It’s “Super Tuesday,” only Romney and Gingrich can emerge to challenge Obama

It is “Super Tuesday” in the GOP race to select the Republican nominee for November’s general election against incumbent President Barack Obama. “Super Tuesday” represents the biggest polling day so far in what has been an intense and sometimes bitter GOP race and will see contests in Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska. There are 419 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party’s nomination up for grabs.

The biggest fight of the day will see current front-runner Mitt Romney, and unexpected rival Rick Santorum battle it out in the State of Ohio. Romney’s new slogan of “more jobs, less debt, smaller government” is part of a broader strategy, to counter Santorum’s appeal for both working-class voters and conservatives. A win for Santorum in Ohio is crucial as his support and lead in the polls is gradually being eaten into by Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Santorum has most to lose of all the candidates going into Super Tuesday, a failure to meet expectations and grind out a significant state victory will only add to the resurgence of conservative rival Gingrich. Gingrich was applauded by many yesterday, for a string of brilliant appearances on the Sunday political shows. A Santorum victory in Ohio, would yet again, turn the race on its head, while he is also aiming for victories in conservative Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Romney has been gaining ground on Santorum in the Ohio polls all week, eliminating a double-digit lead for the former senator from Pennsylvania, with one poll giving Romney the advantage, one gave Santorum the lead and the third showed a virtual tie. Romney is expected to easily win in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Romney’s superior organization and establishment support, combined with his massively funded Super PAC, has enabled him to compete all across the Super Tuesday landscape and potentially pick up more than half of the 419 delegates up for grabs.

In the state of Virginia, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul made the ballot, as both Santorum and  Gingrich failed to meet the strict state criteria. This contest virtually guarantee’s a Romney victory in the state where he enjoys prominent backing in the shape of notable Republicans Governor Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the states 46 delegates.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has yet to win a state primary or caucus despite his fanatical ground level support, is finally expected to pick up his first wins in Alaska and North Dakota’s caucuses.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, seeking a path to a comeback, leads his home state of Georgia. Gingrich anticipates doing well in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio and intends to carry on in the race, even if he finishes third overall on Super Tuesday, behind former Romney and Santorum. Gingrich hopes a Georgia victory will kick off his Southern Strategy of taking Alabama and Mississippi on March 13 and possibly Kansas, resulting in his third comeback in the GOP race, as the conservative alternative to Romney.

Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain hailed Newt Gingrich’s promise to push the price of a gallon of gas under $2.50 as the new “9-9-9” of the presidential campaign, he said, that gives voters a concrete promise of action. Gingrich has estimated that Americans will see a whopping $16 trillion to $18 trillion in federal tax revenue from the energy explosion, wiping out the national debt in one fell swoop.

I expect Romney to meet his expectations and win Ohio. Santorum will just fall short in Ohio but while he has enjoyed a strong six weeks of momentum, the pendulum is starting to shift away from him. He simply cannot discipline himself on the campaign trail in terms of some of his rhetoric and his constant commentary on social issues is playing into Team Obama’s hands. Santorum has raised his profile and in my view, exceeded expectations in this race so far and I credit him for that. However, if anyone believes he is actually capable of beating President Obama in a general election they are delusional.

I believe Gingrich will exceed expectations by winning Georgia comfortably, but will turn in stronger than expected performances in some of the other states in contention today. Gingrich is the solutions candidate, anybody observing him deliver a master class on topic narrative with the liberal media on Sunday, can’t help but realise, he is the real alternative to Romney.

Santorum’s bid will start to flounder after today, Newt will surge again, and the only matter that remains to be seen is how Romney, will cope on the campaign trail once he comes out from under the “Mittness Protection Programme.”

Newt can win the race still however, it is Romney’s to lose at this point.

Trunkline 2012: Sunday Election News Review-12//4/11

Bookmark and Share ****Cain gone, Newt Ahead in Iowa, Coming in second: Ron Paul?? *****

With Cain gone, the field is looking more and more like Gingrich/Romney.  Meanwhile, liberal pundits and even some conservatives seem to be praying that Newt’s rise will be as long lived as Bachmann’s, Perry’s and Cain’s.  Is it really Santorum’s turn?  How about Ron Paul’s?

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Obama Adviser David Plouffe Accuses Mitt Romney of Having “No Core”

Bookmark and Share During a Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, White House senior adviser David Plouffe accused Mitt Romney of having no core and lacks the conviction to be President. In his own words Plouffe stated

“He has no core, I can tell you as one thinking, working a few steps down from the president, what you need in that office is conviction. You need to have a true compass, and you have got to be willing to make tough calls. You get the sense with Mitt Romney that if he thought it was good to say the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

Plouffe cited Romney’s long and short term changes of heart on issues such as abortion, Cap-and-trade, gay rights, as examples of what he called a lack of any core.

