Skip to comments.Team Romney's Unfair Attack on Santorum
Posted on 03/20/2012 12:13:10 PM PDT by Servant of the Cross
First, here's the set-your-hair-on-fire clip about which we're all supposed to be enraged, via Rick Santorum on the stump:
"I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. It doesn't matter to me..."
The horror! Rick Santorum doesn't care about the unemployment rate! Except, the former Senator's sentence went on: "...my campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It's something more foundational that's going on." What Santorum was conveying -- albeit terribly ham-handedly -- is that his candidacy is about more than mere economic issues. He's arguing that while Mitt Romney's campaign relies on harnessing and exploiting Americans' transient economic jitters, his own focus is "more foundational." You may think that's an attractive message, or you may think it's a foolish approach in an age of crushing debt, very high unemployment, and lackluster growth. In either case, it should be plainly obvious that no presidential candidate would ever utter and mean such a tone deaf statement -- of only because of the political damage it could wreak. Romney's camp quickly blasted out an email highlighting the edited quote, asking, "he said what?!" and Romney himself has started hitting Santorum over the remarks at rallies.
I understand that political campaigns try to capitalize on their opponents' gaffes. Part of the game. But you'd think the Romney campaign might be a tad more forgiving of a fellow Republican who -- oh, I don't know -- says something silly that he doesn't really believe, but is easily clippable and taken out of context:
There are plenty of elements of Rick Santorum's record and campaign messaging strategy to question and attack. This is just weak sauce.
Yes. You claimed he ran false ads against Newt at the same time as Romney, that made the same false claims as the Romney ads.
But you posted two truthful negative ads (factually — their opinions and conclusions are just that, and are not “true” or “false”) that were run AFTER Romney’s ads had already done their damage in Florida, two ads that were run in the next contests.
So, while they are certainly negative attack ads against Gingrich, they don’t really show either of your claims to be true. I don’t agree with the conclusion of the two ads you posted, btw. But they aren’t the same as the false attack ads Romney ran.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting for someone to explain to me how fighting over who ran what ads in January helps beat ROmney. And I’d REALLY like to know how freepers positively supporting Romney attacks against Santorum is helpful in beating Romney.
Neither is truthful.
Give me a break. Just support your failed priest and be happy with that moron.
And, no candidate has stuck his foot in his mouth more times -- attacking the Ryan plan, which almost killed his campaign, the attacks on Bain, the out-of-control rage at Romney in the Florida debate that allowed Santorum to look like the adult in the room.
And, let's not forget, he decided to take a cruise with the wife last summer, all but abandoned his campaign and lost his entire staff to Rick Perry.
So stop pretending like all the attacks on him have derailed the next Reagan. Get over it. Sane conservatives have known for a long time that beating Romney with someone reasonably conservative is the only thing to achievable this election cycle.
You sir have stepped out of your league. Allow me to demonstrate:
First, I agree with the mistakes. Bet you didn’t see that coming. No, I know you didn’t see that coming.
Second, that does not change my basis about Newt’s ability. It is what it is.
Third, I never pretended that the attacks are the only reason the campaign derailed. I have however pointed out that pipsqueak did participate in them however.
Now, back down to your own league..
Lots of things wrong with your statements. Newt was slammed harder in Florida than in Iowa. That's why he collapsed there. It sounds like he ran out of money after Florida, and not campaigning in every February state hurt him, and that coupled with the widespread religious endorsements for Santorum changed Santorum into the frontrunning non-Romney. Newt didn't "collapse" after Georgia. He's been doing gradually better in every state he's been campaigning in. Georgia was a bigger victory because its his home state. Adelson's money went to Newt's SuperPAC, not to Newt. We don't know how much money the SuperPAC has left now. As for Santorum, he has been raising a lot of money. That's why he can now beat Newt in states, but not Romney. He would be doing better against Romney if he could learn how to speak English at least as well as W.
