Commentary Magazine


Topic: Perry

Perry to Abandon Race; Endorse Gingrich

Eric Erickson’s RedState column yesterday should have been a big clue this was coming, but it’s still a surprise that Rick Perry isn’t waiting until after Saturday’s South Carolina primary to make the announcement. Dropping out now and endorsing Newt Gingrich could give the former speaker a major boost. Perry may be polling in the single-digits in South Carolina, but Gingrich is closing in on Romney and he may only need a small bump to put him over the top:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, just months ago a serious contender to become the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nominee, was set to drop out of the race on Thursday after a series of gaffes and controversies undercut his campaign.

Perry is abandoning his run for his party’s nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama on November 6, campaign sources said, and will endorse Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read More

Eric Erickson’s RedState column yesterday should have been a big clue this was coming, but it’s still a surprise that Rick Perry isn’t waiting until after Saturday’s South Carolina primary to make the announcement. Dropping out now and endorsing Newt Gingrich could give the former speaker a major boost. Perry may be polling in the single-digits in South Carolina, but Gingrich is closing in on Romney and he may only need a small bump to put him over the top:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, just months ago a serious contender to become the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nominee, was set to drop out of the race on Thursday after a series of gaffes and controversies undercut his campaign.

Perry is abandoning his run for his party’s nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama on November 6, campaign sources said, and will endorse Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

This also sounds like an attempt to create the impression that conservatives are coalescing around the former speaker and increase pressure on Rick Santorum to drop out. Despite Santorum’s big evangelical endorsement, he hasn’t been able to translate that into momentum in South Carolina. Perry’s announcement will also overshadow Santorum’s win today in the certified Iowa tally, ensuring that most of the good press the former Pennsylvania senator would have gotten from it is blotted out. Plus, it frees up key endorsers – i.e. Bobby Jindal – who Perry picked up shortly after he entered the race, who can now go on and support other candidates.

Read Less

Progressives Fiddle While Turkish Women Burn

Yesterday, on the American Enterprise Institute’s blog, I noted that while I wish Governor Rick Perry had been a bit more precise regarding his criticism of Turkey, he was not as wrong as some media commentators and pundits have suggested. The Turkish leadership is not comprised of terrorists; they are just sponsors and enablers of terrorism. Perry has now buckled down, and has defended his remarks on CNN, citing predominantly the sorry situation of women in Turkey.

While pundits may have fun bashing Perry for his lack of nuance—see here Joshua Marshall’s blog post, for example—progressives might question why it is that the murder rate of women in Turkey has, according to Turkey’s own Justice Ministry, increased 1,400 percent under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and why such a staggering figure has been met with such silence by progressive bloggers and the mainstream media until now. Certainly, it seems that progressives are fiddling while Turkish women literally burn.

Yesterday, on the American Enterprise Institute’s blog, I noted that while I wish Governor Rick Perry had been a bit more precise regarding his criticism of Turkey, he was not as wrong as some media commentators and pundits have suggested. The Turkish leadership is not comprised of terrorists; they are just sponsors and enablers of terrorism. Perry has now buckled down, and has defended his remarks on CNN, citing predominantly the sorry situation of women in Turkey.

While pundits may have fun bashing Perry for his lack of nuance—see here Joshua Marshall’s blog post, for example—progressives might question why it is that the murder rate of women in Turkey has, according to Turkey’s own Justice Ministry, increased 1,400 percent under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and why such a staggering figure has been met with such silence by progressive bloggers and the mainstream media until now. Certainly, it seems that progressives are fiddling while Turkish women literally burn.

Read Less

Romney Leads Perry…in Texas

It’s stories like these that make Phil Klein’s scenario of a 50-state Mitt Romney primary sweep seem more and more plausible. As low as Rick Perry’s poll numbers have been in the rest of the country, it was just assumed he still had a strong cheering section in Texas – he is, after all, the only candidate out of the lot who is currently governing an entire state.

But even in Texas, Romney is starting to look inevitable. He’s now leading Perry by six points, after Perry’s incredible 39-point lead collapsed:

Read More

It’s stories like these that make Phil Klein’s scenario of a 50-state Mitt Romney primary sweep seem more and more plausible. As low as Rick Perry’s poll numbers have been in the rest of the country, it was just assumed he still had a strong cheering section in Texas – he is, after all, the only candidate out of the lot who is currently governing an entire state.