While Mitt is certainly rightly or wrongly, stuck with the flip-flop problem, accusing of a lifelong Republican like Mitt of having no core, is a far stretch. But more than that, Obama’s adivser, may want to take some advice from me and not point too many fingers. Mr. Plouffe may not realize it but his candidate, the campaigner-in-chief, has a record of mind changing that would make John Kerry dizzy.

Let’s look at just some of the record;

Obama pledged to accept public campaign financing and changed his mind, he claimed to have supported welfare reform but he opposed welfare reform legislative, he promised to close Guantanamo Bay but keeps it open, he promised to try enemy combatants in civilian courts, but thankfully, refused to do so with 9/11 conspirators like KLM. President Obama supported Bush energy policies but in 2008, claimed he opposed those policies. As a senator, Obama promised to filibuster any bill that contained immunity for Telecommunication Companies involved in electronic surveillance but ended up backing a compromise bill. President Obama.

President Obama once pledged to withdraw out troops from Iraq immediately, but ultimately followed the Bush timeline that he opposed. During the 2008 primaries, Obama pledged to unilaterally renegotiate NAFTA but in the general election he indicated he didn’t want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA. According to a Fortune article dated 6/18/08 by Nina Easton entitled”Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All,” Fortune, Obama stated “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified”. Easton goes on to write that Obama conceded that point …….“after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA ‘devastating’ and ‘a big mistake,’ despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.”

Other Obama flip-flops include support for and against corporate tax increases, his changing position on a D.C. gun ban, contradictory positions on nuclear energy, his opposition and support for and against an individual health care mandate, and when it comes to a commitment that Obama insisted he made to protecting infants who survive abortion, he voted against just such a law.

President Obama has also backtracked on commitments to meet with leaders of state sponsors of terror without precondition, to an undivided Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, and to his claimed that marriage should be between only a man and a woman.

While David Plouffe tries to argue that Romney’s change of mind on essentially 4 issues , he neglects to remember that the man he advises, promised to repeal Patriot Act, then voted for it, once promised to “restore a law that was in place during the Clinton presidency called Paygo, then said he was not going to sacrifice his domestic priorities for spending reduction. The he went and spent more money than all the Presidents since Reagan held office. He first supported and opposed taking North Korea off a list of state’s that sponsor terrorism. Our President even promised to repeal Patriot Act, then voted for it.

But if you really want an example of having “no core” in accordance with David Plouffe’s characterization of such, who can forget this following exchange between Tim Russet and Senator Barack Obama on “Meet the Press” back in the year that he officially began his campaign for President;

Russet: “When we talked back in November of ‘04 after your election, I said, ‘There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?’”

Obama: “I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.”

Russert: “So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?”

Obama: “I will not.”

With all that flipping and flopping, I can’t help but feel the need to need to paraphrase a now infamous misstatement by Rick Perry and say to you, if you don’t think that all of Barack Obama’s flip-flops constitute his not having “a core”, “than you have no brain”. And as for David Plouffe, I think his remarks about Mitt Romney are a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Mitt Romney has certainly shifted his position on at least three issues. However, he has not done so in a way that is particularly unique to the human condition and especially those human beings in politics. Rick Perry changed political Parties, and Barack Obama has changes his mind as often as he changes his clothes. In other words, while Romney is vulnerable to charge of flip-flopping, it’s time to shed a little light of truth on the accusations and put them in the right perspective.

The truth is, Romney has more of “a core” than most politicians do. An honest and sincere look at his personal life and careers in both business and politics, will prove that. And on a final not, I will take a politician whose conservative core values are evolving more to the right, than one whose core values are evolving in a direction that is becoming more and more socialist in nature.

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Careful, Newt

Newt should know that in politics, you must constantly clarify exactly what you mean. Newt is in hot water over comments he made during the weekend about the individual mandate in Obamacare. What Newt said was “Ive said consistently, where theres some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate youre going to be held accountable.

While this seems pretty clear to me, the media has declared this to be some sort of statement proving that Newt supports the individual mandate. So why would Newt then post a video today highlighting his record of consistently opposing the individual mandate? Probably because he didn’t actually say he supports the individual mandate. Newt said that he supports a requirement where you EITHER have health insurance OR… Media outlets seem to have missed the either, or in his statement.

What Newt said is something that constitutionalists who support individual responsibility have supported for a long time. I wrote about it back in 2009 when the Obamacare debates were hot and heavy. Newt said he supports a requirement that people pay for health insurance or indicate through a bond or some other way that they will pay for their medical care. This isn’t an individual mandate to buy health insurance, this is an individual mandate to pay for the medical care you receive, either through insurance or by other means. Why would Newt say that “libertarians would be happy” with his solution if he supported an individual mandate?

The problem Gingrich will face is that if soundbite Americans, especially those in the mainstream media, can’t figure this out then he will have a hard time getting his message across. Newt needs to learn how talk to Americans like they are idiots. Not because they are idiots, but because pundits are determined to misunderstand him and make their version of what he says the next morning’s headlines.

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