Newt does not have a history of pleasing the left. He was the worst nightmare of leftists, liberals, Democrats and RINOs every year he was in the House. The speeches he gave against liberalism outdo the strongest conservative statements made by anybody since...Limbaugh, Levin, etc. Even the Reagan administration was too liberal for Newt, that’s how much of a hardliner he was. He taught a generation of conservative thinkers how to dismantle a leftist. The Pelosi ad was simply him trying to promote alternative energy sources, which he has always been for, and which it’s probably fair to say is the only position on which he isn’t as conservative as some might want him to be.
Please....winners confidently move to the right side of the room. Whiners go hand wring to the left...
Newt's comments occurred on 05.19 on MTP, and were a response to one of Gregory's typically mangled questions. A few days before, he had written an article over-the-top praising Ryan's plan... which people like you, and others, conveniently forget.. And, as per norm, Ryan has changed his plan to agree with many of Newt's tweaks... FACTS, REALITY, CONTEXT.
Gingrich praised the Ryan plan in an article in Human Events on April 13. He called it the most serious attempt by an elected official to rethink our public finances and the modern welfare state in a generation. That is quite a compliment from a former speaker of the House to a current committee chairman. Using a golfing metaphor, Gingrich celebrated the plan, calling it a Ryan "eagle." Is that comparison a negative critique, or is it commendation? One week later, on April 20, Gingrich in the same space heaped more praise on the plan. He compared PaulRyan to PaulRevere, one of our nation's great heroes, and compared the Ryan Medicare plan with his own previous welfare reform. Why would he disparage something he would compare to one of his greatest achievements? Gingrich later said he would have voted for the plan if he had had the opportunity......
So Paul Ryan has now come to agree with Newt Gingrich about how Medicare reform should be implemented. No one should be surprised. Gingrich helped reform welfare during a Democrat presidency. He knows how to reform the whole entitlement leviathan.
"...that allowed Santorum to look like the adult in the room..."
Oh, dear, no offense, but Santorum NEVER looks like the adult in the room.
Of course, no one is your league. Only Jesus Christ ever has been!
You must really have an inferiority complex if you have to keep telling everyone how brilliant you are.
Second, that does not change my basis about Newts ability
His abilities have always been offset by his blunders. He is loose cannon with a big ego, sort of like you. Pride always proceeds the fall.
And more importantly, Newt has said it was his attempt to show conservatives didn't have to cede the environmental debate to the extremists and wackos, and that conservative ideas could compete with the liberal and extreme ideas. He did the same thing when he went on an education tour with the horrible Al Sharpton. He actually went into ghettos, and poor failing schools. And talked about conservative solutions, alongside Sharpton's liberal left solutions. That's territory where you don't see republicans ever.
In Iowa, he went to a very hostile black church and took a lot of harsh questions from angry members about his janitor jobs for kids and no work ethic remarks. They grilled him big time, with many angry questions, then invited him for dinner, laid hands on him and prayed, and afterwards, several church members said they were voting for Newt... that is revolutionary. Newt takes risks and often pays for them by being misunderstood and maligned. He has the heart of a revolutionary and a reformer...
And people would have us support Santorum over this giant...
Duh! His candidacy would have been over if he hadn't.
The attack on the plan was a failed attempt at politically positing himself in the primary and he had to backtrack, something he has had to do many times.
That’s a joke, right?
It has to be.
Do you read? do you understand words placed side by side to form sentences? Reading comprehension, man. Before the MTP remark, I am not sure Newt had said anything about Ryan’s plan within the context of the campaign. and the articles were BEFORE the MTP appearance, where his response was not reported in context.
First letters, then words, then sentences. They make up a thought.
That guy is an idiot.....
What Sanctimonuckabee fans don't understand is what it's like to have folks want your opinion on everything for 30 years, which is sort of what Newt has lived. No one has ever cared what the hell Rickie thought about anything, so he's hardly on record of having an original thought. (even so, he's got some problems out there).
Thus, the mental midget game of adding up only 'negatives' with no perspective or no analysis of how the negatives relate to the massive amount of positives.
Bottom line, Santorum does not have Newt's ability or mental agility and never would in his wildest dreams, which for Rick, is probably pretty boring and mild anyway.
