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Mitt Romney took anti-Newt Reagan line from Ann Coulter

Mitt Romney took anti-Newt Reagan line from Ann Coulter

Mitt Romney used a line at the last debate to minimize Newt’s claim to have worked with Ronald Reagan (transcipt, emphasis mine):

MR. ROMNEY: … I mean, Mr. Speaker, it was — it was — you talk about all the things you did with Ronald Reagan and — and — and the Reagan revolution and the jobs created during the Reagan years and so forth. I mean, I looked at the Reagan diary. You’re mentioned once in Ronald Reagan’s diary. And it’s — and in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of — of young congressmen, and it wasn’t a very good idea, and he dismissed it. That — that’s the entire mention. And — I mean, he mentions George Bush a hundred times. He even mentions my dad once.

Romney stole the line of attack from Ann Coulter’s column, Newt helped formulate Christmas (emphasis mine):

In Ronald Reagan’s autobiography, “An American Life,” he writes extensively about supply-side economics. He cites Jack Kemp several times. He never mentions Newt Gingrich.

(However, in Reagan’s massive 784-page diary, Newt’s name does come up — once. On Jan. 3, 1983, Reagan wrote that he met with “a group of young Repub Congressmen,” and says that one of them, “Newt Gingrich,” proposed freezing federal spending at 1983 levels, which Reagan rejected out of hand because it would “cripple our defense program.”)

At the time, I pointed out the weakness  of Coulter relying on the name count in the Reagan diaries:

As for a single mention in Reagan’s diary, Jack Kemp is mentioned only 11 times, mostly relating to foreign policy issues and only 4 relating to budget matters and only two related to tax policy.  Reagan also notes in the diary that the entire Republican congressional leadership (other than Kemp) wanted a budget freeze (p.61).  I wonder how many books Coulter searched in order to find her gotcha moment….  And in the Reagan autobiography, Kemp is not mentioned at all in the discussion of supply-side economics, contrary to what Coulter says in her column.  (I used Google Books for all searches).

Romney would do well to avoid using lines from Ann Coulter:

Newt is pushing back against the attempt to minimize his role in the Reagan revolution:


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soopermexican | January 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I saw that video on CSPAN – very glad you posted it. He takes the criticism with aplomb, and gracefully dismantles it like a Lion devouring a gazelle…

Romney will be nervous tonight: He will be wondering which of his clever talking points will blow up in his face.

Of course he is going to mention Bush hundreds of times – that was his VP. As for mentioning Mitt’s dad once – intrersting that Mitt doesn’t spell out wat Reagen said. Also notice that he never mentioned Mitt at all. But so what? Is Ann saying we must scour Reagen’s diary for clues on who we are supposed to vote for? Why leave it at Reagen? Why not Lincoln’s diary or Washington’s?

I never was much for Newt, until he said there is no such thing as Palestinians. That’s when he caught my attention, by stating what is not politically correct. I don’t see Mitt being able to bring himself to take a stand if the negative outweighs the positive.

DocWahala – waiting for Mitt’s next video to say how Marvel Comic’s Justice League endorses him and not Newt.

lol mitt is aquaman….has flippers..

Off Topic.

I just received a recorded call trashing Newt. I live in Florida where Newt is up in the polls by 9. The fight has begun. Too bad there’s no way to tell them to stop calling. I wonder how much these robo calls are costing me, the taxpayer?

    Anchovy in reply to MAB. | January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    This robo-call campaigning is something that really needs to be addressed. During the congressional races in 2010 I finally had to unplug my house phone. It became totally useless.

    When there was a valid caller ID, I tried notifying the campaigns that they were not to use my phone, which I paid for, my phone line, which I rent from the phone company, and my time, which is my own, for their campaign purposes.

    In some cases I advised them that if they choose to use my phone system again, there would be a charge of $250 for the phone, $250 for the phone line, and $500 for my time. I told them that their continued use of my equipment constituted an agreement to those terms.

    When I complained to one politician about this problem she said that congress did not include political calls when they passed the Do Not Call legislation because of free speech issues. I told her fine she can have all the free speech she wants, but I am not required to provide a platform for her.

    As far as I am concerned a robo call (or any call) is the quickest way to lose my vote there is.

The number of mentions in RR’s memoir isn’t much of a guidepost, but Newt should be a bit less expansive about how much credit he claims for the Reagan revolution (saying stuff like, “I worked with Ronald Reagan when we created 13 million jobs”). Newt was not a member of the GOP House Leadership until March 1989 when RR was no longer President. Before that, he was one of 435 members of the House. He was arguably a conservative activist and a comer during those years but he had little power or influence.

His sweeping claims of credit have been passed over so far, but that will not continue.

He can push back all he wants about his “role in the Reagan Revolution” – I was there. He was a backbencher. In those days he voted as a conservative but never dissented on the “leadership votes” (considered key to the Party, these are the ones they whip hard).

No one considered him a contributing figure at the time. But Newt always has a different memory than me. For instance, he has been bragging on the stump about backing Goldwater, but I just saw a clip of him on some interview show (he was thin and the hair was salt-‘n’-pepper) explaining how the Party had changed since 1964 and claiming to have been a county chairman for Rockefeller.

Gingrich came to notice by using the one-minute speeches to an empty House chamber on CSPAN to give the Democrats the devil during the Bush the Elder Administration, well after Reagan.

    CWLsun in reply to Estragon. | January 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Mitt Romney should have borrowed his line from someone who was “there” rather than Ann Coulter? Sheesh.

    As a voter who wasn’t “there on the bench”, I remember that Gingrich had the intellect and insurgency (rebel type) to engineer the 1994 victory, even though he wasn’t the all things speaker. As pundits say about voters, “it’s priced into his stock”.

    How this all seems useful to me as a voter, is that as President….Gingrich can look over at the whole congress and say….pass a balanced budget….I did that with a Democratic president. Pass welfare reform….I did that…etc….

    He also doesn’t have to say….repeal Obamacare without already having some ideas on how to replace it….Remember it was repeal and replace.

    Plus, the only person who can make sure the media can’t get away with protecting Pres. Obama, is Newt. The Harvard professor vs. the Georgia professor. Of course we expect our professors to debate each other. How revealing this will be. Gingrich having entered the teaching profession around 1970 knows a lot about the schools of thought that were in play and influencing students and professors, and understands what influenced him.

    To me, Romney doesn’t understand “influences”, so it is very difficult for him to “influence” others.

    I’ll be interested to see if Newt has learned the finer art of “influencing” people as he has grown older, but at least he understands “influences”.