That was Newt Gingrich’s message tonight after a pretty decisive loss to Mitt Romney in Florida. It’s a good message, because it is true – this is only the end of the beginning. However, 15% is not even close. You can argue that it’s pretty hard to fight being outspent 5 to 1 with negative ads, but Gingrich completely failed to counter successfully. He looked battered all week, and campaigned like it. I don’t think it’s just him though. I think he is surrounded by people who have panicked, and those sort of people are the last sort you want on a tough campaign.
He was too nice in Iowa, but in Florida he was just too desperate and nasty. It lost people’s sympathy. In South Carolina he got it right – you give people an alternative vision. You whack your opponents, but only on the way to articulating conservatism. He needs to refine that, increase the discipline levels, and figure out a new game plan, because if he continues to campaign this way he will lose.
The stakes are high. I was watching Romney on Greta last night and what he said really bothered me. Greta asked him what his first day in office would look like. He mentioned the usual crap about getting rid of Obamacare which every candidate has pledged to do, but then he mentioned two other things. He said that he was not going to tolerate China rorting its currency, and talked about raising tarriffs on China. He also talked about a tax rebate for savings for the middle class.
These are just awful policies. You don’t promise to start a trade war with China on your first day in office! There is nothing conservative about tarriffs. All tarriffs do is make it more expensive for poor people when they are shopping at Walmart. It’s an insane policy, and will destroy jobs and economic growth.
Sillier still is his rebate policy. Poor people do not, and usually cannot afford to, save money. The people who save money are the rich. Romney’s rebate is a genuine bona fide “tax cut for the rich” in the worst way. It will be a rort which helps the rich and does sodall for the poor, without any real economic benefit, since it is making a ludicrously complicated tax system even more complicated.
And that’s before you even look at Romney’s terrifying proclamation this week that he would not touch Social Security and Medicare – the two biggest items of expenditure in the Federal budget. I know he was campaigning in Florida, but how any Tea Party voter can take him seriously is beyond me.
Newt would do well to cut out all the crap about the past records, which is what Florida has been about, and focus on what I see as some hugely blunderous policies by Romney. He needs to hammer the bastard on them. They show that Romney actually has no clue about economics and what conservatives want. That is where Newt’s focus should be.
PS: Sarah Palin has endorsed Newt for Nevada. Good God, woman, just cut out the crap and start campaigning for the man. You have the power to save him. Stop teasing us all!