Posts Tagged ‘Thompson’

“‘Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make,’ said Adm. Robert J. Natter, former commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and an adviser to Giuliani. ‘Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation,'” as quoted by the estimable Jake Tapper in an ABCnews.go.com transmission titled
Giuliani Camp Slams Romney Over ‘Lawyers Test’; New York Mayor Takes Aim at Iowa, New Hampshire Front-Runner

Thompson, Paul Get In on the Act

Aides to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson also challenged the Romney response, telling the National Review’s Byron York after the debate, “When it comes to our nation’s security, it will be our generals that Fred Thompson sits down with first, not our attorneys” more

Geraghty of NRO—probably still smarting over the hilariously mis-executed pasting he took from an angry and inarticulate “friend of Mitt”—reproduces the entire Giuliani press release in a Campaign Spot post titled Giuliani Sees an Echo of Kerry in Romney’s Lawyer Answer

It’s a Republican pile-on, with Romney at the bottom. Or is it?—well, it could be. Question: Will the Romneys take the bait and respond in kind? We predict they will. And if they do, they will pay for their mistake most dearly. For Romney to be seen attacking—yes, attacking—e.g. America’s mayor or 9.11 fame would be damaging in itself. But here is the real problem for the Romneys: Romney’s negatives are too high to go negative without self-destructing.

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

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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“One of the most regular and predictable behaviors on the part of political candidates and their handlers is the ritual of denying the importance of polls,” writes the estimable Frank Newport for USA Today’s GallupGuru in a post titled Romney and Obama campaign handlers: Ignore the polls!

That’s particularly true, of course, when the candidate is down in the polls.  I wait each year for candidates to cry out on the stump:  “The only poll that matters is on Election Day!”, as they warn supporters not to believe or not to pay attention to what the pollsters find.

We have a couple of these predictable examples in the last several days.

A strategy memorandum from Alex Gage of the Romney for President campaign found its way onto the Internet.  The purpose of the memorandum appears to be an attempt to keep supporters’ spirits up in the face of pretty sour national poll numbers.  (As Gallup Guru loyalists will know, Romney is lagging now in 4th place among Republican candidates, behind Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain, and just a few points ahead of Mike Huckabee).

Gage says:  “We also know there will be an endless stream of state and national polling and many in the media will also obsess over Gov. Romney’s standing in them.”  And “…we will not be measuring ourselves through the lens of national polls and we do not expect to be competitive in them”.  And “We should not expect him (Romney) to be competitive in national polls with better-known celebrity candidates like Giuliani, Thompson, or McCain until after Iowa and New Hampshire”more

We commented on Gage’s desperate attempts to keep the few Romney supporters there are from breaking ranks and fleeing into the warm embrace of more viable, and less ethically questionable, candidates:

death by internal memo: how the Romneys assuage themselves for their massive and accumulating losses

Back to Newport:

… It is of course true that the candidates’ standings in the polls can (and most probably will) change as the campaign progresses.  Changing voters’ minds is the whole purpose of presidential campaigns, and the reason why candidates raise and spend millions of dollars on advertising and are now spending most of their waking lives making speeches in front of small crowds in rural towns in Iowa and New Hampshire.

So we have to grant Romney and Obama’s campaign strategists the point that their candidates’ relatively poor showing in the current national polling is not necessarily permanent.  It can change.  These two candidates can charge from behind to win.

But the national polls raise important questions for the Romney and Obama campaigns.  It’s not as if these two have not been campaigning already.  They are both in essentially full time campaign mode.  And while most of their efforts have been spent in the early primary states, there has been intense and continuing national media news coverage of their efforts.  Both have been all over national television, in newspaper coverage, and both have appeared on the cover of national news magazines.

Yet through all of this, they have barely moved the numbers among members of their party.

