Endorsements Matter, Especially for a Republican

NOTE: Specific Endorsement Count by Candidate & Names: End of Post

Any one endorsement for a presidential candidate, in and of itself, is not generally considered that important in the long-term. However, how that endorser supports the candidate over time and the number of endorsements of stature can have significant influence. Every endorsement is a huge vote of confidence by the person putting their name on the line, in public (consider those who do not endorse candidates at all — there is a reason they don’t step up)

I have been giving a lot of thought to the large number of endorsements Governor Romney has compiled week in and week out. Gingrich sees this “voting” and he attempts to blunt their importance by referring to these as “the establishment” supporting Governor Romney.

Nonsense.

No matter how you cut it, almost EVERY one of these endorsers knows both Gingrich and Romney; some better than others. Very few of these choose Gingrich. By the way, I have yet to hear any close friend of Gingrich or any colleague of his (that worked closely with him for years), ever say anything positive about the man as a leader (besides his ability to speak well). Why is that? I only hear negative things said of him from those that know him well.

Yesterday’s Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal discusses this important topic:

Do endorsements matter? Politicians certainly think so, and they spend loads of time courting party elites and opinion-makers. So far, though, 2012 has shown how the politics of anointment and appointment can fail.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley flopped mightily in trying to deliver her state for Mitt Romney. Evangelical leaders held a summit to get the Palmetto State to back their new choice, Rick Santorum, but he fared much worse than Mr. Romney. Newt Gingrich knows the feeling—New Hampshire’s supposedly dominant Manchester Union Leader newspaper huffed and puffed for Newt and got him less than 10% of the vote.

But it’s easy to cherry-pick examples to prove the folly of endorsements. In some circumstances, they can make a substantial difference.

Throughout American history, presidencies have been created by the laying on of incumbent hands. Thomas Jefferson effectively passed the presidency to his friend and confidant, James Madison. Andrew Jackson handed his populist democracy off to an unlikely dandy, Martin Van Buren, in 1836. Few would have imagined the studious and portly William Howard Taft as president until Theodore Roosevelt picked him in 1908. More recently, George H.W. Bush might not have been elected president without Ronald Reagan’s blessing. Madison, Van Buren, Taft and Mr. Bush all got their predecessor’s third term—when popular, presidents have extraordinary powers.

What about little-known state legislators and local sheriffs? Even low-level backing can attract the cameras and generate a positive story. But this can backfire if candidates overplay their hands, as Jon Huntsman did when his campaign hinted at a “major” announcement in Florida. Speculation naturally centered on former Gov. Jeb Bush. Not quite. Mr. Huntsman got only his son, Jeb Jr., and the media’s letdown showed in the coverage.
[...]
Even more than Democrats, Republicans typically nominate a candidate that party elites support. In “The Party Decides,” political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller analyzed endorsements made prior to the Iowa caucuses in presidential primary contests from 1980 to 2004. They found that the candidate who had won the biggest share of endorsements won the eventual nomination in nine of 10 competitive contests (the exception was Democrat John Kerry in 2004). On the GOP side, the eventual nominees all won a strong plurality of endorsements.

Not surprisingly, given Mr. Romney’s position as the front-runner and the fear that many Republican officeholders have of sharing a ballot with Mr. Gingrich or Ron Paul, the former Massachusetts governor has a long lead in endorsements from elected officials. According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Mr. Romney has the backing of 72 members of Congress, versus a combined 17 for the other candidates.

This is good news for Mr. Romney. Mr. Gingrich is attempting to stir the populism of the GOP base by railing against “elites,” but many voters welcome guidance in intra-party contests. In a general election, voters have the invaluable short-hand cue of the party label. But in a nominating contest, all candidates have the same party label. How to choose just one? Differences in personality, background and policy help, but so does a candidate’s association with other well-known party figures. People want to puzzle out which candidate comes closest to their kind of Republican or Democrat.

Non-endorsements can send powerful signals to voters as well. For decades, leading Southern Democrats practiced “golden silence” in presidential years, refusing to endorse their party’s presidential nominees. This was a green light to voters that it was acceptable to support a Republican for the White House. In 1960, President Eisenhower wanted Vice President Nixon to succeed him, but he damaged Nixon’s campaign when asked what major decisions in his administration Nixon had influenced. “If you give me a week, I might think of one,” said Ike. The comment ended up in one of John Kennedy’s TV ads.

Could non-endorsements end up mattering in 2012, too? Despite decades on Capitol Hill and four years as speaker of the House, Mr. Gingrich has only 11 congressional endorsements, five of them from Georgians.

[emphasis added]

CHECK THESE TWO SITES FOR MANY SPECIFICS:

Endorsements for the Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012

RACE 4 2012 — Endorsements as of January 20, 2012
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Gingrich: “I’m Not a Duck!” … and Other Lobby Lies & PELOSI KNOWS…

*********************************************************************************
* * * * PELOSI: Gingrich as President: “THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN” (below fold) * * * *

Was there an important speech last night? I heard something about the POTUS speaking. Oh well, I missed that one.

Now that I think about Newt walking out onto the debate stage the other night, he actually walks like a duck! Do you remember that profile shot from behind the curtain, looking out toward the audience as Mr. Gingrich walked out? He sorta waddled.

