Newt Gingrich

Michael Moore praises Gingrich’s attacks against Romney

At this point, there is little question that Newt Gingrich’s criticism of Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital has backfired. Gingrich himself recently acknowledged that the rhetoric may have been taken too far, allowing President Barack Obama to take yet another opening to slam capitalism.

You need only look at the separation between Romney and Gingrich in the polls to know that Gingrich has done himself no favors. Moreover, a new Rasmussen poll show voters, at this point, aren’t particularly concerned about Romney’s career.

And perhaps the biggest blackeye, which Romney may wind up using to his advantage, comes approval of the line of attack by Gingrich from anti-capitalist filmmaker and Occupy Wall Street supporter, Michael Moore:

Hollywood came early to the 2012 presidential race in the unlikely form of “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” the 28-minute documentary-style attack film that opens with the word “capitalism” and comes to an end with chants of “Wall Street greed.”

While watching it, I half-expected to see Michael Moore, the creator of “Roger and Me” and “Bowling for Columbine,” walk onto the screen to hammer the point home.

Mr. Moore half-expected it himself, even if the film was paid for by supporters of Newt Gingrich.

“I wondered who they stole from my crew,” Mr. Moore said in a phone interview. “It was fun to hear what I have been saying for 20 years, not just by any Republican candidate, but Newt Gingrich.”

Opinion: The Meaning of the Pig

The Republican horse-race heads to the South

Thoughts from the after-hours news desk…

Americans love to gamble. And because of that, Mitt Romney stomps out of New Hampshire like a prize beast entering the last leg of the Triple Crown — with a flowing black and gray mane, 500 degree genitals and a frothing anus in victory. If he were about to enter the Belmont I am sure that the odds would be in his favor. The elderly like him because he ‘looks like a president;’ not black. And the rest of the folks like him because he looks like a sure thing.

There will be no mint juleps for Rick Santorum however, and nobody has even considered placing a wreath around Newt Gingrich; not that Gingrich would wear one, or Santorum would even consider drinking it. There is something very real and untrustworthy about a man who wont have a drink at the races, and Santorum is that man. American’s can see that. It doesn’t matter if Gawd really did choose him for this mission, or if all of us will be further damned if he isn’t elected. Pigs are here for bacon, whiskey for the races, and American politics to protect us from delusional, grandiose paper champions like Rick Santorum.

If I were to keep with the the horse racing theme, I would probably make some quip about how Newt Gingrich better not break so much as a news story less the public looks the other way while his handlers put his campaign out of it’s misery. The truth, however, is that I am just as confused by Newt’s trailing as he is. In my eye’s Newt Gingrich is everything conservative America should be rallying behind this election. He’s sharp-witted, experienced, and calculating, (spiteful, unendearing, and jaunty); and other than Paul is probably the only person who could get America to make the nut. He is religious, but unlike Santorum he isn’t 100 yards and a grease pencil away from being the Tebow of the Republican party.

Moving on from New Hamphire

In my brief primer yesterday on the New Hampshire primary, I noted that Mitt Romney needed at least 40% of the vote in order for his “win” not to be considered a “loss.” By that I mean that conservatives in the anti-Romney faction of the GOP were going to point to that as a “proof” that Romney winning the nomination isn’t inevitable.

With 98% of precincts reporting, Romney won 39.3% of the vote — a slightly higher percentage that John McCain took in 2008. While it’s not quite 40%, based on what I’m hearing and reading this more from many anti-Romney conservatives (many of whom where firmly behind him four years ago), it’s close for them to read the writing on the wall.

So what does this mean? I suspect that we’re about to see things get very nasty with Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich stepping up their attacks Romney. Rick Perry will probably wind up attacking everyone, particularly Gingrich and Romney.

