Posts Tagged ‘AmSpec’
[...] “Most observers thought that debate was won by former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but Mr. Romney handed back whatever advantage he might have won with some clumsiness of his own,” writes Jack Kelly in a realclearpolitics.com article titled Only Hillary Can Reunite Republican Party
Mr. Romney received a modest bump in the polls immediately after the debate, but it dissipated when Florida’s popular governor, Charlie Crist, and Sen. Mel Martinez, popular with Cuban-Americans, endorsed Sen. McCain. Both likely would have remained neutral were it not for the heavy handed tactics of Mr. Romney’s operatives, said the American Spectator’s “Prowler.”
The Prowler reported Monday he’d been told by a consultant who’s worked for both Gov. Crist and Sen. Martinez that: “It finally got to the point for the both of them that they just got fed up with the constant harassment. They weren’t going to endorse Romney, and under the right circumstances, one or both of them might have chosen to sit the primary out, but the Romney people just made it intolerable.”
Aggressive, obnoxious stupidity. None of the other candidates like Mitt Romney. This is an indication why [...]
[...] Both Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney are too flawed to reunite and reinvigorate a dispirited Republican party. There is only one candidate who can do that. And she might lose to Barack Obama [...]
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
From the Prowler release that Kelly references:
[...] “In the past week both Florida Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist wavered on their promised endorsements for Sen. John McCain, before finally having their fill of the heavy-handed arm-twisting of the Mitt Romney campaign,” writes the Prowler for the American Spectator in a Washington Prowler column titled Heavy-Handedness Backfires
“It finally got to the point for both of them that they just got fed up with the constant harassment,” says a source close to both men who has worked for them as a political consultant. “They weren’t going to endorse Romney and under the right circumstances, one or both of them might have chosen to sit the primary out, but the Romney people just made it intolerable.”
In the middle of last week, it appeared that both Martinez and Crist would sit out what has become the battleground state for the Republican nomination for President.
It is believed that the Romney campaign has been able to use its candidate’s unfettered wealth to run a successful absentee ballot program, something the other campaigns have not been able to do as well. Those absentee ballots may swing Romney to victory, and keeping Martinez and Crist on the sidelines was part of the strategy for victory [...]
Apparently the strategy included arrogant threats:
[...] If Sen. John McCain was anticipating endorsements from Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida primary, he’s in for a disappointing surprise, according to Romney campaign aides.
“If those guys want a political future in this state, they will sit on the sidelines,” says one Romney adviser. “We have some of the biggest Florida fundraisers with us right now, and if Mel or Charlie went with McCain, we’d make them both pay when it came time for them to get donor dollars for another race.” [...]
A dream is a wish your heart makes. And Romney operatives are thugs.
“Contrary to advice from David Brody, Romney seems not keen at all about describing with any specificity — even any generality — his faith,” reasons Jennifer Rubin in an AmSpec blog post titled Re: Romney’s Speech
This I think is perfectly appropriate under most circumstances but neatly highlights the dilemma he faces. If: 1) he says his faith informs who he is and all he does and 2) his faith is not one most are familiar with (and some are downright uncomfortable with) can he simultaneously say ‘but I’m not going to tell you anything about my faith’? Well sure he can say it, but with such an approach whose minds will he put at ease?” …
Also, Romney’s reversal on the speech issue has accomplished precisely the opposite of what he wanted to accomplish: he has drawn attention to the Mormon tradition, and is rapidly becoming “the Mormon candidate”:
… Given four days to mull this over the press has begun to discuss, even if Romney won’t, the ways in which Mormonism “diverges from conventional Christianity” and the differences between Romney’s and JFK’s situation ( “Kennedy could take for granted that Americans understood Catholicism, whereas few understand Mormonism. And Roman Catholics make up a large portion of the population.”) Perhaps a Sunday announcement for a Tuesday speech would have cut short some of this …. etc.
Well done, Team Romney. Your “speech” has now failed at every single task that was set for it—e.g. to inoculate your candidate against the Mormon issue, to articulate how Romney’s faith informs Romney’s conduct, to provide a rationale for Evangelicals to support Romney—in advance of it ever being delivered.
In the long and boring history of rhetoric, this has to be a first.
P.S. Way to not control a message, Team Romney!