The national numbers must be particularly disappointing to the Romney campaign team.  While Romney strategist Gage dismisses Giuliani, McCain and Thompson as “celebrity candidates”, it’s important to note that in fact Romney is at this point still better known that is Thompson nationwide, and Thompson’s name ID among Republicans is just 4 points higher than Romney.  Yet Thompson gets 22% of the Republican vote in our latest survey compared to 7% for Romney.

A second disappointment for the Romney campaign that is difficult to dismiss is the fact that Romney has the most negative image at this point of any of the major candidates for president.  Our mid-September poll shows him with a 27% favorable and 35% unfavorable rating.  That makes Romney the only candidate we tested (including Hillary Clinton) who has a higher unfavorable than favorable rating. Among Republicans, while Giuliani’s favorable to unfavorable net difference is +54, and McCain’s is +47 and Thompson’s is +45, Romney’s is +19.  In other words, Romney is much less well liked among Republicans nationally than any of his three chief competitors.

Plus, as my colleague Jeff Jones has pointed out, Romney has a significant problem among highly religious Protestant Republicans – who will form a not insignificant block of voters in some early primary states.

So while the national polls may change, particularly if – as Romney strategists hope – he does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, there are substantial enough problems now with his standing nationally to cause significant concern more [Emphases ours]

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“This—[the clarity of Lech Wałęsa and eye’s notion that Walesa was the right person for the right historical moment]—made me wonder what the various candidates on the GOP side were “the right candidates” for,” a question posed by eye of eyeon08.com in a post titled Lech Wałęsa: Clarity and inspiration from Europe.

  • Rudy Giuliani is clearly the candidate of a muscular response to the War on Terror. There isn’t much subtlety in his policies, but that may just be the theater. Most likely, they will be somewhat generic Republican policies.
  • Mitt Romney is clearly the leader for a time of technocratic questions. He celebrates burying himself in data and comes up with answers. He is not the candidate that you want to lead a country at war. He still strikes me as the sort of person you want to be chief of staff. Brilliant administrator. He is probably the right guy for our country if our biggest concerns are economic ones. Trivialities about foreign policy, but probably good ideas about taxes and, even, healthcare.
  • John McCain is the candidate of a more nuanced approach to the War on Terror. Respected around the world, but in a way that would provide a very robust response to our international challenges. He is also someone to speak to a country that is at a loss about itself and its institutions. But many of his domestic policies are unclear. Healthcare? Taxes? He had made clear that these don’t drive him.
  • Fred Thompson is, perhaps, the candidate who narrowly wants the party to get more conservative. I am not sure.

Which candidate is the candidate for today? For today’s Republican party, I see Giuliani and McCain being the most natural answers. For a party that wants to step back from Bush’s interventionism — back to putting education, healthcare and immigration on the front burner like the pre-9/11 Bush — Romney would be the answer. I don’t think that’s where the party is … more [emphasis ours]

Comment: we don’t think so either. Or at least we hope not. And we disagree about Romney’s alleged “brilliance.”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“An e-mail headlined “Statement on Romney’s South Carolina Cover-Up” seems to have rocketed the Republican nomination race into a new, nuclear phase,” writes the estimable team of Memmott and Lawrence and the Romney cover up and the Thompson response.

The statement from Todd Harris, communications director for Fred Thompson, accuses Mitt Romney’s campaign of a “half-baked cover-up” of what he alleges is the association between a Romney consultant and a hastily pulled website that said nasty things about Thompson.

Harris concluded with the kind of rhetoric that tends to warm Democratic hearts: “This latest episode only serves to prove what many voters are already figuring out: Mitt Romney will do anything, say anything, smear any opponent and flip flop on any position in order to win. The American people in general and the Republican Party in particular deserve better than this.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden’s response: “We had no knowledge of the development or administration of this site. We also disapprove of the site and have made it very clear that the site does not have an affiliation with our campaign.” Madden also said: “Today is a day of remembrance, and should be a day without political statements or attacks on opposing campaigns.”

Update at 6 p.m. ET: Harris tells us that the Thompson campaign “felt compelled” to respond today, rather than wait until tomorrow, after hearing the Romney camp attempt to “cover up” its connection to the website. “They need to know that if they’re going to hit us, we’re going to hit back harder,” Harris said.