Lobby Lane

In all seriousness . . .

Monday night, Gingrich told the us that he was merely acting as a concerned “citizen” in all these jobs he has had earning multi-millions of dollars. Right. Again, what do we know? We are all simply naive.

A number of sources yesterday checked into whether Mr. Gingrich used his influence inappropriately. Here is what we find from CNN‘s Truth Squad. You judge:

The New York Times also reported last month that the world’s largest insulin maker, Novo Nordisk, had hired Gingrich to help “position itself as a thought leader” to raise awareness about diabetes.

Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave told CNN last month that Gingrich called her at the height of the 2003 debate urging her to vote for the bill.

“Newt called me to vote yes,” said Musgrave, who is now director at the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List.

“He asked for a yes vote on a Medicare prescription drug benefit,” she said. “Dick Armey” — a former House majority leader — “called me and wanted a no. But I had already made up my mind to vote not to expand an entitlement that we were going to have to pay for down the road.”

Musgrave, who is neutral in the presidential race, said she was not sure if Gingrich was technically “lobbying” when he called her, because she did not know if he was working for anyone else at the time.

“All I know is he wanted a yes,” Musgrave said.

Musgrave was one of 19 House Republicans who voted against the plan, which passed 220-215.

Two other Republicans who served in Congress at the time, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, told the Des Moines Register last month that they interpreted Gingrich’s actions as lobbying.

“He told us, ‘If you can’t pass this bill, you don’t deserve to govern as Republicans,’ ” Flake told the paper. “If that’s not lobbying, I don’t know what is.”

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the bill is projected to cost nearly $1 trillion from 2010 through 2020. The price tag for Medicare Part D was added to the nation’s deficit.

“It was a huge entitlement” that left the insurance and drug industries as big winners, said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of health economics at Princeton.

[emphasis added]

(more…)

Gov Tim Pawlenty & FL Spkr Des. Will Weatherford: “Newt Gingrich as Nominee? Really?”

Gov Tim Pawlenty and Florida Speaker Designate Will Weatherford (Photo Tampa Tribune/Chris Urso)


Today Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Florida Speaker Designate Will Weatherford held a hard-hitting conference call stripping Newt Gingrich of his I-wasn’t-a-Freddie-Mac-lobbyist disguise.


GOV. TIM PAWLENTY: “NEWT GINGRICH AS A POTENTIAL NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT: REALLY? I MEAN REALLY?”

“His influence-peddling with respect to Freddie Mac to Congress, that needs to be revealed. And so he called upon Governor Romney to be transparent, well Speaker Gingrich needs to be transparent on this issue and many others. And the notion that he was paid $1.7 million as a historian for Freddie Mac is just B.S., it’s just nonsense. And so he needs to reveal, and his firm needs to reveal, that contract. He needs to go through in detail what positions and advice he gave Freddie Mac, how they responded to that. And then also what advocacy, if any, that he undertook with respect to these issues with the United States Congress.”
– Gov. Tim Pawlenty

AUDIO: Pawlenty and Weatherford: Gingrich’s “Historian” Work for Freddie

Transcript of “Definitely Not A Lobbyist” conference call:

OPERATOR: “Ms. Gail Gitcho, you may now begin.”

GAIL GITCHO, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: “Thanks Claire and thanks everyone for joining today. I have Governor Tim Pawlenty on the line and also Florida Speaker Designate Will Weatherford, and they’re going to talk about Speaker Gingrich’s record and his work for Freddie Mac. And I’ll turn it over to Governor Pawlenty and then Mr. Weatherford and then we’ll take some questions and wrap up. So Governor Pawlenty, go ahead.”

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY: “Great, thank you Gail. Good morning everyone, thanks for being on the call this morning. We’re going to talk this morning about Speaker Gingrich’s record in a couple of key areas. One, as Speaker and the other as his post-Speaker role as advocate and lobbyist and influence-peddler in Washington DC. And I think for Republicans and conservatives all across this country, a question is going to have to be as they consider Newt Gingrich as a potential nominee for president: really? I mean really? This is somebody who has had so many incredibly unfortunate and questionable activities while he was speaker, post-speaker, that he is not somebody that I think can carry the banner for the Republican Party and the conservative movement forward as the nominee or as a future president. Let me give you just a couple of example and then I’ll turn it over to Speaker-Designate Weatherford for his comments. If you’re going to be president of the United States, people have to understand your full record. They have to see it in user-friendly and transparent ways. Newt Gingrich has represented hundreds of clients and interest groups in Washington, DC since he left the speakership. We have very little insight and transparency as to what exactly he did for many for those clients, in many cases, for huge sums of money. To say that he wasn’t a lobbyist is an incredible hair-splitting. He’s been an advocate to the Congress trying to push influence in Washington, DC. In the case of Freddie Mac, he was lobbying Republican members or advocating with Republican members against Republican interests on one of the most difficult and unfortunate behaviors by the federal government in modern history, and that is their activities in the housing market. If you go down to Florida where the primary is going to occur shortly, one of the most devastating blows to the Florida economy in recent years of course has been the housing market. And on of the principle culprits in the demise of the housing market was the role of Congress and their government sponsored entities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and their role in the housing market. And now you have a candidate for the President of the United States, Newt Gingrich, who was paid $1.7 million by Freddie Mac and we don’t have insight or transparency as to what he actually did, what positions he took, what advice that he gave. His influence-peddling with respect to Freddie Mac to Congress, that needs to be revealed. And so he called upon Governor Romney to be transparent, well Speaker Gingrich needs to be transparent on this issue and many others. And the notion that he was paid $1.7 million as a historian for Freddie Mac is just B.S., it’s just nonsense. And so he needs to reveal, and his firm needs to reveal, that contract. He needs to go through in detail what positions and advice he gave Freddie Mac, how they responded to that. And then also what advocacy, if any, that he undertook with respect to these issues with the United States Congress. And I think voters deserve to see all of that from Newt and more.