It’s true, Bee :(
Obama is so obsessed with Newt and feels the need to respond to so many things Newt is doing that it’s hard to keep track. Newt draws fire from libs the way Palin does, except that Newt is more on the offensive than Palin is (I love Palin BTW, just sayin, Newt has them flumoxed).
That Santorum or Mitt could ever do that. Yeah, right....
About 3 weeks ago, Newt decided he wanted to rebrand to a 2.50 gal gas theme. Since then, what has been front and center, energy, American energy, Obama may now give the Keystone Pipeline, a portion, a fast track.
Newt is setting the agenda, forming the debate. He was talking about going to the convention months ago, what's everybody talking about now?
the eyes that won't see.
If I had the time, and I really wish I did, I would love to do a comparative analysis, when Newt said something originally and first, and when his thought, idea or concept showed up in a Santorum speech or talking point.
There was one speech Santorum gave, in Georgia, I think, where more of what he said was stolen from newt, than taken from his speechwriters.
He's not going to win Illinois is he?
Newt on Hannity’s show tonight at 9:30 pm EST. Tune in.
Very good point -- and I'm going to tell you something now that will make you sick: back before SC and right after SC, I told the super PAC to run ads showing Santorum praising Newt (it was a clip from one of the debates) - praising Newt as his conservative mentor. I said run these ads to start gently peeling off Santorum's voters who think he's the true conservative and as a way to convince Perry, Palin, Bachmann, Cain, etc, supporters to come to Newt.
DAMN I wish they had taken my advice. Had they done that in SC and Florida, I think the race would be totally totally different.
“I would vote in a heart beat for Newt, but he will not be the candidate, and anyone here that says otherwise is just out of touch with reality.”
I find myself wondering more and more if there is actually anything close to resembling ‘reality’ anymore. Reality SEEMS to be what we are TOLD it is, and it is so far from what we have tried to do, so far from what REAL Americans want, I can’t find it anymore.
It’s like that elusive butterfly someone sang about once upon a time.
Heads up friend......He's announcing it on 'Thursday'...no doubt to enhance his election.
Ain't that the truth!...Our nation is all but gone and people have missed the plays in this Primary badly. They took the Santorum 'bait' hook line and sinker.
Too many are ignorant of the Democrates devices..and they have not learned how to tell when in operation. Newt saw it coming right from the get go...and why he had no reservations about calling the media out.
I say on to Convention....and let the blood flow til the last man's standing....and may God in His mercy and grace see fit to rescue this once great land one more time....otherwise...prepare for the fall..
Newt took most Santorum votes in South Carolina anyway, and he won.
And in Florida, Santorum didn’t break 20%, and if you gave Newt every vote Santorum got, Romney still would have won.
So I’m not sure how running an ad with Santorum praising Gingrich would have done much of anything. It’s not like at the time Santorum was a major player. Who really cared in Florida what Santorum thought of Gingrich.
I mean, the one argument that has some degree of accuracy is that Santorum, even with his win in Iowa, was an also-ran candidate, until Newt crashed and burned. Then Santorum was “last man standing”. But that being true, Gingrich had to fight Romney in Florida, not try to gain by using the back-bencher Santorum to try to build himself up. There just wasn’t value in that.
If we are armchair quarterbacking, I think Newt would have done much better if his response to his loss in Iowa hadn’t been to claim he was switching to an all-out negative assault on Romney, and was “sacrificing” himself to take out Romney.
Newt’s biggest positive was that he had managed to STAY positive, to attack only the right people, and to cast himself as the republican uniter.
But when he declared war on Romney, I think it hurt him. Romney’s ads clearly stung as well, but I don’t think they would have gotten as much traction if Gingrich was still “above the fray”. Since Gingrich had declared war, I think the average voter figured “all’s fair in war”.
Of course, that is just my uninformed opinion. I’m not connected enough to suggest to people what to do, much less to think they might listen to my suggestions. ON the positive side, that means I don’t feel regret like you do.
I should think that Perry endorsing Newt would have gotten most Perry supporters on his side, and Palin’s “vote for Newt” messages in SC and Florida should have gotten most of the diehard Palin folks. And it seems clear most Cain folks were on board with Newt from the day Cain left.
I don’t think there were enough Bachmann supporters left to matter.
