Democrats continue to ignore Newt, attack Mitt

Republicans are so busy jumping on the Gingrich bandwagon at the last minute that they aren’t taking time to notice what I pointed out earlier today: Apparently, Democrats are completely fine with having Newt as their opponent in the fall. It’s Mitt Romney they worry about, which is why they continue to engage in the rhetorical equivalent of carpet bombing of the former Massachusetts governor.

Take a moment to read these comments from former SC Gov. Jim Hodges at a press conference in Columbia this afternoon:

Thank you for joining us.

Last night we heard closing arguments from the remaining Republican Presidential candidates before South Carolinians head to the polls.

Sadly, with less than 24 hours to go before voting begins South Carolinians remain left in the dark about Mitt Romney’s real record.  Exactly when will we get to see his tax returns? He didn’t say.  Exactly how many jobs were created during his time as CEO of Bain Capital? Again more of the same evasive answers we’ve all heard before.

Since Mitt Romney wouldn’t come clean with South Carolinians about his real record as a corporate buyout specialist or about exactly how he made his millions or how much he’s invested in overseas tax havens while paying a lower tax rate than middleclass Americans – I’ll set the record straight today.

Last night Mitt Romney again staked his entire candidacy on his “real world experience” as CEO of Bain Capital, this time claiming to have created 110,000 jobs. He again struggled to provide any proof to back up his claims.

That’s because the truth is Mitt Romney spent more time bankrupting companies, outsourcing jobs and laying off workers than creating jobs-all while making millions for himself and wealthy investors.

If South Carolinians want to know the truth about Romney’s “real world experience,” look no further than his time as Governor of Massachusetts.  Ask yourself what the people of Massachusetts got for Mitt Romney’s service.  Mitt Romney didn’t say it last night but I’ll say it here.  During his time as governor Massachusetts was 47th out of 50th in job creation and manufacturing jobs were loss at twice the national rate.

He railed against government investments to help grow the economy and create jobs but didn’t mention that Bain Capital frequently received subsidies and tax breaks from state governments.  Let’s take Staples, a supposed success from Romney’s time at Bain.  In touting Staples, Romney never mentions that in 1996, Staples chose to move its distribution center to Maryland in exchange for a $4.2 million subsidy deal – the same type of subsidies Mitt Romney says he’s against.

He again dodged questions on when he would release his tax returns, again defying a standard practice that all previous presidential candidates have followed – including his own father when he ran for President in 1968.  When asked if he would follow his father’s example and release multiple years’ returns, Mitt Romney couldn’t shoot straight with South Carolinians – only offering an awkward “maybe.”

What’s he hiding?  Why does he feel South Carolinians can only know what’s in his tax returns after they have cast ballots?  Here’s what we know without seeing Mitt Romney’s taxes and there is a lot South Carolinians have questions about.

We know that Mitt Romney has invested millions of dollars in offshore tax havens that have cost the federal government about $100 billion every year.  We know that despite being a quarter-billionaire, he pays a lower tax rate than most middle class families.

What else will we find out when, and if, he finally releases his returns?

Mitt Romney has given voters plenty of reasons not to trust him while making plenty of far-right promises to the Tea Party.  A political stunt that will weigh him down in the general election where we see already he has begun hemorrhaging support from moderate and independent voters.

It’s time for Mitt Romney to level with South Carolinians and finally get the message that he can’t play by a different set of rules when it comes to his record or his taxes.

Now think about this: If you were commenting on the day after Newt Gingrich stole the show at the Charleston debate, and your comments purported to be a reaction to the performance of “the remaining Republican Presidential candidates” in that debate, don’t you think you’d at least mention Gingrich in your remarks? You would. Unless you had reasons not to.

The reason, I believe, is that Democrats are completely unworried about Gingrich being the GOP nominee. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they welcomed the prospect.

19 thoughts on “Democrats continue to ignore Newt, attack Mitt

  1. Brad

    Oh, and by the way: In case you think the Democrats are just being farsighted, assuming that whatever happens in SC, Romney will still be the nominee… You need to see what Gallup put out today:

    “Gallup’s top editor told MSNBC this morning that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s lead in the polls is ‘collapsing’ across the nation, citing polling numbers that have changed dramatically over the last few days.

    “Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief, appeared on the MSNBC’s ‘Jansing & Co.’ to share the results of Gallup’s national tracking poll. The gap between Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is quickly closing, according to that poll.

    “‘We’ll see this gap closing more,’ said Newport. ‘Romney was up 23 points over Newt Gingrich. Now it will be down about 10 points. So clearly, things are collapsing.'”

    Yeah, it’s possible that the Democrats just aren’t alert enough and nimble enough to react to this changing reality. But I’m not convinced of that.

  2. bud

    Newt would be the more attractive opponent for Obama come November. All this going after the “liberal” media just won’t play well in a national campaign. Sure the koolaid drinkers on the right cheer everytime he makes one of those nonsensical pronouncements. But that just makes him look angry and overly defensive to the rest of us. Do we really want someone that touchy becoming POTUS?

    Off to the polls to cause some mischief for the evil red machine. At least I can do may part to help the good guys come November.

  3. doug ross

    I think the Democrats mistakenly underestimate the anti Obama sentiment in the country. It won’t be a blowout this time no matter who he’s up against. And if there is ANY downturn in the economy, Obama is done.