And then beyond that, he has a whole list of other clients that he should release all of the groups that have paid him for all of the reasons, over all of the years for lobbying and for advocacy, for issue work, for strategic development, release it. We should have a chance to know who he represented and for what purposes and at what price.

(Good stuff! Much more…)

(more…)

Romney to Gingrich: “Erratic as a Pinball Machine… Show Me The Records!”

“Show me the records!”



Governor Mitt Romney has turned the tables on Newt Gingrich:

TAMPA – A combative Mitt Romney on Monday broadened his call for Newt Gingrich to release records from his work as a consultant, speculating that those documents and records from the ethics investigation that led Gingrich to resign from the House of Representatives could show “potentially wrongful activity of some kind.”

“We could see an October surprise a day from Newt Gingrich,” Romney told reporters at a media availability here. “And so let’s see the records from the ethics investigation, let’s see what they show. Let’s see who his clients were at the time he was lobbying Republican congressmen for Medicare Part D.

“Was he working or were his entities working with any health-care companies that could’ve benefited from that? That could represent not just evidence of lobbying but potentially wrongful activity of some kind.”
[…]
“He said in a debate, actually, that people who profited from the failed model of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ought to give back their money,” Romney said. “Well, the speaker made $1.7 million in his enterprises from providing services to Freddie Mac. He ought to give it back.”

Here’s what Gingrich claims:

Gingrich repeatedly has said that he never lobbied lawmakers on behalf of Freddie Mac and health-care companies, saying he was paid for his services as a consultant and historian.

“I was not a lobbyist, I was never a lobbyist, I never did any lobbying. Don’t try to mix these things up. That fact is I was an adviser strategically,” he said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Earlier today Governor Tim Pawlenty and Florida House of Reps Speaker Designate Will Weatherford held a press conference call on Gingrich’s work as a “historian” for Freddie Mac. Pawlenty sums it up: “The notion that he was paid $1.7 million as a historian for Freddie Mac is just B.S. Newt Gingrich has represented hundreds of clients and interest groups in Washington, D.C., since he left the speakership. To say that he wasn’t a lobbyist is incredible hair-splitting.”

Romney hit Gingrich on his “highly eratic” style of leading:

He noted that Gingrich voted in favor of establishing the Department of Education, yet now says the department should be eliminated and its authority sent to the states. And Romney said Gingrich is “opposed vehemently” to the Massachusetts health-care system “and yet just a couple of years ago wrote about what a superb system it was.”


He’s gone from pillar to post almost like a pinball machine, from item to item in a way which is highly erratic and does not suggest a stable, thoughtful course which is normally associated with leadership,” Romney said.

(emphasis added)

Pinball Policy Newt…




Romney speaking to the press in FL:

“By the way, saying that Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist is just a matter of fact. He indicates that he doesn’t fall within the narrow definition of lobbyists that he might have in mind. But if you’re working for a company, getting paid for a company through one of your many entities and then you’re speaking with Congressmen in a way that would help that company, that’s lobbying. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” ~ Mitt Romney



Romney’s new Florida radio ad features FL Atty Gen Pam Bondi:

(more…)

Romney Unleashes on Gingrich: “Washington Lobbyist, Disgraced Leader”


Now, we’re talkin’!

Standing in front of a home-building supply business yesterday, Governor Romney kicked off his Florida campaign. And, he’s telling it like it is…

Mitt Romney: Newt Gingrich is a ‘failed leader,’ ‘disgrace’
Politico
Reid J. Epstein – Jan 22, 2012

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Mitt Romney landed here Sunday with a simple message: Newt Gingrich is a failure and a fraud. And a disgrace. And a hapless showman.

Standing under a brilliant orange Florida sunset, Romney delivered his longest sustained critique of the South Carolina primary winner to date – ticking through a list as if he were reading off Gingrich’s Wikipedia page, and undercutting each item as he got to it.

“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace.”

Romney continued: “He was investigated over an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of his Republicans voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.”

Then Romney got into Gingrich’s post-congressional career.

Over the last 15 years since he left the House, he talks about great bold movements and ideas,” he told the crowd of several hundred people gathered at a building materials company here. “Well, what’s he been doing for 15 years? He’s been working as a lobbyist, yeah, he’s been working as a lobbyist and selling influence around Washington.”