I agree with most of your assessments, but I do not see this - and never have seen this - as a pure N + R = defeat of Mitt concept. I think a lot of Newt voters would support Mitt and I think a fair number of Santorum voters would also - if either were to go away. Not on FR or on talk radio maybe, but in the general public.
What we do know is this, there is only one state where the campaign was run in a manner that will defeat Obama: and that was SC. In every other state, Mitt has drummed down turn out with his negative assault machine.
That ain’t getting it done in November.
My comment referred to you, not me, or anyone else.
I can’t say for sure what drove South Carolina, but my opinion is that it was outrage over the media using Newt’s ex-wife against him. If I am correct, that’s a hard pattern to reproduce in other states, or in the general election.
Are you serious? That's not what drove SC. That issue was right at the end. The first debate, where Newt turned the whole thing into a conservative versus liberal contest - re focused everyone on the media, academia, Obama and political correctness - drove the state. I know exactly what drove SC and SC was baked before the issue you brought up even happened. Were you not paying attention? It was an "us" versus "them" in SC instead of an us versus us - and damned right it can be exactly duplicated nationally and should have been. Newt should have ignored Mitt in Florida and made Florida the same thing. He'd have the thing won if he had, I'm convinced.
DAMN I wish they had taken my advice. Had they done that in SC and Florida, I think the race would be totally totally different.
Okay, I can only imagine how bad you feel, but there's nothing that can be done to change things, and it's over and done. NOW, what is your cutting-edge take on where Newt is now, right this minute, and what is the solution to that, in your estimation? How would you proceed? Not to be demanding, but I really would like to know. :)
I was absolutely sure what to do in Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb up through Super Tuesday. They didn’t do hardly any of it.
Now I’m not sure what to do, and I’m not sure what Newt’s goal is at this point. I think he would like to hang in and help keep Mitt from 1144 and then hope to convince delegates on round 2 that he’s the man to go against Obama (at convention). But I don’t think running that type of campaign will pick up enough votes, money and delegates between now and the convention to make that work.
That kind of thing might work if he were really running hard and just finishing second or third, but by semi running, it won’t work.
Newt's goal is to become President. And there has to be a way out of this conundrum or quandry or whatever.
His strong points remain
debate and presentation
breadth of vision and experience...
And here's what I know, based on personal anecdotal experience, if you can get people to sit down and watch and listen to Newt, they never forget him. They have a new standard by which to measure all other candidates...
What do you think of this alternate media campaign, creating media for newt where there is none, person to person...
I am just doubling down on the following,starting today or tomorrow depending on my schedule. It is far from perfect, but it is something, and I am very aware of the clock ticking...
Newt is being jammed out of media coverage. More and more, if we are serious about Newt, we are going to have to pick up the slack, and make our own Newt media.
NEWT'S ALTERNATE MEDIA CAMPAIGN
1. Get your favorite newt video
2. or make one yourself on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/create OR www.youtube.com/t/creators_corner
3. Make some Newt stationary, invite 3 or 4 people over to watch a Newt vid. Leave your invitations on their porch, or in their apartment or condo lobby, or send in snail or email.
4. Give a little talk at the beginning, why you support Newt, keep it simple.
5. show your vid, with a few snacks, something simple. 4. Have some Newt info to give to them. flyers, brochures, etc.
6. Then make a plea for them to get involved. Some will say yes, right then and there. Others will say theyll get back to you, others might say no right there on the spot.
Keep a little calendar and follow up on the undecided in a week or so.
Create your own Newt media. the campaign has its own problems right now. Step up and double down. My first newt party was 2 people, both were my best friends, just humoring me.
For the last debate, I had to reserve the banquet room at a local restaurant to handle all my Newt converts. We have to do this ourselves. If its not important enough to get off the couch, then its not important enough, and let obama or romney have it.
As evidenced here on FR, it is very doubtful any Santorum supporters are going to change their minds, they want a saint for president, and think they have one in Santorum.
But there are plenty of open-minded people out there, not even engaged or paying attention yet. They are ripe for Newt picking.
Any help I can give you, just ask.
