How Romney Can Finish Off His Rivals

John Ellis: “The Mitt Romney campaign has now arrived at its Lee Atwater moment. Having won the New Hampshire primary decisively, Boston must now decide how much fire-power to focus on the South Carolina primary.”

“If Lee Atwater were alive, he would answer with three words: ‘All of it.'”

“Mitt Romney now has his opponents by the throat. When you have your opponent by the throat in presidential politics, you best finish the job. For Romney, that means imitating Atwater and going all in on South Carolina.”


Romney Wins New Hampshire Primary

Based on exit polling, the TV networks declared Mitt Romney the winner of the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire.

Ron Paul is projected to finish a strong second and Jon Huntsman a more distant third.

Exit poll results: Romney 36%, Paul 23%, Huntsman 18%, Santorum 10%, Gingrich 10% and Perry 1%.

Nate Silver: “One reason that news outlets called the race for Mitt Romney so quickly may be that there is strong agreement between the actual results so far, the exit polls and the pre-election polls.”


Film Attacking Romney Leaked Early

Bloomberg obtained a copy of a 28-minute film set to be released tomorrow in South Carolina bankrolled by supporters of Newt Gingrich.

The film depicts Mitt Romney as a financier “more ruthless than Wall Street” and a son of privilege responsible for laying off thousands of workers. It attacks Romney’s record as the CEO of Bain Capital and highlights the stories of workers who lost their jobs after the companies they worked for were acquired by Bain.

Says a laughing Romney: “Make a profit. That’s what it’s all about, right?”


Gingrich Goes Negative

Newt Gingrich “is out with his first ad attacking Mitt Romney in South Carolina, and it’s a doozy — targeting the former Massachusetts governor’s record on abortion rights,” theWashington Post reports.

“The former House speaker has repeatedly denounced negative ads, but in recent days he has declared his intention to draw ‘contrast’ with Romney. Whatever Gingrich wants to call it, this is a negative ad.”

See more…


Perry Pleads for Another Chance in South Carolina

“After rejection in Iowa and surrender in New Hampshire, Republican Rick Perry has pinned his fading presidential hopes on a long-shot resurrection in deeply conservative South Carolina,” Reuters reports.

Said Perry: “Give me a second look. Look at my record.”

“But a comeback will be hard in South Carolina, which has picked the winner of the Republican presidential nomination each year since the primary began in 1980. Polls showPerry, who once led the state by more than 20 points, in a distant fifth after a series of disastrous debate performances.”


Republicans Hand Democrats a Populist Issue

The Republican National Committee argued in federal court today to allow corporate campaign donations to candidates for federal offices.

Rick Hasen: “Especially if Romney is the nominee, expect this to be rolled into Romney’s ‘corporations are people, my friend‘ line, the Bain Capital stuff, and the recent ‘I like to fire people gaffe,’ with Occupy undertones, for Democrats (or their super PAC surrogates) to make an anti-corporate, Populist message for Obama’s reelection.”


Former South Carolina Governor Dumps Romney

Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Edwards (R) tells Massimo Calabresi that he’s not endorsing Mitt Romney this year — even though in 2008 he “devoted four months of his life to be the de facto co-chair of Mitt Romney’s campaign in the state, raising money and organizing supporters statewide.”

This time, he is considering backing Rick Santorum. But Edwards’ defection “says less about Rick Santorum’s chances in South Carolina, where the Iowa upstart has spent been mostly absent in recent days and where his Catholicism won’t help him with evangelicals, than it does about the challenge Romney will face in the next 11 days as he tries to clinch the GOP nomination by the end of January.”


Romney Holds Small Lead in South Carolina

A new We Ask America poll in South Carolina shows Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential field with 26%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 21%, Rick Santorum at 13%, Ron Paul at 8%, Rick Perry at 5% and John Hunstman at 4%. Another 22% are still undecided.

Analysis: “As we’ve seen in Iowa and as others have measured throughout the nation, Romney is increasingly being viewed among the GOP as the one who will prevail. True, if there’s a surprise in New Hampshire, shifts can quickly occur in South Carolina, so we’ll revisit here soon. But for now, Romney is hoping that tonight will finally tip over that domino that starts a chain reaction to victory.”

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Romney at 27%, Gingrich at 23%, Santorum at 18%, Ron Paul at 8%, Rick Perry at 7% and Jon Huntsman at 4%.


Blame Bush for the Weak GOP Field

Ryan Lizza says former President George W. Bush is at fault for the exceptionally weak field of Republican presidential candidates.

“A successful Presidency can produce a new crop of future Presidential candidates for the party that controls the White House. The vice president and cabinet officials, as well as governors and senators elected over the course of the administration, are historically major sources for a party’s next round of candidates. The Bush years had the opposite effect. It was unthinkable that his vice president would run for higher office and much of his cabinet left Washington tainted by the President’s unpopularity. Moreover, Bush helped sink his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, thus depleting the ranks of potential Republican candidates for 2012.”


The Politics of Class Resentment

Jon Stewart points out that Mitt Romney is the embodiment of Republican principles — free markets and unfettered capitalism — but now his Republican rivals think that’s unfair.

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Health Care Law Rides on Election Outcome

“The 2012 election will be the most important in the history of our health care system because it will determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented or repealed. The consequences for Americans and their health care will be huge,” argues Dr. David Blumenthal in the New England Journal of Medicine.

TPM notes that “if Republicans fail to capture the presidency this time around, repealing some or all of the law becomes far more difficult later, even if the GOP sweeps Congress in 2012 and wins the White House in 2016 with equal determination to squash it.”

“An important caveat is that as long as there are 41 Democratic senators to mount a filibuster, total repeal won’t be easy. But if Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress (a real possibility come 2013), they could unravel the law by deliberately botching its implementation and potentially muscling through repeal of its less popular provisions — like the individual mandate — before the more popular ones take effect.


Most Republicans Want a New Candidate

A new CBS News poll finds that 58% of Republican primary voters want more presidential choices, while just 37% say they are satisfied with the current field. The percentage of Republican primary voters that wants more choices has increased 12 points since October.


Gingrich Contract Will Not Be Made Public

A lawyer for a consulting firm founded by Newt Gingrich “said he was barring the release of a contract between the Republican presidential candidate and Freddie Mac,” Bloombergreports.

“Freddie Mac officials said last week that Gingrich was ‘welcome‘ to release the contract, under which his consulting firm was paid at least $1.6 million over eight years for his services.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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