Wanted by Republicans: A candidate who can beat Obama in daily debates
Going into Monday night’s Florida debate, Newt Gingrich was riding a big wave, with his dramatic, huge twelve point win in South Carolina and five million dollar contributions flowing to his super-Pac. Even in the face of the “Open Marriage,” allegations adding to his prior heavy bundle of negative baggage, Newt became the front-runner for President on Saturday. The reason for Newt’s recent improvement in popularity and electoral success is that Republican primary voters are intensely focused on beating Obama and they no longer buy the argument that Romney is more electable than Newt. The dominant thought among Republican activists and insurgents is that Newt has the requisite debate and “Stand up and deliver skills,” to match up with Obama rhetorically and to play offense, not defense, throughout the fall election campaign. Mitt just doesn’t have the background, aptitude or verbal skills to wage that kind of campaign. Some things money just can’t buy. Santorum is so far behind in money and organization that he can’t even get into the debate game. Ron Paul is a very thoughtful libertarian, but he is outside of the Republican Party mainstream on Foreign Policy issues.
Newt’s debate skills and smarts outweigh his moral flaws
The Republican Party primary voters, in large part conservative, are becoming, day by day, more mature and pragmatic in their political views. They know Newt has not lived an exemplary “family values,” life. Yet, they are confident Newt will be a pro-life, pro- heterosexual marriage, pro-gun owner rights, anti-tax, anti-government spending and anti-regulatory President. Newt can be relied on to make strict constructionist judicial appointments, spearhead and sign family values legislation, uphold the 2nd Amendment, and initiate and pass pro-growth, pro-job and pro-strong national defense legislation. The Republican Primary voters are sure of this. Yes, Newt has sometimes gone off the reservation, but if he can stay on the straight and narrow during the Presidential primaries and caucuses, he will win the majority of delegates needed for the nomination.
Moreover, the contrast with President Obama is stark on these issues. Newt will push for the Keystone XL Canadian pipeline, oil and jobs—while Obama dithers over rejecting the pipeline to please the environmental lobby or approving the pipeline to please his union friends--- and Newt will pound the President, sharply, confidently and often. Unlike Mitt, Newt won’t trip over his own words. He can be trusted to engage the President, in the morning, afternoon and evening. And, if the President wants to hide from Newt, Newt will debate Brian Williams on his nightly news program or on his Monday night program. And, Newt will engage George on “This Week with George. “ And, on and on with the rest of the mainstream media. That will flush Obama out of the oval office and the Rose Garden Strategy during the fall campaign.
Newt Gingrich: the high T debater turns low T Romeo
Thus, the fact that consistent social values pol Rick Santorum and even social values pol flip flopper Mitt Romney have led more exemplary family values lives just doesn’t matter to the newly, enlightened social values voters. Nor does it matter that Newt has fraternized with the enemy by sitting on a couch with the hated former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and knocking out a joint, nutty ad on global warming. The religious, economic and national defense conservatives will forgive Newt all those transgressions. Just be sure to give them “Some of that old time debate religion.” That’s all they ask. And, don’t find a 4th wife or fool around when you are in the White House. Newt has assured them, as a 68 year old, he is now Low T—his third wife is the charm. The agreement with the family values crowd has been signed, sealed and delivered.
Gingrich is the only Republican Presidential candidate who can beat Obama
Above all, the religious right, the economic right and the national defense right (the three legs of the conservative Reagan stool) want the sharp, tongued Newt at their side. Heck, they don’t even care about the rumor that Newt once asked his first wife to have an abortion. They believe in redemption and are comfortable with Newt, the born again Catholic. They just don’t want Obama to get a free pass to a second term. And, they don’t think the President can survive the verbal onslaught and rhetorical flourishes of their Newt.
Almost as important, the right is not confident Mitt can “man up,” to face Obama in debates. And, they don’t think Rick Santorum can put together the organization, networks, money and message to play at the national, Presidential level. Winning a Governor’s race in Massachusetts or a Senatorial race in Pennsylvania is one thing, but putting together the winning team and then executing all the necessary steps to take out an incumbent POTUS, that’s quite another.
Newt beat the Republican Establishment last time by pushing Minority Leader Michel out of the way
Conservatives know that Newt handled a comparable challenge when he transformed the Republican minority in the House to a majority in 1994. This reflected more than a decade of hard, sustained, disciplined work. It required overcoming the resistance of the Republican establishment, including the likes of Minority leader Bob Michael, who had become quite comfortable in his role as minority leader in the prior fourteen years.
It was no accident that establishment figure Michel and his mentee, Cong. Ray LaHood, never really signed onto Newt’s Contract with America. They were not believers in the tenets of the Reagan revolution. And, they were not about to change their minds, even if that was the way to become the majority. Michel congratulated Newt by retiring in 1994, instead of joining the Republican revolution. It was no coincidence that LaHood, who continued to seek advice from Michel after Michel left the House, was one of the first of the Republicans to jump ship in 2008 and join the Obama Administration, proselytizing with vigor for Obama’s 800 billion dollar stimulus.
It is people like Michel, LaHood (who also helped knife true, blue conservative Senator Peter Fitzgerald in the back) and Bob Dole (whose philosophy was basically- "Let's make a deal") who are the people, along with their fellow travelers, who continue to snipe at Newt-- who say he is not a team player. Right, Newt was not a member of the Michel’s team. If he had been, the Democrats would never have lost the House in 1994. Newt knows what it takes to win. That’s why the Reagan right, not the Washington establishment, will jump on Team Newt.
