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All the king’s horses may not be enough for Romney

All the king’s horses may not be enough for Romney

Mitt Romney had a disastrous interview with Bret Baier the other night, compounded by Romney complaining about the interview to Baier (video via Right Scoop h/t HotAir):

As bad as the original interview was, Romney’s reaction simply confirms the perception that Romney will have trouble in a general election.  If he can’t handle totally legitimate questions from Baier, and his team will not let him appear before the Center Seat panel, then how will he hold up when the media and Team Obama gang up on him?

Newt Gingrich, by contrast, had a great interview on Hannity last night.  (Newt previously appeared on Center Seat.) It’s well worth watching the whole thing (video at bottom of post).

There simply is no other candidate running who has the command of the issues, the vision of how to take on Obama, and the ability to communicate a positive message.  On Hannity, Newt gave a commanding performance before an audience of two million people, plus a lot more when the interview is run in pieces on news shows.

Mitt Romney’s campaign is planning it’s attack on Newt, figuring its bank account and organization will prevail:

Romney’s strategists are gaming out scenarios. They say they understand the risk that, in a multi-candidate field, any attack they make against Gingrich could boomerang to hurt Romney and help a third candidate.

Taking on Gingrich is “going to be a process,” one adviser said. “It’s not going to be an overnight kind of a thing, unless he steps in it. But he seems less likely than the others to do that.”

Across the country, many of Romney’s donors and political supporters said there is no sense of panic over Gingrich. Romney’s network takes comfort in the great financial and organizational advantages that he has amassed to help him survive a potentially grueling nomination fight.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men may not be enough for Romney.

Video of Newt’s interview on Hannity via Right Scoop.

Update:  Considering Romney’s refusal to appear on Center Seat and moaning about the questions about his record, this headline is particularly ironic – Romney: Obama will ‘cower’ from debating his record


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Please pass the salsa. I need something to help me eat my “I would never vote for….” words.

His reaction reminds me of Barack Obama, who has never had a really difficult interview since he arrived at the Senate.

DINORightMarie | December 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

I just read a blog post on that the latest takeaway sound bite from the Hannity interview is Gingrich’s statement/mis-statement on the Paul Ryan budget entitlement reform, and Newt’s clarification to Hannity.

Give it a rest, people! Newt said he was quoting Hayek from The Road to Serfdom about imposing government’s will on the people! If you listen to that infamous sound bite (again), that is what the context conveys; what Newt answered, and what he rightly expounds is this point: the government should not FORCE its will on the people – i.e. without their consent. That is tyranny. Whether coming from the right or left, it is still tyranny.

Newt rising. With good reason.

workingclass artist | December 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

Newt lobbied for Freddie Mac & although not illegal leaves questions he won’t be able to wiggle out of.

    Getting $37Million from the healthcare industry and being a fan of Donald Berwick is a problem. I am getting the feeling the choice between Gingrich and Romney is the choice between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

    I am not sure whether it is funnier or sadder: Gingrich eschewing the lobbyist moniker or Romney avoiding Fox News for center seat interviews. Fear the Krauthammer!

    If you can find one former politician in DC who didn’t take money from Frannie Mae or Freddie mac, you let me know who it is. Our taxpayer money propped up this “piggy bank” who bought every politician to either support them or just shut up.

      Midwest Rhino (not RINO) in reply to Neo. | December 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      Good point … which is why “we” would love an outsider like Palin. But outsiders approaching the beltway in broad daylight are targeted early and often. It appears necessary to have someone with knowledge of the hidden snares and secret passageways. That person can think a few moves ahead, and not just be dodging land mines.

      Newt tried to clear up the lobbyist distinction … a lobbyist couldn’t make an appearance with Hillary for a greater good … and he claimed it gives him insights into running a business.

      Those are good points for him to emphasize when trying to downplay lobbyist accusations, but perhaps he should add a dose of humility. He should maybe admit that most private sector free “enterprisers” don’t have such an easy route to tens of millions for offering a little political advice.

      I’m still with Newt for his ability to skewer the Obama bubble, and adroitly confront some of the radicalism that has grabbed DC. But it is a little insulting to middle class free market types to hear Newt equivocate too much on his DC business.

      Every time he talks of that business, he should (IMO) give a shout out to those that run real businesses, without Fannie/Freddie throwing millions at them. Perhaps it’s fine that he “mined that gold vein”, but he shouldn’t pretend “hey, this private sector job thing is easy”. He leveraged his insider position/knowledge into income … he needs to humbly admit that, rather than pretend that makes him “one of us”.

