Romney Is Their Guy: SC’s Greenville News, Charlotte Observer, State Rep Murrell Smith

South Carolina is the hotbed of political activity right now and, while his mattress is going up in flames, Newt Gingrich just keeps jumpin’ harder on the bed… Ridiculing Mitt Romney because he speaks a second language? One of the best comments I heard regarding this latest act of Gingrich desperation came from Greg Gutfeld/The Five/FOX News last Friday. He ridiculed Gingrich: “Oh, yeah. That’s real good… mock someone because they’re SMART.”

Through the smoke and mirrors, two SC newspapers, The Greenville News and The Charlotte Observer, AND SC State Representative Murrell Smith, clear the air with their robust endorsements for Mitt Romney:


ROMNEY BEST CHOICE FOR REPUBLICANS
Editorial
January 15, 2012

South Carolina Republicans go to the polls Saturday to have their say on their party’s presidential nominee. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the strongest candidate on the ballot, and he is best qualified to mount a serious campaign this fall.

Romney is best equipped of the Republican candidates to help this country get its financial house in order, to rein in a federal government inclined to add crushing regulations, to free business capital to create jobs and to improve the lives of Americans up and down the economic ladder. He is thoughtful when it comes to protecting the country, enhancing its national security and improving its relationship with trusted allies. At the same time, his executive experience in the business world and in state government gives him an undeniable advantage in this Republican primary.

With 25 years of business experience on his resume, Romney has an appreciation for the extraordinary ability of American workers, a clear-eyed view of what it takes to create and retain jobs, and a realistic understanding of the pressures on American businesses in a fragile economy and global marketplace. With a term as governor of Massachusetts on his resume, he has a demonstrated ability to provide leadership during challenging times, make tough and unpopular decisions, and work with lawmakers with other political beliefs so he can advance much of his agenda and avoid suffocating gridlock.

Whether it was taking over the faltering 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics or the governorship of a state with budget problems, Romney has demonstrated a management style and leadership traits that would serve him well in the White House if his party is victorious in November. His intimate knowledge of the business world, that also includes familiarity with some of the sharp edges of the free-market system, would serve him well, too.

As he wrote in a column on these pages a few months ago when the National Labor Relations Board had endangered the new Boeing plant in South Carolina, “America’s workers have long been the most productive in the world. If we unshackle them from the self-interested restrictions of federal bureaucrats and union bosses alike, I have no doubt that they will produce wonders far beyond those, like Boeing’s Dreamliner, that have already made America the great country that it is.” That is not a dreamy-eyed philosophy, but one that comes from a man who has spent more time in the business world than in government work.



ROMNEY HAS WHAT S.C. REPUBLICANS ARE LOOKING FOR
Editorial
January 15, 2012

South Carolina Republicans on Saturday will have the last real chance to slow Mitt Romney’s climb to the GOP presidential nomination. But why would they want to?

The former Massachusetts governor doesn’t spark fire in many S.C. bellies, but business-oriented Republicans need not feel queasy when voting for him. Romney is a lifelong leader with remarkable business credentials. From Bain & Co. to the 2002 Olympics, Romney has demonstrated an ability to turn things around in a crisis.

Leading Bain Capital in the 1980s, Romney shined in his role as investor. In January 1991 he returned to Bain & Co. and within two years had rescued it from collapse. Similarly, the Olympics in Salt Lake City were nearly $400 million behind where they needed to be when Romney came in. He took charge and led the Olympics to success, and to a profit.

Republicans are debating Romney’s record at Bain and how many jobs he created. But with a stubbornly high S.C. unemployment rate currently at 9.9 percent, is there really any candidate in this primary field who could be better trusted on that front than Romney?

He has as much or more executive experience as any of his rivals. As a Republican governor in a liberal state, he showed the ability to pass important public policy under challenging circumstances, and he helped erase a projected $3 billion deficit.

Some voters may wish he would throw out the red meat that Rick Santorum and Ron Paul do, but Romney’s sensible, authoritative, conservative approach will do more for the cause than theirs will.

Romney Press Office: Romney Announces Support of South Carolina State Rep Murrell Smith

SC State Rep Murrell Smith

“I’m proud to have Murrell’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Like me, Murrell believes our country needs to empower, not hamper, small businesses and entrepreneurs to give our country lasting economic growth. I look forward to working with Murrell in the months to come to spread this message to all South Carolinians.”

