LIVECHAT on Florida Primary Day

UPDATE: Bolstered by the huge win the Florida, Mitt Romney has launched the first official money-bomb of this campaign!

We’ll be here all night with updates… To borrow a line from the Black Eyed Peas, I’ve got a feeling that tonight’s gunna be a good good night ;)

[Chat has moved back to the side bar —->]

Full Delegate Count so far…

Also, Newt’s robocall may have sucked any last shred of credibility he has. Hot Air takes Newt to task and I imagine Newt won’t be able to live this one down. Newt has likely mobilized the Ron Paul army against him with this pathetic situation.

While you’re chatting with us later tonight, there will be a special edition of the Mitt Romney Radio show following the primary election in Florida from 9-11 ET. In addition to the show’s guests, they’d like to hear from you, too. Listen live, call in or catch the podcast later.

UPDATE 1: Networks are reportedly going to call the race for Mitt the moment the final polling places close at 8:00.

UPDATE 2: Ann Romney will be on CNN around 8:00 and we’ll post the interview here as soon as it’s available.

UPDATE 3: Mitt wins!

Gingrich’s Tin Message — Why Conservatives Reject Gingrich

In yesterday’s Commentary Magazine, Peter Wehner provides outstanding insight into why Mr. Gingrich’s message does not ring true. He and Sarah Palin would have everybody believe that “the establishment” is against him since Governor Romney has all of the endorsements (pre-voting votes). This is just one more of those pesky ironies associated with Mr. Gingrich. He is the establishment. He helped create the establishment and he has been a part of Washington ever since! Peter Wehner writes:

The reality is that conservative/”establishment” opposition to Gingrich generally falls into three categories. One is that if he won the nomination, he would not only lose to Barack Obama, but he would sink the rest of the GOP fleet in the process. A second area of concern is that Gingrich is temperamentally unfit to be president –he’s too erratic, undisciplined, and rhetorically self-destructive. A third area of concern is the suspicion that the former House speaker is not, in fact, a terribly reliable conservative, that he is not philosophically well-grounded (see his attachment to Alvin Toffler for more).

Some of these criticisms may be appropriate and some of them may be overstated or miss the mark. But to pretend the criticisms of Gingrich — expressed in varying degrees by commentators like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Charles Murray, Michael Gerson, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bob Tyrrell, Pat Buchanan, Mona Charen, Mark Steyn, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Bill Bennett, Karl Rove, Ramesh Ponnuru, Rich Lowry, Elliott Abrams, John Podhoretz, John Hinderaker, Jennifer Rubin, Ross Douthat, David Brooks, Yuval Levin, and the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner, to say nothing of a slew of conservative members/former members of Congress who worked with Gingrich in the 1990s –are rooted in their fear of “genuine change” is simply not credible.

[emphasis added]

As Mr. Gingrich continues to complain, his surrogates will join him in whining that it isn’t fair that Governor Romney has all the endorsements, organization, effectiveness, infrastructure, and money. Yada, yada, yada….

There is no question that the administration of a President Romney would be far more organized and effective than the administration of a President Gingrich. And President Romney will absolutely make sure all the ducks are in a row when it comes to issuing waivers to states regarding ObamaCare (reference to Gingrich’s inability to get certified in his own home state of Virginia for the primary ballot in March).

Gingrich is not an executive. He does not know how to execute. He is an ideas guy (moon colonies, etc.).

Yes, organization does matter.

Yes, character matters.

Mitt Fox and NBC Interviews, Florida News, Singing at a Rally, & the Daily Show Implores Mitt to ‘Finish Him’

What We Missed While The Site Was Down

Gingrich’s despicable robocall claims Romney forced Holocaust survivors to eat non-kosher…President Obama wouldn’t lie this badly because it’s so ridiculous that it wouldn’t even help in the long run.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mitt Romney Florida Supporters Feel The Momentum: ‘I just really want to see some hope restored in America,’ one voter tells MTV News a day before Florida primary.

Romney picks up endorsement from Memphis Tea Party.

