Posts Tagged ‘kevin madden’

[...] “Glover Park Group, founded by and stocked with some of Washington’s best-known Democrats, is suddenly going bipartisan despite the possibility of a Republican wipeout in November,” writes Mike Allen of politico.com in a story titled Democratic firm adding Republicans—not terribly bright, nominal Republicans, anyway.

The strategy firm announced Wednesday that it is hiring Kevin Madden, 36, who appears frequently on television as a Republican analyst and was a top official in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign [...]

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“An interview with John McCutcheon, a state consultant for Mitt Romney, made clear why he is expected to win easily,” writes the estimable Michael Luo for the Caucus, The NYT Political blog, in a post titled Romney at the West Virginia Convention

[Credit: Kavon W. Nikrad]

“We have had the only organizational presence in West Virginia to speak of,” said John McCutcheon, a state consultant for Mr. Romney. “It’s all Romney all the time.”

Mr. McCutcheon, who has been working with Mr. Romney since 2006, when he had only a national political action committee. The campaign’s field director, Wendy McCuskey, was hired over the summer. In all, the campaign has three paid people in the state, along with hundreds of volunteers.

Early on, the campaign had believed West Virginia might be one of the early voting states before Feb. 5. Even after it became clear that would not happen, the campaign still poured out significant resources in the state.

Mr. McCutcheon described an ambitious county-by-county ground operation, complete with phone-banking, direct mail and radio advertisements, compared to only modest efforts made by all the other candidates.

“Any presence that has come in has been last minute and skeletal,” he said about the other campaigns [...]

Yet Romney’s investment was all for naught. Romney got out-maneuvered by his under-funded rivals. Romney’s response? A burst of rage in the form of a press release:

Campaign Manager Beth Myers On The West Virginia Convention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-****

Boston, MA – Today, Romney for President Campaign Manager Beth Myers issued the following statement regarding the outcome of West Virginia’s Republican Party convention:

“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.

“Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today’s first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party.”

Yuh-huh. Note the anger. Note the name-calling. Note to Romney: This is the price you pay for alienating the other candidates. See:

how friend and foe alike make careful note of Romney’s duplicity—on Santorum’s endorsement of Willard Milton Romney, where we discuss the “I hate Romney club”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

Yesterday the Romney campaign delivered its proof-of-concept for a Romney candidacy in the form of a decisive Romney victory in an important and hotly contested state, MI.

So: Romney is not going away, alas.

Worse: Romney has developed a populist message difficult for the other candidates to rebut, rejoin, or even resist. Regard the following rejoinder to the assumptions of the Romney win issued by a McCain Strategist.

Then regard the ridiculous ease with which ordinarily talentless Kevin Madden smacks it down in a gesture entirely without substance.

[...] Steve Schmidt, a top McCain strategist, attributed yesterday’s loss to “Mitt Romney’s pandering up in Michigan” by promising what Schmidt called a “$100-billion bailout of the auto industry…Mitt Romney should explain to the rest of the country how he’s going to pay for it,” writes Howard Kurtz for WaPo’s The Trail in a blog burst titled McCain Team Critiques Romney’s Record

While Romney has proposed a five-year, $20-billion-a-year effort to revitalize the ailing auto industry, the Arizona senator has emphasized worker retraining and research into green technologies. Schmidt would not put a price tag on that but minimized the retraining plan as a consolidation of existing programs.

Speaking to reporters after a rally here today, McCain declined to use the word “pandering” but said of Romney: “By promising that amount of money to the auto industry, at least he ought to be able to say where it’s going to come from.” McCain cited statistics purporting to show that Massachusetts lagged the nation in economic growth during Romney’s four-year term [...]

[...] Schmidt broadened the verbal assault to include what he called Romney’s “rather weak record as governor of Massachusetts,” including sluggish job growth and a $700-million boost in taxes and fees, and said Romney’s record of trimming jobs as a corporate takeover artist would also be fair game [...]

