Reports have Mitt Romney planning and scheming on ways to go after…Newt Gingrich.
This would be quite a switch as, for at least the last month, Romney has focused on Rick Perry. The fact that Perry has dropped in the polls should NOT be taken by team Mitt as a sign that this tactic has been working however.
Perry’s slide in the daily polls has, I believe, been due to none other than…Rick Perry. Perry’s showing in debates has been miserable to say the least and for him to slide, he didn’t really need anyone’s help.
Now, with his sights set on Gingrich, is Romney barking up the wrong tree once again?
Time will tell but, I submit, the edge in strategy, at least for now, is in favor of Gingrich.
If Mitt is going to go on the attack, and reports are indicating that he will, it will most likely backfire. Clearly, Newt has smelly shoes in his closet but, he’s more than capable of defending himself and there’s nothing looming out there in the Gingrich sphere that voters don’t already know. Hence…No GOTCHA to be had.
Also, let’s not discount the fact that voters, at least conservative voters, are pretty tired of negative campaigns and if you’re the one ON the attack against a fellow GOP candidate, YOU’RE the one who is being negative. It’s also a matter of issues. Voters are going to be much more concerned about the issues…unemployment, taxes, immigration, foreign policy, Obamacare and the overall economy than they will be about who filmed an ad with whom about what.
While team Mitt considers how to attack Newt, team Newt is busy opening new Iowa offices and staffing them, making contact with Iowa voters and…Most importantly…The ISSUES.
Newt has, over the last couple of days, issued some statements which are gaining a great deal of attention and those statements have nothing to do with any other GOP candidate.
A few days ago, Newt challenged OBAMA to a debate and in a stroke of brilliance, he offered to allow Obama TO USE HIS TELEPROMPTER in that debate.
That statement is important for a couple of very good reasons. First, it’s funny. Second, it levels an unspoken charge that Obama, without his text box, is unable to function on the issues. Third, that statement shows Newt’s confidence in his OWN abilities and fourth…it bypasses the time between now and the convention while attacking not a GOP candidate but goes DIRECTLY at the source of the problem.
Compare this quote to anything you’ve heard from any other GOP candidate:
“Two hours after I’m sworn-in as President and by the time the Obama’s land in Chicago, I will have forty percent of Obama’s government dismantled.”
Isn’t that what we, as conservatives want to happen? I suggest comments like that will resonate well in Iowa and New Hampshire and are already ringing loud and clear in places like Florida where Newt holds a commanding lead in the polls over other GOP candidates.
Right now, in Florida, it stacks up this way:
Florida Times-Union Poll
Romney = 17%
Cain = 13%
Perry = 7%
Paul = 4%
Bachmann = 3%
Santorum = 1%
Then, there was Gingrich in a town hall meeting in Naples Florida, a couple of nights ago where Newt had THIS to say:
“You see, when Lincoln challenged Douglas (to debates) and he at first declined, Lincoln began following Douglas where he was speaking and the next day would answer Douglas. It didn’t take Douglas too long to agree to debate. So when I am nominated, I will let the White House be my schedule maker. Where ever Obama goes is where my schedule goes. I won’t show up the next day though, I will be there four hours after he speaks. I don’t think that will last more than a couple of weeks.”
So, outside of Florida, how is this playing?
In Iowa, Newt is widening his lead. In New Hampshire, he’s got a lot of ground to make up as he trails Romney 41% to 14% but, it should be noted that Gingrich has, in the last 6 weeks, risen in New Hampshire from just 4% to 14% while Romney and Ron Paul have remained stagnant.
Nationally, the latest polling from Rasmussen, just coming out this afternoon has it looking THIS way:
Romney = 17%
Cain = 8%
Paul = 8%
Bachmann = 4%
Santorum = 4%
Huntsman = 3%
Also, according to Rasmussen, if Cain drop out Gingrich would pick up an extra 4% to Romney’s extra 2% and all others stay even thus widening his lead.
While polls are an indicator, they are certainly not the last word and must be taken with a grain of salt. The more realistic factor is debate performance. Between now and Christmas, there will be two more debates and it goes without saying, Newt will be the target.
