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We will pay the price for giving Romney a free pass

We will pay the price for giving Romney a free pass

“Why Is No One Attacking Romney?”  That’s the question I have been pounding all fall, particularly in the past 6 weeks. It’s also the question asked by Alex Roarty at National Journal:

It’s an old story this primary, where Romney has not faced the kind of withering attacks that normally confront a front-runner. His rivals have trained their fire on one another instead….

And it’s not as though Romney, his past rooted in blue-state Massachusetts, didn’t supply his opponents plenty of ammunition. They have the bullets; they’re just not firing them.

We know part of the explanation.  The most aggressive talker, Michele Bachmann, was playing for Veeps.

But how to explain Paul and Perry, each of whom dumped millions in negative ads on Newt’s head rather than Romney.  I understand wanting to be the top not-Romney, but it did them no good so long as Romney kept his 20-25%.

Think where Romney would be if he had been the recipient of the negative ads in Iowa on the scale directed at Newt:

Anyone seeking an explanation of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s recent drop in Iowa polls may find answers in a new analysis of Iowa political advertising.

The survey, conducted by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, finds 45% of all political ads in Iowa have been attack spots against Gingrich. Only 6% were supportive of the former House speaker.

History tells us where we will be when there is a sustained anti-Romney negative ad campaign.  It worked for Ted Kennedy (focusing on Bain) and John McCain (focusing on flip-flops and lack of core conviction).  It also started to work over this summer and fall when Democrats rather gently started going after Romney, before the primary noise heated up.

There is every reason to believe that the lines of attack which worked for Kennedy and McCain will work for Obama, who will have the money and inclination to do to Romney what Newt and others were unwilling or unable to do, joined by a media all too happy to pile on the Republican.

The primaries could have been a good test of Romney’s general election electability.  Had Romney endured the onslaught, he would have earned the nomination the old-fashioned way.

Instead, Romney is being given a free pass to the General Election, where we will see history repeat itself.  The only question is how bad the carnage will be.


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FWIW here’s my favorite homeboys’ take on Mitt the slime:

The leftist press is holding their fire so that the most liberal Republican is the nominee. Then they will let him have it with both barrels. It is always the same way.

I also found that phenomina interesting, Profesor. I observed that the not-Romney candidates who rose to the top/near-top of the pack, one-by-one, came under the heaviest assaults until their status was deminished or else they dropped out; and so it certainly doesn’t take much intuition to conclude just which candidate most probably was the ultimate source of those attacks and smears … it was the one who was never substantially attacked himself, Mr. Willard.

If there was ever a Harvard MBA way to run a political campaign, that would seem to fit the mold … and yes, I too suspect we’re in for a re-run of 2008.

    …it certainly doesn’t take much intuition to conclude just which candidate most probably was the ultimate source of those attacks and smears … it was the one who was never substantially attacked himself, Mr. Willard.

    It reminds me of the Bush style of campaigning, especially the 1988 race. The candidate acts patrician or pious while behind the scenes Lee Atwater or Karl Rove do the dirty work. That works against an inept opponent like Dukakis, but not against a capable one like Bill Clinton.

WE haven’t.

The Make Believe Media has.

I can only imagine that they are either holding back until/unless he is the Nominee OR they believe he’s so unelectable they don’t have to worry.

Face it all you MITTens, he hasn’t budged much from his 20-24% share in whatever/whenever by whoever polling since last summer.
OH, they’re starting to make up polls to show him beating Obama but:


He will only be the nominee due to manipulations by Republican insiders. A decision and implementation the party will not survive.

Meanwhile back in Ioway:

Santorum schools Coulter; throws down with “. . doesn’t sound like you’re the real conservative here”.

Romneycare, Mitt wiping his staff hard drives clean (a standard practice for someone used to the business world), Perry’s claims that he raised corporate taxes in Mass, attacks on his time at Bain (which demonstrated Gingrich’s lack of understanding of private equity, one of the most powerful engines of the free market and the efficient allocation of resources), calling Mitt the “Mass. Moderate”.

And these are just off the top of my head, you really think no one is attacking Romney? Come on.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Awing1. | December 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

    No claim that no one criticized Romney at all, but no one dumped $5-10 million of negative ads on him in a small market like Iowa, and since those ads get played nationally via news reports about the Iowa campaign, it has hurt Newt nationally. Iowa is a microcosm for what Obama, the unions, and the MSM will do to Romney in swing states.

    jakee308 in reply to Awing1. | December 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The Point is it’s not getting covered.

    The Make Believe Media is performing it’s fiduciary duty of protecting their investment in a Marxist/socialist(at best) that hates Capitalism, the majority of the people of the United States and the United States itself.

    They CANNOT admit they’re wrong about him and are frightened to death of a Republican win in ’12 before their investment “pays off”.