Schmidt: What Romney proposes is too expensive. Where will he find the money? Romney mismanaged the Massachusetts economy and cut jobs as a corporate takeover artist.

This is all true, painfully true. But is it compelling? No, not in the least. Does it speak from the center of a competing vision? No, it doesn’t. Rather: This is the line of argument of a scold or, in Madden’s words, a “naysayer.”

Now, here be Madden’s non-responsive but rhetorically effective rejoinder, reproduced on Mark Halperin’s The Page:

Governor Romney has encountered pessimism and a shoulder-shrug attitude like that of Senator McCain before. He faced it in business, he faced it at the Olympics and he faced it when he took over as governor of a state.

Every time, he fought the pessimists and naysayers and brought reform and success. Senator McCain has neither the ability nor the optimistic vision needed to help transform our nation’s economy and bring greater growth and prosperity to working Americans.

Governor Romney is ready to roll-up his sleeves and go to work, even if Senator McCain is ready to just give up on the future [...]

Romney’s argument? Relationship. The relationship of ground and consequence. The ground is the person, character, and professional biography of Romney, in whom we are to invest our confidence, and for whom we are to invest our support. The consequence—what we get in return—is “reform and success” through the life and labor of Romney. To doubt or disparage would be to nitpick, to naysay; it would be a failure of the imagination—pessimism. (For Sen. Obama, who Romney idolizes, the enemy is cynicism. For Romney it is pessimism.)

Do you remember Pres. Clinton’s refrain about how he was always “working hard for the American people?” Do you remember how Pres. Clinton would personalize policy proposals and initiatives by talking about how hard he had worked for them? Or how Pres. Clinton would excuse himself for failed promises on grounds of hard work?—he once famously said that he had never worked harder than he had to deliver the middle class tax cut that he had promised in 1992, he just couldn’t make it work etc.

This is not a conservative argument. This is the antithesis of a conservative argument. This argument assumes a great faith in the efficacy of political agency—particularly, Romney as political agent.

Romney’s rejoinder to his critics and dissenters now becomes: You’re trying to destroy me personally, and I’m trying to save the country. Which of us is right? 

Conclusion: What Romney has done is to personalize policy. Like Gore in 1999, like Edwards more recently, Romney promises to resist “powerful forces”—e.g. a “broken Washington“—on behalf of “working Americans.” Given the sudden downturn in the US economy and the subprime mortgage crisis, this could be a powerful message.

Further conclusion: the GOP is doomed.

More on these sad themes:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

[...] In fact, even when Mike Huckabee began his ascendance in Iowa, one that culminated in his convincing victory in Thursday’s caucuses, New Hampshire was still viewed as a firewall for the Romney campaign,” writes CBSNews.com political reporter David Miller in an article titled Mitt Romney’s Rebound Plan; Stung By Iowa Loss, Republican Takes Up Banner Of Change While Going After McCain

Polls there showed him with a solid lead – but that collapsed in the two weeks preceding the caucuses, when John McCain, once beleagured, quickly caught up to Romney, and in some surveys, even passed him.

Winning in Iowa would have been the best way to reverse that situation – and since that did not come to pass, the Romney campaign is now shifting gears by borrowing a page from the book of an unlikely candidate: Barack Obama, whose message of change helped him win Iowa’s Democratic contest.

At an event in Manchester on Friday, Romney seemed to work the “c-word” in at every possible opportunity.

“If you really want to have change, you don’t just want to have a gadfly or somebody fighting for this or fighting for that,” Romney said. “You want to have somebody who will bring change, who will sell the company America has – it’s going to have to be somebody from outside Washington, not a Washington insider [...]

We’re sorry, but what?—what does Romney mean by “sell the company America has?”

Romney has spent a year insisting he was Ronald Reagan. Now he wants to be Barack Obama. Has this man ever tried being Willard Milton Romney?

