POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/16
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) announced that he will not seek another term in Congress this year, the New York Daily News reports.
“On the eve of the Federal Circuit Court’s approval of Congressional district lines that were seen to be extraordinarily favorable to Ackerman, and with the primary-free backing of the Democratic Party virtually assured, Ackerman has informed his family, staff, friends and party leaders that he will not seek a 16th term of office.”
Oregon Republicans were forced to cancel the planned GOP presidential debate in Portland next week after Mitt Romney said he would not attend, the Oregonian reports.
Walter Shapiro: “How unfortunate. Republican voters need to hear more from the candidates than stump speeches and dueling calculations of delegate arithmetic. Newt Gingrich has had this one right from the beginning — more debates are always better. Now that the Republicans have been given (and not cursed with) the gift of time in choosing a presidential nominee, it would be folly if the debates — and the serious policy discussions — ended just as the race entered the home stretch.”
Newt Gingrich explained to Laura Ingraham why his staying in the presidential race will ultimately help deny Mitt Romney the Republican nomination.
Said Gingrich: “I think one of the reasons that Mitt Romney’s been much less effective since Santorum emerged is that he’s had to split his attacks. It’s very hard for him to attack both of us. There’s real danger, from his perspective, that attacking one of us just drives votes to the other, and he still doesn’t get the votes.”
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and his wife were found to be ineligible to vote in their former home precinct, the Indianapolis Star reports.
However, “there may be an easy fix — the Lugars could submit new voter registrations that are based on a physical address in the county with which they currently have a connection. That could be a family member’s home or, possibly, the Lugar family farm. There is no house on that farm but it might satisfy the requirement.”
Lugar’s residency has been an issue in his re-election race.
BuzzFeed: “Mitt Romney and his SuperPac have dumped nearly $3.5 million combined into Illinois television advertisements before next week’s primary, outspending Rick Santorum by a nearly 8:1 margin, according to data from a Republican media-buying source.”
Andrew Sullivan: “Most Americans, and the vast majority of Republicans, don’t realize that taxes have decreased under Obama.”
Jonathan Karl explains why: “Gingrich firmly believes that staying in the race is the best way to prevent Mitt Romney from clinching the nomination before the convention in August. And he actually may have a point.”
Said Gingrich: “We’re actually helping because between us — Santorum and I — are stopping Romney.”
“Gingrich knows that it is virtually impossible for him, or Santorum for that matter, to beat Romney on delegates, but he makes the case — and it is not far-fetched — that unless Romney starts winning delegates at a faster pace he won’t clinch nomination by end the end of the primaries.”
In fact, ABC News notes Santorum’s best chance may be Gingrich’s remaining in the race.
In an interesting Fox News interview — which ABC News described as “candid and even feisty” — Mitt Romney once again struggled to assert himself as the frontrunner in the GOP presidential race and again had trouble defending his health care law in Massachusetts.
First Read: “In fact, Romney looked uncomfortable during the entire interview. And we’ve learned a couple of new things about Romney that we might not have known four years ago: 1) it’s pretty easy to get under his skin; and 2) he’s not very nimble when it comes to turning lemons into lemonade.”
Vice President Joe Biden gave a major campaign speech today in Ohio and it had a big focus on the auto bailout and other efforts by President Obama to rescue the American economy when he took office.
Said Biden: “The president didn’t flinch. This man has a spine of steel,” he’s expected to say. “He knew rescuing the industry wasn’t popular. He knew he was taking a chance. But he believed. He said, we are not going to give up on a million jobs, and the iconic industry America invented. Not without a fight. We all want a president with the courage of his convictions. Well, folks, we have one. He made the tough call. And the verdict is in: President Obama was right and his critics were dead wrong.”
First Read: “Do take note of the somewhat low-key rollout of this speech; it appears this may be more about message testing (and practicing) for the vice president, whose role on this campaign is likely to be similar to the role of previous veeps: serve as both a validator and the chief ‘contraster.'”
Sean Trende: “By looking at nothing more than the percentage of Mormons, evangelicals, African-Americans, Latinos, and college-educated voters in counties that voted from South Carolina through Super Tuesday, you could forecast Romney’s vote share within five points in 103 of the 146 counties in Alabama and Mississippi that have returned votes so far. You’d be within 10 points in all but nine. It’s not that great of an exaggeration to say that all the advertising, campaigning, gaffes, and everything else are superfluous to these underlying factors right now.”
“As I’ve said before, if this continues onward, Romney won’t get 1,144 delegates until June, if at all.”
Washington Post: “It happened more than a quarter century ago, at the start of a Romney family summer vacation. But the tale of Seamus, the Irish setter who got sick while riding 12 hours on the roof of Mitt Romney’s faux-wood-paneled station wagon, is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions. It has come to characterize the candidate — and not in the favorable way Tagg Romney hoped for when he first talked in 2007 about his family’s annual road trips.”
Ross Douthat: “Either Romney will clear the 1,144 delegate threshold in May or early June, or else he’ll fall 50-100 delegates short and need to play a little inside baseball to win some of the uncommitted delegates. In either scenario, Santorum is not going to be the party’s standard-bearer, and neither is Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee or anyone else besides the man who is actually winning, however slowly and grindingly and unexcitingly, the Republican nomination for president.”
“The idea that the Republicans have to be organized before Labor Day or they will be out of the race I think is a fundamental misunderstanding of television, the internet, you know YouTube, all the things we now communicate with. A very exciting Republican Party that actually talked about ideas and actually had a fight over the platform based on real ideas, I think might be a more interesting party than one which nominates somebody who’s boring for five months.”
– Newt Gingrich, in ABC News interview on January 13, 2008, advocating a brokered convention.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics