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Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

USA | ”Live to fight another day.” Så skulle man kunna sammanfatta Rick Santorums framgångar i Colorado, Minnesota och Missouri.

Även om det har varit lite förvirrat i media handlar det inte om några vunna delegater för Santorum. 

Däremot kan Santorum (och Newt Gingrich och Ron Paul) dra nytta av att spekulationerna återigen drar igång kring Mitt Romneys oförmåga att entusiasmera de konservativa gräsrötterna.

Skall Santorum lyckas även framöver måste han hålla ångan uppe. Han har nämligen inte mycket till kampanjorganisation på plats inför kommande drabbningar.

Segrarna ger honom dock möjlighet att fylla på sin sinande krigskassa. Trippelframgången borde göra det lättare för honom att få in nya kampanjbidrag.

Alexander Burns, Politico, skriver:

General-election viability has been a part of Santorum’s message since before the Iowa caucuses. Even when he was polling in the middle of the pack in Iowa, Santorum was urging Republicans there to think about which candidate in the race had a record of winning the blue-collar, Midwestern swing voters who decide elections.

Now, strategists suggest, is the time for Santorum to dial up that argument. The cornerstones of Romney’s campaign have always been his perceived electability and strength on the economy. With unemployment numbers dropping and Romney looking less formidable in polling match-ups with the president, Santorum has an opportunity to ask the GOP to reconsider their assumptions about the front-runner.

He’s started doing that, telling voters in Missouri last week that their party needed to nominate a candidate “much more multidimensional than Mitt Romney” to beat President Barack Obama. In his victory speech Tuesday night, Santorum said that it was his reliable conservatism, rather than Romney’s money and organization,that would give the president his toughest challenge.

Santorum will need to make that case at full blast if he’s going to persuade voters to view 2012 through an entirely different lens than the one they’ve been using. In a way, that’s been the story of his whole campaign — a White House run held back principally by the fact that it seems so implausible.

Bild: Artikel på framsidan av The New York Times den 8 februari 2012.

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NEVADA | Mitt Romney vann stort i mormontäta Nevada. Med ca. 70 % av rösterna räknade har Romney 48 %. På andra plats Newt Gingrich 23 %. 

På tredje och fjärde plats Ron Paul (19 %) respektive Rick Santorum (11 %).

Romney ser alltmer ut som den självklara presidentkandidaten bland republikanerna. Gingrich däremot låta alltmer som ”the crazy uncle in the attic”.

Och inte blir det lättare för Gingrich i kommande valkampanjer. Sam Stein, The Huffington Post, skriver:

The month of February, which brings with it a slate of primaries and caucuses that favor either Romney or Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), promises to be brutal for Gingrich. His campaign is reportedly low on cash. He has no formal infrastructure in place in most states and didn’t even make it on Virginia’s ballot. Pressed on all these points, however, his responses drifted between insolence and confusion.

[…]

He was, he concluded, ”mildly amazed at the news media’s desperation to find some excuse to say, wouldn’t you please quit this evening.”

The truth, of course, is that the press would love nothing more than for him to continue. Even an increasingly dull primary race is better than no race at all. But signs that his campaign has lost its defining rationale are mounting.

Övrigt: Framsidan är tidningen The Las Vegas Review-Journal som publiceras i Nevada.

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FLORIDA | Mitt Romney vann övertygande med 46 % av rösterna. På andra plats kom Newt Gingrich med 32 %. På tredje plats Rick Santorum med 13 %.

Från Romneys segertal i Tampa, Florida:

Primary contests are not easy – and they’re not supposed to be.  As this primary unfolds, our opponents in the other party have been watching.  They like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak.

But I’ve got some news for them:  A competitive primary does not divide us; it prepares us.  And when we gather here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America!

Three years ago this week, a newly elected President Obama faced the American people and said that if he couldn’t turn the economy around in three years, he’d be looking at a one-term proposition.  We’re here to collect.

Since then, we’ve had 35 months of unemployment over 8 percent. Under this President, Americans have seen more job losses and more home foreclosures than under any President in modern history.

[…]

Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. In another era of American crisis, Thomas Paine is reported to have said, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you chose to follow, and now it’s time for you to get out of the way!

