Romney Dominates Nevada Caucus; Entrance Polls Tidbits

Well, the final results aren’t final yet . . . but it’s clear that Romney won this important swing state’s caucus, and won it big. (Update . . . Romney did get just over 50%, but the entrance poll results have just been revised this morning, so much of what you see quoted below is somewhat off from what the linked poll says NOW. Sorry, I’m not going back and re-calculating things at this point).

He’s got 43% of the vote with 43% of precincts reporting, but the results of Clark County (Las Vegas) as not coming in as fast as expected. Don’t fret though Romney fans, Mitt will win a majority of the votes and I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere between 52-55% of the total vote when all is said and done. If things track as closely as they are in the entrance polls, Clark County should go for Mitt by over 60% (and they’ve nailed the non-Clark County…rest of NV…percentage at 43%, exactly how the real results have turned out)

Debunking the “Romney won Nevada because of the Mormon factor” myth:

Yes, Mitt dominated among LDS voters with 90% choosing Romney, BUT (and it’s a very big “but”), EVEN IF NOT A SINGLE MORMON WENT TO VOTE, ROMNEY WOULD HAVE WON THE STATE WITH A 42%-26% margin over Gingrich.  Romney won Catholics 52%-19% over Newt and “White Evangelical/Born Again” by a solid margin of 46%-26% over the former Speaker.

Debunking the “See, the poor won’t vote for Romney” myth:

On CNN’s coverage tonight, the anchors/pundits seemed to be getting as much mileage as possible out of the fact that the only economic demographic that Romney did NOT win was those that make $30,000 or less (which were only 10% of the voters in NV last night).  They were trying to tie this to Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment and even went on to conclude that this “underscores the fact that blue-collar workers, who you can’t win without their support, do not see that this is a guy that will fight for them.”  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  I realize that these pundits aren’t statisticians, but it’s pretty straightforward to figure out why he didn’t win this demographic.  First off, he hardly “lost” this demographic.  Paul and Newt both got 31%, and Mitt got 30%, a virtual 3 way tie for first.  Secondly, the age of the voter is VERY determinative of income when looking at your youngest age group especially.  Voters aged 18-29 were only 8% of the vote (quite similar to the 10% in that income of $30K or less), and Paul won that group 40% to 39% over Romney.  Paul has been wining the young college-aged voters in almost every state . . . it’s his base and he’s definitely turning out this group of folks that do not typically vote in a GOP primary.  Good for Paul. But these college kids are a HUGE portion of the “makes less than $30,000 year” group, and I don’t think anyone would consider college kids “the very poor,” they are just in a temporary low-income stage of their lives.

“Strong Moral Character;” Mitt good, Newt Very Very Bad:

In perhaps the most revealing entrance poll finding, those that felt a candidate having “Strong Moral Character” was their number one trait they sought in a President, Mitt got 54% of the vote … Newt got 1% of those voters.  No, that is not a typo, ONE PERCENT (Paul got 32% and Santorum got 13%).  Looks like Nevada voters are pretty good judges of character, eh?  THIS IS WHY YOU’RE LOSING NEWT!! YOU BLAME MITT FOR YOUR LAGGING VOTE TALLIES, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR BUDDY!

Debunking the “Strong Conservatives and Tea Party voters don’t like Romney” myth:

Like New Hampshire and Florida, Romney, once again, won self-identified conservatives and supporters of the Tea Party in Nevada.  This time though, he won A MAJORITY of these groups.  Romney beat Newt 54%-21% among conservative voters and 50%-23% among Tea Party supporters.  Yet I still see pundit after pundit say that Romney still has a lot of work to do to appeal to conservatives (while they “obviously” love Newt).  CAN THEY NOT READ A POLL?!?  Among “very conservative” voters he Mitt still won 49%-24% over Newt, and even beat him 39%-30% among those “strongly supportive of Tea Party.”  Some narratives are hard to kill, but when a state in the Northeast (NH), Southeast (FL), and West (NV) all show Romney winning conservatives and Tea Party supporters I think it’s proof positive against that media meme. The real take-away/new-media-narrative should be that Newt has work to do to appeal to as many conservatives as Romney has been.