[...] But for all the talk of change, some aspects of Romney’s campaign haven’t. Take his advertising. In New Hampshire, the target is different – it’s McCain instead of Huckabee – but in terms of look and structure, his spots in the two states are identical. In both cases, there’s an initial nicety, describing Romney and, most recently, McCain as “two good men.”

After that comes harsh criticism of McCain’s views on immigration and tax cuts – a method McCain has said didn’t work in Iowa and wouldn’t work in New Hampshire.

But the Romney campaign believes the ads weren’t why Romney lost in Iowa, and the results there should not be seen as proof of their ineffectiveness.

“I don’t agree that we lost to Huckabee because we ran ads,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. “I think Huckabee won because he identified with a lot of the core voters out there, such as evangelicals, on a lot of social conservative issues. He had a lot of voters he identified with, with what is a traditional, conservative part of that base out there. He did a good job doing that. We competed with Mike Huckabee on those votes, and we met our vote goals pretty much.” [...]

We met our goals? Did we? We met our goals and lost Iowa decisively? Boy, we must be geniuses! Perhaps—and this is just a suggestion, Mr. Madden—we need to review our current goals and performance standards before we get our heads handed to us on a platter in New Hampshire too.

This is more evidence of Romney’s predict-and-control operational method.

About Romney’s ugly “contrast” ads and their effectiveness, opinions differ:

Luntz: “Romney made a ‘big mistake’ by going negative against Huckabee”—how a Faustian Romney rages against the laws of physics

Opinions differed at the posh waterfront headquarters of a besieged Team Romney too.

[...] Internally, the Romney campaign began to debate and disagree, a sharp contrast to the campaign’s usual organized and by-the-books culture,” writes Monica Langley in an Online.wsj article titled owa Touches Off a Free-for-All; Romney’s Best-Laid Plans Mugged by Political Realities

Two speechwriters were let go. Although the master plan had anticipated that negative ads might be necessary, the campaign was hit with internal dissension about whether to continue the “branding” plan or “go negative” in campaign commercials and direct mail.

Campaign operatives fought over when and how to “draw contrasts” between Mr. Romney and his chief rivals. Mr. Castellanos, Mr. Romney’s chief media adviser, pushed to shift message as needed to focus on changing rivals and issues. Others argued the merits of keeping the focus on a single overarching message. [...]

History has proven those two lowly speech writers right. Kevin Madden—the maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden, Romney’s least effective helper-monkey—should immediately telephone those two speechwriters, apologize profusely, and offer them their jobs back at twice what they were paid before.

Everyone else should go to the wall, starting with Madden.

Back to Miller:

[...]“You’ve only got one guy running for president who’s signed the front of an employment check,” Romney said Friday.

Compare that with a line delivered by Huckabee only hours earlier: “One of the reasons I did well in Iowa, and I’ll do well here, is that people realized that they want a president who reminds them of the guy they worked with, not the guy who laid them off.”

The disparate messages may be emblematic of a growing divide in the Republican Party, which is seeing the coalition built by Ronald Reagan – between blue-collar workers, the business community and Christian conservatives – put under severe distress, said GOP consultant Mike Collins.

“I think it’s more of a universal problem than a Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson solution. We’re battling for the soul of the Republican Party,” he said. “You have very discrete elements of this party that are coming apart at the seams.”

Yet Romney’s campaign maintains that they, alone among the GOP field, have support that is deep and broad enough to keep Republicans unified – an essential for winning in November. [...]

Here is the problem: Romney insists that he has “support broad and deep enough to keep Republicans unified.” But he has yet to demonstrate that support in any way or form. Precisely the opposite is the case: Romney has thus far unified no one constituency behind him; he has only managed to unify the other candidates against him. In fact, Team Romney has failed at every task it has set for itself, Iowa was only the latest. Besides: Who is Romney’s base? Who is his natural constituency? Who has he even convinced that he is a conservative?—oh, wait, now he wants to be the agent of change candidate.

