Patterico's Pontifications

1/13/2012

The Improbable Gingrich Scenario

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:30 am



[Posted by Karl]

The conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney, the first GOP non-incumbent to win the Iowa caucuses and New Hamsphire primary, is thisclose to being the party’s de facto presidential nominee.  The conventional wisdom is almost certainly right.  However, one of my New Year’s resolutions has been to question straight-line projections from the current situation.

So how could Romney lose the nomination at this point?  At a minimum, he would have to lose (or eke out a squeaky Iowa-esque win) in South Carolina.  Could that happen?  The latest poll from Insider Advantage has Romney ahead of Newt Gingrich by only two points.  That’s just one poll, but PPP has its Palmetto state poll due later today that may well show a competitive Mitt vs Newt race.

If Romney stumbled in South Carolina, the questions about his candidacy would linger and perhaps grow, depending on the degree of the stumble.  People would revisit his IA and NH wins and perhaps conclude they are more the product of divided opposition than any improvement in Mitt as a candidate.  They might worry about how much worse the Bain issue might play in a general election in the hands of the left.  They might think hard about whether 2012 is the year to nominate a high financier.

Romney is well ahead of Gingrich in Florida at the moment.  But a win (or very-near-win) in South Carolina might change those numbers.  Indeed, those numbers include Rick Santorum; if he dropped out, Romney would likely find himself in a tight race with Gingrich, whose favorables even now are second only to Romney’s in the Sunshine State.  If Gingrich beat Romney in Florida, Mitt would have a severe case of The Emepror’s New Electability.

I doubt all these dominoes would fall Newt’s way.  Romney is well-organized, well-funded, and has the establishment lining up for him.  Gingrich even now is a loose cannon capable of doing himself in, with loads of his own baggage.  Romney is a better fit for South Carolina than he was four years ago.  Other NotRomneys, including Santorum will likely stay in the race through Florida, allowing Romney a win in the fashion McCain won four years ago.

The conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney, the first GOP non-incumbent to win the Iowa caucuses and New Hamsphire primary, is thisclose to being the party’s de facto presidential nominee.  The conventional wisdom is almost certainly right.  But if Romney was going to lose, this is probably how it would happen.

–Karl

121 Responses to “The Improbable Gingrich Scenario”

  1. Newt Romney, Mitt Gingrich… it’s hard to give a rats either way.

    a RINO is a RINO is a RINO.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  2. Gingrich’s gonzo attacks on private equity are fundamentally un-American

    but so was the uber-nutless Romney’s socialist health-care plan

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  3. I’d have to say your analysis is sound.

    I don’t think events bode well for unity.

    The Fed is mooting another sale of Maiden Lane MBS and sending financials for cover. France was just downgraded, number of notches still to be announced.

    Sears/KMart headed for bankruptcy, BLS U3 unemployment stats exposed as fraud, foreign investors unloading $85 Billion in Treasuries in 6 weeks and a backlog of new issues await.

    Sorry, ‘None of the Above’ needs Intrade listing.

    gary gulrud (1de2db)

  4. The reason Gingrich won’t win in Florida is the same reason his numbers plummeted in New Hampshire. He exposed himself as a petulant child that didn’t get his way and is pulling a tantrum. He is the complete opposite of the Newt that people supported prior to Iowa. Worse yet he’s pissing Republicans off that are concerned about the general election. Talk about Romney “flipflopping”? Here’s a guy that was concerned with defeating Obama as his top priority but who is supplying Obama with video and audio soundbites against the Republican candidate in the general election… and knows he’s doing it.

    Dave B (982f20)

  5. Mitt leads Newt by only 4 points in a new ARG poll, and Santorum’s SC support has collapsed. Ron Paul is third.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  6. If Perry can’t do better than fourth in SC, suck in single digits, I just cannot see him staying. If Santorum drops out, too (less likely), that would give Gingrich his shot as sole notPaul-NotRomney.

    I am however, beginning to think that Newt is done as well. Romney’s negative ads, along with Newt’s Samson-in-the-Temple response makes it hard for Newt to pivot to the general election should he win this in some bitter slog to the convention.

    Note in the poll above that only one candidate polls much worse with independents than Republicans: Newt. Even Santorum is flat there.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  7. I guess I am a foolish moron who has been duped by “the establishment” because I have been for Romney ever since Perry self-destructed. If only I were as smart as the Newt supporters. He really is a perfect choice, I am just too dense to understand his greatness.

    Ken Royall (67885e)

  8. One argument for candidates staying in the race much longer than normal: proportional delegate allotment. Mitt has won two primaries and has maybe a third of the delegates awarded. Until we get to winner-take-all states candidates who are thinking of squeezing concessions out of Mitt are going to stay in.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  9. He is the complete opposite of the Newt that people supported prior to Iowa.

    yup.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  10. Don’t want Romney? Vote for Newt. Pick your poison.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  11. Yay us.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  12. DaveB Newt’s not been very disciplined. He’s the last best not Romney standing, however, and that is quite the plus.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  13. He is the complete opposite of the Newt that people supported prior to Iowa.