Standing O is correct, and let’s examine that standing O:
What drove that standing O was Newt’s ability to roll racism, the media, unions, public education, the work ethic, jobs and political correctness into a stunningly brilliant four part answer to Juan William’s question. This was early in the Monday night debate in SC, and turned the tide. Period.
But look at what it was that Newt did. Mitt could never duplicate that. Rick couldn’t even dream of such a response. Only Newt could do that.
THATS how the entire campaign should be run: brilliant conservatism versus liberalism on all levels. And we know who the most brilliant (albeit flawed) conservative is. We all know. RS knows. Mitt knows. Everybody knows.
Yes. Even Charles knows. And I expect that he is even likely to concede that point. Or not.
I am confused regarding the debate references. What did you mean by “That issue was right at the end” — I thought the ex-wife question was the first question in the debate.
And what do you mean “The first debate”? You mean the first in South Carolina, were there two in South carolina?
I think you are saying that there were two debates, and Newt already took SC by what he said in the 1st debate, and that the debate where the ex-wife question was asked wasn’t important.
But there have been so many debates, I’m not sure exactly what happened when, or what you exactly are referring to.
Could you help me out, maybe give me the dates of the debates you are talking about? I don’t want to dispute your interpretation, I’d like to understand it, and if I could check out contemporaneous news articles, FR posts, and the like based on the debates you are referencing, it will help bring me up to speed.
OK, just ignore my other question now, I see which debate you are referencing here.
And certainly, this is the Gingrich that was attracting a lot of support. The GOP uniter, focused on attacking liberal policies and the liberal media.
I realize that polls are lagging indicators; when I poked around before, it seemed the polls swung before the 2nd debate with the ex-wife question; I might argue that the reason for his final result being twice his polling might have been disgust with the ex-wife question, clearly the polls moved after this first debate.
I would dispute that GIngrich can do THIS again either. First because Romney won’t do another debate, and second because I think once you have lost that “uniter” mantle, you can’t get it back. I think Gingrich tried for a little bit, he was going “positive” again, but it didn’t help.
I would love to be proven wrong, but do you see any indication that, even with Santorum’s issues, and his faltering now in contests, that any swing back to Gingrich is happening?
BTW, of the guys we have left, certainly Gingrich is the most “brilliant” — well if I had to choose my own words, I’d probably say the most capable of inspirational articulation of conservative principles.
And to be honest, I had dismissed him when he started in large part because I saw no real conservative support for him, and I wasn’t interested in spending another election trying to convince conservatives that some candidate, flawed as they were, was “good enough”. I did that in 2008. I wanted to just back whoever the mass of conservatives decided was the best.
By August I realized nobody was going to pick “the” candidate, so I started leaning toward Perry not because he was the most brilliant, but because he was polling very well, was well-received by a majority of conservatives, and his record was very good. But then he fell apart, and since then, we’ve gone from candidate to candidate, but none have held the attention of the “conservative swarm”.
I would gladly back Santorum for President, if he could win, because he is certainly conservative enough to not have significant conservative backlash — once the nomination was over that is, since until that time ANY conservative would get bashed by other candidate supporters.
I would gladly back Newt Gingrich for President, if he manages to come back. I don’t dislike Gingrich, I just don’t think he has a chance, either to win the nomination, or beat Obama (at least not if Obama isn’t so damaged that a ham sandwich could beat him).
I never saw any indication in polling data that Gingrich could overcome his negatives built up over decades. And with conservatives largely rejecting him until he was the “only one left”, it seemed he’d have trouble with the enthusiasm — I think that is borne out by how Santorum supporters don’t largely back Newt as their 2nd choice.
Remember, to the general population of republicans, Romney is seen as conservative. I’m not going to argue that point, just stating how he is perceived. We see that in exit polls, we see how he somehow gets a good percentage of tea party support, we see how he somehow gets endorsements by politicians and other leaders who are otherwise conservative. It doesn’t make Romney conservative, but it means that there are a good number of people who consider themselves conservative who don’t see the race as two conservatives against a liberal.