How can this primped, powdered, and pampered non-entity pretend to unify our party when he has yet to unify himself?

[...] “A lot of the other candidates seem to be working on a slingshot effect – do well in one state and hope it builds momentum for other states,” Madden said. “We have a greater ability to motivate our organization as well as deploy the resources across several states in order to compete.”

But ironically, Romney may now be reliant on the same slingshot effect, even as they maintain they could survive a second-place finish – one that most observers agree would be a devastating loss, given the high expectations driven by campaign’s large organization and vast financial resources [...]

Madden is projecting. To “slingshot” early victories into performance gains in other states was always the organizing principle of Romney’s now inoperative early-states von Schlieffen plan. Now Romney has now been beaten back to a regional stronghold strategy. Only Romney keeps withdrawing from his strongholds. Team Romney’s stronghold used to New Hampshire until Sen. McCain deprived them of their lead there. Now they say it’s Michigan.

We predict that their last redoubt will be the floor of a brokered convention. This would be where targeted donations may actually produce an effective return. To try to buy off an angry and fragmented coalition—undoable. To try to buy off the elites of a corrupt party organzation—easily achievable; in fact, the groundwork is already laid in.

To simply stay in the game now becomes the object of the Romney Tribe.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“The reasons many establishment operatives still see a Huckabee win as unlikely, polls notwithstanding, were underscored by Monday’s debacle,” writes Mike Madden in a Salon.com news feature titled Can money buy Mitt Romney love in Iowa? The CEO candidate tries to grind out an expensive victory over a surging, underfunded and baffling upstart
Note how Mike Madden’s story hinges on Romney’s massive spending.

… Huckabee announced to a crowd of reporters that the anti-Romney commercial he’d cut the day before would not, in fact, ever be broadcast — and then proceeded to show the ad to the reporters. Huckabee surprised even some of his own staffers with the ploy. The campaign had apparently been divided about whether to put the ad up in the first place, but the move wound up looking either brazenly cynical or shockingly stupid — or both — and the reaction from the political press was withering.

It was the reaction from the Romney campaign, though, that may have been more telling. Spokesman Madden sent out a careful press release that linked the fiasco to the Romney message that Huckabee can’t handle scrutiny. But when I talked to Madden later in the day, he just sounded flabbergasted. Romney’s team had watched the nation’s top political reporters laugh in Huckabee’s face three days before the caucuses, to little avail. They had won the news cycle, but not the war. They still couldn’t figure out quite what to make of their candidate’s biggest rival — or how to make him go away … etc.

Note Kevin Madden’s despairing wonderment at what any rational person could have predicted—in fact, we did predict it, many times, right here in this blog.
When you overshoot the mark—when you have no discernment, no sense of proportion, when you rocket right past the culminating point of success—all your former strengths and strong points suddenly become points of exceeding vulnerability, and you can no longer trust your own perceptions. Example: Romney’s principal strength, his vast personal wealth, has become the organizing principle of his organizational failure as he no longer controls it; it, rather, controls him.

“Mitt Romney said last year that it would be ‘akin to a nightmare’ to have to fund his presidential campaign out of his personal fortune,” writes Howie Carr in a BostonHerald.com news feature titled Mitt finds $20M can’t buy voters’ love

But I can think of worse things. One would be spending $20 million of your money . . . and then losing. Forget “akin to” – that would be the politician’s ultimate nightmare.

So now Mitt Romney is about to find out how much it costs to buy – or fail to buy – an election in 2008. A lot more than the $6 million it cost him to buy the Massachusetts governorship in 2002, that’s for sure. Forget the $63 million Mitt raised through the first three quarters of 2007 (which included $17 million of his own).

Let’s talk about how much of his cash Mitt has thrown into the campaign by now. We won’t know until Jan. 31, but it’s got to be way more than $20 million.