But even in Texas, Romney is starting to look inevitable. He’s now leading Perry by six points, after Perry’s incredible 39-point lead collapsed:

Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is doing about as bad in Texas now as it is everywhere else in the country. When PPP last polled the state in September he was at 49%, leading Mitt Romney by 39 points.  Now Perry’s support has declined by 31 points, leaving him in 3rd place at 18%. Mitt Romney at 24% and Newt Gingrich at 23% lead the way with Rick Santorum at 15%, Ron Paul at 12%, and Buddy Roemer at 0% rounding out the field behind Perry.

If the other candidates were going to have a leg-up anywhere, you would think it would be in their own states, right? Fortunately, Perry probably won’t stick around long enough to have to go through the embarrassment of losing his own state primary in April. But this poll doesn’t provide much hope for a dramatic or drawn-out race. If Romney’s now leading the field in a true red state like Texas, he’ll certainly have the squishier northeast races locked up.

Read Less

Santorum’s Principled Stand

The unprincipled and to me, mystifying, lines of attacks being used by Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry against Bain Capital have  provided an opening for someone to speak out in defense of democratic capitalism – and it looks like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is taking advantage of it.

Here’s a report from NBC News:

Read More

The unprincipled and to me, mystifying, lines of attacks being used by Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry against Bain Capital have  provided an opening for someone to speak out in defense of democratic capitalism – and it looks like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is taking advantage of it.

Here’s a report from NBC News:

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Wednesday hit his Republican rivals for their critiques of frontrunner Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, calling their criticisms of the former Massachusetts governor an attack on capitalism.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have used Romney’s time at the investment firm to portray him as a business tycoon who fired scores of workers for his own profit. But Santorum likened such attacks to what he called the anti-capitalism rhetoric President Obama has used to attack America’s most financially successful corporate leaders. Rhetoric, Santorum says, that has stalled the economy and put the country’s free market system into question.

“It’s this hostile rhetoric, which unfortunately – I don’t want to stand here and be a defender of Mitt Romney, but unfortunately even some in our party now, even some running for president will engage in with respect to capitalism,” Santorum said to a town hall of nearly 200 people. “It is bad enough for Barack Obama to blame folks in business for causing problems in this country. It’s one other thing for Republicans to join him.”

While others seeking the GOP nomination see Romney’s time at Bain and recent comments that he enjoys the ability to fire people as an opening for political attacks, the former Pennsylvania senator has not piled on. Even when prodded by reporters to take a shot, Santorum instead has only said he believes in the economic model that allows people to be successful.

It is quite amazing; Gingrich and Perry are using anti-free market rhetoric that even Barack Obama would not entertain, if only because of concerns it would paint him as too radical and too anti-capitalist. And now we have a couple of self-proclaimed “Reagan conservatives” venturing into territory not even the most liberal president in American history would dare go.

Politics can do strange things to people, including stripping them of their intellectual integrity.

But politics can also highlight the opposite, which bring us to Santorum. Whatever faults he may have, he is not one given to pandering. His conservative beliefs, many of which are rooted in his religious convictions, are deep and true. Unfortunately, that is more than one can say about the former speaker and the current governor of Texas.

 

Read Less

Gingrich and Perry Mistake Is Romney and Santorum Opportunity

Rick Santorum is taking a pass when it comes to jumping aboard the anti-Bain Capital bandwagon. Which goes some ways toward demonstrating that he is, in fact, a consistent conservative, as he claims – and a principled one, too.

Good for Senator Santorum.

Read More

Rick Santorum is taking a pass when it comes to jumping aboard the anti-Bain Capital bandwagon. Which goes some ways toward demonstrating that he is, in fact, a consistent conservative, as he claims – and a principled one, too.

Good for Senator Santorum.

I must say, I’m mystified by the populist, anti-free market attacks being leveled by Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, the supposed “Reagan conservative” and sainted outsider in the race. I can’t imagine how this is going to help either one win the nomination.

They have shown themselves willing to tear at a primary foundation of a free market system (e.g., restructuring and downsizing) in order to serve a partisan purpose and political ambition.