Mitt Hits McDonalds: Behind the Scenes with the Romney Bus in Florida

The Daily Show uses Mortal Combat to illustrate how Mitt Romney destroyed Newt Gingrich this week. Click here to continue reading

Titanium (Teflon too?) Mitt! Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin’; Plus Early Voting in Florida VERY Encouraging for Mitt

Many long-time (and even newer) Mitt fans have a hard time watching TV news without verbally abusing the screen. I know it’s human nature for everyone to “pull for” their guy and view criticism in an over-sentitive fashion. However, when a University-based non-partisan group performs research and ends up concluding that we are correct in our estimation that Mitt is very unfairly treated by the media, it needs to become common knowledge.

Frontrunner Mitt Romney is getting by far the most negative press of the GOP field, according to a new study of television news coverage by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. The study also found that the campaign horse race is getting over six times as much coverage as the candidates’ positions on policy issues. According to CMPA director and George Mason University professor Robert Lichter, “The media love a horse race and hate a frontrunner.”

Bad News for Romney Mitt Romney was the only major candidate to receive a majority of negative evaluations by sources and reporters, on both the broadcast network nightly news and FOX “Special Report.”

We all know that the media, in general, will favor Obama over any GOP nominee, and it’s encouraging to see that Romney has risen to the top throughout this process DESPITE the constant negativity from the TV media. This trend is not isolated to TV media either. What Mitt has done in this process is nothing short of remarkable … he has become the presumptive GOP nominee despite being the main focus of criticism of the TV, print, conservative talk-radio, his GOP opponents (he’s stood in there for 20 debates and in EVERY one he’s received more fire from his opponents than anyone else on the state), AND the DNC/Union/Occupy-Wall-Street crowds. He was vetted HARD 4 years ago as well. He IS Titanium Mitt!

Mitt’s early voting lead in Florida is VERY encouraging! Based on the simple average (non-weighted for sample sizes) of the 4 most recent Florida polls (here, here, here and here) Mitt has a SIZABLE lead over his opponents.

Mitt 47%
Newt 31.5%
(Santorum and Paul around 14% and 9% respectively)

Sure he’s got a lead here folks . . . but all Floridians need to get out and vote for Mitt and get your friends/family/co-workers out to vote for him too. The size of his victory could change the whole complexion of this race overnight. MAKE IT SO FLORIDIANS!

Put your predictions in the comments thread! Here’s mine:
Mitt 48%
Newt 28%
Rick 14%
Ron 10%

Newt Gingrich is “at the Horrid Stage” — Whiner Extraordinaire — Master of Deflection

CNN’s Political Ticker, Rachel Streitfeld reported this from Florida yesterday:

The former Massachusetts governor, who polls show widening his lead over his rival in Florida, accused the former House speaker of “finding excuses everywhere he can” and likened him to President Barack Obama.

“He’s on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he thinks he’s had difficulty here in Florida,” Romney told an audience of roughly 2,000 at an outdoor rally. “But you know, we’ve got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over, it’s time to produce.”

Gingrich, lacking any important surrogates to get out on the campaign trail with him to promote him and defend him, is relying on the surrogate whiners. Fred Thompson has joined Sarah Palin as one of Gingrich’s best complainers as reported by Epstein at Politico Live:

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) on Sunday attacked Mitt Romney for “unseemliness and overkill” in his aggressive campaign against Newt Gingrich, the candidate Thompson has endorsed.

Romney’s “modus operandi, basically, is to play Mr. Nice Guy until somebody gets close to him,” Thompson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And then he unleashes his attack machine. And that’s what happened in Iowa and it’s what’s happening in Florida.”

Gingrich has to be in his hotel room tonight thinking to himself, “Is this the best Fred can do for me? Come on Fred! Get out here on the campaign trail and drive home my message! Help me get some votes!”

Fred is only doing what Newt is doing: Whining and complaining.

I followed the Fred Thompson presidential campaign closely four years ago. He was constantly criticized in the press for appearing to be lazy. Think about it. What do lazy people do? They complain and they whine all the time.

Finally, I could list 50 ironies surrounding Newt Gingrich. Let’s just take a few here. What happens when Gingrich passes Governor Romney in the polls or wins a primary? Gingrich gloats and tells the world he is going to be the nominee. Governor Romney stays on message, works even harder, and drives forward.

What happens when Gingrich falls behind? Governor Romney stays on message, works even harder, and drives forward. Gingrich complains and whines as if he is about to cry.

