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Romney now all negative all the time, just like in 2008

Romney now all negative all the time, just like in 2008

Mitt Romney’s campaign has been moving negative on Newt for well over a week with a strategy to portray Newt as crazy, but since Romney’s debate debacle Saturday night and more polling showing Newt with a crushing lead almost everywhere, the Romney campaign now is completely negative.

And as I predicted, Romney is leaving it to interviews and attack ads, having failed to confront Newt in any meaningful manner face-to-face at the debate.

Today Romney demanded that Newt give back the consulting money he earned from Freddie Mac.

Unfortunately, while still saying he would try to remain positive, Newt took some of Romney’s bait and fired back that he’d consider it if Romney returned all the money Romney made off of bankrupt companies.  I think Newt doesn’t need to go there, and I bet Romney would be willing to bet $10,000 Newt regrets falling for Romney’s negative trap.

Romney also is keeping up his strategy of crazy, launching a new website devoted entirely to calling Newt “unreliable.”

No one should be surprised, because the Romney campaign turned all negative early on during the 2008 election cycle when Romney failed to connect with voters.  It’s no coincidence that’s it’s happening again, Michael Scherer predicted Mitt Romney’s Return to Negativeland several days ago:

The negative spots have already started showing up, and in a matter of days they will be ubiquitous for the poor souls trying to watch the evening news in Iowa and New Hampshire. Because of recent changes in campaign finance regulation, the onslaught may even be greater and nastier than years past because candidates will have some distance from the Super PAC attacks on their behalf.

What’s interesting about Romney’s expected turn to the dark side is how much it resembles what was happening in Iowa and New Hampshire in December of 2008 [sic – 2007]. Then Romney was facing an apparent surge in the polls by Mike Huckabee in Iowa and John McCain in Massachusetts. The Romney response was nothing less than Spy
vs. Spy or Hatfield vs. McCoy.

Here are two examples linked by Scherer of anti-Huckabee and anti-McCain ads run by Romney.  We’ll see if it works this time.


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Today Romney demanded that Newt give back the consulting money he earned from Freddie Mac

How many radio and television stations whose commentators support Romney, or who are giving Romney free interview time have received advertising revenue by one of the many companies owned, boosted, or otherwise supported by Bain Capital?

There is nothing wrong with going negative, in and of itself.

But like everything else associated with campaigning for office, Romney isn’t any good at it.

When you stand for nothing and believe in nothing, what can go wrong in going negative?
If Romney wins the GOP nomination, he will be “the little man on the wedding cake”. Like Dewey, Romney will oversee the destruction of all the gains made in 2010.

When are politicians ever going to figure out that superficial tactics and rhetoric and contrived strategies are not what the people want?

We want sincere people who will stand up for their constituents and not simply go into politics to feather their own nests.

I hope we are beginning to see the decline of the success of all this superficiality. I attribute this the internet (thank you bloggers) because we now have regular people saying real things, instead of being limited to the barrage of superficial and biased “reporters” towing the liberal party line.

Romney is a good guy, and I would be pleased to have him as President, but I’m real tired of seeing his fake smile – hasn’t anyone else noticed his face never, ever, returns to a neutral expression? Whether the man is sincere or not, it seems like he is involved in yet another put on.

The baloney we all get fed is just wearing a bit thin. All the contrivances of bookkeeping are making people weary. All the fake smiles, lies, manipulative rhetoric and superficiality are not taking us forward.

Thank God we have the internet. I hope it will continue to provide us with with real people expressing real ideas on their blogs, and also as a forum where real people can express their honest opinions. I hope the bloggosphere will help politicians to learn that beyond all the messaging techniques, we simply want real people. Save us the gimmicks, tactics, presentations, rhetoric, lies, manipulations, and falseness.

    “I hope we are beginning to see the decline of the success of all this superficiality.” Yopu are right. If every cloud has a silver lining, the Obama administration’s is the backlash. It started early on the ‘Net with Pajamas Media, Malkin, Breitbart, and a few others, and took a while to get traction, but it’s very real. The smell coming from the Beltway rot and main stream media is almost overpowering but much of it will, I hope, go away. It has been, and will be, expensive and, unfortunately, take a few good people down with it, but it will come if we stick with it. AND STICK WITH IT WE MUST.