      (just my free advice, for what it’s worth) 🙂

workingclass artist | December 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

Newt said his wife Callista is basically managing his campaign and he compared her to Nancy Reagan…this was after he took credit for helping Reagan defeat communism.


Newt may hang on and win this thing, but I would be very cautious about viewing him as the presumptive nominee based on his current position at the top of the heap and one bad interview by Romney. This race has seen too many ups and downs already to suddenly decide it’s in the bag. Moreover, Newt’s impressive and surprising ascent has been fueled in large part by other non-Mitt candidates’ having successively flamed out over the last few months. Newt himself is hardly immune from that same phenomenon. As a matter of fact, he already flamed out once in this race (i.e., at its inception); he’s in it now because, rather than drop out, he hung around long enough to get a second look from conservatives hungering for a better alternative to Mitt. Newt has plenty of baggage and it’s entirely possible those same voters will decide they were right the first time, and give some other non-Romney-potential-nom’nee (just wanted to say that) a second or third look, too.

    .. and we shouldn’t expect the media to lay down and let somebody, that they don’t like, ruin their narrative.

      JayDick in reply to Neo. | December 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      That’s one possibility. Another one is that since Obama seems to fear Romney the most, they’ll promote Newt because they think he is the easier candidate for Obama.

      I think that is folly; I think Newt would be just as formidable as Romney. Both have different strengths and weaknesses, but Newt seems to deal with his weaknesses better when someone attacks them.

I just couldn’t listen to O’BOR more than a couple of minutes. I so want to stuff his mouth with dirty gym socks. But the Newt interview is great.

So the news inside baseball is that Mitt didn’t want to play with Brett?

I’m a big fan of Brett Baier and FNC, and I’m not fond of Mitt. But Professor, your analysis is weak. Mitt performed well on Baier’s show (as did Baier), where the questions were tough. Hannity is a clown who doesn’t challenge interviewees.

I’ll take either one: Mitt or Newt.

The Newt interview with Hannity has pushed me over the edge and I am now settled on him as my candidate. While I believe he will ultimately have some issues with women voters, he is the only person who is willing to go after the Obama Machine the way it needs to be gone after. Plus he would provide much more of a contrast to Obama than would Mitt. Pair him up with Christie and I think you would see a very, very formidable challenge to this president.

    I don’t see Christie taking a bite.
    Given the general rules for picking a VP (somebody who your worst enemies hate worst than you), Christie would qualify.

      JayDick in reply to Neo. | December 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      There are lots of good VP possibilities. I even think Romney should be on the list. Christy and Rubio both would be great, but I don’t think they are interested.

The professor’s daily cheerleading not withstanding, Newt would be nearly as disastrous as Mitt. Both men have a huge “hit me” target on their foreheads.

Although Hugh Hewitt’s affection for Romney takes him (like Professor Jacobson) of the realm of objectivity, others of influence have weighed it:

“Which is why when Jim Geraghty, National Review’s highly respected political reporter, expresses doubt about Newt’s past positions, or Mark Steyn does the same on my show or Rush’s, or Charles Krauthammer voices concern over Newt’s “deological heresies,” and the fact that over a long career Newt’s “had a lot of ideas, and some of them are rather heretical,” then you have three of the most influential conservative commentators in the country saying essentially the same, important thing which has to be part of the debate over the next month: Electability will be an issue for Newt.”

So we’ll all get be hind Newt and go off the cliff with him, because if there is any figure most repulsive to the ‘sensible’ center, it is New Gingrich.

    spartan in reply to Quayle. | December 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Perhaps ….. but there is one area I will trust Newt on; it is putting good conservative judges on the bench.
    I believe Romney will put a bunch of Souters and JP Stevens on the bench. Newt will put folks like Alito and Roberts on the bench.

      Quayle in reply to spartan. | December 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

      You’re missing the point. Newt will never make it to the presidency because he will never win over the center.

        spartan in reply to Quayle. | December 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

        Never underestimate the center’s desire to want good judges. It was a hot issue that closed the gap on a couple of Senate races in 2006. The center also wants leadership …… do you you really think they want to re-elect a guy who leads from behind?

        andcar in reply to Quayle. | December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm

        If polling tells the truth, the center is pretty tired of Obama. This election will be a referendum on BHO as president- any of the “top-tier” Republican candidates have a good chance of being president if they win the nomination.


If Newt prevails, it looks like we’ll get another smooth talker versus a very squishy conservative over the last ten years.