    Yes folks, if Obama wins in ’12, we’ll look back on the last 3.5 years with nostalgia as the country and it’s institutions will be shredded before our eyes. All the wet dreams of every liberal/progressive will be made law.

    We’ll never recover.(at least in MY lifetime)

“Why Is No One Attacking Romney?”

“No claim that no one criticized Romney at all”

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Awing1. | December 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    It’s very important to read the text of a post, not just the quoted headline from someone else’s blog post which set up the discussion.

      You see, that’s the thing. I keep reading it and I can’t seem to find the part where you state that “no one is attacking Romney” is an oversimplification. I do see where you say that that question is something you’ve been asking yourself, which suggests you agree with its factual underpinning of no one attacking Romney.

      “No one’s attacking Romney” is a lot different from “Romney supporters have more money than Gingrich supporters and I don’t like that”, or even an argument that the MSM isn’t picking up attacks on Romney as strongly as they are attacks on Gingrich and others.

      Reading the entire article does nothing to dispel the initial proposition, which you accept as your own by stating you’ve been asking the question yourself, that no one is attacking Romney. If I’m mistaken on that point, please show me what I’ve missed in the article.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to Awing1. | December 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

        Emphasis added: “Romney has not faced the kind of withering attacks that normally confront a front-runner” …. “But how to explain Paul and Perry, each of whom dumped millions in negative ads on Newt’s head rather than Romney” …. No claim that no one criticized Romney, only that there have not been the types of sustained attacks others have received and Romney has received in the past. You attack an argument which was not made.

I find it hilarious that republicans and conservatives have no clue what they are up against.

So if Willard is the nominee, then not only will he be attacked relentlessly by the demonrat MSM & the dems, but by the conservatives as well.

The DNC must be laughing their heads off, the repubs & conservatives are doing their job for them. Note to DNC: there is NOTHING you can show in an ad about Romney that will make me NOT vote for him, or any other repub nominee!

ABO! That includes bachmann, the Newt, santorum, a potted plant, and oh yes even Romney (heck even ron paul!).
Wonder if the 2 million repubs who voted for Barry Soetero in ’08 will do so again?? and will the 6 million Bush voters stay home in 2012 like they did in 2008?

Of course Romney is a flip-flopper, but at least he’s saying the right things, a constitutional fiscal conservative congress is the only thing that will keep him in check. But if the repubs want to throw a temper tantrum that they won’t vote for Romney, my gosh, then the repubs and conservatives are even stupider than I thought.

The dems hid every single aspect of Barry, with the MSM’s help. The repubs and conservatives really have no clue what they are up against!@

    Kerrvillian in reply to alex. | December 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

    ABO = Anyone But Obama.

    That is an attitude that Obama is counting on, as is the DNC.

    Obama has the warchest to deal with a frontal assault on HIM. He has the ever present Race Card. He has the unabashed backing of multiple major networks and major newspapers.

    In military terms the 2012 Presidental race is the battle of Gettysburg, third day. The Republican nominee is supposed to make Pickett’s Charge.

    It is even worse in this instance because the entrenched forces of Obama have pre-selected Romney as the candidate they can beat. They have positioned themselves to marshal the Class Warfare forces in their service.

    It matters not one whit that Obama and his wife have lived high on the hog on the taxpayer’s tab. Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, paid for with voluntary donations of the RNC, mattered to the MSM. Michelle Obama’s extravagant, multiple vacations each year is not to be mentioned, despite those being added to the debts taken at gunpoint from the citizens.

    Vote for whomever you want, but don’t expect me to join you in focusing on a suicidal charge.

      “It is even worse in this instance because the entrenched forces of Obama have pre-selected Romney as the candidate they can beat.”

      I find it interesting you state that Romney is the candidate pre-selected by the LSM, and at the same time you state you will not vote for him, even if after a competitive republican nomination process he is the winner.
      Seems like you are on the same side as the LSM, because they will have an onslaught on him as will voters like you.

      I will state again, ABO, that would have included Palin, Newt, Bachmann, any of the repub nominees, including Romney! Conservatives who want to whine and moan, fine, but don’t whine and moan when another Kagan is put on the Supreme court!

      ABO, ABO, ABO@!

I agree with much of what is being described here. Romney has gotten a largely free pass by the media and by the other Republican contenders. Furthermore, the progressive-Soros-union-Obama sludge machine is holding its fire until Romney is mathematically guaranteed the GOP nomination. At that point, the deluge will be quick, thorough and brutal. Romney better expect it and be well prepared for it. At this point, I don’t think he is.