    Tonawanda in reply to Ipso Facto. | December 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Ipso, very well put.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Ipso Facto. | December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    “…but I’m real tired of seeing his fake smile – hasn’t anyone else noticed his face never, ever, returns to a neutral expression?”

    This is a large part of why I refer to Romney as the Stepford Candidate.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | December 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Off topic: Love the “Summer Rain” Johnny Rivers utube. Really brings back an era of pop culture.

Relatively on topic: A vulnerable spot for Newt is illegal immigration. NY Times Keller lauds Newt, as noted here. Not a good thing when a conservative has the NY Times watching his back.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | December 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Comments on Romney’s record, from a comment in JustOneMinute blog.

    Jonathan Last from the Weekly Standard weighs in on the meme with some facts for a change:

    Romney’s electoral record becomes even more underwhelming when you examine the particulars. He first attracted national notice in 1994 when he mounted what was considered a strong challenge to incumbent senator Ted Kennedy. But when it came time to vote, Romney lost by 17 points in what turned out to be the best year for Republicans in more than half a century. In 2002, Romney won the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts….
    Yet Romney’s victory was, as a matter of raw political power, less impressive than it seems. Romney was actually the fourth in a string of Republican governors who ran the state from 1990 until 2006. Of that group, Romney received the lowest percentage of the vote, failing to break the 50-percent mark in his 2002 victory. … Romney’s term concluded with a Democrat winning the governor’s office for the first time in 20 years….

    None of this is meant as a judgment on Romney’s worthiness as a candidate or accomplishments as a governor. But it is worth understanding that if elections are markets and candidates products, then Mitt Romney’s problems this time around aren’t some great mystery.

    It’s just that no matter where he’s run, whether in primaries or statewide elections, he’s never sold particularly well.

If Newt were to consult with former Enron consultant and Nobel Prize for Economics winner, Paul Krugman, to see how he managed to argue away any damage from his former employer who went “financially unstable,” Enron. He would tells Newt that he should say that they were handing out money and I would be a fool to turn it down. Hey, who wants a fool for a President ?

If anyone wants to know what “kind of Republican” Romney is, don’t look up his father … and do look up Michigan Governor William Milliken, our longest serving Republican governor. Look up his record on taxes (more than anyone prior or after)and social issues. See his formal endorsement of John Kerry in 2004. Note he was the primary tax consultant to Dem governess Jennifer Granholm when she successfully sought to extend and continue our “closet VAT” (originated under Milliken) … otherwise known as the Single Business Tax ne: The Michigan Business Tax. Both Milliken and Romney were literally to the manor born in Michigan, both have a perpetual sh*t eating grin, and neither is anymore a Republican than the Jug Eared Messiah.

Being born to relative wealth doesn’t make you an ass, but believing you deserve it does.

Newt has to be smart enough to realize that the best strategy is to avoid going negative. He has even said as much. Defend yourself from the attacks, sure, but do it without taking a swipe at the other guy. The “Uncle Newt” strategy has worked, so stick with it.

But after promising to stay positive, Newt just can’t help himself. His character is so flawed, he can’t keep his arrogance and ego in check. That is why Newt is so dangerous. Who wants a president that is out of control?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Astroman. | December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    So let me get this straight. Candidates who have been frequently negative (Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Perry — but only towards Romney, Santorum) do not reveal a character flaw, but the one candidate who has been relentlessly positive has a character flaw because he reacts to the negativity? Got it.

      Mr. Jacobson, it makes sense for those who are running out of time and are well behind to attack – they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

      But for Newt in his current situation, going negative can only HURT Newt. If you are far ahead, going negative is far more likely to hurt you than it is to help you.

      Newt recognizes this, which is why he recently had stated that he wouldn’t be going negative against his fellow Republicans. If you disagree with my assessment, Mr. Jacobson, then you are disagreeing with Newt, too.