    Sigh. I really wish I could dispute that. I do wonder if his press and the reality are the same thing.

    It would really help Romney if he could convince me that he intends to downsize this bloated government. I don’t believe in congressional leadership on legislation — Obama tried that and look what happened. We need a president who has solid and clear legislation for Congress to consider and pass. If you leave it to committees, you’ll have kumquat museums and rural people-movers infesting the “reforms.” SO far, I don’t see much energy coming from Romney on downsizing (nor is Newt making this easier).

    Kevin M (563f77)

  14. I don’t want much legislation. Just repealing some of what passed in 2009. I have a little more faith in Congress if the GOP takes the Senate with tea party participation high. Romney probably is going to be the nominee but he needs to do a great job explaining venture capital. Newt lost me with his attacks on capitalism. He really is undisciplined.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  15. Romney could certainly lose the nomination, but Gingrich can’t win it.

    The way Romney loses is by not picking up enough delegates to win a first ballot vote. Delegates use this as the excuse and opportunity to look elsewhere and pick a white knight to save the day.

    However, they won’t look to Gingrich. Gingrich’s rise, like all the other not-Romney’s, was built on the abstract. Now that GOP voters have seen exactly what he is and all the baggage he brings, there’s no way they will turn to him as the savior.

    steve (369bc6)

  16. Mike K, he didn’t. It’s just been framed that way. Imagine him in a big Jessica Rabbit dress.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  17. It’s either Newt or Romney. That’s the way I see it.

    Newt has some serious problems and no one agrees with everything he’s said over the years.

    Yet he has a pretty impressive record of accomplishment and is a bona fide conservative, seeking real reforms.

    If your hang up of his recent rhetoric is a problem for you, remember who the father of the individual mandate is… which is government control of economic choices.

    If Perry doesn’t have some miraculous turnaround in SC, I hope he endorses Newt. There are some signs Perry has gained some ground, but I doubt it will be enough. He will beat Santorum.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  18. Steve – again, he’s the only “savior” and he has the advantage in some sale points appealing to Not-Romney people.

    1- He at least understands the constitution, and some sentimental attachment to the underpinnings of the American Experiment. If the bandwagon offering him glory for defending it is in the offing, he’s the one to jump on it. He SHALL jump on it, as it is the only vehicle to win. That’s a win if you don’t want ORomnacare made permanent, or a new VAT on top of your income tax.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  19. A federal VAT, that is.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  20. Sarah: saviors are saviors in two situations: they either haven’t been exposed to scrutiny, in which case they’re a savior only in the abstract (Christie for example) or they have been scrutinized and have come through fine (right now, no one).

    Gingrich lost that mantle as soon as he started getting scrutinized. The people who have looked at him and found him deficient aren’t going to change their minds and flock to him… even if they don’t like Romney.

    I stand by my prediction that should Romney fail to win the nomination, it will be to a candidate who emerges at the convention… and not to any of the past saviors such as Gingrich, Perry. Bachman or Cain.

    steve (369bc6)

  21. 5,6. If Perry and Santorum do badly I hope the dumb slutty TLC star populist cuts their water off.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  22. And steve’s not out of line to be concerned about Newt’s baggage and his mouthy-ness.

    I think we all actually agree that this is a liability.

    Yet Newt has managed to overcome those liabilities. His performance in this primary is nothing short of incredible. Everyone wrote him off. His own staff wrote him off. Newt said he would overcome by appealing directly to us at the debates… and that’s worked very well! Think of all the politicians he’s beating.

    But it’s not an easy decision.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  23. then they couldn’t make tasty ramen noodles

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  24. In this kind of situation, the percentages change wildly in a week, and the polls aren;ty so good too.

    There was a January 4-5 poll and a January 11-12 poll.(Wednesday and Thursday)

    Ron paul went from 9% to 20% What’s going on here>? Was there a change in the methodology?

    Romney went from 31% to 29% in this poll. Gingrich from 24% to 25% (but in November he was at 33%)

    Santorum went from 24% to 7%. Why? Does it go to Perry? He went from 2% to 9%. Are people judging who is more serious by the number of ads?

    Is it actually going to Ron Paul?

    Undecidd only goes from 8% to 9%

    Huntsman drops from 2% to 1%. In another poll, he got somewhat more, but Colbert outpolled him, 5% to 4% (there’s actually no way to vote for him)

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700215129/Stephen-Colbert-beats-Jon-Huntsman-in-poll-then-mulls-presidential-run.html

    I think it matters a great deal if a name is included in a polling question or not.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  25. Obama reminds me of the character Franco on General Hospital.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  26. Comment by steve — 1/13/2012 @ 11:42 am

    The way Romney loses is by not picking up enough delegates to win a first ballot vote.

    You also have to factor in Ron Paul’s delegates

    The only safe calculation to make is:

    Romney + Paul + 5 < ~45 = Not Romney.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  27. Newt lost me with his attacks on capitalism.

    If that was what he is doing, he’d lose me too. But imagine, just for a moment, that it is possible to criticize the behavior of an individual capitalist without attacking capitalism.