And who is dishonest? Romney immediately corrects those who misrepresent his record. Gingrich tells the world that he offered up “mutual friends” to ABC to show that he never wanted to be a swinger in his marriage and then later quietly admits that he lied and that there never were any such friends (which, by the way, CNN did not call him out on in the very next debate! — he gets another pass by the liberal MSM). Last week he ran a Spanish language ad that lied about Governor Romney’s immigration policy and Gingrich was forced to pull it when Senator Rubio publicly demanded it. I could list many more of these Gingrich character flaws and his serial lying — space does not allow. Who is dishonest?

George Will — that conservative intellectual that you know Gingrich would love to have in his brilliant back pocket, right? Here is what George had to say about Gingrich yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” (click here to watch the 56-second video clip) — I just love poetry!

“I don’t know if you have ever told Longfellow’s nursery rhyme to your 4-year-old daughter, Alice,” Will said to Tapper, reciting:

There is a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
When she was bad,
She was horrid.

“We’re at the horrid stage with Newt Gingrich,” Will concluded.

Gingrich is unable to support or defend his own history — his own record — his own rhetoric — his own policies. So what does Gingrich do? Deflect!

Deflection by flattery (“Wolf, you and I have been friends for many years and now I am going to slam you . . .”). Deflection by lying and hope nobody checks the facts. Deflection by complaining. Deflection by whining. Deflection by filibuster (changing the subject by pontification). Deflection by lecture (“I will tell you how it really was”).

Irony: Gingrich slams capitalism, shoulder to shoulder with the Occupiers.

And my last two ironies for now:

The Sarah Palin Lackey: Gingrich wants us all to think he is so smart. Ironic. Need I say more?

Herman Cane Endorsement: The ultimate irony. Need I say more?

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” — Abraham Lincoln (March 4, 1865 – Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address)

ASIDE: Secret Service Secrets Video

Reclaiming the Mantle of Lincoln

By Greg Stapley (guest editorial)

I’m still a bit nauseous from the President’s invocation of Abraham Lincoln during his annual Capitol Hill Medicine Show, aka the State of the Union Address, last week. For this president, or anyone from his far-left edge of the Democrat Party, to call upon Mr. Lincoln for any reason is practically sacrilegious. But doing so in a thinly-veiled stump speech – especially one as factually-detached from reality as this snake-oil-filled STOTU was — should raise the hackles of principled people everywhere.

Oddly, in this election cycle Obama is not the only ego-driven political chameleon making fantastical speeches while trying to wrap himself in the aura of Republican icons. And conservatives would do well to cast a jaundiced eye toward those who imply that they could even partially fill the enormous shoes of a Lincoln, Reagan or Kemp.

Like Reagan, Lincoln stands tall in both American and Republican history because he was a leader of superlative discipline, who understood well the sharp distinction between principles and preferences, and who never deviated from his moral foundation.

At a time when many clamored for revenge against the subdued South, a measured and self-effacing Lincoln believed that forgiveness was better than retribution, pragmatism was superior to justification, and a united America was more important than scoring political points. Steady and sure, he kept his head and saved a nation — not just the Northern part, but the whole nation.

For his benevolence toward the South, and his principled leadership of the North, Lincoln’s reward was a bullet in the head. But all indications are that Lincoln knew it was coming, felt it was worth the risk, and would have taken that bullet again if he thought that it would help Americans bridge the divide between them.

Lincoln believed in a strong and united America. Unlike Obama and the counterfeit conservatives who haphazardly invoke his name to distract voters from their true character and agendas, Lincoln was the real deal. To him, One America was the only Grandiose Idea that mattered.

The Republican Party has always been the rightful heir to Lincoln’s legacy of political selflessness, unifying grace, and unwavering faith in American exceptionalism. With that inheritance comes a responsibility to make sure that the dream of America is reachable by every American who is willing to stretch for it. But in today’s America, we are ruled by a leftist cabal who have a different vision, and a different set of values, than the ones espoused by Lincoln and Reagan.

We — the Party of Lincoln — need to turn this around right now. And nobody can do it but us.