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DESIGN | Mitt Romney har tagit mycket stryk på sista tiden. Newt Gingrich har vunnit debatter och knappar in inför valet i Florida enligt opinionsundersökningar.

Men det var inte de politiska händelserna som fick Bloomberg Businessweek att avstå ifrån att låta en blodig och sönderslagen Romney ”pryda” omslaget. Enligt tidskriften ville man bara lyfta fram en annan story.

Redaktör Josh Tyrangiel: “[T]he Romney story seemed to have already hit its peak. A lot of times these decisions are about all of us putting our finger in the air and trying to figure out which way the zeitgeist is blowing. It’s what makes the job so fun and so challenging.”

Läs mer: Se texter och länkar om tidskriftsomslaget på BuzzFeed och The Atlantic Wire.

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SOUTH CAROLINA | Valsegern i South Carolina gav Newt Gingrich 40,4 %. På andra och tredje plats kom Mitt Romney (27,8 %) och Rick Santorum (17,0 %).

De senaste dagarna har varit tuffa för Mitt Romney. Först får han besked om att han inte vann Iowa med åtta röster utan förlorade med trettiofyra röster till Rick Santorum. Och nu denna valförlust.

Frågan är bara hur överraskande resultatet i South Carolina egentligen var. Delstaten tillhör en av de mer konservativa.

Att man gärna ville se någon annan än Romney är därför inte alltför överraskande. Möjligtvis är det gapet mellan Gingrich och Romney som förvånar mest.

Eller som President Barack Obamas rådgivare David Axelrod pikade Romney på Twitter: ”If you & SuperPac spend $4.7m, and get zero delegates, how much did you spend per delegate?”

Men nästa delstat är Florida där Gingrich kan få det betydligt svårare. Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast, skriver:

The next state to vote is Florida, where Romney leads in the polls. He’s already spent more than $1 million there and is mounting a concerted effort to target absentee voters, since many in the Sunshine State vote early. At least 185,436 votes have already been cast, and there are nearly 300,000 more absentee ballots still outstanding. These voters will be impervious to the sort of last-minute momentum shifts that helped Gingrich claim victory in South Carolina.

Further, the diverse demographics of Florida appear to favor Romney. Although much of the northern part of the state is as deeply tied to the Bible Belt as any other part of the South, Florida will also be the first state where there will be significant minority participation in the GOP primaries, particularly in the Cuban community in South Florida where Romney has already secured a number of major endorsements, including Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Bild: The State – framsidan är från söndagen den 22 januari 2012. Tidningen publiceras i Columbia, South Carolina.

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USA | Än har Mitt Romney inte vunnit. Söndag natt hoppade Jon Huntsman av och gav Romney sitt stöd. Men i South Carolina knappar Newt Gingrich in.

The Economist ägnar stort utrymme åt Romney i sitt senaste nummer. I den längre artikeln ”Towards the coronation” skriver man:

Almost 60% deem Mr Romney an “acceptable” nominee, according to Gallup, a polling firm, a higher proportion than any of his rivals. Strikingly, he received the blessing of both moderate and conservative Republicans in equal proportion. Most soundings show Mr Romney running better against Mr Obama than any of the other candidates—a fact not lost on primary voters.

Some right-wing pundits worry that Mr Romney will fail to excite the party’s base, and thus depress turnout on election day. But elections are won among swing voters, and he holds far more allure for them than any of his rivals. He is strongly supported, too, by the politicians who will be running below him on the ticket if he wins the nomination. Mr Romney has more backing among Republican congressmen and governors than all the other candidates combined.

Anyway, Mr Romney probably does not need to thrill voters to beat Mr Obama. When an incumbent president is running, says Charlie Cook, a political analyst, the election normally turns into a referendum on his performance, as long as his opponent is “colourless and odourless”. If so, the meticulously anodyne nature of Mr Romney’s campaign may be its greatest strength.

Se även: Ledaren ”America’s next CEO?”. Artikeln ”Mitt Romney marches on” och Schumpeter-krönikan ”Romney the revolutionary”. (Tidskriftsomslag och artiklar från The Economist den 14-20 januari 2012.)