    There are many capitalists that I admire, such as Bill Gates, and there are some I despise, such as George Soros. Is attacking Soros for helping his dad liquidate the assets of European Jews for the Nazis the same as attacking capitalism? Most would think not.

    Now, Romeny’s sins, if any, are not the same by any stretch, but there are right ways and wrong ways to downsize (or close) companies. And this is fair game to discuss.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  28. BTW, if this goes to the convention, and the eventual candidate is not Romney, it will be Perry, not Newt. Perry has the experience and the track record and Newt is just a bit too wild.

    I think Newt will be VP unless he declines.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  29. Steve, “savior” was in scare quotes for a reason.

    That is no how I myself would characterize Newt. There is no savior, there is the not-Romney who is the better of the two in some important ways; and whose very real weaknesses might be mitigated by interest.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  30. If that was what he is doing, he’d lose me too. But imagine, just for a moment, that it is possible to criticize the behavior of an individual capitalist without attacking capitalism.

    Yes, in fact, Newt was praising capitalism, and his detractors actually cut that part of his comments out.

    It’s very annoying, especially when it’s used as a defense for this “Capitalist” who signed Romneycare into law, forcing government control over economic choices in a rather terrible way (and then calling that conservatism!)

    But Newt was… inartful, and I guess he opened the door to this kind of stuff.

    Newt has some substantial reforms on his resume, and frankly, the attacks are exactly how Republicans win primaries now, so don’t expect that to stop.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  31. And if a lot of conservatives are reading ‘attack on capitalism itself’ into Newt’s comment, well there clearly is a huge problem with how Newt tried to make his point. There’s no escaping that his mouth writes a lot of big checks.

    But he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism and actually went out of his way to say exactly that. Folks summarizing his comment as the opposite of Newt’s own summary should seek out what Newt actually said.

    At worst, they can return and say Newt was mistaken or inconsistent in daring to criticize some choices while claiming he supports the general concept, etc etc.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  32. Saying he does not want false claims made on his behalf, Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich on Friday morning called on a “super PAC” that supports him to withdraw commercials it ran in South Carolina criticizing Mitt Romney and his old company Bain Capital.

    Icy (c9a8df)

  33. There is one thing that no one is asking any of the candidates:

    Let’s assume that Obamacare is repealed in short order. There are issues with the current system (e.g. pre-existing conditions, the horrific cost for non-group insurance, and the tendency of insurers to drop individual policies ASAP if there prove costly).

    Back in 2008, both parties agreed there had to be some reform, but differed greatly over the scale. What would Romney suggest? Newt? Perry? Should the insurance laws be national? Should insurance be sold across state lines? Should there be some Medicaid/Medicare buy-in or other basic health plan? How much should it cost?

    Or none of the above, at least for now.

    We need to look past repealing Obama’s idiocies and look at what the candidates might erect in their place. That’s the real problem with Romney.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  34. if they stop cause he asks doesn’t that mean they’re “coordinating”

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  35. re: 32… But the head of the SuperPAC says the commercials will continue to run as they are, which gives honest Newt the out of saying, “hey… at least I tried”.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  36. Newt Gingrich: Boldly miscalculating his way into being the historic figure he believes himself to be.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  37. Stuff like this from the Boston Herald gives me pause about Romney:

    “If you defend your family and property from a knife-wielding druggie in Massachusetts, you’d better be prepared to also defend yourself from the justice system, too.”

    Someone should ask him about this.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  38. Bolding insipid dreck doesn’t enhance its readability.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  39. if they stop cause he asks doesn’t that mean they’re “coordinating”

    Nor if ads start because a candidate loudly wishes “Who will rid me of this turbulent pest”

    Kevin M (563f77)

  40. Kevin, Mitt’s pandering on gun control is one of the first things that made me so angry with the idea of him being our nominee.

    Yes, angry.

    These are RIGHTS. Defending your family from criminals is a right. Warning victims to be prepared for Romney’s system too, after they paid their gun fine/tax for exercising their rights is simply a pander.

    What other rights would he trade to prove how reasonable he is to the hard left? This reminds me so much of Mccain’s BS on campaign finance reform. It’s free speech… not an object of political negotiation.

    There should be a freaking line somewhere that even ruthlessly power hungry politicians don’t cross.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  41. Michelle Obama is on iCarly Monday night. Does Nickelodeon have to declare that as an in kind donation?

    JD (318f81)

  42. Dustin: McCain doesn’t go after PACs because he wants to impress the left, he does so because he believes he should never be criticized or opposed.

    steve (369bc6)

  43. Dustin, they were going to prosecute this guy for felony assault for breaking the perp’s jaw. Presumably with his fist.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  44. Charles Barron-I refuse to believe the cops when they say they had no choice but to kill an armed man………unless the officers are black and the victim is white.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  45. I wonder if Carly will be blamed for the deficit?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  46. Dustin, they were going to prosecute this guy for felony assault for breaking the perp’s jaw. Presumably with his fist.

    Comment by Kevin M — 1/13/2012

    It also represents a pronounced anti gun pattern.

