I just got back from tonight’s Grand Rapids rally for Mitt and it was great! If I had any complaint, it would be that the venue was a bit small. The media is reporting that 700 people were crammed into a space that I suspect was more appropriate for 400. Mitt held a rally in 2008 at this exact venue, and the campaign may have underestimated the amount of support that has grown for Mitt since then. (The thousand e-mails I sent to Michigan supporters I’ve identified since 2008 may have contributed to the larger than expected turnout, but I’ll never know for sure how much I helped).
I should’ve got this on video, but the handful of protestors outside the rally were depressingly ill-informed as they usually are. They were told to come and protest, but didn’t even know for sure what they were supposed to be mad at Mitt about. I don’t know if these protestors were being paid less than these, but I didn’t hear their usual “Hey hey, ho ho…” waste of time chants today. I wonder if they will ever come up with a new tune…
Also, check out our Mitt Romney Central exclusive of Mitt walking to the podium at his Grand Rapids rally:
I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by a reporter from the Grand Rapids Press immediately following the rally. I’ll post the article here if it gets published tomorrow.
Watch Mitt’s interview with the MLive/Grand Rapids Press Editorial Board below the fold.(more…)
After NBC’s presidential debate on Monday (Jan 23rd), when host Brian Williams asked the audience to withhold applause and verbal reactions to “ensure this is about the four candidates here tonight and what they have to say” Newt Gingrich didn’t fare so well. Mitt Romney was strong and steely. Gingrich employed his usual grandiose theatrics, but wasn’t rewarded with shouts or standing ovations. Like a sugar addict without his lollipops-‘n-gumdrop buzz, Newt bombed.
The next day on Fox & Friends, Gingrich complained:
“I wish in retrospect I’d protested when Brian Williams took them (the live audience) out of it, because I think it’s wrong. And I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate.
“And we’re going to serve notice on future debates, we won’t (mumble), we’re just not going to allow that to happen. That’s wrong. …”
Newt got his wish last night. Clapping and verbal confectionery was allowed at CNN’s debate. Jab, jabbing at Gingrich, Governor Romney was clearly in command. In the end, Newt was tootsie rolled.
Now, Gingrich says the audience was stacked for Romney:
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich rode a strong performance and crowd enthusiasm at a debate in South Carolina to victory in that state’s primary, but the crowds at two debates in Florida this week haven’t been as wild for Gingrich. Now his campaign is claiming that rival Mitt Romney’s campaign stacked the audience at Thursday’s debate with its supporters to shift the energy toward Romney, the Huffington Post reported.
“They definitely packed the room,” Kevin Kellems, a Gingrich adviser, told the Post.
But that’s not the case, according to both the Florida Republican Party and the Romney campaign. The party, which doled out 900 of the 1,200 tickets, says most of them went to “rank and file” Republicans.
“We did a very thorough job of getting them to the rank and file, vetting them to make sure they went to registered Republicans and then making sure they went out to people that were not knowingly affiliated” with the campaigns, Party spokesman Brian Hughes told the website.
Like gluttonous Augustus Gloop (character from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), when deprived of choco-accolades, Newt Gingrich dives into distortion and begins to fudge.
► Jayde Wyatt
~Addendum by Ross
Newt’s silly immigration attack on Mitt has caused Arizona Gov. Brewer to come to Mitt’s defense:
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.
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:
Governor Mitt Romney kicked it off with this remembrance of our civil rights hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
@MittRomney Mitt RomneyOn MLK Day, we remember an outstanding American who brought our country closer to its historic promise of liberty and justice for all.5 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto
Team MRC joins Gov Romney in saluting Martin Luther King Jr. for his extraordinary and historical work for racial equality. Dedicated on Oct 16, 2011, the very impressive 30-foot stone sculpture memorial of Dr. King is positioned so he gazes across the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To view an interactive page of the site honoring the civil rights leader, click here. Here’s video of visitors taking in the majesty of the memorial:
The Presidential race is now down to five…
Governor Romney issued this statement today following news of Jon Huntsman’s pulling out of the race:
“I salute Jon Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye. Jon ran a spirited campaign based on unity not division, and love of country. I appreciate his friendship and support.”