And for what? Who knows at this point? By this time in most campaigns, the candidate has a pretty good idea if he’s going to win or lose. But this week the polls are all over the place.

And for at least another day he finds himself in a two-front war, with John McCain in the East and Mike Huckabee, the dope from Hope, in the West. Two-front wars are tough – just ask Napoleon and Hitler …

[ ... ]

… How does Mitt explain to the partners at Bain Capital if he loses to Mike Huckabee? I mean, that would be like losing to Warren Tolman or John Lakian. Completely unacceptable.

No wonder Mitt has been spending money like a drunken sailor, although the difference between the sailor and Mitt is that Romney doesn’t have the bad-ice-cube excuse. Everyone has the occasional moment where suddenly you can’t control your spending – you’re trying to impress some babe, maybe, or you’re in a high-stakes poker game. Which I suppose is what Mitt’s in, although I think by this time he thought he’d be reacting to Hillary, not Huckabee.

Bhutto gets shot, and Huckabee apologizes to Pakistan, like the United States shot her or something. And what happened after Huck made a fool of himself? He went up two points in the national tracking polls.

I hope Mitt pulls it out in both states, but if he doesn’t, the reporters will be grilling him in a few weeks about why he blew 20 million in Steve Forbes-like futility.

To which Mitt should reply, “I was drunk.” So what if it’s not true? It’s an answer that always works for the Kennedys …

Drunk. We concur. And Romney is the rational candidate. Question: When did the term “rational” has come to mean its opposite? Ask yourself: do you really want someone who so easily loses control of himself as your president? Imagine this man at war …Also: Romney’s scorched earth tactics are costly in ways that cannot be readily quantified. Back to Mike Madden of Salon.com:

… The TV and mail advertising blitzkrieg, though, has done little to endear Romney to any of his rivals. “He’s given up on trying to persuade anybody that he’s the right candidate,” said McCain’s Iowa chairman, Dave Roederer. “He’s just trying to persuade them that everybody else is the wrong candidate.” Another Republican strategist said, with some relish, that a Huckabee win here would be “a massive upset” given everything Romney’s spent in the state. Huckabee and McCain have practically signed a mutual defense pact over the campaign’s closing weeks, with each side rushing to protect the other from every Romney attack … etc.

How can a man who so blithely, thoughtlessly, and consistently alienates and estranges everyone around him govern?

Also see:

“If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit, imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit,” writes the monitor staff in an editorial titled Romney should not be the next president

You’d add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business career and just enough executive government experience. You’d pour in some old GOP bromides – spending cuts and lower taxes – plus some new positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped.

Romney’s main business experience is as a management consultant, a field in which smart, fast-moving specialists often advise corporations on how to reinvent themselves. His memoir is called Turnaround – the story of his successful rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City – but the most stunning turnaround he has engineered is his own political career.

If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If you followed only his campaign for president, you’d swear he was a red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the cost. Pay attention to both, and you’re left to wonder if there’s anything at all at his core …

… In the 2008 campaign for president, there are numerous issues on which Romney has no record, and so voters must take him at his word. On these issues, those words are often chilling. While other candidates of both parties speak of restoring America’s moral leadership in the world, Romney has said he’d like to “double” the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where inmates have been held for years without formal charge or access to the courts. He dodges the issue of torture – unable to say, simply, that waterboarding is torture and America won’t do it.

When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we’ll know it.

Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no …

Commentary:

“The Monitor editorial board leans left, and the paper is often viewed as a liberal counterweight to the conservative Union Leader of Manchester,” writes Alec MacGillis for Wapo’s The Trail in a post titled Concord Monitor: Romney “Must Be Stopped”

But with its anti-Romney assault the paper finds itself on the same page as the Union Leader, which has endorsed John McCain for the Republican nomination and followed that up with harsh editorial critiques of Romney. For Romney, this may be a case of familiarity breeding contempt — while his years as governor in the state next door may benefit him with some voters in New Hampshire, his proximity also means that close observers of his governorship are more aware than most of the discrepancies between his moderate record in Massachusetts and his rightward tilt on the campaign trail.