Odds and Ends:

The Economy was the number one (even by a majority) issue on voters minds, and Romney carried these voters by 62%.  By an even larger margin, the candidate quality of “Can Defeat Obama” was number one, and Romney absolutely dominated here with 73% of the vote.  WOW!  ”Right Experience” was the top quality to only 15% of voters, but Romney cleaned up here too with 55% (Rick Santorum pulled in a whopping 1% here).   Romney also continues to dominate the Suburbs winning with 69% there; historically this is a key demographic for winning a general election.

Turnout Issue:

Newt and some liberals keeps saying that Mitt’s trying to suppress turnout in order to win.  When we look at the field compared to 2008, however, I don’t think it’s any surprise that turnout is lower.  Last time around there was much more diversity, and much more famous personalities in the field.  You had a Pro-Choice candidate with strong personal appeal/popularity in Rudy Giuliani, War Hero John McCain, popular actor Fred Thompson, and folksy former pastor Mike Huckabee in addition to Mitt and Paul all in the race this far into the process.  Substituting character-challenged Gingrich and personality/experience-challenged Rick Santorum in place of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee is beyond even comparing apples and oranges. They all had more money and organization that either Newt or Rick too and that is how turnout is driven. Like all of Newt’s complaints/excuses, this one rings hollow as well.

CONGRATS MITT AND NEVADA!! ANOTHER GREAT WIN FOR ROMNEY!!

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about poor people? WRONG!

In the 24 hour news cycle, the story of the day has been Mitt’s comments to CNN in the early morning after his Florida win. While I think even the most ardent Romney fan would admit that this could and should have (and will be) phrased more adeptly, the liberals have taken and run with the partial quote that he’s “not concerned with the very poor” … It looks worse in print that in the context of the interview:

Mitt cares deeply about the poor, and his actions speak louder than words. How many “journalists” have bothered to mention that Mitt has given over $7,000,000 (SEVEN FREAKING MILLION!) to charitable organizations in just the last two years? Records from before then show the Romney’s consistent giving millions upon millions to organizations that care for the poor. By contrast, Joe Biden gave only $3690 to charity in an entire decade … that’s PROOF of someone that doesn’t care about the poor. From 2001-4, the Obamas made nearly a million dollars, but donated LESS THAN 1% of that income to charity.

Or what about when Mitt gave cash out of his pocket to the lady in South Carolina who said God guided her to follow Romney’s campaign bus to find help to keep her lights on? The EXACT SAME CNN REPORTER (Soledad) even reported about that a couple of weeks ago … does she have no memory?

Mitt doesn’t care about poor people? Demonstrably false and easy to debunk (and this is without even delving into fact that Mitt, as a Mormon Bishop for several years, dedicated much of his time to caring for the poor in a very “hands on” fashion). If Obama and team push this theme it will come back to bite them. Mitt’s done more to care for the poor than any snarky reporter or any of his political rivals.

Recall Vic’s post from a couple days back that highlighted Romney’s life of service and included the following YouTube:

Additionally, Brit Hume on Fox News today adroitly argued that anyone who wants to “make hay” or be offended by this out-of-context quote wouldn’t be voting for a GOP candidate anyways. I’d have to agree.

MUST WATCH: Ann Coulter Hits the Nail on the Head

Great video of Ann Coulter discussing Newt Gingrich and the South Carolina primary. Check it out:

When I listen to Gingrich in his debate performances, and I do mean “performances,” his answers always seem reminiscent of the Shakespeare line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I, for one, was very confused and dumbfounded about the whole “standing ovation” thing that Newt accomplished in South Carolina. I truly felt that Gingrich’s answers weren’t that amazing. In fact, the answers were really quite average if you take just a moment to think about what he said. Often Newt dodged the question rather than answered it. Or he resorted to giving snarky, glib retorts rather than having a grown-up conversation about the issues. Hopefully Republican voters in Florida will see that many of Newt’s “great debate performances” are really just dodging the question in order to distract from his genuine flaws.