Epstein then writes that Romney then tore into Gingrich and his role at Freddie Mac and Florida’s real estate crash. Elaborating on Newt’s bombastic, bellowing stage presence, The Gov went straight to the heart of the election with this zinger:

We’re not choosing a talk show host, all right? We’re choosing a leader, we’re choosing the person who should be the leader of the free world,” Romney said.

(emphasis added with relish) Read the entire article and leave pro-Romney comments here.

It’s high time Gov Romney revved it up! He’s got to. Get the truth out there and take no prisoners. Voters want passion. I’m thrilled.

And, regarding Gingrich’s pious baloney debate performance on Saturday night, leave it to Newt to get sanctimonious about cheating on two wives.


● What’s Romney up to today?

8:00 AM
Roundtable on housing issues
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Riverview Room, 200 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, Fla.

9:00 PM
Debate hosted by St. Petersburg Times and NBC
4202 East Fowler Ave.,Tampa, Fla.
Mitt Romney
Ron Paul
Rick Santorum
Newt Gingrich

Let ‘er rip tonight, Gov!

► Jayde Wyatt

~UPDATE from Ross
Glenn Beck has been taking Newt to task for quite some time and the following video is just the latest example. (more…)

Happy 15th ‘Reprimand’ Anniversary, Fmr Speaker Gingrich


Fifteen years ago today on January 21, 1997, Newt Gingrich became the first House Speaker in American history to be reprimanded by his colleagues for ethical wrongdoing.

January 21, 1997 – “The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House’s 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing. … Exactly one month before yesterday’s vote, Gingrich admitted that he brought discredit to the House and broke its rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false information.” (“House Reprimands, Penalizes Speaker,” The Washington Post, 1/22/97)

The House Voted 395-28 To Reprimand Speaker Gingrich – With Roughly Nine In Ten House Republicans Voting Against Gingrich. (H.Res. 31, Vote #8: Passed 395-28: R 196-26; D 198-2; I 1-0, 1/21/97)

The House Ethics Committee – Chaired By A Republican Member – Had Previously Voted 7-1 To Reprimand And Sanction Gingrich. “The House ethics committee recommended last night that [Gingrich] face an unprecedented reprimand from his colleagues and pay $300,000 in additional sanctions after concluding that his use of tax-deductible money for political purposes and inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented ‘intentional or … reckless’ disregard of House rules. The committee’s 7 to 1 vote came after 5 1/2 hours of televised hearings … ‘This is a tough penalty,’ Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.), chairman of the ethics panel, said after the vote. ‘I believe it is an appropriate penalty. It demonstrates that nobody is above the rules.’” (John E. Yang and Helen Dewar, “Ethics Panel Supports Reprimand of Gingrich,” The Washington Post, 1/18/97)

The Washington Post: “The House Imposed The Penalty … After Gingrich Acknowledged He Gave The Ethics Committee Untrue Information.” “The House imposed the penalty last year after Gingrich acknowledged he gave the ethics committee untrue information and failed to ensure that financing for two projects, including a college course he taught, would not violate federal tax laws. The penalty was to reimburse the ethics committee for added costs it attributed to investigating Gingrich’s misleading statements.” (Bill McAllister, “Gingrich To Pay Penalty With His Own Money,” The Washington Post, 9/15/98)

Gingrich Confessed … To Violating The Rules.” “Gingrich confessed December 21 to violating the rules, admitting he should have sought specific legal advice about financing his college course and a town hall television project with tax-exempt donations. He took responsibility for inaccurate assertions that GOPAC, his former political organization, had no role in the college course.” (“Special Counsel Reportedly Recommends Gingrich Be Fined,” CNN.com, 1/17/97)

Gingrich’s Attorney told the Ethics Committee that his client had made “glaringly inconsistent” statements. “In his final opportunity to defend his client Friday night before the House ethics committee, an attorney for Newt Gingrich conceded that the speaker had made ‘glaringly inconsistent’ statements to the panel’s investigative subcommittee about a politically oriented college course financed with tax-exempt funds. The concession was among the most dramatic of any Gingrich representative.” (Charles R. Babcock and John E. Yang, “Files In Gingrich Case Detail Misstatements,” The Washington Post, 1/19/97)

Gingrich’s Claim That His Ethics Reprimand Was Partisan Was Rated “Pants On Fire”:

Gingrich Dismisses The Reprimand As A Partisan Matter, Saying It “Related More To The Politics Of The Democratic Party Than The Ethics.” GINGRICH: “I think what it does is it reminds people who probably didn’t know this that [Nancy Pelosi] was on the Ethics Committee, that it was a very partisan political committee, and that the way I was dealt with related more to the politics of the Democratic Party than the ethics. And I think in that sense, it actually helps me in getting people to understand – this was a Nancy Pelosi-driven effort.” (Fox News’ “On The Record,” 12/6/11)

PolitiFact, On Gingrich’s Assertion: “Pants On Fire.” “While it’s true that the Gingrich case became a vicious battlefield between the two parties, contemporary accounts and experts familiar with the proceedings agree that it was not ajudicated by ‘a very partisan political committee’ in a way that ‘related more to the politics of the Democratic Party than to ethics.’ The ethics panel’s case only moved forward with the express consent of Republicans, including the committee’s chairwoman, and it was led by a special counsel who was not a Democratic partisan and who focused on substantive legal matters. Most notably, when it became time to vote, the House – including nearly 90 percent of voting Republicans – voted to support the committee’s recommendation. We rate Gingrich’s statement Pants on Fire.” (PolitiFact.com, 12/7/11)