Huntsman’s has a ceiling. If he doesn’t catch fire in the next two or three weeks, he’ll have a tough time justifying sticking around until Super Tuesday. That’s just reality. You may say, “Well, he finished third in New Hampshire. That counts for something.” No, it doesn’t. Huntsman based in campaign there. That’s why his poor showing in Iowa didn’t matter.

For Huntsman, a third place finish in New Hampshire is no better than finishing last since Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum weren’t really contesting the state. Those three have their eyes set on South Carolina, where Huntsman isn’t going to be nearly as competitive. He will, at best, cut into Romney’s numbers and possibly hand the state to Santorum or Gingrich.

National Review, Ron Paul defend Mitt Romney against anti-capitalist attacks

We’re beginning to see some backlash against Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry’s (and to a lesser extent, Jon Huntsman) anti-capitalist attacks against Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital. The National Review, an influential voice in the conservative movement, lashed out at Romney’s critics:

Gingrich and Perry have between them about eleven minutes’ worth of relevant private-sector experience — Perry being subsidized by the federal government to farm cotton, Gingrich subsidizing himself by farming his political connections — and therefore may not know (or care) what a private-equity firm such as Bain does. (Gingrich might consider asking his friends at leveraged-buyout firm Forstmann Little, where he was on the board.) Bain is involved in, among other things, leveraged buyouts, meaning that the firm and its investors borrow money from banks to acquire companies, usually firms that are in trouble but believed to be salvageable. These firms generally are bought on the theory that they represent fundamentally sound underlying business enterprises that are for one reason or another performing deficiently, usually because of incompetent management. Strong, thriving companies rarely are targets for leveraged-buyout acquisitions — if things are going well, there is no incentive to sell the company. If the firms are publicly traded, they often are taken private, their stocks delisted from the exchanges, and then reorganized. Once the company has been returned to profitability, it is taken public again or sold to a private buyer, in the hopes of turning a profit on the deal.

Herman Cain thinks he still matters

Herman Cain, who exited the race for the GOP nomination early last month, announced last week that he would launch a bus tour in support of his gimmicky “9-9-9” plan, which was panned by several prominent conservatives, hoping that the push will lead to support in Congress:

The one-time Republican front-runner announced his “Cain’s Solutions Revolution” during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

“I started a new movement. The biggest comment I got when I ended my candidacy was to keep 9-9-9 alive. That’s what this is about, and I’m going to keep it alive with what I’m calling Cain’s Solutions Revolution,” Cain said.

“You have a bus,” Hannity interjected.

“Yes, sir. I have a bus with my picture on it,” Cain said, smiling, as Hannity displayed a photo of a vehicle that looked similar to the campaign bus he used on the trail until the day he pulled up in it at the early December rally in Atlanta when he ended his campaign.

The Atlanta businessman said he plans to “get commitments from members of Congress in 2012 before Election Day” and that the legislation is currently being drafted.

Cain also announced that he’ll be making an endorsement in the race on Thursday, January 19th — just before the primary in South Carolina. Given that he is from Georgia and is close to Newt Gingrich, you can probably guess who he’ll wind up backing.

Newt Gingrich: Anti-Capitalist

If you’ve spent enough time around here, you know that I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. He hasn’t given conservatives or libertarians a real reason to support him given that he is unapologetic for RomneyCare, which served as the blueprint for ObamaCare.

However, there has been some criticism of Romney that is out of bounds. When Newt Gingrich was being attacked last month for lobbying services as a historian for Freddie Mac, the former Speaker fired back, suggesting that Romney should “give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain.”

This populist line of attack from a so-called conservative is troubling since it sounds like it could have come from Barack Obama, and it no doubt will in the fall. David Harsanyi, at the time, criticized Gingrich for his anti-capitialist tone and defended Romney:

Romney leads in South Carolina

As mentioned in today’s GOP Presidential Power Rankings, Mitt Romney now leads in South Carolina, an important early primary state, and Newt Gingrich has fallen to third thanks to a surging Rick Santorum.