    When Romney entered office, the fine for owning a gun was $25 per gun (they call it a fee, I call it a fine). When he left office, the fine for owning a gun was $100. Most of the increase was Mitt’s doing. A small amount was the democrats doing what they always do when a Republican wants to move to the left… they insist on a little more, a little more.

    Why didn’t Romney just run as a democrat? He supported abortion rights and strong gun control and the ind. mandate.

    It bugs me a lot when liberals decide to redefine the GOP because it’s basically an end run around the contest between the parties on freedoms and limited government.

    It pushes *both* parties way over to the left.

    And yeah, yeah, Romney is better than Obama. I know, I know.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  47. Dustin: McCain doesn’t go after PACs because he wants to impress the left, he does so because he believes he should never be criticized or opposed.

    Comment by steve — 1/13/2012 @ 1:14 pm

    heh

    Yeah, that’s at least partly correct, but I think Mccain was very interested in pleasing his “friends” in the media. Much like his daughter, Mitt Romney fan Meghan Mccain.

    I just want to tell these guys that if pleasing the media is their goal, they should just be democrats. A lot of them would be major improvements over democrats like Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  48. Stuff like this from the Boston Herald gives me pause about Romney:

    “If you defend your family and property from a knife-wielding druggie in Massachusetts, you’d better be prepared to also defend yourself from the justice system, too.”

    Someone should ask him about this.

    – Kevin M

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You seem to be intimating that the quote was something Romney said, Kevin M. Why not ask him about Buckner’s tragic error in the ’86 World Series while you’re at it?

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  49. But he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism and actually went out of his way to say exactly that. Folks summarizing his comment as the opposite of Newt’s own summary should seek out what Newt actually said.

    Of course he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism, and of course he tried to say he was very specifically criticizing what Romney did. He just wasn’t specific enough to make his case distinguishable from a more general criticism.

    It’d be like saying, “I believe in low taxes, and I believe in free speech. But that Tea Party says such hateful things they should really be barred from getting permits to protest.”

    MayBee (081489)

  50. This reminds me of that TEA party guy who showed up to a NYC airport to check a pistol for flight. the gun was locked up in a box and declared, totally complying with signage, and he was arrested anyway.

    No-label “Republican” Bloomberg loves policies like that, but our gun rights are not negotiable. $100 fee for merely buying a gun are penalty level and serve no constructive purpose other than to push people away from defending their families. Long term, this leads to hellholes like Boston with terrible costs in terms of fear as well as money spent on law enforcement.

    In every way, Romney’s leadership on guns as governor was terrible. The very moderate NRA endorsed the democrat who ran against him.

    And of course, the excuse the RINOs provide is ‘well at least I’m not as bad as the democrats… see how they wanted to go slightly farther than me? So this increase in “fee” for buying a gun is really conservative, you see. Strong gun control is conservative, you see. Be so afraid of democrats that you support nearly anything with an [R] on it.”

    Long term, this is very stupid for Republicans.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  51. Of course he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism, and of course he tried to say he was very specifically criticizing what Romney did. He just wasn’t specific enough to make his case distinguishable from a more general criticism.

    Maybee, I think this is a very fair summary. Thank you.

    Unfortunately, some have taking it far enough to where they claim Newt was saying what he knew in advance to explain he wasn’t saying, but there is no pretending Newt’s commentary often becomes a liability.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  52. what was so weird was during the debate when Newt kept telling everyone to read the New York Times

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  53. Dustin, you are right. He is a troll.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  54. Took a while for me to recognize it, Kevin. It’s that clown nose on, clown nose off routine.

    He’s capable of wit, but right now he’s on a mission.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  55. what was so weird was during the debate when Newt kept telling everyone to read the New York TimesMaybe they do that in New England. But it sure did sound odd coming from Mr Trash the MSM Guy. Imagine the look Mr Palin got from his wife.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  56. (we aren’t talking about happyfeet, btw)

    Dustin (cb3719)

  57. Maybee, I think this is a very fair summary. Thank you.

    Unfortunately, some have taking taken it far enough to where they claim Newt was saying what he knew in advance to explain he wasn’t saying, but there is no pretending Newt’s commentary doesn’t often becomes a liability.

    Comment by Dustin

    Sheesh.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  58. Just saw the first reports that the Virginia ballots will only have Romney and Paul on them, per a decision by the judge.

    Sue (40062f)

  59. voting rights, gun rights… let’s just follow stupid rules bureaucrats impose and pretend that’s a good reason to screw the citizens.

    VA’s ballot brings what’s fair to the voters in conflict with what Romney’s campaign complains would be “fair to Mitt”.

    That is their explanation for why voters shouldn’t be able give their consent.

    Since our primary is thus that screwed up, there is no legitimate complaint if we have a brokered convention. It’s not like all the voters got a fair choice.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  60. And before people complain that Rick and Newt didn’t follow the rules right: THEY DID FOLLOW THE RULES except for the one that the judge admits is Unconstitutional.

    So the reason to knock those signatures off the petitions was illegal. The state officials who changed the party’s rules were violating the constitution (seems to be a pattern lately).