● “If He Didn’t Believe In The Fairness Of The Process, He Could Have Refused To Admit Wrongdoing…” “In essence, Gingrich is alleging that the investigation of his actions was biased by partisanship and, by extension, that the penalty he agreed to was tainted. … If he didn’t believe in the fairness of the process, he could have refused to admit wrongdoing and taken his chances on the House floor, where he led a sizable majority.” (PolitiFact.com, 12/7/11)

FactCheck.org: Gingrich’s Claims Are False And “Off Base.” “Newt Gingrich falsely claimed the House ethics panel that voted to reprimand him in 1997 was ‘a very partisan political committee.’ He was also off base when he said the inquiry was ‘a Pelosi-driven effort.’ In fact, the House Committee on Ethics is the only House panel evenly divided by party. And Pelosi was a relatively junior House member and not in a leadership position at the time. … The ethics panel was far from a ‘partisan’ committee.” (FactCheck.org, 12/8/11)

Happy anniversary, indeed.

The Republican party would be beyond foolish to hand the nomination to a reprimanded, Washington insider.

► Jayde Wyatt

EXCLUSIVE: Mark DeMoss Remarks to Evangelical Leaders — Houston Ranch, January 14, 2012

Mark DeMoss

Following this past Christmas, reports surfaced of a meeting by prominent national evangelical leaders to be held in Texas sometime in January. You will recall this meeting involved over 150 people at a ranch outside Houston, January 15th. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to caucus and select one of the presidential candidates behind which all voters could unite — in effect, to choose the one “non-Romney” candidate that they thought could best defeat Romney. Fascinating!

As with any caucus, some were prepared to stand and persuade others to vote for the candidate they believed to be the best to select as the Republican nominee for President.

One of those leaders present that day, at the ranch outside Houston, was nationally known and highly respected Mark DeMoss, a prominent Evangelical. Mr. DeMoss stood for Governor Mitt Romney.

Though I have never met Mr. DeMoss and therefore do not know him, I can only imagine that his remarks to this body required a tremendous amount of courage, especially with the understanding that the vast majority of those present were intent on selecting a candidate they believed could best oppose, and therefore defeat Governor Romney! For this one act alone, I have tremendous admiration and respect for Mark DeMoss. I strongly believe that Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States — if so, I believe that history will hold Mark DeMoss out as a true American patriot in the stature of any this nation’s finest patriots of the past and present.

I am most grateful that Mr. DeMoss granted MittRomneyCentral.com the privilege of publishing his remarks to the group of 150+ Evangelicals exactly one week ago today. When I requested “an editorial” from Mr. DeMoss through our friend, John Schroeder of Article VI Blog, I never dreamed I would receive his remarks to the other evangelical leaders at the ranch that day.

Mark DeMoss’s speech that day is published below in its entirety — unedited.

[Almost exactly one year ago, Nate Gunderson published this outstanding article by Mark DeMoss that received over 2,300 views and 33 comments]

Mark DeMoss founded The DeMoss Group in 1991, and since then he has served some of the world’s most prominent and effective Christian ministries and enterprises. Mark has been involved in shaping some of the largest Christian events and campaigns over the past decade while simultaneously overseeing the growth of his firm. He has extensive media relations experience with both religious and mainstream media and provides particular expertise to clients in crisis/issues management and communications. Mark provides primary public relations counsel and strategic planning for The DeMoss Group. His first book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom, was published in 2007.

Favorite DeMoss Group Core Value > We demonstrate uncommon integrity.

REMARKS to HOUSTON EVENT January 13-14, 2012

By Mark DeMoss

In the summer of 2006 I began a search for the perfect presidential candidate. I’m here to tell you: I still haven’t found him—or her.

But I would suggest, neither have you—because there simply is no such thing. Just as there’s no such thing as the perfect employee, teacher, or pastor. None of us can find another person—including a spouse—with whom we agree on everything.

However, I’ll tell you what I did find that summer of ‘06. I found one of the most remarkable men and families I have ever met or known in Mitt Romney, his wife Ann, and their five sons. Governor Romney was my choice for president in ’08, and he remains my choice today. I didn’t arrive at this decision lightly.

So how did I, as a conservative and an evangelical, land on Mitt Romney? After reading all I could find and talking to people who knew him, I went to see him and told him I’d like to help him. I also told him he couldn’t pay me—ever.

I have a three-part litmus test for choosing a presidential candidate:

1. He/she must share my values (not necessarily my faith or theology)

2. He/she must be competent to lead and govern should they actually get elected.

3. He/she must be capable of getting elected.

So let me talk for a few minutes about values, competence and electability.

VALUES

  • First, while I am not interested in (nor worried about) giving platform to Mormon theology, I think this country would benefit from a good dose of Mormon values. Their overwhelming commitment to marriage, family, hard work, honesty, integrity, morality and character is something to be admired and modeled. Frankly, this church’s record in this area often outperforms ours in many ways. (I was reminded about this again just last weekend while watching one of our fallen evangelical leaders starring in ABC’s reality show Wife Swap.)