Our friends at ABC News also are following the story about PhoneyFred.org. Jake Tapper writes that the man behind the site is Wesley Donehue, who directly works for Mitt Romney’s senior South Carolina consultant J . Warren Tompkins and another Romney consultant, Terry Sullivan … more

For more details, see The Palmetto Scoop blog and The Washington Post.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Mitt’s not about to apologize for the Thompson attack site created by one of his top political advisors and lead South Carolina consultant, J. Warren Tompkins,” writes the estimable Kavon W. Nikrad in a race42008.com post titled No Apology Forthcoming

The Romney campaign tells The Brody File:

“The site was not affiliated with our campaign, but we did make it clear that we did not approve of the site, strongly disavowed it and made sure that it had absolutely no connection to our campaign whatsoever. We took immediate action once we were alerted to it.”

Thompson, of course, is not amused:

“There is no room in our party for this kind of smut. As the top executive of his own campaign, Governor Romney should take full responsibility for this type of high-tech gutter politics and issue an immediate apology. If this is true, Governor Romney should exercise some of his much-touted executive acumen and immediately terminate anyone related to this outrage.”

Brody further explains:

Romney’s campaign is clearly saying since they didn’t have any knowledge of its’ development, then it’s a non-issue. Plus the person who actually created the site doesn’t work for the campaign.

I guess the distinction is totally lost on me. The site was the work of top Romney advisor and lead SC consultant Warren Tompkins. But since he is not an “official” member of the Romney campaign, no apology is needed?

Seems to me that the smarter move would have been to state that Gov. Romney had nothing to do with the production of the site, did not approve of it’s content, spoke with his consultant to ensure it never happens again, and apologize more [emphasis ours]

We concur. Also see:

USA TODAY: “left and right agree: ‘PhoneyFred’ website linked to Romney consultant was a low blow”

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

“Links between a short-lived website called PhoneyFred.com — which took some pretty hard shots at Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson in its one-day life — and a consultant to the Mitt Romney campaign in South Carolina have produced some rare agreement between bloggers from the left and the right,” write the estimable team of Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence for the USA TODAY’s web log, On Politics.

  • “It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize one’s opponents on the basis of their record in office, but one would expect a legitimate campaign to do so openly and for attribution,” writes Ed Morrissey at the conservative Captain’s Quarters. “Doing the same anonymously not only make it less legitimate, but makes the campaign that engages in these attacks look less than courageous in their efforts.”
  • “The thing is with these dirtball sites you either do them publicly — the party committees do them all the time — or you conceal your role,” says Josh Marshall at the liberal Talking Points Memo. “One or the other, not a mix of the two.”

PhoneyFred.org, no longer exists. It disappeared yesterday, shortly after The Washington Post and Jonathan Martin of The Politico took notice of it … more

Please also see:

Romney slime machine staggers, sputters, and creaks into motion; target: Fred Thompson—question: how critically will the blowback damage the Romneys or the GOP?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Also, downwithtyrranny comments aptly: FLIP FLOP MITT DUBS THOMPSON “FLIP FLOP FRED”– YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. It is interesting—and somewhat perverse—how the Romney’s attempt(ed) to project their own deficiencies onto the former Senator.

“On Sept. 3, I attended a house party for Mitt Romney in Ashland. While standing quietly waiting for Romney to appear, a gentleman approached me and said if I started any trouble I would be thrown out of the event. He stated that although the event was open to the public, it was still private property and I could be asked to leave at any point. He reiterated I would be tossed out because my “kind” weren’t welcome at such an event,” writes a distressed and perplexed Ms. Michelle Cunha in a letter to Concord Monitor titled Shoddy treatment from Romney’s staff.