Romney’s rough handling from the New Hampshire press is coming as he is sees his months-long steady lead in the New Hampshire polls shrinking with the resurgence of McCain in New Hampshire, and the rise of Mike Huckabee in Iowa.

This weekend’s broadside from the Monitor is all the more striking given that Romney appeared to leave a good initial impression in his interview with the editorial board last month. An editorial that followed that meeting declared, under the headline “Romney has good grasp of nation’s problems”:
“At campaign events, Mitt Romney can come across as insincere. In presidential debates, his performance has been uneven. In his television ads, he seems too good to be true – too handsome, too rich, too articulate and too wholesome to have much in common with the people whose votes he seeks. But put him in a boardroom and Romney shines.

The former Massachusetts governor recently met with the Monitor’s editorial board. His performance was impressive. He is articulate and knowledgeable. He doesn’t come across as an ideologue – that would be tough given his history of changed positions – but as a pragmatist, a guy who gets things done. None of that was surprising. The surprise was that Romney, whose Mormon faith and mega-millions isolate him from the experience of many Americans, came across as a pretty regular guy.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden responded to the broadside by saying: “The Monitor’s editorial board is regarded as a liberal one on many issues, so it is not surprising that they would criticize Governor Romney for his conservative views and platform” … etc.

Only here is the problem, Madden. The Monitor criticizes Romney for his duplicity, not his alleged and oft-disputed “conservatism”.

This is a pattern for Romey: his F2F appearances tend to backfire on the hapless candidate. 2 other examples:

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

“AP’s Glen Johnson and Liz Sidoti have news of the first negative ad to air in the GOP race,” writes Jonathan Martin of the Politico in a post titled Romney to hit Huck on immigration in Iowa

Who: Mitt on Huck
What: Immigration
When: Starting tomorrow
Where: Iowa

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden tells me that the spot “clarifies the distinct differences between Governor Romney and Mike Huckabee on the issue of immigration.”

UPDATE: I’ve gotten my hands on the ad itself, “The Record.”

Note the gentle lead-in. Romney’s camp plainly recognizes the danger of going negative in Iowa, so they go to considerable length to frame the attack with what is both a nod of respect to Huckabee and a sly effort at dulling the differences between the two on cultural issues.

Then comes the knife, aimed squarely at Huck’s support for providing the children of illegal immigrants tuition breaks … etc.

Also:

Landscaper: Romney Never Insisted Employees Be Legal—as reported by Fox News. The landscaper who Mitt Romney fired earlier this week for continuing to employ illegal immigrants says the termination boils down to little more than politics.

And again:

“Romney doesn’t deserve “amnesty” for this recurring lapse in judgment,” writes Ruben Navarrette in a RealClearPolitics.com story titled Romney Makes It Hard to Trust Him

And for two reasons:

First, there is the hypocrisy. Millions of Americans benefit from the sweat of illegal immigrants – directly or indirectly – but Romney is the one trying to score political points off these people. As if illegal immigrants don’t do enough, they are now fodder to help put Mitt Romney in the Oval Office.

And second, there is the issue of authenticity. Romney may have tripped up in his effort to fool Republican voters into believing that he’s a real conservative – on abortion, gun control, gay rights and now on illegal immigration – and that he takes to heart the concerns of conservative voters.