To start, the Republican Party must first unite itself, and do so in a way that allows it to then open its arms to others. Coming together after being effectively disenfranchised for so long is a difficult and emotional task. It requires a whole segment of the population — decent people who have been abused, maligned, exploited, steamrolled and marginalized by the Party in Power and their mainstream media lackeys – to ignore both their pain and their relatively minor differences. It requires us to fixate pragmatically, as Lincoln did, on the ultimate objective.

In selecting a nominee who can unite us and lead us out of Obama’s wilderness of false hope and devastating change, we have a clear choice.

One who would seek our approval seems to be alternately running for the imaginary offices of Debater-in-Chief and Head Speechmaker. A historian by training and a career politician by both trade and nature, his behavior suggests a mistaken belief that Lincoln’s electoral appeal and political clout derived solely from his gift for oratory. He boasts conceitedly that his best qualification for office is that he can out-debate Obama, and he’s probably right — that is sadly his very best qualification.

At once articulate and bombastic, glib and confrontational, he is comfortable with fiction and adept at making it up as he goes. A lifetime spent at the podiums of power has prepared this unabashed panderer to deftly work the oily levers of populism that are normally the province of the limousine liberals.

Click here to continue reading

VIDEO: Gingrich Supported ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate in May 2009!

This recording of a conference call could be a game-changer for Newt Gingrich. In this video, Gingrich says that he is calling for and supports the individual mandate that Obama was considering in 2009 when Obama’s health care law was being developed. Let’s remember that Gingrich has been on the record in support of a FEDERAL insurance mandate for over 20 years, but he has denied recently that he ever supported the individual mandate for ObamaCare.

I think the crucial difference between Romney and Gingrich in regard to individual mandates is that Gingrich has supported the idea of a FEDERAL/NATIONWIDE mandate for decades, but Romney has never supported a mandate at the federal level. Romney is a federalist and he believes that each state should have the freedom to design its own unique health care program. Romney wants each state to have the same freedom to design their own unique health care plans that he had in Massachusetts, not the federal government dictating to the states how to run their health care programs. Health care has traditionally been a state issue, not a federal issue, and Romney wants to give that power back to the states.

Here is the link to the video on Youtube.

For more information about why Romney used the individual mandate in Massachusetts, click here.

More info on how RomneyCare was not meant to be used nationwide, click here.

To find out the key differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare, click here.

Mitt Romney has Literally Defined the Meaning of “Service” by Example

(every photograph tells a story)

California suffered many large and devastating wildfires in the Fall of 2007. San Diego County was no exception. In fact the scale and number of fires there were unprecedented.

This Los Angeles Times web page lists many very good articles that describe the human tragedies as well as the enormous property damage sustained during this “fire season” as we describe it in our state. Another article describes how many victims found relief and solace in their faith.

This news item describes the some of the impacts following the 2007 San Diego area fires.

During this time, it seemed like all of California could burn away as we were experiencing wildfires in all counties surrounding our home. This was almost exactly four years ago and the presidential race was in full swing, as it is today.

I remember receiving a tip to a story of someone’s home that needed a tree stump removed — the result of a tree that had been badly burned during one of San Diego’s wildfires. Several men responded to the need by organizing and working hard for a few hours to remove the deeply rooted tree trunk. One of those that showed up for the needed work was Governor Romney. He and his son Matt worked alongside a few other men to get the job done.

That story is as impressive to me today as it was when I first heard it. Nobody from the press or media was ever present and, as far as I can recall, this story was never publicized in any major news outlets.

Contrast this little service project with the many we witness every year by politicians that work the soup lines or other charity events at which they know there will be numerous reporters and cameras. The soup lines in particular always annoy me in a big way. The people in line are the most poverty stricken among us and aside from their obvious need for sustenance, they have a natural need for dignity. Exposure to television cameras serves only to diminish human dignity in a setting like those.

In the case of the tree stump removal, obviously Governor Romney did not do the service for notoriety or media exposure, as there were none. There is no question in my mind that such hard, manual labor would be cathartic during an intense and grueling presidential campaign. So there is a good chance Governor Romney needed the break, the exercise, and the stress release anyway.