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.

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Gov Mitt Romney Writes Letter to Voters in South Carolina


Governor Mitt Romney has penned an open letter to voters in South Carolina. The full letter will run in The State and The Post & Courier:

An Open Letter to the Voters of South Carolina

It is an election year and our country faces a momentous choice. We can continue with the flawed policies of a failing president, or we can embark on a fundamentally new direction.

“Hope” and “change” were the watchwords we heard repeatedly from Barack Obama back when he was a presidential candidate campaigning here in South Carolina. Three years into his presidency, he hasn’t delivered much in the way of hope. But we’ve seen a lot of change.

The change has come in the size and shape and reach of Washington. Barack Obama promised to fix our broken system. Instead, he’s grown it massively.

We have thousands of new regulations, many of them job-killers. We have hundreds of billions in new federal spending. The government workforce has grown by tens of thousands of new workers. The national debt now totals a stratospheric $15 trillion. We have a brand new and enormously expensive entitlement program known as Obamacare.

With government swelling at a rapid pace, the private sector, unsurprisingly, has stagnated. Nearly 24 million Americans are out of work, struggling to find full-time work, or no longer even looking. Here in South Carolina, unemployment is an appalling 9.9 percent. As I’ve traveled this state and traveled the country, I’ve heard story after story of heartbreak, of homes lost, of retirement plans replaced by jobs at minimum wage, of dreams shattered.

If we are going to undo the damage, this year’s election is critical. The destiny of our country is at stake. We can choose to live in the Entitlement Society that Barack Obama has been constructing, a society built around dependence on government. Or we can return to the merit-based Opportunity Society built by our Founding Fathers.

The drafters of the Declaration of Independence wrote that the Creator endowed us with unalienable rights, among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In America, we would be free to plot our own course. Ours would be the land of opportunity, where people achieve their dreams through hard work, education and daring.

Nearly two-and-half centuries of American history demonstrate the brilliance of our founding principles. America has produced pioneers and inventors of distinction in every field. We have excelled in science and industry. We have built an Opportunity Society that is prosperous and free and strong.

Barack Obama has taken us on a detour away from our founding philosophy. He’s mismanaged our economy, weakened our military, and apologized for America around the world. In October, I spoke at The Citadel, where patriotism is a passion. The spirit of sacrifice I found there, the love of our country and everything we stand for, only reinforces my belief that we need change in Washington DC and change in the White House. I want America to be respected around the world. I want to return America to the path of greatness and I know how to bring us where we need to go.

I’ve spent most of my life in the private sector. I’m not a career politician. I know how misguided government policies can choke off investment and kill jobs. I also know how government can get out of the way to foster economic growth.

My administration will make America the best place in the world for entrepreneurs, inventors, and job creators. I’ll lower and simplify taxes, especially for middle-income Americans. I will repeal every unnecessary Obama-era regulation that kills jobs or hurts economic growth. I will fight the union bosses who build their power at the expense of the very workers they purport to represent.

I’ll open up new markets for American goods. I’ll press to exploit fully our abundant energy resources. I will cut and cap spending, and lead us toward a balanced budget. And I will repeal Obamacare. On my first day as president, I will direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to grant waivers from Obamacare to all 50 states.

Let’s not be under any illusions that change of the sort I am proposing will be easy. Barack Obama, the Democratic machine, and the entrenched interests behind them are going to fight to retain their power and their privileges at every step of the way. We need to fight back. Fortunately, we have a simple tool at hand: it’s called the truth. And the truth is that President Obama has failed, and his vision for America is wrong. Reversing that failure, and correcting our course, is what the election of 2012 is all about.

