How bold.

Most infamously, Newt gave his support to DeDe Scozzafava in a 2009 congressional special election to replace an outgoing Republican. Why? Because she was a Republican and the GOP is a big tent, okay people! The establishment hand-picked nominee was so unacceptable that conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, and Tim Pawlenty backed a 3rd party challenger who had a shot at winning. Scozzafava wasn’t just a slightly moderate Republican. She was a Republican who supported abortion, gay marriage, Obamacare, federal funding for abortion, Obama’s outrageous 2009 stimulus package and received the endorsements of New York’s largest teacher’s union and far-left blogfest Daily Kos. She was also the proud recipient of Planned Parenthood awards.

Newt Gingrich endorsements during contested elections are few and far between. So his support of Scozzafava was especially odd. Again, his main point was: The GOP has to be a big tent and we have to support moderates and liberals, no matter how extreme they are, as long as they have an R next to their name. Usually, Newt sits on the sideline, waiting for the dust to settle before endorsing a candidate. I could find no instance where Newt supported a Tea Party candidate before a primary victory. And there were a lot to choose from.

Newt’s mushy moderation principles puts him directly at odds with tea party groups, Regean Warriors, and, generally speaking, most conservatives. This is a guy who would be more comfortable electing liberals like Arlen Specter, Lisa Murkowsi, Charlie Crist, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins over Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Palinistas, or Reaganites.

But Newt’s Mushy Moderation goes beyond who he supports for elected office. Likewise, Newt has spent the last decade refusing to come down on the side of conservatism over liberalism. Most often, he goes for the moderate answer: He accepts basic liberal premises on global warming, immigration, education, health care, and entitlements and thinks he is great because he puts a slightly more conservative spin on liberal goals. But when it comes down to it, he rarely chooses to side with conservatives unless the issue has been proven overwhelming popular with voters at large. Where’s the conservative back-bone?

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Newt’s Moderate Policy ways (I’ll provide links to the best pieces below. No need to restate what’s been stated (and oft forgotten) before.

Rockefeller Republican:Robert Novak described Newt as a Rockefeller Republican who simply adopted “the maxim that the business of the opposition was to oppose.” That Newt was moderate before becoming a “Reagan Republican” (mainly as it became popular to do so). Finally, Novak noted that Newt was never comfortable as a big-time right-winger and “was regressing to his Rockefeller Republican roots after less than seven months as Speaker” and “abandoning the Republican base.” Reportedly, Newt worked as a regional director for the liberal, pro-abortion left-wing Rockefeller in the 60s over more conservative Republicans (at least he is consistent).

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(MUST READ) Chameleon: This piece stuck with me when I first read it back in March and had me beginning my deeper look into Newt. Yes, it is written by a Democrat who was a Republican in the 1970s and worked with Newt. Neither a current competitor nor someone who took Newt as a serious Presidential contender at the time of writing the piece, but someone who found Newt’s political triangulation fascinating. But it is pretty much right on with Newt’s long history of… being a chameleon. From the piece:

Transformer Newt: “Having carefully watched Gingrich up close since he was a Rockefeller Republican in the 1970s, I also know that he is a master of tactical reinvention: a microcosm of the modern Republican Party contained in one complicated man. And at least superficially, he seems to have transmuted himself into exactly what the lost Tea Party Republican is yearning for this election cycle.”

Gingrich runs to the left of Conservative Democrat opponent in first two Congressional runs: “Unlike many Georgia Republicans who sought to out-flank Dixiecrats by coming across as better-bred right-wing extremists, Gingrich ran to (Democrat Opponent) Flynt’s left, emphasizing environmentalist and “reform” themes, and enlisting significant support from liberal Democrats.”

Final assessment: “Everything we know about the adaptable Gingrich tells us that he will bend over backwards to give Republican audiences what they want, whether or not it comports with what he was saying the day before yesterday. In this strange environment, that might be all that’s necessary.”

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Medicare Reform: Newt strongly opposed Paul Ryan’s “radical” entitlement reforms. Then apologized. And then backed them again. Then said they went to far. Then said they didn’t. He said he wouldn’t support. And that he would vote for it. (All of this changed depending on who was mad at him at the time. Anyone know where he stands now? Good luck finding out.

Then, on behalf of President Bush, Newt Pushes $400 Billion unfunded Prescription Bill plan to skeptical conservatives. Joins AARP in calling for passage against conservative opposition.

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Big Government Environmentalism: Newt’s disguised liberalism on the environment can be unburied piece by piece. He calls for carbon trading schemes, and big government solutions one day, and leads chants in “drill here, drill now” the next. The ONLY thing that makes Newt different from radical environmentalists is 1) he doesn’t aim to scare people into believing the world is going to turn into a ball of fire. In a debate with john Kerry, he claimed to agree with 60% of what Kerry believed in his Environment book, only Newt would use the word “conservative” more.

PBS Interview, 2007: Newt: “I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”

Newt then goes on to say he wish Bush had implemented three things: “Mandatory (Carbon) caps, a trading system inside the caps, as we have with clean air, and a tax incentive to be able to invest in the new technology and to be able to produce the new technology — I think we would be much better off than we are in the current situation.”

Newts Agenda in his own words can be read at the link: A quick read looks good. He drops the words “conservative” and “Reagan” and talks about how wacky liberals are. But his solutions aren’t much different than what a President Obama would support: Carbon Trade Schemes, “incentives” and “tax credits” for production of high-MPG vehicles (sound familiar? Like for the Leaf, Prius, Cash-for-Clunkers etc. Those tax credits?), and a “government-led scientific” team (Can you hear the green shifting from your wallet yet?)

Lest we forget. Newt also has lobbied for ethanol subsidies and is a big proponent of keeping them going. Oh, then sat on some chair with some lady, but I can’t remember who.

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Newt favored  restoring Food Stamps and other welfare benefits to hundreds of thousand of non-residents, costing the government over $1 billion.Who first ended it? Newt Gingrich.

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As Drudge Would say… DEVELOPING …..

Categories: General