  4. doug ross

    The key point from McCallister is the one about the debates. Republicans want a pitbull to go after Obama in the debates. After McCain’s performance in 2008, they don’t want a guy who always fights from the defensive position. They want to make Obama squirm and are basically taking a scorched Earth strategy. It would be incendiary… and deepen the divide in this country. Imagine Newt winning a squeaker.

  5. bud

    Just finished voting. Here are a few observations. I voted in Lexington at the American Legion building off Harmon Road. I looked at the car clock when I was pulling out of the driveway and it said 9:01. When I pulled back into the driveway after voting it said 9:16. So essentially I wasted 15 minutes of my life, but oh well. There were perhaps 12 other people either voting or arriving to vote during the time I was there. Most, perhaps 9 or 10 were middle age white men. The others were middle age white women. No blacks, no young folks, no elderly. Not a single tattoo or piercing to be found. Most of the vehicle were SUVs or sedans. No sports cars or (surprisingly) pickups. The poll workers were very friendly. All were quite elderly probably in their 70s or 80s. I handed the lady my “picture ID” for verification. I signed in, was handed a pink voted slip and proceeded to the touch screen machine where I took my time reading the instructions. I cast my ballot and again took my time to make sure it was cast properly then waited for the machine to return to the welcome screen before exiting. I was handed I little sticker that I could wear indicating I had voted.

    My biggest problem with this process is the lack of a paper receipt. How do I know my vote was actually tallied as I intended? There is no backup if the system was programmed incorrectly either through mischief or unintentional malfunction. I can live with the picture ID thing if need be but this lack of a paper trail is a serious problem.

  6. Phillip

    I guess the thinking is that the unsophisticated voter will see anti-Romney ads, won’t know the source, and will be persuaded to vote Gingrich instead. The problem with this Democratic strategy, potential for backfirings, is that if this strategy is continued, savvier GOP voters might well think that the Democrats “doth protest too much” against Mitt, wake up to the fact that they (Dems) would much rather face Newt than Mitt, and thus vote after all for Romney as the GOPer most likely to defeat Obama.

  7. Brad

    Doug, it wouldn’t be a “blowout” no matter whom the Republicans nominate. Nor would it be if the Democrats replaced Obama on the ticket.

    The country is too evenly divided, and polarized. Any presidential election is going to be close in this environment.

    The only thing worth watching at the point, really — and nobody’s watching that when primaries are going on — is what we swing voters think. Because we decide it.

    And when November comes, that is what will matter, along with one other factor: turnout among the partisans. Because, sadly, we know how the partisans will vote if they show up.

    And I say sadly because, if a person always votes for the D or the R, that means he or she doesn’t think. And people who don’t THINK and DISCERN between individual candidates do the country a great disservice.

  8. Brad

    And Doug, what you said about the divide is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, you understate it.

    Newt Gingrich actually IS everything that the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome imagined W. was. We will see anger like we’ve never seen in our lifetimes before, and it will tear the country apart.

  9. doug ross

    One correction to your statement – it will only be the swing voters in swing states who will decide it. Your swing vote doesn’t matter. It will come down to Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and a couple others.

  10. j

    Maybe it’s an offensive strategy against Mitt as Newton Leroy maybe an easier target given his intemperate, hard-headed, “take no hostages” approach. Also, elected Republicans like Rep. Edwards & Sen. Coburn have put down his leadership recently. Remember, he resigned the speakership under pressure from his Republican colleagues. Wonder if Newt Leroy’s overtly racial comments recently would temper the enthusiasm by voters in the SC primary by publicizing his endorsing a bill to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday?
    It’s been and is going to be a real circus.

  11. bud

    And I say sadly because, if a person always votes for the D or the R, that means he or she doesn’t think.

    That would be correct in perfect, balanced, sane political environment. Sadly we don’t have that right now. The Rs are not realistic about the economy, foreign policy, social issues or anything else. So it really isn’t all that illogical to simply pull the D lever. But there can be exceptions. Take Alvin Greene for example. When he ran against DeMint there was clearly no viable option. At the end of the day it’s vote Democrat or don’t vote at all. Or perhaps vote third party. But in 2012 to vote for a Republican is sheer madness.

  12. SusanG

    I think my vote today is basically a vote against Newt. I’m not thrilled with the other choices, but I don’t want to see Newt get anywhere near the presidency. I agree with Doug about it being a scorched earth strategy. I’m quite disappointed with Bob McAlister – it’s seems he’s bought into the “anybody but Obama” strategy, and I’ve always seem him as a generally principled (though partisan) values-voter. But his thinking on this one seems very shallow.

  13. Steven Davis

    @bud – “Sure the koolaid drinkers on the right cheer everytime he makes one of those nonsensical pronouncements.”

    You can say the exact same thing about the “koolaid drinkers” on the left and Obama.

  14. Steven Davis

    “Newt Gingrich actually IS everything that the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome imagined W. was. We will see anger like we’ve never seen in our lifetimes before, and it will tear the country apart.”

    Do you see tonight’s lottery numbers in that crystal ball of yours?

    Guess I better order another 1000 rounds of ammo and another 60 day bucket of freeze-dried meals.

  15. Ralph Hightower

    My vote doesn’t count. I voted for Vincent.

    The only saving grace of Mitt getting the nomination would be to name SC Governot Nikki Haley as his VP candidate. However, Mitt would probably put Tricki Nikki in a cabinet post.

    Then we would get another ethically challenged person as governor, Ken Ard.


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