There has always been a huge chink in Romney’s armour of electability. Last night, that chink turned into a chasm.
Romney lost 25.2% to Santorum 55.4% in Missouri; 17% to Santorum 45.2% in Minnesota and 35% to Santorum 40% in Colorado. To be fair, two are non-binding caucuses and MI was a non-binding primary. Does it mean that Santorum is the man now. I still don’t think so. I’m still convinced that Santorum was the lucky man at the right time to receive the Not Romney bounce going into the Primaries. Santorum hasn’t been the focus of a $30 million negative ad bomb that Newt is dealing with. That’s all going to change.
It will be interesting to see how Santorum reacts to the carpet bombing of negative ads that Team Romney will unload on him. Meanwhile, Newt is waiting for Super Tuesday. I think if Newt is smart, he’ll let Romney do all the dirty work against Rick (which is the only thing Romney is good at) and focus on the positives of his campaign, which is what he wanted to do in Iowa before Mitt went negative first.
Where does that leave poor Mittens? Well besides the millions in SuperPAC funds to unload a barrage of negative attack ads on Newt and Rick….not much. Romney is/has peaked. His constant negativity has hurt him. His percentage of votes has all gone down vs ’08. If you look at the States Romney has won, you see two things pop out, money spent on attack ads and demographics. Money is the big reason that Romney won Florida. Romney’s campaign spent $7 million to Newt’s $1 million and the Romney’s PACs spent $8.5 million to Newt’s $2.2 million. In Nevada, the huge Mormon population played a big factor in Romney’s win. As for New Hampshire, what can you expect when the candidate campaigned in the state for the past 5 years?
Looking ahead, there are some bright spots for Mitt. He should do well in Maine, Michigan, Vermont and Massachusetts. After that it looks bleak. Going out West, he might do well in Idaho (sizable Mormon population there) and of course Utah, but that’s it. One of the problems for Romney, is that he doesn’t have enough money to sustain the constant stream of negative attack ads against two opponents. If he goes full bore on the attack against Santorum, Newt will come out the winner. If he goes full bore against Newt, like he has been, Santorum will come out the winner.
This is the big reason Team Romney and it;s surrogates have been pushing the meme to end the primaries early. They know, just like in 2008, a longer primary will spell their doom. It’s not because the longer primary will expose more and more of Mitt weaknesses as a candidate, which are legion. It’s because Mitt only campaigns negatively. A prolonged negative campaign only hurts the candidate in the long run, while propping them up in the short run. Unless Mitt can campaign on positives, telling people why they should vote for him instead of why they should vote against the other guy, he will continue to lose support.
Romney would help himself and his party if he realized that he will have a much higher chance of winning the general election if he reaches out to conservatives and convinces them to be enthusiastic. It’s one thing to win the vote of every anti-Obama voter in the country, but on his current trajectory Romney will fail to convince many of them to make that extra effort to get their friends and neighbors to the polls. That could ultimately mean the difference between victory and defeat — and for now Romney seems oblivious to that fact.
This is also the reason why I don’t think Romney would win against Obama. You can’t win by hoping that the electorate will vote against the other guy. I think Republican’s misunderestimate Obama’s 2008 win. I think the GOP thinks Obama won purely by running a 100% against Bush campaign. He didn’t. He gave Liberals a reason to vote for him as well. He gave them Blue meat as well as telling then to not vote for the other guy.
A lot of people have been talking about what will they do if Mitt Romney is nominated for the GOP Presidential Candidate. I’m not alone in thinking that the GOP establishment is desperately trying to prop up Mitt as their establishment candidate. The establishment GOP media is pushing Mitt and attacking Newt. They have their various reasons, mostly citing “electability,” for pushing Romney but that won’t help Mitt if he should become the nominee.
The level of negative attacks coming from Mitt Romney’s campaign is turning people off. How else can you explain almost a $10 million ad blitz from Team Mitt (with 80% being attack ads) and losing independents nationally (his Raison d’être)? Mitt seriously lacks any Tea Party support as well. The establishment has been openly hostile to the Tea Party, wanting the votes but not the criticism. Rubio is a perfect example, elected by the Tea Party only to shun the Tea Party (TP Caucus and SOPA?) and put himself in Mitt’s camp. Mitt probably think that since Liberals think Tea Partiers are all racists, he better stay away so as to not be guilty by association.
So what does that mean for the Libertarian party?