“President Obama’s time in office has been a historic failure,” said State Representative Murrell Smith. “Our country cannot afford four more years of the same policies of higher taxes, reckless spending, and a disastrous healthcare law. Mitt Romney is a conservative businessman who spent his life in the real economy. He knows how to turn our country around and create jobs for the middle class. I urge all South Carolinians that want to change the direction of the country to join me in supporting Mitt Romney.”

Background on Murrell Smith:

Murrell Smith Has Served In The South Carolina House Of Representatives Since 2000. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Health and Human Services Subcommittee. He recently received the business advocate award from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and was named a taxpayer hero by the South Carolina Club for Growth.
(emphasis, italics added)

Much more below the fold, including video of Romney on the Huckabee Forum Part 2 and Charles Krauthammer’s advice for The Gov regarding tomorrow night’s debate (Myrtle Beach, SC)…

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Texas Ranch Meeting: About Conservatism or Religion? The Obvious Truth

Over the last 10 days or so, much as been reported about a meeting or conference of evangelical leaders to be held at the ranch of a judge in Texas. That meeting happened yesterday. There have been literally dozens of newspaper and online articles published leading up to the meeting, and afterward, with all of the accompanying speculation and anticipation. Their goal? To decide upon the “conservative alternative” to Mitt Romney. Really? They must think all Americans are completely ignorant.

Senator Rick Santorum (Photo credit: AP)


Saturday in The Dallas Morning News, Robert Jeffress (yes, that one) was quoted:

“The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but she’s in the green room warming up. It looks like Gov. Romney is going to win the nomination,” said Jeffress, who was not at the meeting but made headlines last year when he warned that Mormonism is a cult.

Jeffress cautioned that while some say evangelicals will have no choice but to vote for Romney, millions could stay home as they did in 2008 unless the former Massachusetts governor gives Christian conservatives a reason to turn out for him. He suggested that Romney, should he become the nominee, strongly promise that he will appoint anti-abortion judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the many reports I read about the meeting of over 150 leaders, they cast votes (more than one time) to choose one of the “not-Mitt” candidates still remaining. Their selection was Rick Santorum, to the chagrin of Mr. Gingrich (I wonder why they decided against Newt? — a real head scratcher!).

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council says conservatives are looking for a candidate who will repeal the nation’s health care law, fight for pro family values and address the national debt.

Governor Romney was the first to declare he would seek to repeal ObamaCare — and forcefully. Which other candidate has better family values than Governor Romney?

This National Journal piece gives a good sense of the jockeying:

“We have been successful as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” Santorum told reporters in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Later, he said in a statement that every candidate had “coveted” the endorsement. “It is time to coalesce behind the full spectrum conservative in this race who will fight for their values and won’t waiver when times get tough,” Santorum said. That was a reference to himself. The next sentence was a reference to Romney: “Now is the time to stop a moderate from becoming our party’s nominee.”

Newt Gingrich and his camp disputed Santorum’s interpretation of the results. Former congressman J.C. Watts, Gingrich’s national campaign co-chairman, said Santorum and Gingrich were separated by only nine votes on the first ballot. “It is clear that 100% of those attending are not for Governor Romney, but in fact are splintered in whether to support Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum,” Watts said in a statement. He called it “misleading” for the Santorum campaign to claim an endorsement from all 150 leaders at the meeting.

[emphasis added]

A SIMPLE TEST OF LOGIC:

Facts First: Any person that does a small amount of research, and dives below the soundbite images painted by Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum regarding Governor Romney, discovers that he governed as a conservative in every way. One of the best examples is regarding his pro-life record. In every decision he made or action he took as governor, was always on the side of life. Proof ——> HERE. There are many examples of Governor Romney’s proven conservatism, not least of which are the numerous Tea Party leaders and organizations that have enthusiastically endorsed him over all other presidential candidates.

Now the Logic: Ask yourself this question — If Mitt Romney were an Evangelical, would that meeting have been convened? Take your time as you contemplate your answer to this simple question. Remember, Mr. Newt Gingrich was included as a possible choice by these evangelical leaders — a serial adulterer whose last affair lasted in secret for six years during the time Gingrich publicly scolded President Clinton for his extramarital relations. In fact, Mr. Gingrich came in second in the voting at this ranch meeting!

Again, would that meeting have been convened at all by 150+ evangelical leaders had Mitt Romney’s religion been Evangelical? The obvious answer is clearly “no” it would not have even been considered.