The eagerly-awaited FOX News presidential debate will be held tonight at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, SC. The action gets underway at 9:00 PM ET on FOX News. The event is also being so-sponsored by the SC GOP and the Wall Street Journal. Moderators are Brett Baier, Juan Williams, and Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib. Participants include: Former MA Gov Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, and former Sen Rick Santorum. The gloves will be off!
We’ll post livefeed info as soon as it’s available, so check back. The official twitter hashtag for the Fox News debate is #foxdebate. You may also use twitter to weigh in on who is dodging their questions and who is answering them and to say you like Mitt’s responses. Tweet “#dodge” or “#answer” with the candidate’s name. See more here.
Romney suporters are invited to join us here on the MRC chat box when the event gets underway. Gov Romney, go get ’em!
Jay Sekulow, along with co-host and son Jordan Sekulow during airing of ACLJ radio show Jay Sekulow Live!
★ I was very pleased to learn that Jay and Jordan Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice, have announced their support for Governor Romney. I have the utmost respect for Jay and his son, Jordan, who is following in his father’s footsteps. They are a powerful duo (read about their backgrounds below). Jay also gave very stirring closing remarks to Romney’s speech today at the Faith and Freedom coalition rally in Myrtle Beach, SC:
“Jay and Jordan have been on the front lines fighting for conservatives – it is an honor to have their support,” said Mitt Romney. “On issues of great importance to me, including religious freedom and protecting human life, Jay and Jordan have been tireless leaders. I look forward to working with them to ensure that we can bring conservative change to Washington.”
“In order for conservatives to make the changes in Washington that we have been fighting for, we must first defeat President Obama and have a leader with a proven record of getting things done,” said Jay Sekulow. “Mitt Romney is the one candidate who can take his pro-growth message to the American people and defeat President Obama. Throughout his life, he has proven that he will not back down from difficult situations – fixing the mess that President Obama has left will not be easy.”
“Mitt Romney’s record as governor and vision for our country is one that conservatives should be proud to support,” said Jordan Sekulow. “He cut taxes, balanced budgets, and defended both traditional marriage and life in a politically difficult environment. Mitt Romney’s ability to defeat President Obama and enact conservative change is why I support him and so many conservatives are backing his campaign.”
Background On Jay and Jordan Sekulow:
Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, and a respected broadcaster. Jay Sekulow is an attorney with a passion for protecting religious liberty, freedom, and democracy. For nearly a quarter of a century, he’s been on the front lines – working to protect religious and constitutional freedoms in the courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. At the Supreme Court of the United States, Jay Sekulow has argued 12 cases – including several landmark cases which have become part of the legal landscape in the area of religious liberty litigation.
Jordan Sekulow is the Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice. He is the host of the Jordan Sekulow Show, a syndicated radio program that provides cutting analysis of today’s political and legal landscape and regularly features elected officials and conservative leaders from across the U.S. and around the globe. He also serves as co-host, along with ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, of the Jay Sekulow Live! radio broadcast and the ACLJ This Week television broadcast. Jordan, an attorney, has an LL.M. from Georgetown Law Center and oversees the organization’s international offices. * Organizational references are for identification purposes only.
The Sekulow’s endorsements are especially meaningful in light of the SC primary and the Texas religious leaders’ huddle deciding to back an ‘anti-Romney’ candidate (Romney wasn’t even considered). Jay’s grandfather fled Russia because of religious persecution and, through the portals of Ellis Island, became an American. He spent his life peddling fruit in Brooklyn, New York. Today, his grandson argues cases before the Supreme Court of the United States… He and his son have endorsed Mitt Romney.
Another interesting note from a different clip from Morning Joe. Gov. John Sununu says the democrats won’t even compete in New Hampshire of Mitt’s the nominee virtually guaranteeing NH’s electoral votes will go to the republican!