Here are the results of the new Rasmussen poll:

  • Mitt Romney: 27%
  • Rick Santorum: 24%
  • Newt Gingrich: 18%
  • Ron Paul: 11%
  • Rick Perry: 5%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%

Romney’s lead has also been confirmed by surveys conducted by Public Polling Polling and CNN/Time, and he’s outside of the margin of error in those polls. This is obviously good news for Romney, who may wind up with a clean sweep of the four January primaries. The bad news for Romney is that Gingrich still has time to impact the race in the two weeks between the New Hampshire and South Carolina primary.

Speaking of Santorum; yes, he has managed to receive a bump in the polls, but his numbers are really limited to social conservatives. Fiscal conservatives are rightfully skeptical of him and are largely staying with other candidates. That gives you the feeling that Santorum has reached ceiling.

Rick Perry staying in the race…for now

It certainly sounded, on Tuesday evening, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry was about get out of the race for the GOP’s presidential nomination. But by yesterday afternoon, Perry said he was still in the race and headed for South Carolina:

Perry tweeted a message to supporters earlier in the day suggesting he would remain in the Republican presidential race.

“And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State … Here we come South Carolina!!!” Perry tweeted from his account, along with a picture of himself, dressed in workout gear, giving a thumbs-up to the camera.

“I was out on the trail when it kind of came to me,” Perry told reporters, according to The Des Moines Register.

“It’s there, it’s clearly there,” he said, apparently speaking of the path forward for his campaign.

Perry also knocked the process in Iowa and suggested that many caucus-goers weren’t “real Republicans,” which was a probably a poor move. In fact, saying in the race is probably a poor move. Perry is currently polling, according to Real Clear Politics, at 5.7% in South Carolina; far behind Newt Gingrich, who leads in the state, and Mitt Romney.

Gingrich preparing scorched earth campaign against Romney

During his classless concession speech last evening, Newt Gingrich claimed that his campaign stayed positive, unlike others in the race. This has been a complaint in the last of couple weeks from Gingrich. During a TV interview yesterday, Gingrich called Romney a “liar,” a charge that stems from attack ads against him from a “super PAC” supporting Romney.

Reading between the lines from last night, Gingrich certainly seems ready to run a scorched earth campaign against Romney the rest of the way. It’s going to get nasty, folks:

After criticizing Romney for running a negative campaign and promising to stay positive, Gingrich appeared before supporters to criticize the former Massachusetts governor as someone who couldn’t bring change to Washington. He also planned to run television ads against Romney in the next three states to vote - New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

The former House speaker called Romney a “Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay.” He said the ex-governor has “given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure.”
Gingrich’s planned a full-page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader that was to appear as he touched down in the state early Wednesday. It labels Gingrich a “Bold Reagan Conservative” and Romney a “Timid Massachusetts Moderate.”

At least one pro-Gingrich super PAC also was getting into the mix.

ACLU scores candidates on civil liberties

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a candidate report card, dubbed Liberty Watch 2012, that weighs the Republcians hopefuls, now-Libertarian Gary Johnson and President Barack Obama on various civil liberties issues, including ending torture, closing Gitmo, and ending the surveillance state.

To be clear, I don’t necessarily agree with the ACLU on all of the issues weighed, but the group has been great on fighting for privacy and personal liberty. The ACLU’s rundown on these issue, from the perspective of the Republican candidates, is interesting:

Just in time for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, we’re releasing a report card today, with the ACLU’s Constitution and civil liberties experts providing a critical assessment of the major candidates of all parties, grading them with four to zero constitutional “torches” on seven key issues, including national security, immigration, marriage equality and reproductive choice. More issues will be added.

We may surprise some people in that the scores in the report card — which is viewable here — don’t divide along party lines. In fact, the report card reveals a deep ideological rift in the GOP.

Our experts found that Republicans Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman earned solid scores, with four, three and two torches across most major categories, although both received one torch on marriage equality and none on reproductive rights.

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