I would argue that many of the Tea Partiers are libertarian minded voters. I’d challenge anyone to find huge level of disagrement with Tea Party fiscal policy (since there is no central figure for the TP, Wiki is the best source) and CATO’s fiscal policy. Many Tea Partiers are endorsing Ron Paul, an Austrian economic style libertarian. There would be no room for a Paul in a Romney administration, every knows it. So where will all that support go? Dr. Paul has said he will not run as a third party candidate, I believe him.
I think a lot of people that cannot stomach the notion of voting for Romney will instead vote for the Libertarian party candidate, most likely Gov. Gary Johnson. I know a lot of Paulites like Johnson. I like Johnson and I know a lot of Tea Partiers do too. Looking at Gov. Johnson’s fiscal policy aims, they mesh with the Tea Party.
If the GOP primary keeps going like it’s going, with Mitt Romney poisoning the well in his Pyrrhic quest for the nomination, I see the Libertarian Party growing. As Soros said, “There’s not much difference between Obama and Romney.” Where will the people go if faces with two of the same?
Update: Like Mana from heaven comes this great link from Legal Insurrection: The Conversation With a Florida Tea Partier That Should Scare Every Republican
“I see a Romney nomination causing Tea Partiers like me to tune out. We are already disheartened by the congressional leadership. Romney will be the final nail in the coffin. He is completely uninspiring, and is everything we have been working so hard to defeat within the GOP,” Rebecca said. “Don’t even get me started on that Bain Capital picture. Ugh. There is no way he can win. And I don’t want to have to defend him while he tries.”
“I will be voting this Tuesday. I will make it fit into my schedule. I feel like my vote matters right now,” Rebecca said. “But can you see how I might not make it a priority if I feel like either my vote doesn’t matter, or if I don’t feel like the candidate I’m voting for will be much different then what we have? Can you see how life may take precedence over casting an uninspired vote? I can’t be alone in this thought process, and if enough people feel this way (and I think they will) it will be catastrophic for Romney and really very bad down-ticket as well.”
This is exactly the way a lot of people are feeling. It reinforces my point that a Romney nomination will cause a lot of people to just not vote Romney. They won’t vote Obama either, but Romney will be as much of a uniter for the GOP as Obama has been nationally.
Parallels to the 2008 Democratic primary? You betcha! Remember the PUMAs? Remember how they caved and enough HRC dems held their nose to vote for Obama? That turned out great didn’t it? There is little difference between the GOP establishment and Democratic establishment. Do we cave in this time as well, for another empty suit?
This video is not only funny, but could be devastating to Romney if the primary goes long (which I hope it does).
I posted this on a Legal Insurrection thread but thought I’d post it here as well.
Newt can’t say it but everyone else should be saying it. Romney is not a Reagan Republican, he is a Bush Republican. Romney is a progressive, he like all progressives believe that Govt (if run by the right people aka himself) will bring a better society. His tell is when he talks about Regulations. He talks about “smart regulations” like all progressives do. Romney says that the free market needs regulations, which show how good a Keynesian he really is just like Bush.
Govt doesn’t create jobs. It can only give the right environment so that markets can create jobs. I’ve heard Newt talk about that, I’ve never heard Romney say anything like that. Romneynomics = Bushonomics = Obamanomics = Keynesian clap trap that caused this whole mess…the idea that our betters are the ones that should make the decisions. Newt at least is taking the good parts of Paul (Fed, economics (Reagan was an Austrian)) and leaving the bad parts of Paul. Romney would never touch the Fed.
I’m posting this on my Xoom so Ill add some links and videos to add some evidence for me claims later.
James Pethokoukis is one of the few people holding Romney’s feet to the fire. He has a great article today on Romney’s housing plan.
First, this exchange from CNBC’s Kudlow Report last night:
Romney: Again, let’s look at the numbers. Let’s see what kind of tax there is. If you’re talking about refinancing trillions of dollars of debt and the government is now going to be taking over responsibility for those mortgages, that would be a real problem. But let’s look at the details. Clearly, if there is a way of providing a break to homeowners to get lower interest rates, that is something which has always been part of the refinance story. If it can be done in a way that doesn’t add additional government obligation, that’s one thing. If instead it adds trillions of dollars in new debt to the federal balance sheet, that’s a very different thing. What about the investors who own the mortgage-backed securities who have to be repriced lower? They’re going to take a bath, pension funds are going the take a bath. In the speech, he put in one or two sentences about it. Let’s see what it shows. You have apparently more information about it than I do. I want to see what the plan shows, but clearly, you can’t go in and say we’re going to wipe out all the people who invested in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. A lot of those are banks. Banks in some cases are in trouble already. You don’t want them to have to find themselves in even more distress.
