Posts Tagged ‘Rudy Giuliani’

“Mitt Romney was asked today in South Carolina whether he thinks Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani will have an impact in attracting Christian conservatives to the Rudy camp. His answer, Jonathan Martin reports: ‘Not at all.'”—writes Eric vom Kleefield in a TMP ElectionCenter post titled Romney Downplays Robertson’s Endorsement Of Giuliani

“I don’t think that the Republican Party is going to choose a pro-choice, pro-gay civil union candidate to lead our party,” Romney added … etc.

Note the sleight-of-hand disqualification, a species of double-bind in which the respondent changes the content of the question or statement:

“I don’t think that the Republican Party is going to choose a pro-choice, pro-gay civil union candidate to lead our party.”

The statement is Functionally equivalent to: I don’t think a good little boy or girl should choose such a option.

First injunction: you will make a choice.

Second injunction: to be a good little boy or girl, you will choose what is my choice; hence, you effectively have no choice.

Our intuition: Romney has confused conservatism with some sort of creepy-nightmare-paternalism, a blunt-instrument American Caesarism, only the Caesar is the caricature of an uptight-screwball, seething-with-impotent-rage middle manager, affordable-tract-housing suburban father circa 1963.

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dr. g.d.

P.S. Here is the problem for Romney: how many Evangelicals know who e.g. Weyrich is?—or Bopp, despite his cool name? But everyone knows who Pat Robertson is—whether you agree with him or not, you know who he is, and you know that he is a staunch believer etc.

“A lot of people are holding out hope that if Rudy wins the GOP nomination social conservatives will organize a third party challenge from the right that will split the Republican Party,” writes Greg Sargent for TPM ElectionCentral in a post titled Top Conservative Romney Supporter: I’d Support Rudy In General Election

Prominent social conservative leaders have been suggesting as much lately in various forums.

Well, this isn’t going to give people holding out for this very much hope.

As I noted below, a top conservative backer of Mitt Romney, the prominent conservative attorney James Bopp, told me in an interview that he was outraged that conservative Senator Sam Brownback is dallying with pro-choice Rudy.

But that isn’t all Bopp said. He also told me that he thinks that if Rudy wins the nomination, a third-party challenge just isn’t a serious possiblitiy — and even said he himself would back Rudy.

“I think there are people who would consider voting for a minor party candidate rather than Giuliani if he got the nomination,” Bopp told me. “Frankly I’m not one of those. I don’t think the idea of a third party is being seriously considered by anyone” … etc., etc.

Bopp missed the memo. The Romney’s have been trying to float the rumor that disaffected Evangelicals plan to mount a 3rd party bid if Giuliani gets the nomination. Yet here is Bopp proclaiming that he himself would vote for Giuliani after he excoriated Brownback for reaching out to Giuliani. “One of the big stories of the day in GOP primary politics is conservative Senator Sam Brownback’s new and eyebrow-raising assertion yesterday that he is suddenly “much more comfortable” than before about Rudy’s abortion views. Brownback said this after meeting with Rudy yesterday,” writes Greg Sargent again only this time in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Bopp, Top Social Conservative Supporter Of Romney, Lashes Out At Brownback For Pro-Rudy Comments

Now there’s been another key development in the story.

Jim Bopp, one of Mitt Romney’s top social conservative supporters, just lashed out repeatedly at Brownback in an interview with me for his kind words about Rudy’s abortion views, accusing Brownback in scathing terms of putting “personal benefit” before the pro-life cause.

“There’s obviously something more going on here than fidelity to the pro-life cause,” said Bopp, a legendary pro-life activist and lawyer who is an important voice for Romney because he vouches for his conservatism. “Brownback is angling for some personal political benefit by cozying up to Giuliani” … etc., etc.

The emphases are ours, all ours.