    But there is some lame standing and timeliness excuse to keep them off the ballot anyway.

    Worst possible result imaginable. And VA is a swing state.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  61. He was asked it about by Stephanopoulos, Dustin, if he had relied in Fortune’s Primack he would have to decide whether the November and DEcember reports were true, or the ones in January,

    narciso (87e966)

  62. So why did Junkyardthug say Palin smeared Romney?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  63. Now, Romeny’s sins, if any, are not the same by any stretch, but there are right ways and wrong ways to downsize (or close) companies. And this is fair game to discuss.

    Comment by Kevin M

    The attacks have not discriminated and are exactly what Obama will say in the fall.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  64. some lame standing and timeliness excuse

    ‘Lame’ is how someone describes a rule which keeps them from getting something they want.

    BTW, I heard Obama described as ‘lame’ the part of the Constitution that allows each branch of government to define its own rules.

    And don’t kid you, VA is not a swing state, there’s no way it’s going Obama in November.

    steve (369bc6)

  65. ‘Lame’ is how someone describes a rule which keeps them from getting something they want.

    VA is a swing state. It literally swings from party to party in presidential elections. Don’t underestimate Obama this year. They have a gameplan that has yet to be unrolled.

    And yes, if a judge says ‘the reason you’re not on the ballot is a rule that is unconstitution, but you didn’t raise the issue at the right time, so the voters won’t get to vote for you’ I think that is very lame.

    And I would think that if this rule was keeping Obama or Romney off the ballot. It is not an ad hoc excuse to whine about not getting what I want. It is a very serious thing that the reason Perry and Newt were excluded was kept secret for quite a while and then ruled unconstitutional. This is a huge stain on the GOP in VA. Why did they change the rules in an unconstitutional manner in the first place? Why not do things the way they always did, waiting for candidates to challenge others before taking them off the ballot?

    By making it very difficult to navigate such rules, insiders gain a tremendous advantage. Moneyed campaigns can handle it in ways the grass roots just can’t.

    That fact remains that VA’s reason to do what it did has been found “unconstitutional”, yet the effect remains.

    Lame.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  66. John Edwards has a fatal heart condition…………………..It’s possibly legit.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  67. Obama won in VA by 52.7% to 46.4%.

    What if the economy has a temporary bump in late 2012 due to clever manipulation or even actual recovery?

    What if the demagoguery from the left is harsh enough to convince low info voters to fear whoever the GOP picks?

    The fact is that there were enough idiots in VA in 2008 to give the most powerful role in the world to Barack Obama of all people. These people are mostly still there today. Don’t take their intelligence for granted.

    And frankly, it sure looks like the VA GOP is full if idiots who can’t follow the constitution, let alone preside over an election.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  68. Mayorality?

    My gosh did the unions make a word up?

    I love how Unions shouldn’t compromise but you should.

    Unions consider compromise as jacking up taxes.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  69. “Why did they change the rules in an unconstitutional manner in the first place?”

    Dustin – Did something change this cycle?

    In 2008, six Republican candidate qualified for Virginia. All produced more than 15,000 signatures and the signatures were checked. Eric Erickson even wrote about it.

    There is nothing here to blame on Romney. Perry and Gingrich have also failed to qualify full slates of delegates in several other states. Stop the blame shifting.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. But he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism and actually went out of his way to say exactly that. Folks summarizing his comment as the opposite of Newt’s own summary should seek out what Newt actually said.

    I don’t know how he “went out of his way” to say that. In any case Obama’s not against capitalism in principle according to his own statements. He makes statements, including I believe at his Kansas City speech, that capitalism is a good thing.

    If someone can point out things that are genuinely immoral or unethical then nobody is obligated to defend that as capitalism, but Newt has not done that.

    Gerald A (9d78e8)

  71. I don’t know how he “went out of his way” to say that.

    He did. Basically he started the comment with “capitalism is great” and then explained why.

    I think Maybee’s point still stands because many don’t see the clear distinction he should have drawn, but he went out of his way as far and clearly as is humanely possible to say he was in favor of capitalism, and then some folks just plain ignored that to say Newt was saying the opposite.

    At worst, Newt was not clear in making this distinction by not “point[ing] out things that are genuinely immoral or unethical”.

    But that gives up the game, doesn’t it? Folks are disagreeing that the things Newt is pointing to are genuinely immoral and then pretending their problem is that Newt trashed capitalism itself when he specifically said that capitalism was great, and why it’s great.

    This couldn’t be more tone deaf, because these comments are even less clear than Newt’s were, and seem to suggest it is not possible to be too ruthless in business, which is tone deaf as hell after 2008.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  72. Dustin – Did something change this cycle?

    In 2008, six Republican candidate qualified for Virginia. All produced more than 15,000 signatures and the signatures were checked. Eric Erickson even wrote about it.

    There is nothing here to blame on Romney. Perry and Gingrich have also failed to qualify full slates of delegates in several other states. Stop the blame shifting.