    I’ve been in the Romney home numerous times. I’ve been with Mitt in offices, holding rooms, hotel rooms, restaurants, cars and planes all across this country and everything about him is real. I’ve gotten to know dozens of his friends, colleagues and advisors. I’ve even attended his church.

    His marriage of 42 years is rock solid, and I’ll tell you this: I don’t worry about waking up one day to a headline about Mitt Romney like we have been saddened to hear about leaders among our own ranks like Gov. Mark Sanford, Sen. John Ensign, Sen. David Vitter, and countless pastors.

  • Gov. Romney has fought hard for values we care deeply about. For example, he immediately condemned the November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in his state, and then lobbied hard for a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage.
  • Keep in mind; Mitt had an 85% Democratic legislature in Massachusetts. This is an important point, which I think is either unknown or lost on many conservative critics. An 85% opposition legislature means bills and measures the governor proposed could be changed at will. It also means measures he vetoed could be overridden at will.

    (By the way, Mitt cast 800 vetoes as governor of Massachusetts—that’s one veto every day-and-a-half for four years.)

    Finally, it means he had to know how to work constructively with people on
    the other side, which is something we could use more of today.

    So when you hear Mitt Romney did something as governor you don’t like, take a minute to find out if he did it, or an 85% Democratic majority did it over his best efforts and objections. A fair and honest assessment of his record requires this.

  • Under his leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began offering middle school classroom programs on abstinence from a faith-based organization.
  • As governor, Mitt Romney vetoed bills providing access to the “morning¬after pill” and for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research.
  • He staunchly defended the right of the Catholic Charities of Boston to refuse to allow homosexual couples to adopt children in its care, and filed a bill to protect such religious liberty.
  • National Review political reporter John Miller wrote that, “a good case can be made that Romney has fought harder for social conservatives than any other governor in America, and it is difficult to imagine his doing so in a more daunting environment.”
  • Listen to what one notable Republican had to say about Mitt Romney.

    “In a few short days, Republicans from across this country will decide more than their party’s nominee. They will decide the very future of our party and the conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan built. Conservatives can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines in this election, and Governor Romney is the candidate who will stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear. Governor Romney has a deep understanding of the important issues confronting our country today, and he is the clear conservative candidate that can go into the general election with a united Republican party.”

    Who said this? Rick Santorum did when he endorsed and campaigned for Mitt just four years ago. Nothing in Mitt Romney’s record, speech, or life has changed since Sen. Santorum offered that endorsement, which, knowing the senator, I believe was offered seriously, genuinely, and as a matter of real conviction.

  • I have concluded that Mitt Romney’s values more closely resemble my own than any president in my lifetime.

(more…)

South Carolina, Remember

South Carolina

I spent a good part of the day today hungry for news about how things are going in South Carolina. Like many, I’m ardently hopeful that Mitt Romney can knock out his competition on Saturday in the GOP primary so we can move on to replacing Barack Obama without all the Republicans emptying their war chests fighting each other. I agree with Michele Bachmann that President Obama is taking the country down a path of no return. Once the government begins providing medical care for its citizens, for example, there’s no turning back, and I believe our system was never intended to have a Federal government that large. Such a strong Federal government, with power to both give you everything and take everything away, is a threat to your liberty, and the related cost will be a threat to our country’s sovereignty. That’s the way I feel.

Since Newt seems to be Mitt’s closest competition in South Carolina, I thought I’d provide a few headlines for you to peruse:

Newt Can Hardly Contain Himself

Today Newt must have felt emboldened since he made a few more outlandish statements to add to his growing list. For example, on the stump he espoused a first amendment-violating religious litmus test for people joining his administration, saying any muslims need not apply unless they are willing to take an oath rejecting Sharia law. While I agree religious law has no place in the law of the United States, such an oath to disavow your personal beliefs to be able to serve your country violates my sense of religious freedom, and to call all Muslims religious extremists is offensive, of questionable judgment and very likely to get Newt in trouble, again.

GOP faithful will also remember that while Sarah Palin has become somewhat of an icon in the Tea Party movement, her selection by McCain as his running mate in 2008 was widely panned and, again, largely rejected by independents. Nevertheless, Newt, seemingly feeling good about his chances, stated Palin would have some role in his administration, with speculation that may mean as Vice President. Finally, in apparent outreach to the very far right on economic issues, he today advocated a commission to study going back to the gold standard.

While Newt may have had a couple good lines in the debate, we need to remember this is the same old guy that spiked then crashed earlier this season. He may pick up a few points, but with continued statements like this he’ll crash again. You know it. I know it. Rick Perry said in the debate it’s important that we vett our candidate today, and not find out in September he’s unelectable. Well, we know today what the answer is about Newt.