One can and should expect others in the race, especially the front runners, to go after Gingrich in those debates and it will be how Newt responds on THOSE stages which will determine his REAL position heading into the January 3rd Iowa Caucus. If Newt stays true to form, concentrating on solutions rather than problems, sticks to the real issues and defends his positions quickly without getting into tit-for-tat contentious finger pointing, I submit he will emerge as THE clear front runner in every poll.
Here is a quick list of bullet point statements from Gingrich’s appearance at a recent town hall in South Carolina:
- Defunding the National Labor Relations Board until a new board is seated.
- “The government is subject to you.”
- Defunding cities that declare themselves as “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants.
- Defending the United States as part of the president’s role.
- “Dramatically shrink the Department of Education.”
- Students should get the grades they earn and teachers should have the right to discipline unruly children.
- “There’s no good bills at page 2,600.”
- Citing Obama’s debt-forgiveness plan for college students as ineffective.
- “I don’t think you can fix (the EPA).”
- “If you don’t have common sense, don’t apply here (at new Environmental Solutions Agency).”
- “Waterboarding, by every technical rule, is not torture.”
- “We’re not going to be intimidated into not defending the United States of America by the ACLU.”
- Using litigation reform to ebb medical costs.
- Establishing English as the official language of the U.S. government.
- Ensuring immigrants gaining citizenship have “a serious understanding” of U.S. history.
- Making deportation easier and not giving illegal immigrants the same rights as American citizens.
- “There’s no illegal worker without an illegal employer.”
- “(A 12.5 percent corporate rate) would actually mean that GE would pay taxes.”
- Abolishing the “Death Tax.”
- Repealing Dodd-Frank.
- Replacing the Food and Drug Administration.
- Putting a sign behind him after the inauguration that reads “America is open for business again.”
- “We will be back. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
And perhaps the most important line out of the whole meeting:
- “We have no opponents except Barack Obama.”
It is however, going to take more than polished debates and straight forward spoken lines to accomplish what needs to be accomplished and I am NOT talking about winning the nomination OR the white house.
This is where Gingrich has what others lack.
We’re not looking for change. Change is easy and anybody, regardless of experience, can effect change. Don’t we know that all too well? Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman, Perry, Romney, Paul…all of them can “change” things but what we must do is RESTORE things.
Gingrich is a walking encyclopedia of history. World history AND U.S. history and it IS going to take someone with a command of history’s lessons to restore the republic without repeating the mistakes. In this arena, Gingrich is uniquely qualified.
Finding a way to balance the budget is a must for the future economic well being of the nation and only Newt, nobody else, has done this before on the federal level.
In order to pass meaningful legislation quickly, it is going to take a majority in both the house and in the senate. Newt engineered just such a conservative movement in 1994. Been there, done that.
Restoration is not going to be easy and it’s not going to happen fast. It will anger some and irritate others but to achieve it, we need a President who can introduce long term solutions, meangingful ideas, articulate them to the people and produce results. While there are those in this race who can, and in fact HAVE done these things in the board room or even at a state level, only Gingrich has that experience and success on a national level.
Is Newt a career politician? Yep. Is he a Washington insider? Yep again. Is this necessarily a BAD thing?
All of this restoration must be done, like it or not, via politics and through Washington. I know, it sucks, but that’s reality. Even if you’re talking about giving power back to the states and to the people by removing it from the hands of the federal government, it’s restoration and it can only be done…Politically. To DO that, I submit, it’s going to require someone who KNOWS Washington politics from the INSIDE out. You can’t make a BETTER sausage unless you know how the how the NOT so good sausage was made.
It’s not just about rewriting the tax code…It’s about rewriting the spending procedures at the same time.
It’s not about balancing the budget…It’s about HOW the budget gets balanced.
It’s not about withdrawing from the world stage…It’s about restoring our place on that stage.
It’s not about creating jobs, it’s about allowing the private sector the incentive to expand.
It’s NOT about ANY one thing…It’s about ALL the things.
It’s NOT about changing the way government works…It’s about finding the candidate with the combination of historical knowledge, fresh ideas and extensive experience who can RESTORE the limitations ON government so that the GOVERNMENT works FOR the people rather than having the PEOPLE work FOR the government.