What if Mitt Romney were Evangelical and had won both Iowa and New Hampshire? I can tell you this: Had Governor Romney been Evangelical, he would have won Iowa by tens of thousands more votes than the 8-vote margin he received. Santorum only came close because of the clarion call “to preach Santorum” from the pulpits the Sunday prior (ala Huckabee 2008 surprise). Interesting, is it not, that the IRS let those instances alone?

Conclusion: If GMR were Evangelical, he would have won Iowa by a HUGE margin. If GMR were Evangelical, the Texas ranch meeting of 150+ evangelical leaders would never have happened. If GMR were Evangelical, the primary race would be effectively sealed after his winning two unprecedented states.

If this logic is anywhere near the truth, then what was yesterday’s meeting all about? These “leaders” traveled from all over the nation to meet out at the ranch, spending an enormous amount of time and money. They all reported that the meeting made no mention of Mitt Romney or his religion. Right.

That meeting had nothing to do with conservatism.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

,

Jack Welch: “Mitt Romney, the best I have ever seen!” Gingrich’s Opus: “The Audacity of Capitalism”

Jack Welch is the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric. The 77 year old businessman gave what I think is the single best endorsement of Governor Romney that I have ever seen. This interview, given to Piers Morgan Monday night, is extraordinary on all counts. This clip is only 2:22 minutes in length, but look at the expressions, enthusiasm, and excitement! Rarely do you ever see a man pushing 80 this excited about anything. Literally every phrase and sentence ends with an exclamation point. The best part is at 1:50.

Following are just a few quotes by Mr. Welch from the interview. This video is extraordinary. Watch this short video clip ————————————>


Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

“In this case, [Mitt Romney] really is perfect as a candidate for President of the United States, in these tough economic times!”

“As a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney is the best I have ever seen in the last 50 years!”

“Piers, you pick one person who is better than Romney!”

“You really can’t challenge my statement and pick a better candidate!”

“Look at his background!”

- – - – - SEE WHAT OBAMA IS UP TO BELOW THE FOLD – - – - -

Gingrich has completely lost it I think. Seriously! Quoting incessantly from The New York Times during the debate and in his townhall meetings? Gingrich and Perry are so desperate they are morphing before our eyes into the perfect Obama lemmings. Shills both. Maybe Perry and Gingrich are planning to co-author a new book titled, THE AUDACITY OF CAPITALISM. What do you think? I heard they have reached out to Obama’s publisher for ideas. Brilliant! Perry took the lead with the idea but Gingrich thinks himself smarter and told Perry he was his junior.

In all seriousness, I honestly believe that Gingrich has cast the dye for himself in history this week. As I have said many times in this forum, Gingrich’s peak as a presidential candidate was December 13th, his lucky day. Had he stopped speaking at that moment, he might still be in the hunt. I believe that Gingrich is allowing his wife and others to temper his temper while he expresses anger in the form of vengeance by spending millions in petty immaturity. In days to come, he will probably tell us again that he has matured since he now has grandchildren. Whatever goodwill he developed as Speaker of the House will soon be completely diminished by his base emotions in pursuit of revenge. The irony is that his rhetoric and actions will likely help Governor Romney’s candidacy as Americans are offended by Gingrich’s frontal attack of capitalism. It would not surprise me at all if we witness a backlash in the voting.

Consider that yesterday alone, at least 18 major news sources reported capitalism under attack by Gingrich or Perry or both. Extraordinary no matter how you cut it (see Jayde’s article below for greater detail of these). All 18 are listed here as follows:

Club For Growth’s Chris Chocola: “Newt Gingrich’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital are disgusting. … Attacking Governor Romney for participating in free-market capitalism is just beyond the pale for any purported ‘Reagan Conservative.’ Newt Gingrich should stop his attacks on free markets and apologize to Governor Romney for them.” (Club For Growth, Press Release, 1/9/12)

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Critics Clobber Gingrich, Santorum, & Perry for Condemning Capitalism, Romney

Since Mitt Romney’s win in Iowa, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry are really howling. Jon Huntsman is getting in his yelps, too.

What about?

Capitalism.

And, Mitt Romney’s job-creation experience at Bain.

We expect some baying at the moon along the campaign trail, but Newt Gingrich not only has a visceral grrr on and his fangs bared, he’s jumped for Governor Romney’s jugular and seems not to care that he’s in free-fall.

Regarding Newt’s self-destructing snarls that “Romney looted companies”, *Charles Krauthammer declared yesterday on FOX News, “He’s [Newt] Ahab on the loose.” It’s vengeance – not victory – for Gingrich. In his frenzy, he’s chewing up capitalism.