So why is this allegedly “top social conservative”—whatever that means—gibbering like a frightened howler money about the honorable former mayor of NYC? Permit us to speculate:

(1) Bopp actively participated in Romney’s attempted coup at the recent so-called value voter’s summit. He appears as action step 4-days-out in Young Justin of the Heartland’s description of the communications operation.

4 days out – Letter from James Bopp, Jr. highlighting the growing movement of Evangelicals behind Romney (check)

(2) Despite massive spending on the part of the Romney’s, the value voters summit went terribly wrong. See:

(3) The result?—Romney’s astonishing incompetence has effectively neutralized the Evangelical movement for this election cycle—Evangelical leaders stand divided and discredited. See:

(4) So where does this leave a figure like Bopp?—he is no longer useful to the Romney tribe, and he no longer has any credibility among Evangelicals. The man is spent. The man is over. Hence: his sudden incoherence. First he rails at Brownback for dissing Romney by reaching out to Giuliani. Then: he wants to re-assert his own independence from Romney by promising to vote for Giuliani.

(5) Bopp is not the only Romney sycophant already thinking post-Romney. The handwriting is on the wall. But what Bopp needs to understand is that credibility is like virginity—once it’s gone …

We offer these hypotheses in the spirit of honest inquiry.

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dr. g.d.

“(JOHNSTON, Iowa) — Rudy Giuliani still leads in national polls of GOP presidential candidates, but Mitt Romney said Friday that will change as the field narrows and voters must choose between the former New York City mayor and a more conservative candidate,” writes Mike Glover for the AP in a story titled Romney Predicts Giuliani’s Support Will Fade

… Romney said Giuliani has maintained his lead in polls because so many candidates are vying for support from social conservatives. That dynamic will change as the field narrows.

“There are a lot of us fighting on that side. There are six, seven or eight of us going after that audience and Mayor Giuliani is pretty much alone on the other side,” Romney said. “It’s not a big surprise that he continues to hold that portion of the party.”

Romney spoke during a taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program and later during a meeting with reporters.

At some point, Romney said the party’s conservative base will coalesce around a candidate, making it tough for Giuliani.

“Those of us who represent that base will find that we can get that support and ultimately face up one to one with Mayor Giuliani,” Romney said. “At that point he’ll have a more challenging time because I do not believe the Republican Party is going to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House by acting like Hillary Clinton.

“We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.”

The Romney campaign—in the person of Romney himself—is talking to itself again. Regard: the argument is about Romney relative to other candidates, and concludes on an outcome in Romney’s favour. Also note the contradictions.

“We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.”

This is the solution: be distinct, like me. Isnt’ this a contradiction?—or, worse, a double bind like “be spontaneous!” For Romney to be distinct like him is the solution to both the Clinton and the Giuliani problem, two distinct problems that Romney wants you to link. Yet Romney’s explanation for his low poll numbers and non-performance is this:

“There are a lot of us fighting on that side. There are six, seven or eight of us going after that audience and Mayor Giuliani is pretty much alone on the other side,” Romney said. “It’s not a big surprise that he continues to hold that portion of the party.”

Romney’s alibi for the non-performance of his campaign: Romney’s distinct lack of distinction. Romney argues: There are six or seven or eight of him, candidates just like him. According to Romney, only Giuliani is distinct, and only Giuliani enjoys the support of a coherent base (“that portion of the party”).

How can one man, attempting to emit one message, elaborating upon one theme, contradict himself so many times, and with a straight face?

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dr. g.d.

“It’s clear the Romney campaign thinks they have a winner in their “three-legged stool” argument against Rudy, which holds that only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” opines a befuddled Greg Sargent in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Romney Ratchets Up Criticism Of Rudy On Abortion, Gay Marriage

With Sam Brownback and many others beginning to predict that Rudy is doomed, and with the threat of defection from religious right leaders seeming more real by the day, the Romney crew may be on to something … etc., etc.

Just what does Mr. Sargent think Romney is “on to?”

