Romney’s early-state von Schlieffen plan in tatters—an enraged Team Romney attacks Gov. Huckabee repeatedly, leaks NH Union Leader Sen. McCain endorsement to the Drudge Report, and goes negative on Sen. McCain
… “Romney made sure to target Mr. Huckabee on this visit at every opportunity when asked about immigration, attacking him for the measure on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. He also had new criticisms to tick off about Mr. Huckabee’s fiscal record, accusing him of increasing spending from just over $6 billion to $16 billion during his tenure as governor,” writes Michael Luo in a post in the NYT’s blog The Caucus titled Romney Begins Taking Aim at Huckabee
Luo reports from his secret listening station somewhere in Dubuque Iowa. Meanwhile, back in the Granite State:
“Drudge is reporting that the NH Union Leader is endorsing John McCain tomorrow,” writes the estimable eye of eyeon08.com in a post titled Union Leader endorses McCain; Romney goes negative
Aside: in an urgent post titled It’s Official: NH Union Leader Endorses John McCain, LJ of race42008.com remarks, “In what has to be one of the more significant endorsements so far during the 2008 race, the influential New Hampshire paper, The Union Leader, has endorsed Sen. John McCain for President” … etc.
Back to eye:
My gut is that, as newspaper endorsements go, this is a relatively big deal. The UL is influential in NH, and it can also drive local media.
For a while people thought that Mitt Romney was going to get this endorsement. It was long the conventional wisdom that Judd Gregg would go with Romney, and Joe McQuaid, the UL editor, is very close to Gregg. In fact, NH sources tell me, McQuaid called Gregg to tell him about the endorsement, as a courtesy and recognition of their long friendship. Unfortunately, the Romney campaign had no such deference to the friendship. They leaked the story to Drudge and started moving around negative material on McCain.
Typical Romney scorched-earth tactics. Of course, if the recent Fox News poll is any indication, Romney may end up with something to worry about in NH … etc., etc.
The emphases are ours, all ours.
Please recall, friends, fans, and well wishers, that Romney’s negatives are historically-unprecedentedly high, higher than any other candidate. You cannot go negative when your own negatives are high.
- Gallup Guru: Romney is “the only candidate with a more negative than positive ratio”
- Romney has the most negative image at this point of any of the major candidates for president, claims Newport of USA Today’s GallupGuru; the Romney campaign’s death-by-internal-memo part (ii)