Republicans don’t want another faux conservative who can’t combat Obama’s verbal skills
In 2008, conservative Republicans had to settle for a candidate, John McCain, who was way past his prime, never had true blue conservative views and couldn’t debate the issues, if his life depended on it. Thus Obama, who is noted for his soaring rhetoric and above average debating ability, got a free pass in the 2008 Presidential campaign. This time around, Republican primary voters want to make sure their candidate is at least able to give voice to their views. They want somebody who can hold his own with the press, believes the red meat and can punch and counterpunch with his opponent. They also want somebody, like Newt, who can lower the temperature in the room, as Newt did on Monday night in Tampa, to woo the independents and to demonstrate he can look presidential.
Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX), with his libertarian foreign policy views, is clearly not a good fit for the Republican Party, no matter how unpopular the Iraq War may be. No way Ron Paul can get the Republican Party to join him in welcoming a nuclear armed Iran and to cease being a strong ally of Israel. That will never happen.
Former U. S. Senator Rick Santorum couldn’t win in his own State, Pennsylvania, in 2006, the last time he was on the track- losing to Pro-life, Democratic Senator Bob Casey by 18 points. Santorum has no national organization and has shown no signs of being able to build one. Santorum will not be the 2012 Republican nominee for President.
It is too late for Romney to develop the verbal skills needed to defeat Obama
Mitt may have the other pre-requisites to run a national campaign, but historically, he has shown little ability and inclination to defend his views and experience, to put forth a coherent, conservative vision, and to attack, consistently, his opponent with vigor and credibility. Mitt did better on this in Monday night’s debate in Tampa, but he still is not up to par. You can’t teach an old dog that many new tricks in that short of a time.
Perhaps if Romney had started working on it in 2009 he could have done it. But, instead, he thought he could stay the same and just improve his marketing. Strike one. Then, Mitt thought he could make it through the debates by going into a prevent defense. Prevent defenses never work, Strike two. Now, Team Mitt thinks he can become an ace debater and beat Newt at debating and then Obama. But, the Republican wing of the Republican Party, i.e., the true blue conservatives, know Romney doesn’t have the intellectual heft or the rhetorical skills to take it to Obama every day of a long campaign.. Fool the true blue conservatives once (with McCain), shame on McCain. Fool the true blue conservatives two presidential election cycles in a row, shame on them. Strike three for Mitt.
Needed to beat Obama: a pit bull who loves an intellectual, food fight- that’s Newt Gingrich
The Republican Primary presidential voters want someone who can take on Obama intellectually, and who can hold his own with the national media. Romney was given one more chance by the voters on Monday night to demonstrate he can debate. Although he did better than before, he still is no match for the likes of John King (CNN), Brian Williams (NBC), Chris Wallace (FNC), George Stephanopoulos (ABC) and most importantly, Barack Obama. Mitt just is not a natural alley cat, give them Hell, tough guy in an intellectual, food fight. He seems more like someone who has an aversion to throwing food. Maybe it’s the way he was raised. Newt, on the other hand, seems to thrive on picking up the intellectual slop and throwing it back in Obama’s face, or in the face of King, Williams or Stephanopoulos.
Newt always has an intellectual drone ready to fire to neutralize the mainstream media
Gingrich, for the last fifteen debates, or so, has shown he can handle anything, at least in terms of verbal food fights. When CNN’s John King opened the debate last Thursday night in Charleston, South Carolina by questioning Newt on the allegations of his wife that Newt had asked her for an open marriage, Newt turned his turret directly toward King, and to the crowd’s delight, Newt fired off several rounds (calling King’s decision to raise that issue as the first question in a Presidential debate a despicable act) causing King to run for his life, stopping only to lick his wounds. The crowd roared its approval and Newt fed off of that for his next response.
See how that works. The despicable Act is not Newt’s request to his wife for an “open marriage,” so he can trade her in for a much newer model. Nope, the despicable Act is King’s presumption that the rumor about Newt is true and King’s decision to “dirty up,” Newt and the debate by asking the question, first thing out of the box. The Republican primary voters want Obama out of there. And, they believe the Newtmeister is the weapon that can help them accomplish that. Romney might have one wife and a picture perfect family. Newt has an intellectual drone attached to his arm that can be fired at Obama at any time. Drone over family, any day, that’s what these conservative voters say.
Tonight’s debate is on CNN at 7:00 pm CST
On Monday night, Newt didn’t get the same bounce from the crowd as he did with CNN's King because NBC’s debate rules permitted no crowd applause (More liberal bias?), and that kept him from gaining Big Mo. Team Newt is trying to change that rule for tonight’s debate (Jacksonville, FL; 7:00 pm CST on CNN) so he can feed off the crowd response to his zingers. Newt seldom makes the same mistake twice.
The Republicans will pick the morally blemished leader with the 44 Magnum as their leader- Make Newt's day
When NBC’s Brian Williams raised, Monday night in Tampa, Newt’s failed speakership, Newt looked him in the eye and reminded Brian of Newt’s balanced budgets, welfare reform and the three successive elections in which the Republicans won the House majority under Newt’s leadership, the first time they had done that since the 1920s. Some failed leadership, said Newt. True or false, Newt knows how to debate.
Romney? He has to be primed and propped up by his team. Obama will eat Mitt up and spit him out for breakfast. In that sense, Mitt is another McCain. The Republican primary voters can’t afford to take the chance that Mitt will fold, intellectually. They have to go with Newt, warts and all. Give a Christian a chance to face the lions with an exemplary believer (who is equipped with a butter knife) or a flawed sinner (equipped with a 44 Magnum), and he will pick the sinner, even on Sunday. Self-preservation, they call it. Newt’s got this one. You can take that to the bank and collect interest.
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