Romney takes the bait; goes negative against Giuliani—Romney accuses: Giuliani “gets first place when it comes to suing and lawyering”

“‘That’s a phony issue,’ Romney told reporters,” as reported by an anonymous retailer of facts and sparkling wit for abcnews.com’s blog Political Radar in a post titled More Rudy-Romney back and forth

Romney continues: “I’d make a decision based on the safety of the American people. But of course we’d also check to make sure what our legal and constitutional responsibilities are, that’s why we swear an oath of office.”

“But if there’s anybody with a propensity to go to lawsuits . . . it’s the mayor,” Romney continued. “The Mayor’s the one who sued Governor Pataki to keep the commuter tax in place. It’s the mayor who sued the government of the United States over the line item veto. The mayor’s the one who shows the propensity to want to put in place a legal tax. . . . He’s been the one suing. Suing on the line item veto, suing on the commuter tax. . . . I think he also brought a suit to try and keep the federal welfare law from applying to the city of New York.”

Summed up Romney: “he gets first place when it comes to suing and lawyering.”

In response, Giuliani campaign communications director Katie Levinson, issued a statement saying, “hopefully, Mitt Romney isn’t going to check with the same group of lawyers who told him the Bill Clinton line item veto was constitutional” more

Observation: Romney has gone negative—and he’s angry—well, he’s always angry. He’s also gotten himself wrangled in a tit-for-tat contest of attrition with a more intelligent, more agile player. The problem for Romney: his negatives are way, way higher than Giuliani’s. We explore that issue here:

Romney’s “gotta-call-my-laywer” response to the Iran question object of scorn, derision, and belly-laughs among other GOP candidates—how will Romney respond?

Even Romney’s own supporters realize the campaign-killing insanity of attacking Giuliani. Example: A tedious and tired David French issues a veiled warning to the Romneys in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled third party?

… Here at EFM we have long considered Rudy to be far more of a threat to capture the nomination than John McCain or Fred Thompson. He’s a great campaigner. He shines in the debates, he has all the right enemies (the New York left just hates the guy), since 9/11 he’s cornered the market on public perceptions of effective leadership in the face of horrific terror, and there’s a deep reservoir of affection for him. Cold-blooded political consultants have long discounted the power of the visceral bond he formed with much of America on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. And those kinds of bonds matter in politics.

The challenge for Governor Romney is to persuade the ordinary American voter that they can love and respect Rudy for all that he did . . . and still vote for someone else. You don’t beat Rudy by trashing him. You beat him by presenting a better alternative
more [Emphasis ours]

Events have proven that Romney was not equal to this challenge either—the simple challenge of not self-immolating. Question: Has there been a challenge yet that Romney could meet on its own terms? We mean, a challenge that could not be met with a personal check drawn on Romney’s personal funds?

Some are trying to spin the dispute as a Rudy-Romney passion play, i.e. as dispute in which the parties enjoy a certain moral equivalence, e.g. Justin Hart’s race42008.com post strangely titled The Rudy-Romney Shadow, in which Hart, a Romney partisan, quotes approvingly the Thompson campaign:

Yesterday, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani continued their partisan bickering, this time over things like the constitutionality of the line item veto.  While they played politics, Fred Thompson rose above it and took his conservative, small government, tax cutting message straight to the American people more

This argument allows Romney supporters to claim that Romney stands at the same level as the former mayor. Only he doesn’t—the two parties are not equal, and they will not be perceived as equal. To demonstrate, let us ask the same question in different terms: When people hear the name Giuliani they think of the courage and heroism of New York and New Yorkers on 9.11 and in its aftermath—or they think of how NYC became livable during his tenure as NYC’s mayor. When people hear the name Romney—if they have ever heard of him at all—they think of gay marriage. Question: So who do you think is going to win this dispute?—or, more to the point: who does Romney or his crack staff of hirelings and hangers-on think is going to win this dispute? Conclusion: Team Romney desperately needs some adult supervision.

The maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden—Romney’s chief helper-monkey in times of distress—had better immediately issue lots of conciliatory noise about the former mayer of NYC and about how much the Romneys respect his years of public service etc., etc.—and he had better do so before the next news-cycle.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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  1. 1 ideological cross-dresser Romney goes negative and unleashes a firestorm; Republican candidates finally discover their testicles and fight back against Romney’s lies and obfuscations « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Oct 14, 2007 in GOP, analysis, campaign management, election 2008, media, mitt romney, republicans, rhetoric, romney, strategy, the dark soul of Mitt Romney, triumph of reasonTags: act blog, evangelicals for mitt, Fred Thompson, John McCain, lies, matt a., negative attacks, obfuscations, Rudy Giuliani The imbroglio begins at the last debate; a dispute ensues between Romney and Guiliani; see: Romney takes the bait; goes negative against Giuliani—Romney accuses: Giuliani “gets first place… […]




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