      The problem is, Newt didn’t keep his word – he HAS gone on the attack. And for what reason did Newt go back on what he said? Because he was forced to by a drop in his polling? Not at all – therefore it would’ve been far better for him if he had stuck to his play nice strategy.

      That means the only reason he decided to go negative was because he couldn’t resist taking a swipe at other people – that his ego is out of control.

      Do you really want a commander-in-chief that will endanger victory for the sake of getting in a personal swipe at someone?

        William A. Jacobson in reply to Astroman. | December 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

        You really are overstating it.

          Mr. Jacobson, I don’t believe I am overstating it. Given Newt’s infidelities, jumping on the couch with Nancy Pelosi and global warming, “right-wing social engineering,” etc., Newt has a long record of not being able to control himself.

          As a Perry supporter, it would be extremely foolish of me to pretend that Perry isn’t gaffe-prone. He IS. That’s his weakness. Just as a lack of self-control is Newt’s main weakness.

          That is why it is a much bigger deal when Perry makes a gaffe than when someone else does, and why it is a much bigger deal when Newt displays a lack of discipline than it would be for someone else.

          Right now, Newt is his own worst enemy. At this point, I believe the only one capable of taking Newt down (in the primary) is Newt. If he can keep his head on his shoulders, he’ll probably win.

          I don’t think you are overstating it, either. Newt is negative toward the other candidates; just have to look for it. Once you begin to see how he does it, it begins to make you uncomfortable. He does it in gestures and expressions while another candidate is speaking. I suggest next debate, pretend you are for whoever is speaking and then watch Newt while “your guy/gal” is speaking. This little exercise role plays you to defend “your choice” and see things a bit differently. Pay close attention to Newt when one of the candidates, any of them, say something negative about Newt. An interesting exercise which I was challenged to do. Also, the lower the person in the “win-ability” factor the more he ramps up the “body conversation” with those listening. It is rude, distracting, and takes the attention/ears off the speaker. I think it is fair game to analyze his body language and mannerism as so much emphasis has been placed, by our ranks, on Obama during his speeches and interviews.

          It is convenient and a strategic move to announce civility but is not an indicator of civility. It makes it very difficult for the other candidates to say anything about Newt without looking mean spirited. Just as anyone who said anything about Obama, was a racist, now, if one says anything negatively revealing about Newt — Well, Newt has insulated himself from the other-wise potential damage. We just won’t listen to it. This will carry over into the main election. Newt has handed on a silver platter the new term for “racist”. (Now, I can see where I may be overstating but, nah, Astroman, you were concise and left out the exaggerations.)

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Astroman. | December 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    “Who wants a president that is out of control?”

    Apparently large swathes of the Republican Party do, more so than Romney, Perry, Paul, et al. If this is confusing or seems nonsequitous to you, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your assessment of Gingrich as egotistical, arrogant, and out of control?

      Henry Hawkins, it was only a month ago that Cain was top in the polls. Perry before that, and Bachmann before that. The Republican primary voters are very fickle this go ’round.

      It wasn’t very long ago that Cain’s supporters were taunting me much like you are now.

      But here is the thing. It is one thing to do a touchdown dance in the end-zone. But who does a touchdown dance when they haven’t even reached mid-field yet? “Let’s face it,” Newt Gingrich is, that’s who.

      Last I checked, Gingrich still doesn’t have a single vote.

    Owego in reply to Astroman. | December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Out of control president who can’t help himself? Let’s see, who would that be?

So, what you’re telling me is that Mitt Romney is responsible for a lot of what I hate about the Republican party at the national level.

From the post, above:

“I think Newt doesn’t need to go there, and I bet Romney would be willing to bet $10,000 Newt regrets falling for Romney’s negative trap.”

By “negative trap” do you mean the one Newt stepped right into by foolishly attempting to go tit-for-tat with Mitt, i.e., by saying that Mitt should somehow have to return the money he made in the private sector, because Mitt says Newt ought to return the big fat chunk [$1.6 yo $1.6 million] of the at least implicitly taxpayer-backed retainer fee money that Newt made, off and on between 1999 and 2008, advising FREDDIE MAC and giving “strategic advice” to, among others, the top lobbying operative at that government-sponsored agency, on ways to win over Republicans?

