It’s really no surprise. As Mitt Romney has faltered from inevitability to modest favorite, a chorus of pro-Romney voices in the media and Republican Party is insisting that if Newt is the nominee, we not only lose the presidency we also lose the House and fail to take back the Senate.
It’s pure conjecture. If a bad week can cost Romney 20 points in South Carolina, it can cost him that much in Ohio, or Florida, or Virginia in the general election. Current polling is interesting, but overstated in its import.
Yet the argument is stated with absolute certainty.
S.E. Cupp, who wrote a demeaning attack on Newt a week ago, tweeted last night: “South Carolina conservatives pull lever for Obama.” Jennifer Rubin, who has been vile towards Newt (and Cain, and Perry) tweeted: “let’s be honest with newt GOP loses WH AND the House.”
Thomas Defrank in The NY Daily News quotes an unnamed Romney supporter: “Newt means losing 45 states,” a Mitt-leaning GOPer told the Daily News. “It would be a catastrophe for the country.”
Roll Call quotes several pro-Romney Republican strategists making the same point.
Electability is a legitimate issue, and I have expressed doubts about Romney’s ability to defeat Obama.
But the hyperbole being expressed by Romney supporters in the media and inside the party has crossed over from argument to fearmongering.
No one at the Romney campaign wants to take my advice: Make the case for Mitt, not against others. You will not win it by making us afraid, very afraid.
Update 2:25 p.m.: When I wrote this post I was unaware that this morning Rubin wrote An Open Letter to Republican Leaders (h/t Karl at Patterico) begging several high profile Republicans either to get in the race to stop Newt or united behind either Romney or Santorum as the not-Newt:
The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.
Much like Ann Coulter, who a year ago told us with absolute certainty that Romney would lose to Obama, Rubin wrote a series of blistering posts that Romney was unelectable for refusing to walk away from Romneycare. Rubin also wrote last May that Santorum was constitutionally illiterate and unqualified to be President. And we are the unwise?