Why Mitt

Meanwhile, unlike Newt, Mitt continues to show he’s the best situated to defeat Obama. This is proven by a recent series of polls showing Mitt leading President Obama in six key swing states. It’s also proven by poll after poll showing Mitt ahead of Newt nationwide. Numbers show Mitt anywhere from 3% to 17% ahead of Newt and in a dead heat vs. Obama, while Newt trails Obama by 11%. The polling doesn’t lie: while Newt has on occasion been able to deliver a more visceral punch, Mitt is seen as more “presidential,” better able to rise above the fray and more likely to truly be able to take on Obama, who will, by virtue of his current job, appear presidential. And Mitt’s no slouch at debating, either. If your goal is to replace Obama, there’s really only one choice, on the electability meter and all other measures: Mitt Romney. (more…)

Marianne Gingrich Grants ABC News Exclusive Interview — Scooped by Drudge Report

Photo Credit: Drudge Report


Drudge announced breaking news with an exclusive report early Wednesday evening, stating that ABC News had conducted an interview with Newt Gingrich’s second wife Marianne Gingrich for a program to be aired in the future. Following is that initial report:

**Exclusive**

Wed Jan 18 2012 18:47:14 ET

Marianne Gingrich has said she could end her ex-husband’s career with a single interview.

Earlier this week, she sat before ABCNEWS cameras, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

She spoke to ABCNEWS reporter Brian Ross for two hours, and her explosive revelations are set to rock the trail.

But now a “civil war” has erupted inside of the network, an insider claims, on exactly when the confession will air!

MORE

ABCNEWS suits determined it would be “unethical” to run the Marianne Gingrich interview so close to the South Carolina Primary, a curious decision, one insider argued, since the network has aggressively been reporting on other candidates.

A decision was tentatively made to air the interview next Monday, after all votes have been counted . . .

[emphasis added]

According to this first report, the breaking news stated that the interview would first be aired next Monday after the South Carolina primary. It was later reported that ABC News would air it on Friday. Then the Associated Press reported that ABC News would air it Thursday night. Sure seems confusing!

Contrary to what Gingrich keeps telling reporters this week (that Governor Romney will resort to “dirty tricks”), don’t believe any of it. This is between Ms. Gingrich and ABC News. According to Drudge, Gingrich cancelled a news conference yesterday to deal with the breaking news. What is there to “deal with” anyway? There is no new information except that she granted an interview.

Photo Credit: Drudge Report


Of course, without excerpts of the interview, it is difficult to know if what Marianne Gingrich discussed in the interview is revealing at all or just some additional insight into what is already known about the former congressman. But here’s a guess. Based on the fact that ABC News first intended to release it Monday, then moved it to Friday, and again to Thursday (“tentative”) seems to point to big news. Interviews with his second wife are rare in recent times. And if what she talks about is in fact big news, it is unlikely good news for Mr. Gingrich. Since we are precluded from publishing the AP short, click here to read the published report directly. It is hard to imagine Marianne Gingrich revealing anything more damning than what she said in August 2010.

Marianne Gingrich granted an interview to Esquire in 2010 in which she said of her former husband, in part,

“Newt always wanted to be somebody,” she says. “That was his vulnerability, do you understand? Being treated important. Which means he was gonna associate with people who would stroke him, and were important themselves. And in that vulnerability, once you go down that path and it goes unchecked, you add to it. Like, ‘Oh, I’m drinking, who cares?’ Then you start being a little whore, ’cause that comes with drinking. That’s what corruption is — when you’re too exhausted, you’re gonna go with your weakness. So when we see corruption, we shouldn’t say, ‘They’re all corrupt.’ Rather, we should say, ‘At what point did you decide that? And why? Why were you vulnerable?’ ”
[…]
Though Gingrich had made history and achieved extraordinary power, he still felt like an outsider, and the hatred touched something primal inside him. “All he wanted was to be accepted into the country club,” Marianne says. “And he arrives at the country club and he’s just not welcome. ‘Yeah, but I belong here,’ he said. ‘I earned my way to this. I earned it.’ ”

Next came the government shutdown of late 1995, which so alarmed the country that the poll numbers for Republicans went into a steep overnight decline. “Newt’s shocked, doesn’t know what to do,” Marianne says. “He’s like, ‘Whoa, wait, wait! This isn’t just my fault! We need to work this out!’ ”

Greta Van Susteren weighed in on Drudge’s “siren” with this in her GRETAWIRE:

This is not to say that news should be suppressed (it should not) but news should also not be used to ambush. Thus…in light of the close time to the South Carolina primary…if I were ABC, I would hold this interview until after the polls close on Saturday (or I would have showed it a week ago.)

Politico released a letter by Gingrich’s two daughters in their “Marianne Gingrich Speaks” article along with this,

But Drudge’s siren-headlined bulletin – his splash came a day after the 14-year anniversary of him breaking word of the Lewinsky scandal — ensures much more focus on [the] interview by the rest of the press.

The New York Times, in its “Gingrich Camp Responds to Ex-Wife’s Interview” article published the following,

Marianne Gingrich, the second of Mr. Gingrich’s former wives, was married to him for 18 years. After they divorced, Mr. Gingrich married his current wife, the former Callista Bisek, with whom he admitted conducting a lengthy affair while he was still married.

Word of the interview was leaked to The Drudge Report, which reported on Wednesday afternoon that a debate was taking place within ABC over whether it was fair to broadcast it so close to the crucial primary in South Carolina on Saturday.

An ABC source confirmed there was disagreement over the timing of the interview, which was conducted by Brian Ross of the investigative unit, which operates separately from the political news division.