Take a look at the barrage of criticism leveled at minus-his-mask-Newt and the others:

Conservatives vs. Capitalism
National Review Online
by Jay Nordlinger
January 9, 2012

The last two presidential election cycles have revealed a stinking hypocrisy in conservatives: They profess their love of capitalism and entrepreneurship, but when offered a real capitalist and entrepreneur, they go, “Eek, a mouse!” And they tear him down in proud social-democrat fashion. …

Last time around, Mike Huckabee said Romney “looks like the guy who laid you off.” Conservatives reacted like this was the greatest mot since Voltaire or something. To me, Romney looked like someone who could create a business and hire the sadly unentrepreneurial like me.
[...]
As I say in Impromptus today, I was watching a clip of Romney tangling with an “Occupy” protester last week. Romney was defending corporate profits. I was astounded. I don’t think I had ever seen a candidate do this. When the subject comes up, you’re supposed to denounce corporate profits or say, “Hey, nice weather we’re having, huh?”

Over and over, Romney defends and explains capitalism. And he’s supposed to be the RINO and squish in the race? That’s what I read in the conservative blogosphere, every day. What do you have to do to be a “real conservative”? Speak bad English and belch?

Nordlinger then blasts Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich for their Saturday debate jabs at Romney – Santorum for saying Mitt was “just a manager” and Gingrich for referencing the New York Times to show what a meanie capitalist Romney is. He blasts those criticizing Mitt for his liking being able to fire people who provide services to him statement. Hoping to score points, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry immediately jumped on that one today.

Nordlinger continues:


I could go on: the $10,000 bet, the pink slips, conservatives wetting their pants, over and over. They have no appetite to defend capitalism, to persuade people, to encourage them not to fall for the old socialist and populist crap. I fled the Democratic party many years ago. And one of the reasons was, I couldn’t stand the class resentment, the envy, the hostility to wealth, the cries of “Richie Rich!” And I hear them from conservatives, at least when Romney is running.

Go ahead, have your “bloodbath” in South Carolina. Make Romney the little guy in the top hat and tails, from the Monopoly game. Have your Santorum, your Perry, your Newt. They may carry something like four states in the fall, but at least they’ve never sullied their hands with — eek! — business.

You’ve got to read the entire article.

One of the best conservative writers on Capitol Hill, Jennifer Rubin, wrote this today:

Gingrich is up to his old tricks: Helping Democrats
The Washington Post
by Jennifer Rubin
January 9, 2012

Newt Gingrich’s decision, for the second time in the race, to echo the left’s anti-Bain, anti-capitalism themes against Mitt Romney is raising eyebrows. Ironically, it may boomerang, reinforcing Gingrich’s reputation as a destructive force and giving Romney some brownie points with fiscal conservatives. In particular, an online film trailer from Gingrich’s super PAC that savages Romney’s venture capital firm could well cause conservatives to recoil.

Gingrich’s decision to adopt the David Axelrod-Debbie Wasserman Shultz-Occupy Wall Street attack against Bain Capital has made conservatives more than a little queasy.
[...]
Who said this? “Frankly I don’t think bringing a Bain mentality to this economy — to running this economy — makes him a strong candidate.” Without looking, you wouldn’t know if it were Axelrod or Gingrich.(It’s Axelrod.)
[...]
This is precisely the same tactic Gingrich employed with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whom he accused of radical “right-wing social engineering.”

You see, if it suits his fancy, Gingrich will always take the side of liberals (and their causes) against conservative principles. In fact, whoever might outshine him goes to the top of the hit list. His Bain and Ryan attacks are indicative of his destructive and undisciplined methodology.

Ms. Rubin wonders about the source of funding for the Gingrich Super PAC 27 minute video against Romney:

Given the film’s leftist bent, you have to wonder if the film is funded by a “capitalist.” It’s something, frankly, a labor union or Soros entity would come up with.

She concludes:

Now the voters of New Hampshire have a role to play here. They can either reward Gingrich by giving him a decent share of the vote, or they can make clear that running against capitalism, adopting the language of Occupy Wall Street and playing errand boy for Obama’s Chicago political hacks are not going to endear you to the GOP.

Rubin’s article is a MUST read.


● Avik Roy writes in The National Review about the Romney Derangement Syndrome and how his GOP adversaries are criticizing private-sector success. Roy points out that the attacks from Gingrich and Santorum on Romney’s job-creation experience at Bain underscores the fact that career politicians don’t understand how the economy works. He then explains what leveraged-buy out firms do.

