Posts Tagged ‘hatred’

“WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two negative ads recently launched by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has spent more on advertising than any other candidate, either misrepresent his rival’s records or include distortions, according to a CNN analysis of the commercials,” writes Howard Kurtz in a CNN.com release titled Analysis: Romney attack ad misrepresents facts

The ads come as the Republican air war has erupted into a series of attacks ads, just days before the Iowa caucuses on January 3, Wyoming caucuses on January 5, and the New Hampshire primary on January 8.

In one Romney television ad running in New Hampshire, the announcer calls rival Sen. John McCain “an honorable man” then goes on to ask “but is he the right Republican for the future?”

“McCain pushed to let every illegal immigrant stay here permanently…” the announcer charges. “Even voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security.”

But the ad distorts the position of the Arizona Republican, who has narrowed Romney’s lead in New Hampshire. McCain’s compromise legislation introduced last summer, which was backed by President Bush, would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries and pay a fine for breaking the law before applying for legal statusmore, so much more

Would an honorable man like Romney distort the records and positions of his rivals!?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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“By keeping Tompkins on his payroll for the final weeks of this state’s primary, especially after such a slam-dunk admission of guilt by someone directly involved, Romney is essentially saying that he’s fine with the unconscionable style of campaign filth peddled during the 2000 election,” writes Adam of the Palmetto Scoop.

Worse than that, his failure to disassociate with Tompkins’ firm — which has already been busted for anonymously smearing rival Fred Thompson — could be a warning that we can expect similar or possibly worse attacks in the final days of the primary election.

And this time, Tompkins’ victims might include more than just McCain … etc.

Moral: expect the worst from the Romneys. They very worst. Just expect it.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“CBNNews.com – First Mitt Romney went negative on Mike Huckabee in Iowa after he saw his lead slip away. (oh, wait,, that’s right he was just contrasting positions because he just has a “fundamental disagreement” with Huckabee..right),” writes an incredulous David Brody for CBN’s The Brody File in a post aptly titled Is Romney Desperate?

The last week or so he’s been going negaive on McCain in New Hampshire where he sees his lead slipping away there as well.

Listen, negative attacks are part of campaigning. Most candidates engage in them. But here’s the problem when it comes to Romney.

Fair or not, perceived or otherwise, Romney has developed the reputation as someone who will change positions or just say anything to get elected President. When he goes negative against Huckabee and McCain, it plays into the perception that is already formed about him. It makes him look desperate. The mental picture is that Romney’s arms are flailing in every direction looking to hit something. McCain on taxes may work but Romney has some of his own issues with increasing fees in Massachusetts. Hitting Huckabee on immigration may also work but Romney needs to duck for cover on that issue too because of some of his past statements.

We concur. See:

Back to Brody:

The problem here for Romney is that he’s not pure on these issues either so everytime he attacks, he gives his opponents a chance to strike back. John McCcain has been skewering Romney lately by mouth and press release.

In other words, when Romney attacks e.g. Sen. McCain, he provides the Senator sudden and immediate earned media opportunities the Senator would not otherwise enjoy—in still other words, Romney’s high-risk, high-cost strategy drives, perversely, the costs of other campaigns down.

Back to Brody:

Romney makes himself out to be a Reagan conservative (remember, he represents the “Republican wing of the Repulican party”) and has been calling out everybody else’s shortcomings. The issue though is that Romney hasn’t been a Reagan conservative long enough to build up the “street cred” to do his attacking.

The emphases are ours, all ours.