A good addition to this post would be Michelle Malkin’s interview this morning from Fox & Friends:

    William A. Jacobson in reply to hrh40. | December 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

    So we should not elect anyone currently running? That’s a cop out, even if I share the sentiment that we could have done better. Make the case for which of the candidates actually running you prefer over Newt.

      DINORightMarie in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Slightly OT but related:

      I predict Sarah Palin will endorse Newt, in early January. Just a gut feeling I have, given his vocal and constant support of her, and the 2008 rebuttal to the MSNBC hack at the RNC Convention when she was announced and accepted the VP slot on the ticket.

      Palin is staunchly ABO, and no third party; Newt is the statesman, the voice of reason, who is articulating solutions and has a clear vision on how to turn this country around. And he is HOLDING OBAMA ACCOUNTABLE.

      That is what America needs right now, along with a Conservative Repub. majority in the House and Senate to legislate – and undo the toxic Obama/Dem legislation crammed down our throats since 2006 when Nancy started the leftist-socialist ball rolling!

      When/if Sarah does that, then it will be sealed, IMHO. Newt will gain the nomination.

      She won’t endorse Romney because she knows he is a weather-vane politician. She won’t endorse Michele, after her betrayal-by-silence after her campaign manager publicly attacked Palin this past summer. The others, well…..I don’t see her standing up and endorsing them, for various reasons.

      Sarah Palin wants the Republicans to WIN. And, again all in my humble opinion, the Tea Party patriots are listening for her endorsement. Her views, her words are powerful.

      Newt is the only one who has consistently given it to Obama; he has been a statesman on the front end of each and every issue; he is NOT perfect, and is humble enough to say that publicly (take that, NRO).

      Newt has the wind at his back at present. Come January, we’ll see if he will bring in the votes and voters. I believe he can, and will, because he is the only one who is hitting hard on Obama; Obama is Newt’s opponent: Obama’s policies, Obama’s outcomes (failures), Obama’s view of America. What a contrast!

      Sounds like a winning strategy to me.

      workingclass artist in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

      Newt’s idea to stalk Obama allover the place till they have a “Lincoln/Douglas” style debate is hooey!

      Michelle’s (and others) point is why do we conservatives cave so early to the Establishment Ruling Class Republicans?

      The general election is not for 11 months. And yet the GOP has backed us into a Romney/Gingrich corner.

      I don’t accept that.

      If we truly want to change the way business is done in DC, we need to change the way folks get to DC.

      Starting with the corrupt, closed system that the two parties have set up that makes it almost impossible for We the People to pick our candidates.

      Today we have Joshua Green in the Boston Globe dancing on the grave of the tea party regarding being left with Gingrich or Romney.

      I say it is the Republican Party’s fault that we are left with these two. The GOP actively worked against 2010 tea party candidates.

      The GOP chased candidates out of the 2012 race.

      The GOP has co-opted some of the tea party candidates who were elected in 2010.

      It may take longer than we like, but the tea party will continue to fight the current, corrupt, Ruling Class-controlled process of electing presidents and others.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to hrh40. | December 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        “Michelle’s (and others) point is why do we conservatives cave so early to the Establishment Ruling Class Republicans?” That’s a fine point, but we’re beyond that in this presidential election cycle. We choose among those running, and if we didn’t convince better people to run, then shame on us. But trashing every person in the race gets us nowhere except Obama 2012. Pick a candidate, or someone else will do it for you.l And focus on Operation Counterweight, to elect a more conservative Congress.

          I am focusing on nonpresidential races. Just attended a fundraiser for my U.S. Rep candidate and donated directly to her campaign. I’m hoping someone I know is going to take on an entrenched state rep next year, and I’ll support him.

          I did not trash Gingrich. Is he not a smooth talker? With a dubious history of conservatism over the last decade?

          I grow weary of vetting equaling trashing.

          But you’re missing the point in your complete acceptance and acquiescence of this “election cycle” that the parties have set up. And closed to all candidates who are not handpicked by them.

          If it’s too late this cycle, when will we ever tackle it?

          I’m highly suspicious that it WAS the party machinery that convinced some candidates not to run – despite the tea party’s best efforts.

          That’s a problem.

          The party power has got to be broken.

          Angelo Codevilla’s “The Ruling Class” is a Must-Read for every voter.

          William A. Jacobson in reply to hrh40. | December 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm

          I have no problem with vetting, and I share much of your frustration. It’s just that at a certain point a decision needs to be made, either pick a candidate or sit it out until the general. But if you’re going to sit it out until the general, don’t complain about the choice.