    Comment by daleyrocks

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Truth be damned, daley, the Texas truth-twisting troll is on a mission.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  73. “Let’s get out of here”
    newt gets four Pinocchios
    roly-poly wood

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  74. McCain, I mean McRomney, I mean Romney only leads because of the split vote. He couldn’t beat Gingrich, Santorum, or Paul one-on-one (…the only reason I hope that Virginia’s screwed up primary rules don’t get un-screwed–so we see that match-up).
    Those whiners who think it’s unfair to go after Obama’s, I mean Obomney’s, I mean Romney’s leftist tendencies and his money-making machinations at Bain (leaving the taxpayer holding the bag) are ignoring (or covering) that the democrats will be ten times harder.

    Hopefulone (4f4de9)

  75. just in to news desk
    actor Hackman felled by chrome
    poisoning… get well!

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  76. Just another example of the good faith Gingrich…

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/288102/romneys-shoe-shine-brian-bolduc

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  77. “But he wasn’t intending an attack on capitalism and actually went out of his way to say exactly that. Folks summarizing his comment as the opposite of Newt’s own summary should seek out what Newt actually said.”

    The problem is that Newt has been all over the map in what he has said and at times doesn’t even sound like he knows what he is saying himself. Pointing to one instance of partial Newt clarity out of so many instances of confusion is not a good way to characterize his overall comments any more than a 29 second video clip illustrates Mitt Romney’s lack of core principles.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  78. Hackman had chrome poisoning?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  79. He was in an car accident.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  80. I’d read he was hit by a car.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  81. hence “chrome poisoning”.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  82. From what I’ve read, seen and heard, Newt has seen a lot of potential supporters who were leaning his way flee and that’s why he’s trying to walk it all back. It’s the usual thing with him… he lacks the discipline required to shut his mouth when he has a stray thought cross his mind.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  83. Don’t look now but the Politico of the Right is playing the Nazi card. Lowry and Lopez are freaking insane with chronic wasting disease.

    How can I hold it against our own brownshirts when clearly its astroturf.

    Goosesteppers for Gypsy.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  84. Am I the only one who’s just happy that santorum is falling faster than trou in a gay bar?

    Ghost (5f9262)

  85. I don’t know why you think it’s more likely for Santorum to drop out than Gingrich. I think you’ve gotten that exactly backwards.

    Gingrich is no longer a credible “not-Romney” in my opinion. I doubt he ever was, but he certainly is no longer.

    Beldar (1d6209)

  86. One is focusing on the particular operations of a particular firm, not a generalized critique of capitalism, I don’t think the two minute hate is
    warranted;

    narciso (87e966)

  87. I don’t know why you think it’s more likely for Santorum to drop out than Gingrich. I think you’ve gotten that exactly backwards.

    Gingrich is no longer a credible “not-Romney” in my opinion. I doubt he ever was, but he certainly is no longer.

    Comment by Beldar

    There really are too many reasonable people who remember too many of Newt’s lapses. He has much of the problem Romney has with people who simply won’t support him. It’s a shame, but it’s also fair. I can no more ask people to compromise their principles than they can ask me to start supporting Romney. Of course, this all goes out the window in the general election.

    And I agree: Santorum doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who will drop out… certainly not to just promote a Not-Romney. Not that Santorum wants Romney to win, but that’s my read of him.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  88. Gingrich needed to transcend himself and oops

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  89. Santorum has absolutely nothing better to do

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  90. Neither do you feets.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  91. Comment by Beldar — 1/13/2012 @ 4:41 pm I disagree completely on that point. He’s the last one standing.

    As I said above, pick your poison, but he’s the only alternative.
    And there are some advantages to this alternative.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  92. yes i do for reals tonight i have to go see the girl with the dragon ball z tattoo and plus I want to wash my comforter

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  93. Steer clear of the class warfare………….unless your Obama than you can spew class warfare out of your carapace.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  94. No you understand the movie is called the girl with the palin 2012 tattoo.

    😀

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  95. no you don’t understand.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  96. the ridiculousness of the s eries, is imagine if Morris Dees wrote a mystery series, that’s Stieg
    Larson,

    narciso (87e966)

  97. it’s also long long long and our tickets aren’t til after 10

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  98. John Mccain-I feel like Zsa Zsa Gabors fifth husband.

    Hello Sir!

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  99. Romney is getting a chance to get this behind him. So far, there appears to be demagogue bait but no real negative facts in the Bain story. There a number of good explanations already on the web.

    Interestingly enough, there is also a big story about how Eastman Kodak is collapsing into bankruptcy because the film business is gone. The management apparently, insulated itself against takeovers by people like Bain by enacting by-law poison pills. And now 70,000 jobs are lost.

    Romney should use that example of a non-takeover,

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  100. Mike K, you’ve been misled.

    Bain Capital didn’t do hostile takeovers. Poison pills weren’t needed to make them go away, all that was needed was a polite “No thank you, we’re not interested in you investing in our company or becoming involved in its management.” And that was that.

    I know from reading your comments here that you’re a generally well-informed person. What does it say about the veracity of the current attacks on Romney that they’ve managed to leave you not just in the dark, but in the wrong, on something so crucial?