(emphasis added)



South Carolina voters, Governor Romney is the only Washington outsider / jobs candidate in the race. We ask you to give your vote to him today and help give America the best man to lead our nation.

Thank you!

Please forward this as soon as possible to everyone you know.

► Jayde Wyatt

Sununu: “Worry About Gingrich’s Ethics Problems” – Cavuto: “Character Counts”


Did you catch former NH Gov John Sununu on America’s Newsroom with Martha MacCallum this morning (FOX News)?

With all the Gingrich hoopla swirling around today, Sununu deftly drove home very good points that the news media is missing:

John Sununu Says People Should Worry About Gingrich’s Ethics Problems Instead of Romney’s Income Taxes

Mitt Romney’s GOP rivals have been hammering him about releasing his income tax numbers even after he promised to make them public in April, but during CNN’s GOP debate he had quite a talking point saying, “I’m not going to apologize for being successful,” to which he explained that he doesn’t want to give President Obama any early ammunition.

(emphasis added)

Three of the four GOP candidates haven’t released their tax returns; Gov Romney and Rick Santorum will and Ron Paul won’t. Sununu says this shouldn’t be an issue:

Specifically, he explained why people should worry about Newt Gingrich’s ethics problems instead, saying, “Three out of four Republicans on that ethics committee voted against Mr. Gingrich and the issues were so bad that his own leadership kicked him out of the leadership and it’s important to note that Nancy Pelosi was one of the members of that group that has those records on file and whatever Nancy Pelosi knows, Barack Obama knows, so Newt Gingrich better release that now … so the voters know what they know.”

Sununu points out that all the media ballyhooing about Romney’s answer regarding how many times he’ll share his tax returns in the future and the subsequent “booing in the audience” came from two Ron Paul guys who were sitting in the Paul cheering section. He said the two stood up – ready to make noise – as Romney was asked the question.


Greg Gutfeld (Fox News’ The Five, Jan 20, 2012):

“There’s something that Newt said that really bugged me, when he looked at the audience and talked about how everyone knows personal pain, and that everyone has someone close to them who knows personal pain — you can’t conflate people who inflict pain with people who receive pain. There are people who do bad things; there are people who do good things. You cannot look at the audience and say ‘you know my pain,’ because there are a lot of women out there who will say ‘No, I didn’t do that; you did that’.”

UPDATEPawlenty says Gingrich’s infidelities ‘concern’ him
The Hill – By Cameron Joseph
Jan 19, 2012

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Newt Gingrich’s infidelities were fair game in the campaign and that they concerned him personally.

In a post-debate interview in which he defended Mitt Romney’s record, Pawlenty said that voters “are going to have to decide for themselves” what they thought of the issue.

“When I see his ex-wife Marianne on TV expressing those kind of concerns it certainly concerns me,” he said.

“Obviously it’s a very big news story and one that voters are going to have to judge for themselves what that says about these candidates, what that says about the race, and what that says about their suitability,” said Pawlenty

Neil Cavuto (FOX News – Your World) really bucked the popular Newt-is-so-right media fest today by sticking his neck out with this question:

What’s fair game at presidential debates?

“Character Counts”


BEWARE the grandiose, wily Newt. He’s a master at making himself look like a victim.

Speaking of grandiose, check out what’s below the fold:

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Timothy Dalrymple: Open Letter to Mitt Romney Skeptics, Especially Evangelicals

Thanks to John Schroeder of Article VI Blog for connecting Mitt Romney Central with Timothy Dalrymple. The following open letter is another outstanding endorsement of Governor Romney as the candidate best suited to represent conservative values as our President of the United States. Tim’s three main arguments below are compelling, especially regarding Governor Romney’s moral leadership.