The service provided by these men is best described in this short YouTube by the brother of the woman that lived in the home with the tree stump (posted almost exactly four years ago today):

Few people know that Governor Romney received (as I recall) $1.00 every year in compensation when he served as governor and for three years after he took the helm of the 2002 Olympics turn-around “service project” — which, by the way was a tremendously enormous responsibility (I believe he also was paid $1.00/year when he was asked to come back to Bain to turn it around). Think about it: He inherited a $379 million deficit in 1999 and during the time he was chief executive, the world’s worst terrorist event occurred. In addition to turning around a failed project, dealing with a corrupt international Olympics entity, he instantly had a mandate to guarantee that no terror event would interrupt the Games. Many experts felt the Games should be cancelled for practical and safety concerns. Governor Romney ignored those suggestions and drove the team to an astounding success — one of the most successful Games in history [please fact check me!]. Oh, and he delivered a $100 million profit/surplus after it was over! This story, that Governor Romney refers to as a footnote, is nothing short of extraordinary IN EVERY WAY.

Now, what would have happened if Gingrich were given the very same responsibility with a failed Olympics project? He would have demanded a huge salary, #1. The team he inherited would have quit after the first week, #2. The next team he brought in would likely quit a few weeks later and tell the media how hard it is to work with the man, #3. This last one is only my opinion and I own it: When September 11th happened and Gingrich heard the cries to cancel, he would have quit with a large deficit in place. Remember, he is an ideas guy, not an execution guy — he is not an executive.

The cynical have nothing good to say about Governor Romney or his actions. That’s fine:They are wrong. His many years of selfless service are proved out by his talent, skill, art, and experience in turnaround executive leadership. No current presidential candidate compares, even to a small degree.

Compare Mitt Romney any day to Newt Gingrich, whose life for the last 20+ years has been 100% devoted to self-aggrandizement and self-promotion.

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gingrich and Goldwater; Plus: More Colleagues Warn About Newt

How to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Robert Hardaway had an opinion piece on the Fox News website Saturday that, while not mentioning Mitt by name, warns any GOP hardliners holding out for the perfect “conservative” candidate that they very well could cause a repeat the GOP failure of 1964. The GOP’s candidate that year was Barry Goldwater, a man Newt Gingrich likes to call his conservative progenitor. While Goldwater’s ideas are still popular on the right, unfortunately sticking to those ideas vs. taking a pragmatic view got us this guy as our president:

President Johnson went on to pass a number of reforms as part of the “Great Society,” including a number of programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, that persons on the right still have trouble with to this day. And it was an unwillingness to compromise, to a great extent, that caused the right to lose what it really wanted: the White House. Is the GOP in danger of repeating history by, ironically, voting for a history professor? Some within the GOP appear to be.
Click here to continue reading

A Time for Unity and Prayer for Bella

I don’t dare assume that everyone who reads this post prays on a regular basis or ever for that matter. However, I would like to ask everyone who is willing to pray for little Isabella and the rest of the Santorum family. We don’t have a lot of details, but 3-year-old Isabella has never had it easy in this life, and she may need God’s help now more than ever. In the heat of a campaign, sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, but I hope everyone can see past any differences they have with Rick Santorum (by all accounts, a wonderful father) and unite to support the Santorum family during this tumultuous time.

Here are the details we have so far:

Rick Santorum’s 3-year old daughter has been hospitalized in Philadelphia, his campaign said Saturday.

“Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening,” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

The reason for the hospitalization was not provided.
Santorum’s Saturday morning campaign schedule has been canceled, but Gidley said the former Pennsylvania senator intends to return to the campaign trail as soon as possible.

Santorum had been taking a break from campaigning in Florida and had a Saturday fundraiser scheduled in Washington. He was due to return to Florida to attend church Sunday morning in Miami before heading to a rally in Sarasota, Fla. and a dinner in Punta Gorda, Fla.

Isabella Santorum, one of the presidential candidate’s seven children, has a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18 that causes people to be born with an extra copy of the 18th chromosome. The disorder causes developmental abnormalities, and half of infants born with the condition do not survive for more than a week after birth, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Santorum and his wife, Karen, speak openly on the campaign trail about the challenges and rewards of raising a child with such a condition, but have avoided putting her in public situations on the campaign trail.

UPDATE: Bella has pneumonia in both of her lungs, but is reportedly improving. Please continue to pray while she is in such a fragile state.