“I feel comfortable saying, based on conversations with NRLC members, that Jim Bopp’s attack on Sam Brownback did not help the Romney team with the NRLC,” writes Erick in a Redstate post titled Paul Weyrich Comes Unglued [Updated and bumped]
… Paul Weyrich coming unglued and accusing Thompson of bribing NRLC for their endorsement is really not going to help Romney at the grassroots level. [reported here]
Weyrich can say what he wants, but (a) it’s not true and (b) it’s not helpful. I would suggest that if they don’t think Thompson is a threat, the Romney camp might not want to get bogged down on this. The latest poll numbers in Iowa and South Carolina are certainly not painting a pretty picture for the Thompson camp. But, this endorsement just might help …
Erick links to these comments by Jennifer Rubin titled Does this Help?
Listen, there is room to debate which candidate should have gotten the NRLC nod. But isn’t accusing Thompson of in essence paying money to get the endorsement just beyond the pale? That’s what Romney supporter Paul Weyrich says here … Does any of this help Romney with social conservatives or reflect well on him? … etc.
Our question: Why the head-scratching? Why is anyone surprised? This is how Romney and his flatterers always behave when their sense of entitlement gets challenged.
Our own conclusion: Weyrich, like Bopp, is through, over, spent, finished, no longer a player—he sold out to the Romneys but failed to deliver on his promises or accomplish any of his tasks—no one followed him—so now he is useful to precisely no one, not the Romneys, not the pro-life movement. His last gasp—the death rattle of his lost reputation—consists in issuing accusations and rationales for why everyone walked away from him and, by implication, his imperious master, Romney.
“The testiness between campaigns as the first nomination votes near has now cropped up between Republican rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney,” writes Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, in a Boston Globe Presidential Campaign Blog post titled McCain and Romney camps go at it, too
McCain’s campaign bristled at an opinion article, published Tuesday in the New Hampshire Union Leader, in which Romney suggested that he would be the most qualified to be commander-in-chief and that Hillary Clinton, if she’s the Democratic nominee, would have a similar policy on the Iraq war. Those assertions evidently got under the skin of McCain, who is basing his campaign on his foreign policy experience, his life story as a Vietnam War hero, and his early criticism of President Bush’s Iraq policy.
Former Congressman Chuck Douglas, McCain’s vice chairman in New Hampshire, where Romney leads but where McCain is trying to make up ground, issued a statement that said in part: “For Gov. Romney to suggest that he is uniquely qualified to be commander-in-chief is like saying that he should replace Tom Brady because he has watched Patriot football games.”
“Governor Romney is naive if he believes that Senator Clinton or the Democrats’ position on the Iraq war will not be ‘dramatically different’ from Republicans next year,” the statement continued. “The Democrats and Senator Clinton have consistently advocated for a deadline for defeat in Iraq” … etc., etc.
See Liz Mair’s Running Interference for Rudy in AmSpec’s Campaign Crawlers
... Whatever McCain’s true intentions, they may matter little in the larger scheme of things. Ultimately, the more bogged down Romney becomes in responding to McCain’s proverbial bottle rockets, the more free Giuliani is to campaign on his terms, as opposed to Romney’s. Conversely, the more time Romney has to spend responding to McCain, the less time he has to sell himself to voters … etc., etc.
“Mitt Romney’s paid-for social conservative adviser James Bopp has been posting on conservative websites attempting to clarify his attacks on Sen. Sam Brownback after Brownback held a courtesy meeting with pro-choice Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani,” writes AmSpec’s Prowler in a post titled Bopp’s Blowup
We also vary and expand on the theme of Bopp’s blowup:
Back to The Prowler:
… “If it were a one-time thing, you could understand, but Romney’s people have been attacking Brownback for months,” says the longtime pro-lifer. “And we kept hearing over the weekend that Jim [Bopp] and Brownback people were still going at it in private email exchanges. He should have just apologized to Brownback and moved on.”
Bopp’s blowup may also have the effect of putting an unpleasant spotlight on another Romney supporter, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, who is expected to be nominated by President Bush as the next U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.
Glendon, who is currently the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University, serves as a legal adviser to Romney. She has long been considered one of the nation’s most impressive legal minds on life and scientific and medical ethics issues, as well as a high-profile pro-life feminist. She was appointed head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for the Sciences in 2004, a post she might have to step away from if she were confirmed.
However, Bopp’s attacks on Brownback have now raised questions about Glendon, her role with the Romney campaign and whether Glendon’s own bishop in Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, would be wholly supportive of her nomination.