    This is why I’m heartily sick of these attacks. If Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich and David Axelrod all had sat down together to devise a better joint plan to re-elect Barack Obama, they could not have come up with a better one than this.

    Beldar (1d6209)

  101. In a sentence:

    Bain Capital was a turn-around specialist, not a takeover specialist, and whoever tells you otherwise is stupid or lying.

    Beldar (1d6209)

  102. Am I the only one who’s just happy that santorum is falling faster than trou in a gay bar?
    Comment by Ghost — 1/13/2012 @ 4:28 pm

    — Yes, you are the only one . . . that knows how fast trou drops in a gay bar.

    Icy (a0e63a)

  103. “Misinformed” would be more accurate than “stupid,” sorry; someone may in good faith republish this misleading information without being wicked or stupid, but it’s still misleading. And some of the people spreading that misinformation DO know better.

    Beldar (1d6209)

  104. Beldar:

    “…If Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich and David Axelrod all had sat down together to devise a better joint plan to re-elect Barack Obama, they could not have come up with a better one than this….”

    I have been saying this for some time, and no one really gets it, or misrepresents what you (and I) are saying.

    My rule of thumb: if it makes Axelrod smile, we shouldn’t do it.

    But I think we will lose in 2012, because of this internal nonsense. Hope that makes the folks doing all this happy. Because of lot of us won’t be.

    Simon Jester (5f956b)

  105. The point being missed about Ginghrich is not whether he was attacking Romney or attacking free markets. It is irrelevant. What we have seen with Newt is a 67 year old grandfather take a temper tantrum like a 4 year old child and literally meltdown before our eyes. This is not what any sane person should trust to be our president. So he got hammered in Iowa. Guess what, Paul’s ads were were weilding just as heavy a hammer and until Newt called Romney a liar in the debate and the media perked up to a food fight, the press was reporting the fact that it was Paul’s ads causing Newt’s numbers to drop. However, he elected to only call out Romney and in a very distasteful way. This has been all about revenge and I want a president more stable than that.

    Newt’s ads are just as bad. He says Romney is pro-abortion, which is ludicrous. He is a devout Mormon and Mormons believe that life begins at conception and that every life is sacred with temporal bodies to house the Spirit. What Romney actually said was that he had deeply held personal views but as a Senator (or later governor) he would not impose his views on the public at large. That another deeply held belief was a belief that each of us is responsible and accountable for our own choices in life and therefore he was pro-choice. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Abortion is the one issue I am strongly conservative about. However, like Romney, I believe we are all responsible for our own choices and will have to answer for the choices at some point. So, I’m pro-choice and I choose life. Romney was not going to say in a debate that he did not believe in upholding the laws of the land. He said he believed that as long as the law allowed abortion he would honor it. I wonder what we would want him to do? Go rogue and violate the law as Obama has done? I don’t. I also want abortion out of the federal government purview. It is a state issue. Do I think he would sign a bill to repeal Roe v Wade, if one crossed his desk, yes I do, just as he refused to sign a bill with the purpose of creating fertilized eggs for genetic research and immediately realized that he was not pro-choice at all when the rubber hit the road.

    Unless you have researched the legislative record in Massachusetts extensively, I don’t think you can blame Romney for legislation that passed during his term. He vetoed over 800 bills and the majority of his vetoes were overridden by a legislature 85% democrat. So without knowing the background on any legislation we really don’t know what was a Romney proposal, what was a Romney veto that got overridden, or what legislation actually passed that he and the legislature were in agreement. I haven’t done that kind of study, but I doubt many, if any, here have either.

    I personally don’t have a problem with user fees, but it is clear that they are not popular here, at least when they end up levied on guns. But, user fees are fairer than raising everybody’s taxes, even those who have no desire to own a gun.

    Romney did manage to lower taxes and balance the budget, which seems a bit at odds with the big government guy he is charged as being.

    Romney is the first to tell you that his affordable health care plan was not transferable to the country at large. One thing that gets lost is that Massachusetts already had some of the highest health insurance rates in the country and that Romney was attempting to fix that. If you search health plans, you find there are choices, not many, at least not compared to what I have in Calif. and the costs are much higher there than here, but are they as high as they were? I don’t know. I do know that for the majority of citizens in MA, nothing changed much cost-wise, but the 8-10% who had no insurance now had to be covered. Is it a good system, approx. 60% of MA residents say yes, they are happy with what they have. The other thing I know is that Romney has no intention of ever introducing a Massachusetts designed system if he is the president. He has said he wouldn’t because it would never work. He believes this is a state issue, not a federal one.

    It is my fervent prayer that noone will let Perry anywere near the White House. In-state tuition for illegals, c’mon. Santorum, is going nowhere, nor should he. Huntsman will be out shortly unless his Daddy decides to give him some money. That leaves Ron Paul. Paul doesn’t really want to be President, but he does want a place at the convention, preferably a prominent one. He seems to have a pretty solid 20-25% support from his base of young 18-29 year old Dems, Libertarians, and Repubs. How many votes he actually drains away from Romney is questionable. First will his supporters actually vote? I think they will. But many of them were Obama voters, so those votes come off Obama’s totals, not Romney’s, so I think he’ll get his place at the table. I could never support his foreign and military policies nor do I agree at all with him about Israel. However, if it came down to it, I’d vote for him over any of the others after Mitt Romney.