What Gingrich and Perry may succeed in doing, in fact, is (a) making it clear Santorum is the best and most principled conservative alternative to Governor Romney and/or (b) rallying conservative support for Romney, in a way that hasn’t been done yet this election cycle. The former Massachusetts governor gets to present himself as a thoughtful defender of capitalism now that Gingrich and Perry have ceded that ground.

Presidential campaigns can make some reasonably intelligent people do some very strange things indeed.

 

Read Less

Gingrich Group’s Bain Capital Video

The pro-Gingrich Super PAC “Winning the Future” has released a teaser trailer of its lengthy attack video on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, which Jonathan wrote about earlier today. After watching the preview, it’s hard to believe a conservative group made this film, because it echoes so many of the class warfare tropes that have been coming from the Obama administration and Occupy Wall Street recently. I can’t imagine many conservative South Carolina primary voters sitting through 27 minutes of this demonize-the-rich rhetoric, but it will definitely provide the Obama campaign with plenty of free attack fodder if Romney becomes the nominee:

Read More

The pro-Gingrich Super PAC “Winning the Future” has released a teaser trailer of its lengthy attack video on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, which Jonathan wrote about earlier today. After watching the preview, it’s hard to believe a conservative group made this film, because it echoes so many of the class warfare tropes that have been coming from the Obama administration and Occupy Wall Street recently. I can’t imagine many conservative South Carolina primary voters sitting through 27 minutes of this demonize-the-rich rhetoric, but it will definitely provide the Obama campaign with plenty of free attack fodder if Romney becomes the nominee:

This is actually a fascinating preview of the kind of attack ads the Obama campaign would run against Romney, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out on a smaller scale in South Carolina. But it’s really not going to help Gingrich to be associated with attacks like this. Has anyone else noticed that Gingrich’s loudest critiques of Romney have basically been recycled left-wing talking-points: first he went after the pro-Romney Super PACs, and now he’s attacking Bain. It’s a bizarre strategy for a primary.

Rick Perry also appears to be jumping on the anti-Bain bandwagon. Question for the candidates: Is this really going to be the issue you hit Romney full-force on? Not health care reform? Not flip-flopping on social issues? This one? Seriously?

“There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business and I happen to think that’s indefensible,” said Perry. “If you’re a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain, because he caused it.”

If Rick Santorum is smart, he’ll stay far away from this fight. Gingrich and Perry are risking a major backlash by making Romney’s Bain tenure an issue.

Read Less

Rivals Attack Romney, But to No Avail

At last night’s debate, there were surprisingly few direct attacks on Mitt Romney. This morning, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum finally went after him, but neither was able to land a knockout punch:

Santorum began the morning’s attacks, accusing Romney of abandoning Republicans in Massachusetts by “bailing” from a difficult 2006 reelection campaign. When Romney cast his decision not to run for a second term as a selfless choice – saying he engaged in politics as a “citizen,” not a longtime official – Gingrich pounced. …

But the bad blood between Romney and his foes resurfaced before the debate was out, as Gingrich again went on the offensive – this time accusing Romney of duplicity in distancing himself from negative ads run by a super PAC funded by his “millionaire friends.”

Romney once more avoided a deer-in-the-headlights moment, though his speech was uncharacteristically halting as he explained that he wouldn’t support any attack ads that were inaccurate.

Read More

At last night’s debate, there were surprisingly few direct attacks on Mitt Romney. This morning, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum finally went after him, but neither was able to land a knockout punch:

Santorum began the morning’s attacks, accusing Romney of abandoning Republicans in Massachusetts by “bailing” from a difficult 2006 reelection campaign. When Romney cast his decision not to run for a second term as a selfless choice – saying he engaged in politics as a “citizen,” not a longtime official – Gingrich pounced. …

But the bad blood between Romney and his foes resurfaced before the debate was out, as Gingrich again went on the offensive – this time accusing Romney of duplicity in distancing himself from negative ads run by a super PAC funded by his “millionaire friends.”

Romney once more avoided a deer-in-the-headlights moment, though his speech was uncharacteristically halting as he explained that he wouldn’t support any attack ads that were inaccurate.

Romney’s response to Gingrich’s attack on a pro-Romney super PAC was mystifying – he first said he never saw the PAC’s anti-Gingrich ad, and then went on to recite it blow-by-blow. But he managed to keep his composure,and came out of the dustup without any serious damage.