Observe: Romney’s argument is never about Romney. It is always about Sen. Clinton. Viz: Giuliani cannot beat Clinton because “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election.”

We are never asked to vote for Romney.

We are only ever asked to vote against Sen. Clinton.

Ask yourself: Why is that? Why are we being offered a deal—an exchange—a substitution? (Hypothesis: Romney has passed from denial to anger and on to bargaining. His latest arguments are an attempt to bargain with voters and GOP elites. G_d help us all when Romney passes into the depression and despair phase of the grief cycle—we will probably witness the most negative campaign in US political history.)

Here is the problem with Romney’s non-argument: even if we accept Romney’s absurd furniture metaphor and allow that “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” it does not follow that Romney is such a Republican, or that he can convince anyone that he is such a Republican. Regard: Mike Huckabee trounced Romney at the value voters summit—he stole the show, even after Romney delivered the performance of his political career.

This is why Romney’s attacks seem so pointless, so groundless, so void of purpose—because Romney is always begging the question—he always simply assumes as true—or wants you to assume as true—the very point he’s trying to establish, i.e. his alleged conservative values. Romney is running a campaign of empty platitudes and constant attacks, writes Dean Barnett, a friend and close associate of Romney for 14 long years.

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dr. g.d.

Dobson has laid down the gauntlet, argues LJ in a race42008.com post titled The Third Party Mutiny Continues

If [Dobson] backs down now, he loses a lot of face among his followers. It’s fascinating because polls show that Giuliani does pretty well with the rank and file SoCons. This could have the effect of splitting the SoCon elites from their base (in much the same way the GOP split over immigration this summer). At the same time, Mitt Romney is the only one that Dobson has not given the kiss of death to. Add to that his recent success with securing backing by prominent SoCon leaders, you could end up with the reverse of the Giuliani dilemma, Romney attracting support from the elites but turning off the rank and file.

Note that whatever the outcome the Evangelical elites will divide from their base. We—and many others—predicted as much:

Back to LJ:

There is still time for a Dobson-Giuliani summit in which they go into a room and Dobson comes out saying that Giuliani “shares his values” and that after much discussion, Giuliani is an acceptable nominee. The problem with this scenario is that Giuliani is not the type of person who would go out of his way to make nice with Dobson. This could very quickly turn into a battle to see who blinks first … etc., etc.

Whether Giuliani kisses Dobson’s ring or not—and we earnestly hope that he does not—is moot, as polling and campaign strategy indicate that Giuliani is building a new coalition. eye of eyeon08.com reads against the grain of an AP story by Alan “Bury the Lead” Fram to arrive at a novel and compelling conclusion in a post titled When reporters miss the story: Rudy and conservatives

Fram argues that Giuliani’s support from the right is “less than meets the eye.” eye rejoins:

But the important point is that, Rudy Giuliani holds the lead in-spite of weak support from conservatives. Rudy has found a possibly winning coalition does not involve the most conservative elements of the party. That, dear reader, is a story. That shows that his path to winning the nomination is less-than-tenuous. But the reporter doesn’t seem to understand that the goal in a primary is to build coalitions within the party.

According to AP-Ipsos polls quoted by eye:

  • Just 37 percent of Giuliani’s conservatives call themselves strongly Republican, compared to 52 percent of Thompson’s.
  • While 22 percent of Giuliani’s evangelical or born-again Christian supporters say they are very conservative, 47 percent of Thompson’s do.
  • Sixty-four percent of Giuliani’s supporters approve of Bush’s performance, compared to 78 percent of Thompson’s.

Isn’t this fantastic news for the Giuliani campaign? Doesn’t this tell us that his lead is based on people who aren’t going to go fleeing when someone (who?) puts up ads saying that he’s a liberal?

Isn’t this a reason for confidence? They know he is pro-choice, gay-friendly, etc. And they still support him. What additional information is going to make Rudy’s numbers fall? Probably not information about abortion, etc.