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SOUTH CAROLINA | Mitt Romney var kandidaten alla ville komma åt under tv-debatten. Newt Gingrich vann och fick t.o.m. stående ovationer vid ett tillfälle.

Fox News skriver:

Fresh off a rousing debate performance that had the Republican audience giving a standing ovation — purportedly the first in a debate since Ronald Reagan in New Hampshire in 1980 — Newt Gingrich may be reconsidering how far he can go in the GOP campaign.

[…]

But the latest Fox News poll continued to show Mitt Romney faring best against Obama in a general election. Unless Gingrich or another candidate steps up in South Carolina, Romney is poised to go three-for-three in the first primaries of the season.

Gingrich offered several forceful arguments on Monday night. He defended calling Obama the ”food stamp president,” pointing out that the food stamp rolls are at historic highs.

[…]

Gingrich called for tying all unemployment compensation, which currently lasts 99 weeks, to a job-training requirement. He also won strong support from the audience when he was asked whether it was belittling to minorities to suggest that poor children work as janitors to build a work ethic.

Gingrich replied, ”No, I don’t see that.”

He said dozens of people have reached out to him recalling jobs they got when they were ”11, 12, 13 years of age,” and defended the idea of paying kids to work in school.

”They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money,” he said, later adding: ”I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.”

Se debatten på YouTube. Och en avskrift från debatten finns på Fox News.

Övrigt: Framsidan är tidningen The Greenville News från South Carolina.

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USA | Mitt Romney tog hem New Hampshire med 39,3 %. På andra plats Ron Paul (22,9 %) och på tredje plats Jon Huntsman (16,9 %).

Romney blev därmed historisk. Han är den förste republikanske presidentkandidaten som inte innehar presidentämbetet – ”non-incumbent – som ändå lyckats vinna både Iowa och New Hampshire.

Och nu börjar kriget om South Carolina.

I artikeln ”Ads bombard South Carolina airwaves ahead of primary” har Alana Semuels i Los Angeles Times tagit sig en titt på den positiva och negativa politisk reklam – inte minst kampanj videos – som väljarna möts av.

När det gäller s.k. ”attack ads” skriver Semuels:

Romney’s super PAC, Restore our Future, is repeating an anti-Newt Gingrich ad that also ran in Iowa, which begins, “Ever notice how some people make a lot of mistakes?” and goes on to detail Gingrich’s “mistakes,” such as working with Nancy Pelosi and attacking Mitt Romney. Anti-Gingrich ads helped dampen support for the candidate in Iowa, where he finished in a disappointing fourth place.

Newt Gingrich is running a new ad, “Changed?” released Tuesday, that criticizes Romney’s abortion policies when he became Massachusetts governor. Starting with a still of Romney’s face, it asks what happened after Romney changed his position to oppose abortion rights, then accuses him of appointing a judge in favor of abortion rights, expanding access to abortion pills and signing a healthcare bill with government-funded abortions. “Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney. He can’t be trusted,” the ad concludes.

An ad paid for by Ron Paul attacks Rick Santorum as a corrupt free spender who opposed a right-to-work act and voted to raise the debt ceiling. In colors of black, white and red, it quotes criticism of Santorum from newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, saying that Santorum has “a record of betrayal.” It accuses him of collaborating with union leaders and being one of the “most corrupt” members of Congress.

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IOWA | Mitt Romney vann Iowa med åtta (!) röster. Romney fick 30,015 röster medan Rick Santorum landade på  30,007. På tredje  och fjärde plats kom Ron Paul respektive Newt Gingrich.

Och varför vann då Mitt Romney?  Tydligen för att både de kristet socialkonservativa och Tea Party-anhängarnas röster splittrades upp på flera olika kandidater.

Så här skriver Ronald Brownstein på The National Journal:

In recent years, though, the most important divide in Iowa Republican politics has been the distance between voters who identify as evangelicals and those who don’t. Evangelical Christians, according to the exit poll, comprised almost exactly the same preponderant majority of voters here as in the 2008 contest: 58 percent this time, compared to 60 percent then.