Now, Romney could have said something like, “The way to boost housing is to boost the economy and speed up the foreclosure process so the market can clear.” But he didn’t say that. He said this: “Clearly, if there is a way of providing a break to homeowners to get lower interest rates, that is something which has always been part of the refinance story. If it can be done in a way that doesn’t add additional government obligation, that’s one thing.”
As James notes, Romney doesn’t criticisze the idea of a housing refinance plan at all, just the way Obama does it. Here’s Romney’s plan.
a) Every homeowner with a GSE mortgage can refinance his or her mortgage with a new mortgage at a current fixed rate of 4% or less, with the rate subject to change up or down with the price of Agency pass-through Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS). For borrowers with an FHA or VA mortgage, rates would be higher, but these borrowers should be included in any large-scale refinancing program.
b) The homeowner must be current on his or her mortgage or become so for at least three months.
c) NO other qualification or application is required, other than intention to accept the new rate (that is, no appraisal, no income verification, no tax returns, etc.).
As Pethokoukis notes: “Hey, that sounds a lot like the Obama plan, except with the GSE limitation.” Obama will give “every responsible homeowner” a refi. Romney only wants to give it to people backed by Fannie and Freddie. Makes all those attack ads about Newt and Freddie seem hypocritical doesn’t it?
Another way of saying it would be so say Romney’s plan is Obama lite. They both think that Government should refinance people’s houses that they bought because of bad government policy. It’s government intervention because the last government intervention didn’t work out so well.
The main problem is that refinancing a house only helps marginally and if anything postpones the inevitable to a later date. It’s basic premise is to prop up house prices. The banks are not going to write down current asset prices for the house as long as it is being refinanced. The principle remains, it’s just the interest rate that changes. This keeps banks balance sheet artificially high, which keeps stock prices high. Politicians seem to think that if stocks are high, the economy is doing good. As if the last 3 years haven’t been proof of that error.
As noted in a NYT article from 2010, refinance plans only kick the can down the road.
Some experts argue the program has impeded economic recovery by delaying a wrenching yet cleansing process through which borrowers give up unaffordable homes and banks fully reckon with their disastrous bets on real estate, enabling money to flow more freely through the financial system.
“The choice we appear to be making is trying to modify our way out of this, which has the effect of lengthening the crisis,” said Kevin Katari, managing member of Watershed Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund. “We have simply slowed the foreclosure pipeline, with people staying in houses they are ultimately not going to be able to afford anyway.”
Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.
We’ve seen Obama’s refi plan fail. Now Romney is saying “Hey I can do it too! Look at me I’m electable.” Give me a break. Don’t expect to see any mention of Obamany Refi in the conservative media. That would hurt Romney too much. Of course, never expect to see anything that hurts Obama in the MSM.
As Newt gains momentum in the GOP primary, the attacks against him by the GOP elite keep growing.
- Why GOP leaders don’t trust Gingrich
- Gingrich and Reagan: In the 1980s, the candidate repeatedly insulted the president.
- Newt’s Troublesome Lack of Prudence
- Hour of Newt
- Gingrich: I’ll “serve notice” that future debates must allow audience cheering
Twitter has been even more disturbing as GOP pundits and bloggers: C.E Cupp, Michelle Malkin, Guy Benson and Jim Geraghty sneer and deride Newt and the people that support him.
Newt is not the perfect candidate, he does have lots of skeletons in his closet. I don’t agree with some of his positions at all. But the mere fact that he scared the shit out of the GOP elite and those who want to be part of the elite (explains the bloggers), gives me even more reason to support him.
I have zero faith in the political parties. They are only out to serve their own self interest and the interest of their backers. The Democrats serve the Unions and their “favorite” companies. The GOP serves their “favorites” as well. They both have shown zero regard for what is good for the nation as a whole, rather than their own narrow self interest. The GOP elite want the status quo. They want to keep the things the way they are. They didn’t like Reagan when he ran against Bush I. They wanted a party man like Bush. Afterwards, Reagan became so popular that it was political suicide to talk bad about him. (Well unless your Mitt Romney.) Bush I was a company man through and through.Romney is of the same vein as Bush I, a good company man. Romney’s only chance of winning is to be a company man. He has no appeal to anyone outside of company men and NE Liberal Republicans. Without company backing, he is dead in the water. The GOP media knows this. That’s why the decline to do any real reporting on Romney. That is why any attack against Bain is derided as “Anti-Capitalist.” What is why, as Romney’s numbers continue to fall, their attacks against the front runner continue to rise.