My democratic friends here in SC who “supposedly” knew about Nikki Haley’s sexual promiscuity and her “unfitness” for office because she “doesn’t have enough experience” to be governor are all suddenly quiet when it comes to Newt. I’m guessing that there will now be some shocking-SHOCKING! allegations out about Newt soon.


Boy, you sure can tell that the “occupy” camps have been broken up…..looks like some folks are back in Mamma’s basement!

Major Opinion Poll from Sunday, 11/27/11:


Gingrich 32%
Romney 23%
Cain 14%

Among Independents:

Gingrich 32%
Paul 17%
Romney 16%

Gingrich leads in all demographics except among likely women voters.

The notion that Gingrich can’t win independents is horse hockey.

The notion that Gingrich is surging only because everyone is taking turns surging is horse hockey and a bit of an insult to those who support Gingrich, as if their support is awarded mindlessly, numerically, automatically, or for reasons other than a serious assessment and consideration. This smacks of the liberal tactic of declaring that any opinion that differs from my own must be based on nonsense.

The dynamic here is that most of us conservatives and Republicans are stuck with the fact that most of our preferred candidates have chosen not to run in 2012: Jeb Bush, Hayley Barbour, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sara Palin, Chris Christie, et al. Accordingly, we are left to determine our preference among the existing slate, all of them flawed in some way, with some more flawed than others. A few have revealed new flaws in the process. That a candidate has flaws is normal and I cannot understand why we see such a drive for perfection – it has never existed. Reagan was seen as intriguing but flawed, as was Clinton, as was… every freaking candidate. This time, it’s like our football team lost 9 of 11 starters on offense (those who chose not to run) and we’re having to pick the best replacements from among the rest of the team. The process is necessarily messy and worrisome, but a foundational part of democracy. That is, what we are going through is normal, not an aberration, not a cause for worry.

What we need to bear in mind is that any of the following: Gingrich, Romney, Cain, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, or Huntsman would make for a far better president than Barack Obama. In that we are blessed. (I’m sorry but… although his domestic agenda is better, Ron Paul’s foreign policy insanity will get us all killed).

We also need to stop using the assumption that a given GOP candidate is “unelectable” as a way to promote our own preferred candidate. This is complete nonsense. Obama is the worse president in memory with the record and polls to prove it. Every candidate on the stage is more electable than Obama, and that’s what matters. They are all eminently electable. Enough of the circular firing squads. Whomever we choose, it will require accepting some warts and blemishes. Every good presidential candidate is a used car, dented and damaged from the experiences which made him or her a good candidate. Obama, having zero experiential miles on him, was a shiny new car.

As for me, I choose Gingrich because of his command of policy and the inner workings of the federal government, his excellent communication skills, his experience as House Speaker, and primarily because of his experience and demonstrated skills as a political infighter, which will prove absolutely necessary in what promises to be one of the ugliest, dirtiest presidential campaigns in modern history, and more importantly, in the actual performance of duties if and when he is elected.

I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about Romney (except the Romneycare debacle), and I don’t give a rat’s ass in hell about his religion, and I haven’t watched the debates.

What bothers me most about Romney is that the MSM is pushing him to be Bambi’s opponent, which obviously means they know/hope they can demonize him sufficiently (or they’ve got a nasty October surprise waiting) and get Bambi re-elected.

I don’t trust the MSM as far as I could throw a bull elephant in the rutting season. The best interests of THIS country are not in their shriveled black hearts. >:-(

    Henry Hawkins in reply to barbara. | December 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I strongly resent being informed by self-appointed GOP and media elitists that anyone is the Chosen One and that everyone else is unelectable. This time it’s supposedly Romney’s turn. I’m sorry, but those days are past.

    Mitt Romney is an automaton, an artifice, the Stepford Candidate.

Oh cripes, it’s pretty clear at this point our chances are Newt and Romney. Romney seems to be playing a lot of politics and avoiding taking hard stances on issues. At least Newt, despite his flubs, takes serious look at solutions. Even if him and Paul Ryan disagree on the specifics of what’s best I think they’d both work together towards solutions that will fix the nation. And together they’d find one. Just because Newt might want to make a few changes to Ryan’s plan doesn’t mean he’s against reform.

I think Romney will waffle and try to stay popular and avoid making hard choices, as he’s done in the campaign a few times. If there is one guy talking solutions and attacking Obama it’s Newt, and he’ll continue getting my support until I have to choose between two people taking policy seriously.