At least the reporters aren’t alone in their ignorance. The conservative interest groups don’t get it either … etc., etc.

Who cares about 3rd parties?—Evangelical elites can issue whatever threats they wish. The rest of us have moved on.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“On paper, Mitt Romney seems the most attractive G.O.P. contender,” writes the fantastically insightful Jennifer Rubin in a NY Observer Op Ed titled Romney Can’t Believe He’s Losing to These Guys

He has business and executive experience, a fine family and no connection to the “Washington mess.”

Yet his chance to win the nomination is slipping away. His national poll numbers barely hit double digits, his New Hampshire lead is vanishing, and he’s spending millions of dollars just to keep afloat.

As he stood next to Fred Thompson at the Dearborn debate looking puzzled, one was reminded of the Saturday Night Live skit in which the Michael Dukakis character looked at the George H. W. Bush figure and said incredulously, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

There are several popular explanations, ranging from his now-renounced liberal past to his religion, but it is also something more fundamental than any of that: Mitt Romney is the least adept politician in the field and comes across as the least in tune to Republicans’ dominant concerns.

In interacting with voters, he often appears to be at a shareholders’ meeting, impatiently waiting out an obstreperous protestor so he can resume his prepared remarks.

In New Hampshire’s Red Arrow Diner earlier this year, he seemed unmoved as a waitress described her family’s medical difficulties, robotically informing her of his Massachusetts medical plan’s low deductibles.

And when he has been forced to think on his feet, he has displayed a remarkable tone-deafness. His “let the lawyers sort it out” answer to a question at a New Hampshire debate about the need to consult Congress about stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a perfectly corporate approach to a nettlesome problem, was a perfectly awful answer. As all three of his major rivals piled on, he stubbornly insisted for days that his answer was just fine until forced to write an explanatory letter to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Romney has also made a fetish of checking the policy boxes for social conservatives and rolling out a slew of policy papers with accompanying PowerPoint presentations. Voters soon sense that he has many ideas but little gravitas. He has lots of pitches—the “three-legged stool” of conservative values, “change” and “private sector experience”—but no overarching theme or core. If Mr. Giuliani is tough and Mr. Thompson is soothing, what is he?

Making matters worse, his manicured appearance and cautious language (he really likes “apparently”) fail to convey a robust commander in chief profile that conservatives crave. Promising to “double” the size of Guantanamo seems a comical attempt to keep pace with his more macho rivals.

As a result, Mr. Romney has the highest unfavorable rating of any candidate. He doesn’t seem to like his audience much, and they don’t like him etc., etc.

The emphases are ours.

No theme. No core. No message. None. Nothing. Nothing but garbled noise. Who is Romney’s national communications director?—and why can’t he or she communicate!?

At last: journalists, editorialists, analysts—i.e. the media—are beginning to notice and to elaborate upon themes that we’ve been developing for months and months. Conclusion: Romney doesn’t like his audience, i.e. us. Anyone who has ever met the man can sense it. Anyone who has ever seen the man can read it in the furrows of his troubled brow.

Now even other campaigns are talking about it—we mean, finally they’re talking about it: Sen. McCain boldy states the obvious: Romney disrespects voters

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dr. g.d.

“John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have now both taken off the gloves on Mitt Romney, challenging his claims to conservatism,” writes Jim Rubens in an NH Insider post titled Beware Candidates Trying to Purchase a Conservative Label

New Hampshire Republicans ought to heed these attacks by remembering the last time a wealthy businessman spent millions of his own money in a campaign to re-define himself as a conservative.

In 2002, Craig Benson, wealthy businessman and instigator of what is now the state’s third largest tax (the business enterprise tax), opened his own wallet and tricked GOP primary voters into believing that he was the true conservative. Once elected, Benson could not use TV ads to govern and his failed performance contributed in no small measure to our state turning blue in 2006 …

… Maybe it’s time for a new litmus test that does not require candidates to evolve for each new election. How about consistency over time? I would rather know that a candidate’s values are firm and stable than that he can spend $50 million (what Mitt Romney will likely self-fund before he drops out) to redefine himself … etc., etc.