The question many observers have been asking is why are Romney’s rivals treating him so lightly? At the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis raises an interesting possibility:

Some of the candidates, by now, know they cannot win. As such, they have little incentive to attack Romney. (Perhaps he will give them a position in his administration if they help him? — Why ruin that? Or maybe he would counter-attack them and make them look bad if they criticize him? …. Or maybe they just want to be thought of as “nice”?)

Meanwhile, the candidates who think they can win — Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — probably believe their best shot at the nomination is to finish second in New Hampshire. And while going “negative” in a debate may hurt Romney, it would also tarnish their reputation, as well.

Lewis’s take makes sense. Perry isn’t hitting Romney because his past attempts to do so have blown up in his face (the convoluted “flip-flop” attack, for example). Whether Perry’s staying in the race because he actually believes he can compete seriously in South Carolina, or whether he’s simply to redeem his national reputation after multiple embarrassments, he has little incentive to go after Romney. The possibility of a future appointment may not even factor into the equation.

As for Huntsman and Paul – could they really be pulling punches with Romney because they’re gunning for administration positions? There’s notoriously bad blood between Huntsman and Romney, and Paul doesn’t have a shot at an appointment.

But at least Huntsman isn’t afraid of sparring with Romney once in awhile. Paul’s unwillingness to attack the frontrunner is actually the most confounding out of all of the candidates. He actually turned down an opportunity to criticize Romney this morning when it was explicitly presented to him. Paul’s polling second in New Hampshire, so why is he spending his time punching down at Santorum and Gingrich, who are both polling at single digits? It makes no sense.

Beyond that, Santorum and Gingrich are going to have to start turning their guns on each other at some point soon. Gingrich is fading in South Carolina, but not fast enough that Santorum can rest easy. Meanwhile, Gingrich can’t allow Santorum’s recent burst of popularity to propel him to the top of the polls there. Of course both of them have to attack Romney – they’re locked in a three-man race with him in South Carolina right now – but one of them will also have to definitively capture the not-Romney title. That means they’ll have to take the gloves off pronto – and with Santorum’s recent fundraising boost and Gingrich’s $5 million cash infusion, they now have the money to do it.

Read Less

Bachmann’s Rise Gives Her the Anti-Romney Lead—For Now

Yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll showing Michele Bachmann at 15 percent—only ten points behind Mitt Romney—may not have been surprising, but it has changed the dynamic. What was once the race between Not Romney and Not Palin has become Not Romney vs. Not Bachmann.

Conservative grassroots would love to have a serious challenger to Romney. Ironically, however, their search helps solidify Romney’s early lead because they can’t seem to settle on one that could peel off any of Romney’s establishment support.

Read More

Yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll showing Michele Bachmann at 15 percent—only ten points behind Mitt Romney—may not have been surprising, but it has changed the dynamic. What was once the race between Not Romney and Not Palin has become Not Romney vs. Not Bachmann.

Conservative grassroots would love to have a serious challenger to Romney. Ironically, however, their search helps solidify Romney’s early lead because they can’t seem to settle on one that could peel off any of Romney’s establishment support.

Additionally, as was noted at Red State, the more anti-Romney candidates get in the race, the more diluted the anti-Romney coalition becomes:

There is a lot of money on the sidelines waiting to find who is going to be the legitimate leader of the anti-Romney coalition. Rick Perry getting in delays finding that leader, keeping that money on the sidelines, keeping Mitt Romney on top. It really is that simple.

The other side of the Rick Perry coin is that some believe Perry could be the one to encroach on Romney’s monopoly of elite support. So Perry’s participation prevents existing candidates like Bachmann from solidifying grassroots support. And Bachmann’s candidacy has been suffocating Tim Pawlenty, who was supposed be the acceptable alternative to Romney.

All this has caused the frustration of the anti-Romney caucus to become palpable. Leading the way has been the Wall Street Journal, which wrote an editorial in May calling Romney “Obama’s running mate.” It called for an ideological conservative nominee, not a problem solver. Romney remains incompatible with where the heart of the conservative movement is today. And unlike Perry, Bachmann is actually in the race, debating well thus far, and gaining on Romney steadily. There may not be a not-Bachmann. There may be only Bachmann.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.