Here is where we discuss what it means for a candidate with high negatives—e.g., Romney—to go negative against competitors with lower negatives:

Rasmussen Reports: Romney has the least core support, and the most core opposition of all the leading candidates, Republican or Democrat—these findings predict the sudden and fierce backlash against Romney’s negative attacks on other candidates

To address Brody’s question, is Romney’s desperate?—whether desperate or not he is certainly hostile, abusive, and mean-spirited.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Romney is up with a negative attack ad– taking on Huckabee’s crime record. What this tells me is he is down, and down so big it’s worthwhile to run a no holds barred spot like this, at Christmas no less,” writes Jennifer Rubin in an AmSpec blog post titled What’ s the Non-Christmas Version

The contrast with the Huckabee ad Phil posted on could not be greater. Steffen Schmidt, political guru at Iowa State University, who I asked about the ad says simply that Romney is in “disarray” in Iowa. The danger is that this type of ad, and image of a flailing candidate, affects his chances elsewhere … etc.

You can find the advertisement here.

Note the opening, “two governors, both pro-life, both pro-family”—this must be the most naive, unsophisticated, and transparent instance of what used to be called triangulation—where a campaign draws close to its opponent where he or she is strong, and tries to draw contrasts only where the opponent is vulnerable—in the entire corpus of contemporary campaign advertising. It is as if an undergraduate communications major read about triangulation in a textbook and tried to write a script.

Ben delivers an apt response here.

We concur with Rubin about Romney’s disarray and desperation. Romney’s operatives have squandered US$7 million dollars on the ground in Iowa—have saturated the airwaves with Romney’s voice and image, have organized even down to the county level—yet they cannot guarantee the hapless candidate even a third place finish against rivals with neither money nor organization.

Here is the problem for Romney: Romney’s own ultra-high negatives—far, far higher than Gov. Huckabee’s—and cold, remote personality will not support a negative message without Romney’s own numbers tanking. See:

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dr. g.d.

“LONDONDERRY, NH — One day after his first appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Romney faced an onslaught of questions from reporters about his answers on the show, as well as from a voter who chastised him for not answering all the questions he was asked,” writes the estimable Erin McPike for msnbc’s FirstRead in a post titled Romney’s Tough Day On The Trail

Asked about why he was mistaken on the show about his non-endorsement from the NRA during his gubernatorial race, Romney explained, “We checked with them again and said, ‘OK, what are the signals here?’ And they said, ‘Well, we didn’t give you the official endorsement,’ but they phone-banked members here around Massachusetts, or in Massachusetts… So it was, a if you will, a support phone bank, not an official endorsement.”

He was also asked about getting emotional at yesterday’s Meet taping — and perhaps a little bit at the event today, too — and he responded, “I’m a normal person. I have emotions.” He went on to explain that he attended more than 40 funerals of those in service while he was governor and said that it was usually quite emotional for him. “I have emotion just like anyone else, but I’m not ashamed of that all.”

As for McCain’s endorsements — from the Des Moines Register, the Boston Globe, and Joe Lieberman — Romney replied, “You know we each get good endorsements. I can’t get them all.”

With New Hampshire senior Sen. Judd Gregg (R) standing right next to him, as he campaigned with Romney all day, the former governor said, “I’m real proud to have Sen. Judd Gregg and his endorsement.” He added, “If I get first choice, I get him.”

Asked if he was surprised by the Register’s choice, he gave an emphatic, “No.” “Look,” he said, annoyed. “You’re going to get lots of endorsements. I was very proud of one I worked hard to get,” naming National Review’s backing of him last week.

The event Romney was hosting at Insight Technology was supposed to be a military-focused event. Romney tends to group his events for a day — or sometimes for a week — around a certain issue area, which usually amounts to just a slightly bigger than usual focus on the area in his stump speech. Despite today’s focus the military, other than a voter who pressed him on Iraq, there was very little on the topic.

Late into the Q&A session, a man in the audience stood up and waved a questionnaire at him, explaining that a woman distributing them was escorted out of the room and had been told she wasn’t welcome at his event. He then asked if Romney supported that sort of thing, and if he would answer all questions.

Romney kept stating that he believed he answered the man by saying he answers questions. “I was on Meet the Press yesterday, for Pete’s sake.” Finally, he took the paper and indulged the man by speed-reading three questions and answering them, but he was visibly irritated.