Romney desperately needs to sell that line, especially in conservative states such as Iowa where Republican voters at town halls demand to know how candidates will stop illegal immigration. And if Iowans are like many other Americans, after they’ve said their peace, they retreat to their homes to watch cable television demagogues and wring their hands over the “invasion” while someone else does the yardwork, or the housework, or the child care, or the cooking … etc., etc.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Gov. Romney is new to the pro-life movement and his campaign clearly has a few things to learn about it, “ thunders Fred Thompson communications director, the estimable Todd Harris, a gentleman who communicates plainly, clearly, pointedly, coherently, and vigorously, unlike Romney’s own gibbering helper-monkey, the maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden, a man who cannot clear his throat without flatly contradicting himself. Mr. Rhett Hatcher posted excerpts of Harris’s rejoinder to race42008.com, added his own apt and precise comments, and titled it Personal Attacks?

First, [continues Harris, Team Romney] should understand that despite their campaign’s every effort, groups like the National Right to Life Committee’s PAC (NLRC-PAC) cannot be bought. NLRC-PAC is supporting Fred Thompson because of Fred’s 100% pro-life voting record. They know he stood with them yesterday, he stands with them today, and he will stand with them tomorrow. It is unseemly for the Romney campaign and its supporters to suggest that NLRC-PAC’s coveted endorsement is based on a bribe. Second, this unfounded accusation is as outrageou s as it is ironic, given the Romney campaign’s long history of spreading money around to anyone who will take it.

“If the Romney campaign is looking for the reason they did not receive the NLRC-PAC endorsement, they can start with the fact that Gov. Romney was pro-choice just two years ago. They should also consider the fact that Gov. Romney’s own health care plan in Massachusetts offers taxpayer funded abortions for a mere $50 co-pay and requires by law that a representative from Planned Parenthood sit on the MassHealth advisory board. Tellingly, Gov. Romney made no such requirement for a representative from the pro-life movement.

“The Romney campaign was clearly hoping for this endorsement and are now clearly upset. But being denied an endorsement is no excuse to impugn the integrity of the very organization they were just days ago trying to woo” … etc.

Just so. See:

another Romney toady comes unglued—first Bopp, now Weyrich

Moral: this is what happens when you have high negatives and you go the least bit negative—it all blows up in your face. The Romneys have effectively resuscitated Sen. Thompson’s campaign.

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)

This is why the pensive and petulant political primitives of the Romney clan even now huddle together to deliberate the urgent question of whether to risk going negative against former mayor and national hero, Rudy Giuliani. We suppose the Romneys thought Sen. Fred Thompson would be an easier kill. But the sudden and fierce reaction from all quarters has taught the Romneys a painful lesson in the social uses of temperance, moderation, and restraint. See:

Giuliani illuminates in NH—first commercial released—desperate, disorganized, and divided Romney camp wracked by indecision about how to respond

Let us see if the lesson sticks. Not quick learners, the Romneys. They may need a few more punishing high-voltage jolts before they connect the stimuli to the response and abandon that oh-so-tempting food pellet.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“The Romney campaign has sent a letter to Fox News saying that they will defy the network’s request that all the GOP campaigns ‘cease and desist’ from using Fox debate footage in ads or on their web sites, I’ve just learned,” reports a breathless Greg Sargent in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Romney Defies Fox News’ Ban On Use Of Its Debate Footage

Today the Romney camp went up with a new ad bashing Hillary. As Eric Kleefeld noted below, the ad contains a smattering of that debate footage — despite the fact that Fox’s lawyers sent a letter to the GOP campaigns last week demanding that they refrain from using it.

So we checked in with the Romney campaign to see what was up. And Romney spokesman Kevin Madden confirmed that the campaign has informed Fox that they were defying the request.

Say, what? Kevin Madden gave a straight answer!? Is Sargent absolutely certain that he spoke to Madden himself?

Here is the problem for Romney: Sen. Clinton is not the only candidate who can perform horribly at a debate. See:

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

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

The crack journalists at FITSnews describe the ventriloquist dummys of Romney’s crack campaign operation in a not-to-be-missed post titled Mitt Romney’s S.C. Campaign Manager Can Read.

Whatever Romney is paying these people, it’s too much.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.





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