He concludes:

[...]
It’s been discouraging to read that many conservatives see Romney’s record at Bain Capital as a liability. For the truth is the opposite: Romney is a candidate uniquely suited to defending the role of free enterprise in the American economy. When liberal politicians and journalists argue that layoffs are cruel, and that capitalism is unfair, Mitt Romney can speak to how dealing frontally with a business’s problems can lead to better and more numerous jobs over the long term. He can speak not merely in abstract philosophical terms, but using the real-world examples from his successes and his failures.

…[S]hould Romney end up as the nominee, he will provide conservatives with a singular opportunity: a chance to forthrightly and skillfully extol the Duane Reade economy over the Solyndra economy. If conservatives truly believe in free enterprise, it is an opportunity they should relish.

There’s, oh, so much more…

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New Hampshire, Day 2 (Saturday)

Saturday I had another great day in NH. I’ll give blow-by-blows below. Sorry for the late post, but it’s been eventful here!

Rally in Derry

We started our day getting up early, grabbing food, and driving to Derry for a rally. I’d guess probably 800-1,000 people were there by the time Mitt came in at 8:30. We happened to catch a glimpse of John Sununu right before the rally began:

Governor Sununu in Derry, NH

Mitt was accompanied on stage by Ann, Tagg and his wife and kids, and then Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Nikki Haley from South Carolina. Both “opening acts” were great. Senator Ayotte was very sincere in her concern for the future of our country, and Governor Haley really rallied the troops.



The three together were fantastic.
I think this “Wall of Champions” photo is appropriate.

Mitt of course gave a great speech, covering the themes he has throughout: this is a battle for the American soul. Will we be an entitlement society, or an opportunity society with the right to “pursue happiness.”

After the rally, the media swarmed Mitt. I’m not sure if this level of coverage is normal, but something tells me that coverage is increasing all the time.

They surrounded Mitt

“Backstage” with the Romney Family

When the media moved in on Mitt, I followed Jim and Rod Davies outside the gym to try and meet up with their sister, Ann. (more…)

Ken Starr Op-Ed “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”; Also– MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell Admits Obama Fears Romney

Lot’s of good news tonight for Romney and his supporters.  First off, Ken Starr (most notably known for the Clinton/Lewinsky case, but a man who is a true legal scholar and current President of Baylor University) has penned an Op-ed entitled “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”  While it’s not an endorsement, and doesn’t even mention Romney by name, it is a great historical and constitutional argument why he/we could definitely vote for a Mormon.

I strongly encourage Americans who would ask this question ["Can I vote for a Mormon?] of themselves to consider and weigh thoughtfully our nation’s constitutional traditions. At their best, those are traditions of welcoming religious forbearance.

To support this proposition, I return to the founding of our constitutional republic — boasting as we rightly do the oldest Constitution in the history of the planet. Only 27 amendments have been ratified to that basic document over our 222 years as a representative democracy. In fashioning this remarkably enduring document, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia made it absolutely clear that no religious test should ever be imposed to hold office. The Founders also made clear that religious dissenters (such as the Quakers) should not be compelled to take an oath if doing so would be a violation of conscience. Building on those twin pillars of tolerance, the Supreme Court at its finest moments has likewise vigorously defended the right of all persons to participate in the democratic process, including holding office, without the burden of religious tests or qualifications.

According to the American political tradition, there are essential questions by which all office seekers are qualified, regardless of their faith journey or history. The first is: Does the candidate subscribe completely to our constitutional structure, including freedom of conscience for persons of all faiths — or no faith? A second question for the thoughtful voter is related to and flows from the first: Will the candidate subscribe, without any “mental hesitation or purpose of evasion,” to the oath to protect and defend America’s Constitution? If the answers to those closely connected questions are yes, then voters should proceed to cast their ballot on the basis of the candidate’s qualifications, platform and policy positions — not the candidate’s membership (or lack thereof) in a particular faith community.  …

In my own life, I have drawn great strength from my religious practices and, according to the teachings of my faith tradition, I intend to continue to keep in prayer those who are chosen to lead our nation. That said, the litmus for our elected leaders must not be the church they attend but the Constitution they defend.  …

America should stand — in an intolerant world characterized all too frequently by religious persecution — as a stirring example of welcoming hospitality for highly qualified men and women of good will seeking the nation’s highest office. Life experience, personal qualities and policy views are the pivotal points to guide Americans as they go to the polls in 2012.

I realize that most American’s already agree with Mr. Starr on this point, but for those that may feel that voting for Romney is an endorsement of Mormonism, the strong case that is presented above may open some hearts and minds to supporting the best choice and best chance to replace President Obama … Mitt Romney!