The first question was about the cost of the war, and Romney fired back an answer he’s given before about his bigger concern with the war is the cost in lives, not dollars. “I don’t want to get out of Iraq to save money; I want to get out of Iraq to save lives,” he concluded.

There was another question about nuclear weapons, and he said he had spoken with Henry Kissinger yesterday, and he stressed that now is not the time for the United States to rid itself of nuclear arms, pointing out his lack of confidence in Kim Jong-Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinehad to completely denounce nuclear weapons in their own countries … etc.

Yes, OK., but Romney has never connected well with his audiences. See:

Rubin: Romney “doesn’t seem to like his audience much, and they don’t like him”

Get it together, Boy Romney. You need to convince these people that you do not loath and despise them—and fast.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“(BOSTON) — Republican Mitt Romney retorted to questions about his faith by surging rival Mike Huckabee on Wednesday, declaring that “attacking someone’s religion is really going too far,” reports Glen Johnson of the Associated Press in a story titled, unbelievably, Romney: “Attacks on Religion Go Too Far”

Apparently what Romney meant to say was that “attacks on Romney’s religion go too far.” See:

Ijaz: “[Romney] is lying now to the American people—also: the former finance director of the Nevada Republican Party, Irma Aguirre, has gone on public record claiming that “Romney discounted appointing Muslims to his cabinet on more than just the one occasion”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, seeking to protect his narrowing lead and fend off challenges from rivals in this early-voting state, assailed Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani over supporting tuition breaks and broader sanctuary for illegal immigrants or their children,” writes Liz Sidoti in an AP release titled Romney Assails Foes on Immigration

As a new poll showed his advantage trimmed in Iowa, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday singled out the two Republicans giving chase here and likened them to Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. “There are those people in both parties who are in a sanctuary state of mind, who believe in sanctuary cities, who believe in policies which are sanctuary in nature,” he said.

Just weeks before voting begins, the race in the leadoff caucus state has tightened. Romney led in Iowa by double-digits in polls for months but now is trying to curb Huckabee’s recent rise in surveys and gains among religious conservatives, while working to prevent Giuliani from mounting a more serious challenge.

Underscoring the fragile state of Romney’s lead here, a CBS News/New York Times poll released Tuesday showed Romney with 27 percent backing by likely GOP caucus-goers. Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, now threatens Romney’s lead with 21 percent of support; Giuliani, the former New York mayor, has 15 percent … etc.

Just as we predicted. Here is what we wrote elsewhere:

… (6) Contra assumption (iii), there are players other than Mayor Giuliani in this race. Gov. Huckabee is increasingly competitive in Iowa and has consolidated the religious right. See:

Sen. McCain will contest New Hampshire, and Mayor Giuliani is active in Michigan and South Carolina. Precisely because Mayor Giuliani continues to lead in the polls nationally and to lead in the delegate rich larger states, he enjoys strategic depth—i.e. he can allow other candidates to disperse Romney’s energies and hold Romney to at best a split or unclear decision in the early state primaries. In other words, contra Lunquist, Mayor Giuliani does not need to win in the early state primaries. He doesn’t even need to fight a holding action in the early state primaries. He only needs to allow others to fight a holding action in the early state primaries—which is what they will do anyway. In this way Giuliani conserves his own strength even as Romney nails himself insensibly to the cross of his own early-state strategy, disperses his energies fighting off several other campaigners, and hemorrhages further millions of his own money.

Further: Romney is perceived as the front-runner in Iowa, New Hampshire etc. He is the one whom the other candidates will position as their foils, will draw distinctions against. For evidence and analysis see:

Another problem for Romney: you risk going down in flames when you go negative while your own negatives are high. No ones negatives are higher than Romney’s; see:

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)

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Back to Sidoti:

… responding to Romney, Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella accused him of ignoring his own record as governor while he campaigns for president. “Under Governor Mitt Romney the number of illegal immigrants skyrocketed, while he recommended millions of dollars in state aid to numerous sanctuary cities and to companies employing illegal immigrants, not to mention the illegals working on his own lawn,” she said … etc., etc.