For an update on the imbroglio, see:

an outraged Romney releases bitter and negative attacks on decorated combat veteran and distinguished statesman, the honorable Senator John McCain

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dr. g.d.

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 when it comes to suing and lawyering”

Then McCain—yes, the honourable Sen. John McCain, a decorated combat veteran—blindsides Romney with a brilliant rejoinder:

McCain discovers his voice; initiates Republican pile-on atop a hapless Romney

Now suddenly others leap into the fray—e.g. the estimable former Sen. Fred Thompson.

“Hypocrites. People who accuse someone of something, only to turn around and do the same thing themselves. People who lie through their teeth for personal gain. People John McCain and Fred Thompson,” writes a peeved and pensive Matt A. in an Act Blog post awkwardly titled Hipocrites 1 and 2 (Also Known as John and Fred).

(Aside: Imagine for a moment a Romney supporter with either ignorance or audacity enough to refer to anyone else as a hypocrite.)

It all started yesterday when Mitt Romney in an attempt to highlight the difference between himself and the more liberal Rudy Giuliani, assured Nevada Republicans that he “stood for the Republican wing of the Republican Party”. Virtually everyone knew he was taking a swipe at Giuliani, yet Giuliani was not the first to respond. Instead, John McCain lashed out at Romney, making the following statement (from The Politico … more rage and urgent remonstrations more

“Where I come from, we have a word (a phrase, actually) for this kind of thing. I won’t repeat it, because this is a family blog, but for a hint, see the title of this post. Given that, I was going to let it go” … begins a typically turbid Evangelicals for Mitt post, reproduced in the American Federalist’s Romney Ramblings feed, titled P____ contest.

But then I saw this from another campaign, and I can’t let it pass without comment. Saying Governor Romney “ran for Senate to the left of Ted Kennedy” in 1994 is just ridiculousmore whining and sniveling

We ask again: What will Romney do?—what can Romney do?—we mean, beyond all the despairing cries and shrieks of rage among Romney’s flaks and surrogates—Romney’s own negatives are too high to support a negative campaign. See:

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dr. g.d.

“MANCHESTER, N.H. –Presidential hopeful John McCain scoffed Saturday at rival Mitt Romney’s claim of being the truest Republican in the race, recalling Romney’s past support for Democratic candidates and moderate politics as Massachusetts governor,” reports the estimable Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in a boston.com transmission titled McCain: Romney’s Republican credentials questionable

Romney, in an attack on fellow candidate Rudy Giuliani, said Friday that his own real-world experience and socially conservative values represent the “Republican wing of the Republican Party.”

McCain, who is battling his better-financed competitors in New Hampshire, criticized Romney in a speech to state Republican Committee members. He said he would never “con” them in asking for their votes. McCain won the state’s GOP primary in 2000, routing then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

“As we all know, when he ran for office in Massachusetts, being a Republican wasn’t much of a priority. In fact, when he ran against Ted Kennedy, he said he didn’t want to return to the days of Reagan-Bush. I always was under the impression Ronald Reagan was a real Republican,” said McCain, who considers Reagan his political mentor.

“When Gov. Romney donated money to a Democratic candidate in New Hampshire, I don’t think he was speaking for Republicans. When he voted for a Democratic candidate for president, Paul Tsongas, I don’t think he was speaking for Republicans.”

Romney, during his failed Senate run against Kennedy, said he didn’t want to return to the 1980s. He also donated money to New Hampshire Democrat Dick Swett’s political campaign.

“So, you’ll understand why I’m a little perplexed when Mitt Romney suggests he’s a better Republican than me,” McCain said … more

McCain blindslides a hapless Romney. What will Romney do? Romney’s own negatives are too high to support a negative campaign. See:

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dr. g.d.