********And in a relatively raw video clip, BreitbartTV interviewed MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell at a Bar in New Hampshire where he admits that Romney is the GOP candidate most feared by Obama.

Money quote:  ”Romney is the one they don’t want. They know they can beat anybody else. Romney, they think they can beat, but it’s a harder road.”  Watching the whole 6 minute video shows this to be a candid and honest exchange, not a liberal plant or talking point (We saw that in the immediate post-debate analysis on ABC last night when Democratic Strategist Donna Brazelle stated to the panel and audience that they want to run against Romney because he’s the weakest candidate … she was met with laughs and jeers from the rest of the panel and the audience for that obvious lie)

Some other interesting tidbits from the video:  O’Donnell’s perplexed by Newt’s attack on Romney’s career at Bain saying it should have no effect in a GOP primary, but that those attacks may have some effect with some voters in a general election.  He also doesn’t think the GOP VP choice will matter much, though the interviewer mentioned my favorite choice, Marco Rubio, being able to take Florida off the map for Obama.

FULL DEBATE ADDED – Who Won the Back-to-Back New Hampshire Debates?

One down, one to go. Before you do anything else, take a moment to VOTE for Mitt in the polls we’ve posted here. We’ll probably add more polls to vote in once the Sunday morning debate is over.

Michael Barone writes: “At about 10:28pm tonight, as Mitt Romney pivoted from a question on tax loopholes and started in with, “the real issue is vision,” I had recorded this thought in my notes, “He just clinched the nomination.””

Check out the best tweets of last night here. Also, if you missed the debate last night, click here to check out Mitt’s answer on contraception last night.

Update: Here are the best tweets of this morning’s debate.

The chat box has been moved back to the sidebar.

Click here for full video of the ABC/WMUR Republican Presidential Debate (January 7).

-and-

NBC/Facebook Republican Presidential Debate (FULL VIDEO January 8):

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Check out Mitt’s Ad Big Promises, Big Failures:

Finally, watch Gov. Sununu take Chris Matthews to school below the fold. (more…)

Presidential Command in Leadership and Debate . . . . . . . A Request to Take Nothing for Granted or Let Up

Note: See my short debate analysis at the end of this post (below the fold). Hint: One word in the title above says it all for me.

Voters in New Hampshire will make their mark in two and half days. If you have been following the news in the mainstream media (MSM) and in the “new media”, much of it is positive for Governor Romney.

Please don’t allow yourself and others to be lulled by any positive news about Governor Romney.

Governor Romney


This site, MittRomneyCentral.com is a grassroots website promoting the candidacy of Mitt Romney for President of the United States. Those of us that write for MRC, and many of our readers, are working very hard behind the scenes to help Governor Romney succeed in every caucus and primary state until he garners at least 1,150 delegates. We cannot let up until that is accomplished.

In recent days, including this morning, and throughout the day, Governor Romney has been asking volunteers and voters who wish to help out, to not let up. He specifically referred to survey results and polls that have emerged showing him leading in NH, SC, or nationally. The one audio clip I actually heard today from Governor Romney was his almost pleading not to let up. He asked his supporters to more or less ignore the polls and do whatever they can to help him get voters to the booths in New Hampshire next Tuesday. He said he has seen polls change dramatically, even the day of the vote. We have all witnessed voting results that disappointed because voters had presumed their candidate had a comfortable lead. We simply cannot let that happen in any primary state, including New Hampshire.

Please do whatever you can to encourage and motivate all volunteers and voters — within your influence — in New Hampshire to get as many people out Tuesday to vote for Governor Romney. I guarantee that Ron Paul supporters will never let up and they are determined to win. We must outperform them and all other candidates’ supporters by a factor of 10! Governor Romney is not taking anything for granted and we must follow his lead with even greater intensity.

Bush Library, College Station, TX


Now, to my second favorite subject at MRC: Mr. Newt Gingrich. How can I say it best? At the risk of sounding entirely cliche, Gingrich is the gift that just keeps on giving! I can honestly say here publicly that I sincerely hope Gingrich never drops out of the race. He is a truly amazing human being. I don’t think he is a short man, but he seems to exhibit the Napoleon Syndrome. He continues to say things that simply defy all logic and he cannot see it. It is fascinating how he so easily allows his intelligence to be completely overridden by his ego. Fascinating!