It doesn’t matter who is the frontrunner, as long as it is Romney. When it’s not Romney, we start to see a lot of stories of how bad the frontrunner is. No word about Cain until he became the frontrunner, then multiple stories crept up against him. Newt surged, then came the onslaught. Santorum surged, then came the onslaught. Now Newt is surging again…more attacks. Notice a pattern?
If the GOP has any chance of winning, it has to be a party for the people, not the elites. A vast amount of people are turned off from the Democratic Party, because they perceive it to be a party for the Elites. Obama was the chosen one and pushed down everyone’s throats. The media were behind their money men completely and pushed Obama; never reporting negatives, giving him softball questions, while viciously attacking anyone with the gumption of telling the truth about Obama (Palinization).
At the risk of sounding maudlin or apocalyptic, the conservative movement is poised to become irrelevant or simply extinct. If the next few weeks go the way the last one did, conservatism may as well hang up a sign that says “Closed for Business (apologies to Ronald Reagan).”
The irony is that she is absolutely right. The conservative movement that the party Elites enjoy will be dead. That’s a very good thing!
I was watching the snore-fest of a debate last night. Aside from the littany of questions that are really meaningless (Everglades? WTF?) the best stuff happened during the debate wrap up. In particular Andrea Mitchell, long known as a Democratic Propagandists there out this little bomb.The video can be found here. (I don’t know how to embed that in my blog, it’s not a youtube clip)
“I talked to a top Romney adviser tonight who said, ‘Look, if Mitt Romney cannot win in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries. And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.’ Because there is such a desperation by the so-called party elites, but that’s exactly what Gingrich is playing against,” Andrea Mitchell said on NBC tonight after the debate.
At first I was like whoa. It plays right into the whole party elites don’t want Newt meme. That was my fast brain thinking. Afterwards, my slow brain started clicking into action and I started thinking, “Why should I believe Andrea Mitchell?” Why would a Romney adviser say something like that to Andrea Mitchell of all people? Andrea Mitchell is a mouthpiece for the DNC. There is a great blog called FireAndreaMitchell.com check it out. A list of Mitchell’s propaganda can be found on that site here. Of my favorites:
- Iowa is too white, too evangelical, too rural to re-elect Obama
- You and I Are Both White
- Andrea Mitchell covers Obama and idiot Biden eating burgers! (a love story)
- Andrea Mitchell in Awe of Cabinet’s “Brain Power”
Knowing that she is just a mouthpiece for the DNC, why should we believe anything she says or the Network that employs her as an impartial journalist? The debate question were mere fishing expeditions for a safe or good soundbite for Obama re-election ads.
Earlier yesterday, I was in a facespace debate with some Romneybots over this story; Obama for Gingrich’ memo hits Romney.
President Barack Obama’s campaign manager tried to help former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign on Monday morning by sending out a 1,540-word anti-Romney campaign flyer just days prior to the Jan. 31 Florida primary votes.
The Mittbots were trying to say that this is proof that Obama is scared of Romney. I tried (unsuccessfully) to tell them that they are being played. That Obama wants to face Mittens in the general election and that Messina is using a head-fake strategy on them. Their bias got in the way of the critical thinking skills. But the same question can be asked, why would the Democrats be so blatant? That coupled with Mitchell’s “party elites” statement just make me think that they are trying to stir up controversy within the GOP ranks. They know the GOP is divided over the Romney’s vs Non-Romney’s (I have my own hypothesis on this which I hope to write about this weekend.) They know that the GOP voters think that the party elites really are tyring to push Romney on everyone and are really pissed off about it. MSNBC is only trying to add fuel to the fire.
I urge everyone not to
believe trust anything that comes out of the mouth of Andrea Mitchell or MSNBC (ABC, CBS too) about the GOP. Their only goal is to see Obama win, period.
You probably shouldn’t trust Fox either, since they are all in the tank for Romney (with exception of Palin).
UPDATE: Not 3 seconds after I hit publish, I got to thinking not believing is too strong a word. That would insinuate that they never tell the truth and in my mind would be an ad hominem attack on MSNBC. I don’t want to do that. It’s better to say don’t trust them. If you see something, verify it yourself. If it is something that can’t be verified (Mitchell’s statement) then be skeptical, think it through and see if it makes sense. I still firmly believe that our enemies and critics are the best sources of critical information. Yes they have a bias and over hype the short comings, but they are usually the most diligent to find factual errors as well. Our own bias does blind us to our shortcomings. We are the easiest person to fool, we fool ourselves all the time. That’s the criticism I have for Obamabots and Romneybots. I’d be intellectually dishonest to say I am immune. I am not, which is why I do read the criticisms and weight them in my head.