Glendon was conspicuously absent from O’Malley’s Red Mass earlier this month, where Brownback was the keynote speaker, and where O’Malley announced, “There is no other presidential candidate in the U.S. today that more reflects Catholic social doctrine as you do.”
All of the infighting and ugliness has some wondering if there isn’t more at play here than mere politics. “The divisiveness and the way people are acting make you think there is something much darker afoot. Christians should not be doing this to each other, yet it seems that they will ruin decade-old friendships and tear people down,” says the longtime pro-life activist. “It’s almost Biblical” … etc., etc.
Conclusion: Romney’s grim negativity and constant attacks are taking their toll on friends and foes alike.
“Despite his Mormon faith and the evolution in his position on abortion rights, Mitt Romney insists that he is a consistent conservative and the best choice for Republican voters,” writes someone, we know not who, for cbsnews in a release titled Romney: I’m The Consistent Conservative; Former Massachusetts Governor Says He Has Steady Republican Credentials.
No, Romney has been wildly inconsistent—here is but a small, small sample:
- debate performance: Romney flip-flops on Iran—again!—how many positions can one man have on the issue of Iran?
- Kornacki: Not the first time Romney has changed public position on abortion
By Romney’s own admission he has been wildly inconsistent. Regard: an excerpt from Dan Baiz and Michael D. Shaer’s take on the debate (titled Personal attacks pepper debate):
Romney was forced to defend positions he had taken in his 1994 Senate race against Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. In that race he supported abortion rights and said he would be a better choice for gay Americans than Kennedy.
“I was fighting against the liberal lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor,” Romney said … etc., etc.
Let us try to follow Romney’s, um, “reasoning”: I was fighting against the liberal lion—the liberal lion!?—in the toughest state in America, so
I had to adopt liberal positions?
I had to pretend to adopt liberal positions?
I had to persuade people that I held to their positions even though I didn’t?
What does this mean, precisely!?—what can this mean?—what it seems to mean is that Romney is a creature of convenience and expedience—and, moreover, he’s proud of it! OK, fine, but how is this in any way consistent? (Was he a mole for social conservatives?—a secret agent for the right?)
Back to cbsnews.com:
The former Massachusetts governor, who on Saturday won a straw poll of evangelicals at the Values Voter Summit, gave an exclusive interview to Face The Nation Friday night.
Correction: Romney did not win, at least not in any conventional sense—like everything else in Romney’s life Romney’s win was equivocal. See:
Back to cbsnews.com:
“I believe in the principles of my party,” Romney told Bob Schieffer. “And I believe that the only way that we’re going to take the White House is not by acting like Hillary Clinton, but by holding true to the principles of our party, which is a coalition of social, economic and foreign policy conservatives” … etc., etc.
And we believe that Romney’s flat denials of grim reality are precisely why he is the least effective of the Republican candidates. Regard: AmSpec’s Jennifer Rubin concluded her remarks on the last debate with these two lines: McCain is back in the fight and no one really laid a glove on Rudy. Someone eventually will have to or the race won’t change.
But gloves were laid on Rudy at the debate. And: the Romney Slime machine emits anti-Rudy noise almost continuously. See:
- an angry Romney continues to lash out against Giuliani
- Romney plans to attack Giuliani’s “anger”—not the first time Romney has riffed on Democrat talking points to attack another GOPer
The result of Romney’s constant attacks? Negligible. Think of words as units of exchange, as a form of currency, which, in a sense, they are. Now consider: Romney’s negatives are as high as his credibility is low. Hence: Romney has nothing to trade, and nothing reliable with which to guarantee the veracity of his claims—no personal prestige (gravitas), no commitment to the the truth, nothing. Romney simply isn’t credit worthy. Because Romney is a credit risk, he pays higher interest rates than the rest of us. This accounts—in part, at least—for Romney’s disastrously low ROI for his every campaign dollar. Mismanagement and incompetence probably account for a lot of it too. See:
The debate reviews are in. Romney avoided a major gaff but otherwise tanked.
… “I think it was a bad night for Romney,” writes eye of eyeon08.com. “Mitt can outtalk Fred,” observes James G. Poulos, “but not Mike Huckabee.” “All I can conclude for now is that Mitt Romney is the only guy who won’t show up on a national ticket with any one of the other guys” … etc., etc. … “Romney?”—asks AmSpec’s Jennifer Rubin rhetorically: “No ‘ask the lawyers’ moment but not his best outing and the side by side comparison to his opponents hurts him” …