You may wonder why I keep focus on Mr. Gingrich. The reason is that I think he is dangerous (much like a cornered Doberman Pinscher), though he seems quite determined to marginalize himself at warp speed. Bar none, the very best candidate declaration of the 2011 political year was this one by Mr. Gingrich. Does it get any better than that? In the same breath he says he doesn’t mind if people attack him and then he spends the next several weeks throwing tantrums about the attacks by several candidates, but blaming them all on Governor Romney.

Here’s great analysis in this note for example from HotAir:

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New Hampshire, Baby!

Who's been working hard

Taking Nothing for Granted

Wow! There’s nothing like actually being at the World Series or the Super Bowl. Watching on TV just can’t deliver the same sense of excitement, the electricity in the air. And for political junkies, there’s nothing like actually being on the ground helping in headquarters for a key caucus or primary. Things are buzzing, people are hustling, and there’s a palpable excitement when you feel you can win. Four years ago I was able to travel to Iowa and help in the 2008 caucuses, where we got an exciting 2d place, but the experience left me longing for more. This time I’ve been lucky enough to be able to come to New Hampshire to be “feet on the ground” for Romney 2012. And I think a 1st place finish is a realistic possibility!

Travel Log

I left California early this morning. For a point of reference, here’s what winter looks like where I live…

Christmas in San Diego

…but today flew to Boston, then drove to Nashua, NH, where the weather’s a bit different. Not that I’m complaining, but I had to dig deep in my closet for a coat that would suffice!

The Locals are Fantastic

One thing I noticed on the drive to Nashua: Boston / New Hampshire talk radio is great. We happened to catch an impromptu radio appearance by Governor Romney discussing the political events of the day. The excitement was high as we felt we had finally arrived into the center of the political universe. While the host didn’t shy away from tough questions, the tone was respectful and in the nature of dialog, not combat. Callers’ knowledge of the issues was refreshing, and it was clear voters here work to make informed decisions. The one main theme I heard repeated was the need to rally behind the most electable candidate to defeat President Obama, and the consensus is Mitt. While it appears Santorum is getting a closer look as a result of his performance in Iowa, any bump seems to be taking away from Huntsman and Gingrich, not Romney. The general thought is that Senator Santorum, while a solid social conservative, would not survive a general election, and is therefore unlikely to be the GOP candidate. It was also great to hear reports that the latest polling numbers show Mitt with nearly a 2:1 lead over the next closest candidate here, with leads nationally and in South Carolina and Florida as well.

A Visit to Mitt’s NH HQ

Soon after a trip to Mickey D’s for some sustenance, our group, which included Jim and Rod Davies (Ann Romney’s brothers) and Rod’s wife, Cindy, took a quick trip to visit Romney New Hampshire headquarters and get ready to dig in and work over the next few days. Here’s the group, ready to hit the ground running. I’m the goofy one on the right, and yes, that’s a vintage 2008 Romney beanie.

Three Davies and an Outsider

New Hampshire for Mitt!

As for the staff and volunteers, I was very pleased to see that things were still buzzing for a Friday night. Phone calls were being made and people were getting things done. That’s one thing I love about the Romney campaigns: Mitt runs a tight ship!

I met Jill, who was clearly in charge and doing a great job. In her office she’s surrounded by calendars of key events, including one at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning where Governor Romney will be appearing with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. And of course there are two (2!) debates in a twelve hour period Saturday evening and Sunday morning, where Mitt is likely to be the primary target of newly negative Newt, big hopes Huntsman and slightly surging Santorum. There are appearances from Governors Chris Christie and Tim Pawlenty as well over the weekend. And then the big days: Monday’s last full day of politicking and Tuesday’s primary! Here’s Jill (on the right) with Stephanie, a member of her team.

Gearing up for a big weekend

At home at Romney Headquarters

A Quick Drive Through Manchester

As we went back to our hotel, we took a quick detour to look around Manchester. We saw that CBS had set up a serious broadcast booth outside the Radisson. That’s when I felt things were really getting serious!

Soon to be the epicenter

CBS is Ready

Yes, this is the big time. If Mitt wins, it’ll be the first time in a long time a GOP challenger will have won both Iowa and New Hampshire. And with polls also encouraging in South Carolina and Florida, my (not so) secret hope is that voters in New Hampshire will select Mitt as their nominee and can give him the momentum to win South Carolina and Florida, permitting him to move more quickly to what everyone in the GOP really wants: defeating President Obama.

Occupy…Manchester?

One interesting note: the Occupy folks had set up camp across the street from the Manchester Radisson. They were very polite (offering us corn chips–see the bag in the photo) and said their numbers had reached a couple hundred during the day. But it seems most had gone home to spend the cold night indoors.