    Sara (e8f5d4)

  106. Here’s one improbable Newt scenario:

    That Dave Surls would ever cast a vote for him.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  107. Well said, Sara… except for that last sentence. I can’t agree with you there.

    Funny, Dave Surls, but can’t you find it in your heart to help make Newt be that truly historic figure he believes himself to be? I mean, if it were down to Newt vs. Barry?

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  108. Post #103…

    Icy for three… he shoots, he scores!

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  109. Besides… Newt could use some help:

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/135315/

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  110. Well, its settled, we can’t even agree on the facts much less the personalities.

    I’m writing in ‘Dumb Wasilla Populist C*nt’ and hope she doesn’t serve.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  111. Comment by Dustin — 1/13/2012 @ 3:17 pm

    Dustin, to trash things that are just normal capitalism while saying you support capitalism is what Obama does. It’s not that Newt “was not clear in making this distinction” by not “point[ing] out things that are genuinely immoral or unethical”.

    He’s claiming that things which are normal capitalism are genuinely immoral or unethical. So he is in fact making a distinction, but his distinction attacks what is in fact normal capitalism. Like Obama.

    Gerald A (9d78e8)

  112. Indeed, Gerald. It was a miscalculation of epic proportions that most of us have already recognized.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  113. 112, 113. It might be wise to wait for the published details–look for Wikileaks dumps over coming months.

    A correlation of 0.80 for Bain in making money on their purchases is strong pointing to a cause and effect relation.

    A correlation of 0.40 for Bain in their sales long surviving is essentially random.

    So you should have some cause for concern. Look at their companies’ indebtedness at purchase and at sale. Another issue that will be hit hard is the surviving jobs, e.g., at Sports Authority and Staples, are not predominately good paying.

    “Normal” is a term open to wide interpretation.

    gary gulrud (ac0d20)

  114. You’re voting for Levi Johnston?

    Good for you.

    Icy (a0e63a)

  115. “Funny, Dave Surls, but can’t you find it in your heart to help make Newt be that truly historic figure he believes himself to be?”

    I fully recognize Gingrich’s accomplishments in the fields of lying and committing adultery. He’s one of the best in the business, and justly famous.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  116. A little back-of-the-envelope math confirms the stereotype of truly unaligned voters as the least informed.

    This is virtually a tautology. Or at least the converse is:

    The least informed voters are unaligned.

    The youth vote is also among the least informed, which may not be surprising, but notable given that Ron Paul’s campaign touts its support among the young and inependent.

    They support him because they are uninformed (about things in general) Some of them may be a bit informed about Ron Paul. But about other things, not so much.

    It is NOT true that a significant number of young voters support Ron Paul – it is the converse that is true: A significant number of supporters of Ron Paul are young.

    (and don’t realize what’s wrong with him and what he says or don’t even know everything he has said)

    So how could Romney lose the nomination at this point? At a minimum, he would have to lose (or eke out a squeaky Iowa-esque win) in South Carolina.

    No. That’s how he could collapse and lose fast. He doesn’t have to collapse to not win.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  117. Comment by Dave B — 1/13/2012 @ 9:33 am

    Here’s a guy [Gingrich] that was concerned with defeating Obama as his top priority but who is supplying Obama with video and audio soundbites against the Republican candidate in the general election… and knows he’s doing it.

    No, he’s not supplying Obama with video and audio soundbites against the Republican candidate in the general election. Obama is supplying Gingrich, or rather his ex-aides whom he’s not allowed legally to control, with video and audio soundbites against the Republican candidate in the general election. (Who else would have been interested in producing the King of Bain movie back in September?)

    The Gingrich people are test-marketing them.

    Maybe more exactly they’re using things that are inaccurate and they’d never dare to use themselves.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  118. Comment by Dustin — 1/13/2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Why didn’t Romney just run as a democrat?

    He wouldn’t have won the nomination.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  119. Comment by Mike K — 1/13/2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Interestingly enough, there is also a big story about how Eastman Kodak is collapsing into bankruptcy because the film business is gone.

    I read two or three lttle comments about that..

    1) It’s because Eastman Kodak was a much bigger presence in Rochester than various Silicon Vale commpanies were in Silicon Valley. The impact of downsizing would be far worse.

    2) Eastman Kodak actually invented digital photography – in 1975. But they didn’t develop the business. Well into the 1990s they were making tremendous amounts of money with film. They did produce digital cameras, and digital printing of copies of pictures, but they never set things up so that the digital photography business could survive on its own. It was a stepchild, or they didn’t want to cannibalize the film business. But they didn’t have a monopoly.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  120. NBC Nightly News reported today (Wednesday, January 18,20012) that something seems to be happening.

    Gingrich is drawing large crowds.

    The Romney campaign shows signs of being worried. It’s the kind of thing reporters can tell – they give off signs.

    They held a conference call. They have a new web ad.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)


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