Yeah. I see what you mean.

I’m not inclined, as others are, to see that smile as fake. I’ve always had the sense that Mitt actually enjoys debating. And he’s pretty darn good at it too.

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Trochilus. | December 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I agree that Gingrich made a mistake in the way he responded on this issue. It is probably wrong on substance – I’m not aware that any of the money Romney made in the private sector was the result of improper dealings – and I attirbute the error to frustration on Gingrich’s part, borne of the fact that he avoided going negative himself for so long.

    But the absolutley worst aspect of the comment is that it opens the door for Romneybots like Hewitt to claim that it shows that “gingrich doesn’t understand capitalism” and “Gingrich agrees with the Occupy crowd.” The Hughsful Idiot knows that neither is true, but he’s deeply committed to Romney and – like so many other establishment types – is perfectly willing to run with any meme that might damage a Romney opponent. He did the same thing to Bachmann, Perry and Cain.

    Hewitt and his ilk – Rubin, Ponnuru, Krauthammer, et al – don’t care that they are playing into the leftists’ hands. Expect a bad faith pile on from the usual suspects.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | December 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm

      Please note that Newt is hardly the darling of anyone ‘important’ right now – not the GOP establishment, not the left wing media, not even the right wing media, generally. For every blogger supporting Newt there’s two Beck types risking embolisms over a prospective Gingrich nomination and/or presidency. And yet, there he sits, high atop the polls.

      Why, it’s almost as if every anti-Newt outburst and diatribe from the GOP elites, media, and punditry serves only to elevate Gingrich in the eyes of the sole important group whose support he’s amassing at record pace: the people.

      One wonders when the anti-Newt GOP-ers and media will catch on that this is one attack target who grows stronger with each salvo.

      And here was Krauthammer’s take on the Gingrich “comeback” response.

      He wonders why a conservative candidate would criticize another for having succeeded in the risk-taking world of capitalism, saying that the Gingrich comment was “the kind of attack you would expect from a socialist” and that “it makes you wonder about the core ideology of Newt himself.”

      Asked how he distinguishes the Gingrich counter from the initial Romney attack, Charles points out first that Newt could have attempted to explain or defend what he did with FREDDIE MAC; secondly, that the Gingrich “consulting” business was not engaging in “risk taking” but instead participating in the business of “peddling influence;” and finally, that there were several ways to respond without attacking risk-taking capitalism.

      He closed by observing that this was obviously not the “new avuncular Newt.”

      “Hughsful Idiot” (need a ‘like’ button for this!

[…] Romney now all negative all the time, just like in 2008 […]

Romney was dumb to say Newt should give back the money he earned from Freddie Mac. Republicans don’t expect something like that and would call Newt stupid or pandering for doing so. Money earned is money earned. Besides, it is doubtful that Newt got all the money. I’ sure his staff got some. Are they supposed to give it back also? Newt answering Romney back on the Bain Capital thingy is really a tit-for-tat remark. I would have thought less of Newt if he had just let it go. This was not a dirty politics remark but a necessary comeback. It was a dumb thing for Romney to say aand he probably said it thinking there would be no backlash.

Politics has been nasty since it came into being. It’s a blood sport and anybody participating in this sport had better have a skin as thick as a rhinocerous. Voters who expect civility are deluding themselves. In fact, candidates today are much nicer than they were when the republic began. It was realy ugly then. Actually, Newt has been very forebearing and I hope he continues to be so. His body language needs a little work but he has, by and large, kept his workd about vocal put downs. I wanted Palin and failing her, Perry. I have decided that Perry would be a good candidate in 10 or 15 years but not now. He needs to grow somewhat. In my opinion he comes across as too young. I never considered Romney for one minute. I look at him and listen to him and a big red sign comes up behind him that says false, plastic and insincere. He is a quintessential politicam who tells everybody what they want to hear. Sorta like what we have now. We need a president who will strike fear into the rest of the world. Nothing less will do if we are to survive.