Occupying the Primary

Stay Tuned!

I feel very lucky to be here and hope to be able to share with you what its like on the ground these last few days before the New Hampshire primary. For die hard Romney fans, there’s no place they’d rather be. And I’ve got to say, it is pretty cool. The people here know Governor Romney can win. There’s a lot to do between now and Tuesday, but if he does win, as expected, it’ll be because Mitt and his great New Hampshire team “Earned it!”

NH News: Sununu Gives Smack-Down, Romney Endorsed by Eagle-Tribune & Nashua Telegraph, Women For Mitt

Signs outside of Gov Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. Jan 4, 2012 (Photo/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Leading into the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary vote on Monday and the debates this weekend (where we expect feisty, fur-flying exchanges), let’s look at the latest NH polling from CNN and roll with some of latest Granite State news…

● Fresh off a third-place win in Iowa, the Ron Paul camp is fighting hard to come in second in New Hampshire. Congressman Paul is polling in NH at 17-18%.

● Head-fake Rick Perry, after spending $5.5 million in Iowa and losing badly there, announced he was heading back to Texas to assess his campaign. The next day, he tweeted a bandy-legged photo message:

And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State…Here we come South Carolina!!! http://yfrog.com/odz8ujrj

So, he’s not out of the running, but he’s skipping New Hampshire. Smart… because he’s polling at 1%.

● What to say about Jon Huntsman? He shunned Iowa and has staked his entire Obama-Clinton-love-letters campaign in The Granite State. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a good laugh hearing Huntsman say he is going to win NH. From the get-go, I’ve thought his efforts were to be a spoiler there for Romney while attempting to garner national attention for himself. Today, he’s barking that he’s the underdog and is pounding Mitt for being in South Carolina, while he and others are in NH. Gov Romney took a quick trip to the Palmetto State to campaign with SC Gov Nikki Haley (a very good move) and will be back in NH tonight to host a spaghetti supper. By the way, Huntsman is polling in NH at around 8%.

● Yesterday, when answering a social issue question from students at the College Convention in Concord, New Hampshire, ‘Game On!’ Rick Santorum became terse and was booed as he left the stage. Now, as he campaigns in NH, he’s turning himself into a pretzel trying to avoid social issue discussions and is taking jabs at Romney. Santorum’s favorite line today: “It’s a joke to call Mitt Romney a conservative.” Santorum now has money to play with (raised $2 million dollars in the last two days). We’ll see how agile his campaign is – what he distributes in the way of ads, flyers, etc. in NH. After being under the radar, now that his record will be brought out of moth balls, we’ll see who the joke is on. He’s drawing support at 11%.

● After two weeks of crying about vetting ads and his poor showing in Iowa, tight-lipped Newt Gingrich said yesterday on FOX News that he isn’t “particularly angry” (trying to hide ‘old’ Newt while the steam cloud coming out of his ears blurred his vision). With the help of the Union Leader, he’s lumbered fiercely into NH adding revenge to his baggage. Gingrich’s words belie his rhetoric; with a goal to ensure Governor Romney isn’t the nominee, he’s busy spitting lies about Romney’s record (albeit, in a professorial tone). Notice that Newt didn’t refute the content of the ads – just whined about them. A family from Portsmouth, NH, says Gingrich ought to “quit whining and man up“. See video.

Yesterday, Reuters reported Odd allies: Gingrich, Obama align in attacks on Romney: “The danger for Gingrich attacking Romney is it’s going to bring up all the old Gingrich flame-thrower baggage. Folks in Florida, folks in South Carolina who are watching cable news and following this stuff on the Internet are going to be exposed to the meaner, acerbic Newt as opposed to the professorial, idea Newt. I can’t see this helping him.”

As of today, Newt is polling at 9%.

● Former NH Gov John Sununu, a Romney supporter, didn’t mince words when he spoke today with FOX News’ Martha MacCallum about Gingrich, Huntsman, and Santorum:


Later, Sununu took on Judge Napolitano on FOX Business Network’s ‘Freedom Watch’:

“…[J]ust because you talk loud doesn’t mean you talk accurately. Half the garbage you just put forward is absolutely wrong.” ~Former NH Gov John Sununu

Can we clone Sununu and turn him loose?

Mitt Romney is polling around 41% in NH and, after winning in Iowa, is on track to become the first Republican to win IA and New Hampshire in an open-election year. Click below the fold to read more from The Granite State.

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