Timothy Dalrymple is the Director of Content for Patheos.com, the largest religion website in the country, and the managing editor of its Evangelical Portal. He earned his Ph.D. in modern western religious thought at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and contributes to Evangelicals for Mitt. Raised in non-denominational evangelical churches in California, Dalrymple has ministry experience in youth ministry, college ministry, prison chaplaincy, teaching apologetics, and leading overseas missions. Formerly of Boston, he is now a member of Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, Georgia. You can follow him at Philosophical Fragments or Facebook.

Timothy Dalrymple

See the just-released ebook from Evangelicals for Mitt for a comprehensive explanation of why Romney is the best positioned to represent evangelicals’ values in the White House.

By Timothy Dalrymple

Dear Mitt Romney skeptics, and especially my fellow evangelicals,

Do you remember how it felt when the economy began to implode in those anxious, waning months of 2008? We were coming down to the wire in the election contest, and the candidates we had to choose between were Barack Obama and John McCain. Given the choices, of course, I supported McCain. I still think he would have made a far better President than Obama has proven to be.

But as the very foundations of the American economy were shaking and falling away beneath our feet, and we faced the very real possibility of a Second Great Depression, how desperately I wished that Mitt Romney had emerged from the primary as the champion of the GOP. The presiding President and his party took the heat for the financial crisis, and McCain worsened the situation when his actions and statements inspired no confidence in his stability and expertise on economic matters. The election turned in Obama’s favor when he gave the impression of solidity and strength in the economic crisis.

Romney, however, had something Obama couldn’t even begin to claim: a brilliantly successful career in the private sector, and a world of experience specifically in the financial sector, where our most intractable problems lay. Between McCain and Romney, Romney was touted by the conservative commentariat as the conservative option, and I remember feeling as though the liberal media, independents and even some Democrats who were able to vote in primaries had shoehorned John McCain onto the GOP ticket. If Romney had been at the top of the ticket instead, I still believe we would have avoided the lamentable Obama Presidency; compared to a business titan, Obama would have looked like the inexperienced pretender that he was, and he could not have stood up to Romney’s economic expertise in the debates.

Well, we’re still in the midst of an incredible mess as a country. Our financial house is in shambles. Tax reform, regulatory reform, streamlining government, changes to our energy and immigration policies, will all help. But the character of the American people, the moral substructure that provides the necessary, nurturing environment for our democratic free market, has also disintegrated. Our problem is not merely political; it is also cultural. I am convinced of this with every bone in my body: We need to rediscover the virtues of the free market, and we also need to rediscover the economic virtues. On the one hand, we need a President who understands how companies grow and flourish, who understands how the economy works and what provides the predictability and clarity and the space for innovation that the market demands; Romney’s experience in venture capital, properly understood, is one of his truest strengths, because the venture capitalist learns a great deal about what kinds of ventures succeed and what kinds of capital they need. On the other hand, we need someone whose personal integrity and whose socio-political principles will strengthen the family, enrich the workforce, and restore our collective commitment to responsibility and initiative, stewardship and thrift, diligence and creativity.

I’ve written responses to some common misconceptions about Romney and his candidacy – and a long, specifically evangelical case for Mitt can be found in this ebook. The purpose of this letter is simply to set forth, in broad outlines, why I think Romney’s the right guy at the right time for this country. The Presidency is a position of enormously important economic, global and moral leadership. In all three of those areas, I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the leader we need. He also, not coincidentally, stands the best chance of defeating Barack Obama — and if there’s one thing conservatives agree upon right now, it’s the profound importance of installing new leadership. As the country staggers toward decline, we need someone who can pick us up, rally the American people behind a positive and hopeful vision, and deploy all of his intelligence and experience and skill to move us toward a better future. That’s Mitt.

Economic and Global Leadership

Those who know him personally attest, without exception, that Romney is an extraordinarily intelligent, boundlessly competent, and thoroughly hard-working man. He built a towering reputation in the business world, accomplished a near-miraculous turnaround of the Salt Lake City Olympics (which was mired in scandal and red ink and on the verge of collapsing), and took an extremely liberal state (Massachusetts) that was deeply in debt and restored it to fiscal health and a budget surplus in the course of four years.