P.P.S. Hey, Romney. Did you ever wonder why experienced marathon runners almost never start out in the lead?—why they tend to cluster for much of the race? Did you ever wonder why experienced commanders will often allow opposing forces to invest an objective before moving on it? Did it ever occur to you that your rivals would adapt themselves to your much-vaunted von Schlieffen plan? We’re just wondering.

“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.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Mitt Romney’s campaign has now fired back at John McCain’s recent attacks on the candidate. Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho released this response,” writes Erik Kleefield in a TPM ElectionCentral post (mis-)titled Romney Campaign Hits Back At McCain’s “Flailing Attacks

Romney flak Gail Gitcho: “Angry attacks from campaigns without any new ideas on how to bring change to Washington aren’t what voters are looking for” … [Romney campaign anger, bitterness, pathology, projection, cynacism, and despair omitted]

Meanwhile Rick Evans of ReliablePolitics asks “[is] John McCain Gaining Ground?” based on hypothetical general election polls that show McCain gaining, and Romney tanking. Conclusion: there is no downside to either being attacked, or attacking, Willard Milton Romney. Why is this case?—Romney’s unprecedentedly high negatives.

We explore the issue of Romney’s negatives elsewhere:

Here is what we concluded then, and what we still hold to now:

Again, see:

Rasmussen poll: Romney unelectable in general election; polarizing figure; 25% of republicans say they would definately vote against Romney

Allow us to articulate our argument in more familiar terms. It is common wisdom that a candidate whose negatives are high should not go negative. The negative campaigner may bring down her rival or rivals, but not without bringing herself down as well. Does any remember Dick Gephardt’s bitter attacks on Howard Dean and how they backfired on him? Neither do we. But the same was once said about Gephardt as is now said about Romney by Geraghty and others. Gephardt, however, was at least limited by the poverty of his campaign and Gephardt’s own loyalty to the interests of his party.

Romney has high negatives and has clearly gone negative. He has a far smaller-narrower base of support but far, far more resources than Gephardt ever had. And: Romney has far less of a commitment to the success of the GOP than Gephardt, a loyal soldier to the end, had to the DNC.

So: Imagine a Republican Dick Gephardt, on steroids, angry, alienated, estranged, adrift, and with no larger sense of party loyalty to restrain him, a man surrounded by hirelings, contractors, and highly-paid specialists, as opposed to the usual politicos, interest group players, and party insiders that surround other candidates, i.e. people with larger and longer term interests at stake. Now imagine that this hypothetical Republican Gephardt with nothing to lose but everything to gain has both the will and the resources necessary to slime and vilify whatever candidate or candidates he chooses.

This is Willard Milton Romney.

And this is where we are at this historical moment.

These are interesting times for the GOP … more

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dr. g.d.

… “Craig”—in an NBC interview with some guy named Matt Lauer—“also takes to task Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the interview. Craig was one of two Senate liaisons for Romney’s campaign before Craig removed himself from that position when news of his arrest broke. Romney later said of Craig, ‘He’s disappointed the American people,'” writes Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin—who, apparently, cover people, power and politics in the beltway—in a Yeas & Nays blog post titled Craig: “I made a very big mistake.”

Craig tells Lauer: “I was very proud of my association with Mitt Romney. I’d worked hard for him here in the state. I was a co-chair of his campaign on Capitol Hill. And he not only threw me under his campaign bus, he backed up and ran over me again”more

Disappointed the American people? We consider ourselves American—as well as religious conservatives—and we could not possibly care less about Sen. Craig’s indiscretions. (We have laws, courts etc.) All that interests us about this non-event is how Romney elected to respond to it—i.e. with what degree of compassion Romney would treat his friend and his friend’s family.

Background on the Craig case and related issues:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.