I further agree that Romney’s skeletons should be exposed now, that his GOP opponents should attack him and force his response now. The voters deserve to base their decision on the fullest disclosure possible. If there is something devastating out there on Romney (unlikely, but possible), it gives the Republican electorate a chance to choose any of the well damaged, yet still viable “not-Romneys”. And it forces Romney to respond, to deal with and craft a finely tuned response to the attack blitz that is sure to follow if he wins the nomination.

But I think there is an unexamined explanation as to why his GOP opponents have not attacked him directly as thoroughly as they could. Throughout this whole campaign, Romney’s detractors have pointed out how he never rises above 30% in any national poll. How a huge amount of the electorate craves someone else. How he is easily beatable if the right “not-Romney” would emerge (which we have seen tested over and over). Why waste resources hammering Romney when he should be easily beaten by the right not-Romney. And so, ironically, all the other candidates have focused on attacking each other for the prize of being that “right not-Romney”. In so doing, they have each partially made it nearly impossible for any of them to beat Romney.

Oh, the irony!

[…] We will pay the price for giving Romney a free pass Posted by William A. Jacobson Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:05am […]

Bachmann is worse than Pelosi in my book. She looked us in the eyes and bold face lied to our faces with that fake disgusting smile. I shouldn’t be so angry at her, Tammy Bruce told us what she was doing 2yrs ago so it’s no surprise, but I am….. Honey, Karma will come back at you like no other…..

It is still early in the process. As candidates are weeded out, those left will focus more and more on Mitt. If he can withstand the attack, he may very well be our nominee. If not, Newt or whoever else is left standing will be.

Iowa although the first step in the process is not the be all to end all in the process. Since 1980, in the republican field, there have been 8 caucuses held, six of which have been competitive (twice candidate running unopposed). Three times the evenutal republican nominee lost the Iowa caucuses – Reagan came in second 1980, George Bush, the elder, came in third in 1988 and John McCain came in fourth in 2008.

Everyone should relax as this fight is far from over.

I haven’t understood why the other candidates haven’t gone after Romney but have come to the conclusion they all know the establishment has picked Romney and to stay in with the establishment they had best not rock the boat. They won’t get cabinet positions if they do.

As a contrast to your observations vis-à-vis the Iowa caucuses, I would add the following regarding the greater importance of the “first in the nation” New Hampshire primary.

In the modern (television) era, prior to 1992, New Hampshire was a must win. It had been that way since ’52 for any candidate in either party. The huge TV coverage given to that primary has probably made it so important.

And the NH primary broke a few “front-runners” along the way as well.

For example, Harry Truman was defeated by Estes Estes Kefauver ’52, and dropped out of the race. Dwight D. Eisenhower beat the presumed front runner, Robert A. Taft of Ohio, that same year in NH, and Ike went on to win the nomination and the Presidency. In ’68, Lyndon Johnson won a narrow primary victory in NH, but the perception of damage to a sitting President was at least one factor in driving him out of the race.

In this modern era only two people, one Democrat and one Republican, have ever lost the New Hampshire party primary, but gone on to get their party’s nomination and win the Presidency that same year.

Bill Clinton was the first modern candidate (1952 and later) to lose in New Hampshire in the primary, but who managed to win the Democratic nomination and the Presidency.

In 2000, George W. Bush became the first and only Republican candidate to lose in the New Hampshire primary, but to go on to win both the nomination and the Presidency. With only a few exceptions, he had nearly sweep the map in the subsequent primaries.

Another fact that may (or may not) reflect the importance of the TV exposure occasioned by that first primary, is that neither one of those two candidates — Bill Clinton or George W. Bush — secured a majority of the popular vote in the general election in either of those two years.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both won in the Electoral College, without, however, having secured a majority of the popular vote.

    Embarrassed: Correction — Hillary won New Hampshire 4 years ago, so Barack Obama lost the Granite State, but then went on to garner the party nomination and win the Presidency. My error.

(My comment just above was intended as a complementary reply to the interesting observations about the “consequences for candidates” of their placement in the Iowa caucuses. They were posted above by obpopulus | December 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm)

The Democrats and MSM hope we will pay the price. Their lack of attack on Romney shows who they think will be the easiest for Obama to beat.

Conservative media and pundits are so inept that they attack whoever has the best chance of successfully communicating the conservative message. It’s about “electability”, read MSM approved.

Thomas Sowell does a good job of summing up Romney’s cons without rancor (as well as Gingrich’s pros).

I think it’s a good idea to point out from time to time that not one vote has been cast as yet in the 2012 GOP primary season.

Also, the GOP nomination leaders on 12/30/07:

Giuliani 20.5%
Huckabee 17%
McCain 16%
Romney 15.3%
Thompson 11.8%
Paul 4.3%

I say to heck with the whole primary process–and with the Republican party.

Palin 2012.

Giving him a free pass now, will not make him a better candidate for the general. Worst case scenario.