Romney slightly improved his 2008 showing among voters who don’t identify as evangelicals: he captured 33 percent then, and drew 38 percent this time, according to the exit poll. Romney actually managed even less support this time than last among those who do identify as evangelical Christians: he won 19 percent last time, but was polling only 14 percent in this round of the exit polls.

That could presage a lasting headache for Romney with those voters, many of whom question his Mormon religion or his commitment to socially conservative causes, or both: evangelicals cast about 45 percent of the total vote in the 2008 GOP primaries, according to a cumulative analysis of exit polls conducted by ABC News. But Iowa also hints at the potential saving grace for Romney with those voters. In 2008, Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister himself, captured 46 percent of Iowa evangelicals, enough to power a solid victory in the caucuses.

To a far greater extent, those voters divided this year. Santorum captured the most of them, according to this round of exit polls, but only reached 32 percent. After that, Iowa evangelicals split between Paul (19 percent), Gingrich and Romney at (14 percent) and Perry at 13 percent. (Michele Bachmann, who ran a campaign aimed heavily at those voters, won just 6 percent of them.)

[…]

It was a similar story among the most ardent tea party activists, who have consistently expressed skepticism about Romney in national and state polls. Among the nearly one-third of caucus-goers who identified as strong tea party supporters, Romney attracted just 14 percent. But those voters again divided, with Santorum leading among them with a modest 30 percent. Voters who described themselves as somewhat supportive of the tea party fractured into a three-way split, with Santorum slightly leading Romney and Paul. Meanwhile, Paul and Romney held a solid lead over Santorum among the roughly one-fourth of caucus-goers who said they were neutral on the tea party.

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KAMPANJ | När det såg som mörkast ut för Gingrichs kampanj räddades han av Elefanten Ellis – huvudpersonen i fruns barnbok Sweet Land of Liberty.

Denna lustiga detalj kan man läsa i Matt Bais intressanta personporträtt i The New York Times.

“One of the things that actually saved us,” Gingrich told me, “in addition to Callista’s stubbornness, was Ellis the elephant.”

I checked to make sure I heard this right. […] In what way had a fictional elephant salvaged his presidential campaign?

“Happy, positive,” Gingrich replied, searching for the right words. “Interesting. Creative. It gave you an oasis psychologically. Literally, Ellis was sort of a ray of light.”

Men Newt Gingrichs topposition bland de republikanska presidentkandidaterna beror nog mer på hans starka insatser under de många tv-debatterna.

Han har gjort en dygd av att vara den intellektuella kandidaten som inte bryr sig om sådana världsliga ting som kampanjfinansiering och organisering.

Gingrich says now, in what may be a characteristic bit of revisionist history, that it was clear early on that he needed to break free of his highly paid and conventional consultants, and that he and his wife, Callista, actually took their much-maligned Greek vacation last June — a pleasure trip in the middle of what was supposed to be his ramp-up as a candidate — in order to provoke a confrontation with the campaign’s leadership. (Gingrich later added that he really needed to see the Greek fiscal crisis up close.) If so, it worked, because the entire senior team quit en masse when he got back. Thus cast out into the campaign wilderness, Gingrich persevered through the summer and early fall, despite the mockery of those who considered it a sad final act. A few times, he now admits, he considered quitting.

[…]

Gingrich’s strategy is clear enough. He wants to be the last guy standing against Romney after the first few contests — something that could be achieved just by finishing strongly enough in the early states to garner some attention while, one by one, his rivals run out of reasons to stay in the race. Gingrich knows he isn’t any social conservative’s dream, and maybe the Tea Party types are put off by his personal life or his ties to big business. But he’s betting that they like Romney even less and will rally behind him in a two-man race. “This is the classic fight between the moderate Republicans who try to get to the middle by compromise and the conservative Republicans who try to create a new middle by driving the left away,” he said.

This seemed as plausible as any other theory of the moment, although the last few days in Iowa had left me somewhat dubious. Several of the voters I met at Gingrich’s events seemed to be reluctantly getting their heads around voting for Romney. It wasn’t that they appreciated his less-confrontational brand of Republicanism any more than they did six months ago. It was that they had heard out all the other candidates, and they were starting to think that Romney was the only guy who could actually get himself elected.

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