In the business world, Romney specialized in turning around failing companies, and he did so with great success. Sometimes, yes, that means eliminating jobs — but in most cases you’re eliminating jobs in order to avoid eliminating a company in its entirety. You make companies more profitable, more competitive, and thus more sustainable. You eliminate jobs now so that you can keep paying the salaries of those who remain, and ideally add more jobs again later. In other words, sometimes the most pro-jobs thing you can do is cut one job and save the company that employs ninety-nine more.

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Who Won the Final South Carolina CNN Debate?

Today has been called the campaign’s wildest day by Politico and this was before the debate had even started.

The chat box has been moved back to the sidebar.

The campaign must be feeling good about this debate because they’ve already released a video with footage from tonight’s debate.

Here’s an interesting take on the overall debate, and I like this take as well.

UPDATE: click here to watch the debate in its entirety.

Romney Ready to Lead: Fmr Rep Susan Molinari, Fmr Sen Jim Talent “Gingrich – Unreliable Leader”

We learned this morning that Iowa was unable to certify the vote count in eight precincts, but managed to find enough votes for Rick Santorum to give him a 34 vote lead. Technically, they’re calling the results of the caucuses a tie.

Add the Rick Perry campaign suspension and his endorsement of Newt Gingrich, the Gingrich ex-wife interview, the CNN presidential debate tonight, and we’ve got a quite a news day.

Here’s Governor Romney’s statement on the revised IA results:

“The results from Iowa caucus night revealed a virtual tie,” Romney said in a written statement released to The Des Moines Register this morning.

“I would like to thank the Republican Party of Iowa for their careful attention to the caucus process, and we once again recognize Rick Santorum for his strong performance in the state.

“The Iowa caucuses, with record turnout, were a great start to defeating President Obama in Iowa and elsewhere in the general election,” he said.

UPDATE: Gov Romney has released the following statement on Governor Rick Perry’s announcement:

“Rick Perry ran a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles. He has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party and I salute him for his commitment to making President Obama a one-term president and finally getting our nation’s economy back on the right track. The nation owes Governor Perry a debt of gratitude for his years of service to his state and country. I wish Anita and him well.”

I’m glad Team Romney is back on offense today.

Former New Hampshire take-no-prisoners Governor John Sununu is holding a press conference call to discuss Speaker Newt Gingrich’s record as an unreliable leader. The call is scheduled to take place at 8:45 AM ET. Check back; more information will be posted as it becomes available. (Love ya, Governor John!)

● A new web ad video has been released featuring former Representative Susan Molinari voicing her concern about Newt Gingrich:

The last time Newt Gingrich was the head of the Republican party as Speaker he became so controversial he helped re-elect a Democratic president. I worry about the Republcian party’s chance to defeat President Obama if Newt Gingrich is the nominee.” – former Rep Susan Molinari

● In another new video ad, former Congressman/Senator Jim Talent tells of his experience with the former Speaker’s unreliable leadership:

“It’s a problem when your own leader is the biggest political problem that you’re dealing with which is why we removed him as the Speaker. This election needs to be about Barack Obama and if the Speaker were the nominee the election would be about him and his unreliable leadership in the past.” – former Rep/Senator Jim Talent

● Yesterday, Sen. Jim Talent and Rep. Susan Molinari held an important morning press conference call on Gingrich’s record as an unreliable leader. (*See below the fold.)

Romney for President today released a new television advertisement in South Carolina titled “Ready To Lead.” President Obama’s policies have led our country down the wrong path. Governor Romney will lead our nation down a different path; he’ll end job-killing regulations, restore our AAA credit rating, repeal Obamacare, and balance the budget.

Click below the fold for must-hear audio of the Talent/Molinari press conference call and transcript. Then, share this information everywhere you can you think of. Please don’t sit on your hands; this is an important time for Governor Romney!



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