The push-back on ABC from the Gingrich campaign was in the form of a letter signed by Mr. Gingrich’s two daughters from his first marriage, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman, who regularly accompany him on the stump.
[…]
An ABC News spokesman confirmed Wednesday night that “Nightline” will broadcast the interview at 11:35 p.m. Thursday; excerpts will be released earlier in the day, before a Republican debate sponsored by CNN on Thursday evening.
[…]
At ABC’s competitors like CBS and CNN, executives scrambled to figure out if someone at their own shop had scored a big scoop.

Just after 7 p.m., as the evening newscasts ended, the Web site revealed that it was ABC that had interviewed Ms. Gingrich.

The Drudge Report declared that there was a “civil war” inside ABC News about when to run the interview, though if there was, it was a short and bloodless one.

[emphasis added]

NOTE: It is the hope of the Mitt Romney Central team that ABC News will take a very responsible, fair, and truthful approach to their editing of anything Ms. Gingrich said. Reports indicate the interview lasted two hours. After accounting for TV commercials, the net broadcast time of the Nightline show is approximately 23 minutes total (normally divided among three segments). Even if ABC News takes the entire 23 minutes for this broadcast, they will edit out over 80% of it. With so little time left before voting in the primary, Team MRC hopes that whatever ABC News chooses to report is fair and not taken out of context.

Just prior to publishing this post, National Review Online reported this in “The Corner,” that the Gingrich campaign “will fight back” and then also later they “predict that Gingrich will likely ignore the story.” This is the last paragraph of the NRO post:

ABC News wanted Gingrich to come on Nightline to offer a rebuttal of sorts but Gingrich’s advisers declined. “This is a sideshow, a distraction,” the third source says. “Is it helpful? No. But is it a game-changer? No.”

Obviously this story will be all over the news today. Stay tuned. There is a very good chance that there is nothing new in the interview and that any hype associated with the Thursday teases will be nothing more than teases. In typical Matt Drudge style though, he gotten a lot of people to sit up and pay attention.

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keler

“Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Obama Voters Who May Vote for Governor Romney: Democrats and Independents

Recently, I extended the invitation to a fellow Californian who will again vote for President Obama. Her name is Pauline Kejmar and she lives in Redlands — she is a Democrat. Her grandson Drew is my son-in-law.

There are still ardent supporters of President Obama and Pauline is one. Through Drew, I asked her if she would give me a TOP 10 list of reasons she believes President Obama is superior to Governor Romney as POTUS and why she plans to support Obama again.

You may ask why I would post subject matter of this type in a grassroots forum such as MittRomneyCentral. My reasoning is that it provides a simple glimpse into the mind of one Democrat and if we are successful here at MRC, we should be able to appeal to the Blue Dog Democrat as well as to the Independent voter (Americans all). To do so, we need to understand their motivations and expectations. I presume that Pauline is far from being a disaffected Democrat as her views below seem to align well with the more liberal wing of the Democrat party.

Governor Huntsman’s likely endorsement of Governor Romney today is the first of four hopefully, which will shift the focus of the campaign away from the Republican competitors to President Obama. WELCOME to any and all supporters of Governor Huntsman and to any of the supporters of Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry who are hoping to join a winning, organized, strong movement to restore America’s standing! Welcome to you!

It is too early to predict of course, but Romney could be on course to beat Reagan’s 1980 win over Carter — impressive indeed. In that race, Reagan won 44 states and 489 electoral votes to Carter’s six states (plus DC) and 49 electoral votes, and America is in far worse shape today. I remember those days. Reagan entered office with a mandate, in part because of Democrats that crossed over to vote for him. By the way, are any of you as sick and tired as I am of hearing Mr. Gingrich invoke the name of Ronald Reagan at every turn? I wish I could ask President Reagan his candid opinion of Gingrich!

President Obama


REQUEST: For any of our readers that voted for Obama who became disillusioned with the direction his lack of leadership has taken America, and who is seriously considering a vote for Governor Romney this time (should he be the Republican nominee), please leave a comment as to why. I may contact you later to invite you to elaborate in a guest post — if you would like.

Following is one Democrat’s opinion as to why President Obama is the superior candidate for POTUS.

By Pauline Kejmar

Ten Reasons why I would vote for Obama over Romney

I. He is better able to bridge the increasing gap between the rich and the poor in this country.

2. He has been very successful in fighting terrorism with the killing of Bin Laden and many other top Al Qaeda leaders and operatives.

3. He fights for consumer financial protection such as regulating credit card fees.

4. He would be less likely to lead us into a armed conflict with Iran using sanctions and cooperation with other allies.

5. He was able to help get Gaddafi out of Libya without using U.S. ground troops.

6. He would be tougher on environmental protection because he believes in global warming.

7. Has a sensible approach to immigration. Illegal immigration numbers have decreased under Obama and deportation of illegal criminals has increased. He has a concern for those young people brought here at an early age to receive a path to legalization.

8. He has brought an end to the nine years of war in Iraq and sent our troops home. He is drawing down in Afghanistan after ten years.

2ND REQUEST: Please leave a comment to this post if you voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but are seriously considering a completely opposite approach by voting for Governor Romney, should he win the nomination. Also, let me know if you would be interested in expounding upon your views and opinions in a guest post to help other readers that have similar concerns. If so, I will contact you via email.

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