I am an independent voter who was wearing a pair of jeans and a gray Bedford, Mass., sweatshirt to show my hometown pride. I was offended this gentleman would make such a blanket assumption about me. When I asked where he got the idea I would cause trouble, he stated it was his “intuition.” He said he would keep his eye on me. All the while, he used his 6-foot frame to intimidate my 5-foot-4-inch body … more

More on the sordid and lowly criminal underclass who serve as flunkies to the Romneys:

Or: see here for the estimable and always on point eye of eyeon08.com’s account of Romney’ pretending to already to president in SC.

Or: see here for more dirty politics from the Romney slime machine: phoneyFred.org—a site crafted by paid Romney stooges and hirelings. The estimable Tommy Oliver of Race42008 reports the same story in a post titled WELL, WELL, WELL… Romney Camp- busted!!!

Romney? Please wait until you are sworn in—or: wait until you actually have any power—before you start abusing your power. OK?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“A poll conducted last week of 39,000 conservatives by the grassroots organization Grassfire.org found that conservatives favor Thompson by a greater than 2-to-1 margin over his nearest competitor, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,” writes the estimable Monisha Bansal for CNSNews.com in a story titled Thompson Tops Conservatives’ Poll.

Imagine that you are Romney. You have worked tirelessly for over a year and spent millions of your own money. Now an upstart who has expended barely any effort or energy at all enters the race and effortlessly upends you by a commanding 2-to-1 margin among the constituency you have worked the hardest to co-opt.

Good times! What a great Monday morning.

We have no brief for Former Sen. Fred Thompson.

We are for whoever—or is it whomever?—is against Willard Milton Romney.

yours &c.
dr.g.d.

William Reston of race42008.com asks Is Romney Inevitable?

Our response: maybe, perhaps. It depends on how much of Romney’s own money Romney wants to spend.

See:

Scandal. Corruption. Financial mismanagement. Lots of money spent with nothing to show for it. Now we understand why Romney “looked bad” at the last Republican debate according to Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty!—Romney’s campaign is collapsing from within, so of course Romney is going to look pale, distracted, and confused—of course Romney’s scripted answers are going to seem “off.” See:

the Romneys and their flak–claque attempt to spin the debate—results: hysterical

Moral: Romney needs a turn-around manager. But where to find one?

… If only Romney could hire someone competent.

Romney should bless, praise, laud, and extol whatever Deity he believes appropriate for the virtual media blackout that hovers about his poorly-organized campaign like a dark cloud of thick smog. What other candidate, what other campaign, could survive a cascade of catastrophes like these, one after the other?–to not be taken seriously by press and punditry is Romney’s only saving grace at the moment.

Adding to Romney’s woes: Fred Thompson has finally-officially entered the race. So unless Romney is willing to spend more money than any other campaign in US history to win the south, Romney will probably lose it and his electoral strategy will fall all to little pieces. See:

Romney failing in SC—we ask: given Romney’s massive spending, why?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Little Rock, AR – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has surged to third place in the Republican presidential contest in Iowa, leading potential candidate Fred Thompson in that state and New Hampshire , according to an American Research Group poll released today,” reports the estimable, well, we really don’t know who because the article is posted without a byline. So please forgive us, whoever wrote this. We really want to give you the credit that you deserve. The post is titled Poll: Huckabee Surges In Iowa, New Hampshire And South Carolina

Huckabee, who scored a stunning second-place in the Republican Party of Iowa straw poll on Aug. 11, received support from 14 percent of Iowans and 9 percent of New Hampshire Republicans in the new ARG poll. He had been at 1 percent in each state in July. Huckabee stands at 9 percent in South Carolina , up from 3 percent in July, and is tied with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for fourth placemore

That Huckabee is tied for fourth with Romney becomes significant only when you consider how little Huckabee has spent compared to how much Romney has spent.

More on this theme:

We ask: Has anyone at Camp Romney seen the handwriting on the wall yet? Or are all of you Romney parasites and hirelings content to allow Romney to gleefully spend himself into complete bankruptcy as long as you keep getting your perks, pay-offs, and pay envelops?

Does Romney have any real friends?

It’s sad when you think about it.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.