For that mass, it’s not enough that Gingrich is a conservative, they think he’s not enough and they actually feel Romney might be more conservative, or at least no less. These are the people who keep bringing up pelosi, global warming, Newt and the mandate, Newt supporting TARP, etc. I’m not arguing the facts of those matters, just perception.
And you know that there are people here at FR who argue that Santorum is at least no more conservative than Romney, and a few who would rather have Romney than Santorum. Outside FR, we know that Adelson, the billionare backer of Gingrich, who we assume backs Gingrich because he wants a conservative to win, has publicly stated that his 2nd choice is Romney.
That is what I see as the insurmountable problem. There was that moment when Gingrich was getting attacked mercilessly and unfairly by Romney, but also some of the facts were against Newt; I think he had to separate the two, address the snippets of truth (he did in many cases, apologizing for the Pelosi thing for example), and blow off the rest.
But in my opinion, he went overboard with the attacks on Romney, allowing them to be characterized as “attacks from the left”. (I note Santorum is desparate enough now to be doing some of the same thing, and I think that won’t help him either). For conservatives who didn’t see ROmney as hopelessly liberal, I think that hurt Gingrich. The conservative talk shows calling Gingrich out on that attack hurt him, Club For Growth went after him as well.
That unfortunately played right into Romney’s negative cmapaign — which was trying to paint Gingrich as a fake conservative. It was ludicrous, but then here is Gingrich using attacks that appeared to be liberal attacks on capitalism, and conservatives were calling him out. I think that pushed the uninformed conservative to ROmney, and also propped up Santorum’s numbers in Florida when I really expected them to drop to single digits since he abandoned the state.
This is just conjecture, and given that I have abandoned my previous conjecture, I’m not going to argue that it is informed. But I’m curious about your opinion on the matter, because for whatever differences we have in our arguments, I find your arguments compelling and thoughtful.
In a hurry, so I’ll try to do those two posts justice:
Yes, the first debate swung momentum and then the first question in the second debate sealed the deal. “Right at the end” means the second debate, Thursday night, which was “at the end” of the SC process. Voting was Saturday of course. The deal was cooked by then thanks to Monday’s debate and all the coverage of Monday’s debate for all day Tue, Wed and Thursday.
And no, I don’t think Newt will have the opportunity to do it again either for the reasons you mentioned. I still remain convinced that had he been kept away from Mitt’s ads in Florida (dumb-ss campaign staffers not wise enough to do this) and made Florida an extension of his SC campaign, that he would have won Florida too. He let Mitt drag him into the mud pit on the Monday debate in Florida and it has been all down hill since then except for Georgia primary.
All the candidate TV appearances get posted here, including this one:
Thanks. I agree. It’s been a weird campaign for me, since I didn’t have to choose who to vote for in Virginia, so I’ve felt a little disconnected.
When Perry was found to have not qualified, there was one day when I was ready to announce I was supporting Gingrich (since he was the only one left who was on the Virginia ballot). I even criticized Bachmann and Santorum for not bothering to submit signatures, and then Perry for not asking for help and then screwing up so bad (I had registered for all the campaigns, and sent an e-mail offering to help collect signatures and pointing out that it was a hard task and they should be trying to get it done a couple of weeks early).
I was so mad Perry didn’t get on the ballot, because if they had asked, I could have collected lots of signatures just by sitting around for a few hours on our general election night in November. The only candidate collecting signatures then was Herman Cain.
But then, Gingrich was knocked off. So I was back to my “I’ll support whichever conservative manages to come out on top”. Unfortunately, it turns out that we don’t even have a majority here at FR who are willing to support the conservative who has been at the top for over a month now.
If conservatives refuse to support the best-performing conservative, there’s not much hope — we can’t magically make Gingrich the front-runner, just because everybody thinks he would be better than Santorum here. Gingrich has to convince the people who are VOTING that he is better.
And not to be “bashing” Newt, but skipping state after state, and announcing a “southern strategy” which seems to write off most voters, doesn’t look like a good way to convince the general conservative population that he is the one we should all be supporting.
Newt was brilliant in taking on liberals, but ran a very disjointed and poorly planned campaign steeped in all kinds of inside the beltway BS wisdom. It sank him.
Thanks!! I've seen that link around but never visited.