Presidential Wednesday: Sunday Edition

February 5, 2012 8:00 am

by Buzz Brockway · 10 comments

As I type, Mitt Romney is winning the Nevada Caucus by a wide margin. Paul and Gingrich are fighting for second with Santorum trailing. Check the Google results map for the latest numbers.

Gingrich held a press conference at 11:20 EST. He vowed to stay in the race all the way to the convention in Tampa. He immediately launched into an attack on Romney’s comment about being focused on helping middle income folks as opposed to the poor, claiming he would provide a “trampoline” for the poor ostensibly to allow them to jump out of poverty but probably not all the way to the moon colony. Press reports leading up to Gingrich’s press conference indicated he would announce a new campaign strategy and pivot back to a positive campaign. The press conference revealed no new strategy and was very negative with all the attacks on Romney.

His campaign seemed disorganized at times in Nevada though his disorganization in South Carolina didn’t seem to hurt him there. Listening to the press conference, I didn’t hear any new strategy. He bristled at several questions about when he’s dropping out and talked numerous times about how shocked and stunned he was at what he calls Romney’s dishonesty.

The Daily Beast has an article about Gingrich’s hope for a third comeback.

Here’s a video from a caucus meeting as people try to figure out who to vote for (makes me glad we’re a primary, not a caucus State):

As mentioned by Gingrich, Romney got into trouble for some comments to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. The comments themselves were taken out of context by the press but for some conservatives (myself included) they seemed to indicate Romney doesn’t really understand the compassion of conservatism and the hopelessness of the welfare state. Larry Kudlow explains:

The worry stems from Romney’s ill-advised statement this week. He said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.” That raises doubts as to whether he understands the Reagan-Kemp model. Perhaps he does. But he will have to tell us more.

Incidentally, the safety net has been expanding at an alarming pace. Transfer-program spending has been soaring. It’s up $600 billion, or about 35 percent, in the last three years. Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment insurance have seen benefit levels rise and eligibility expand. This is a huge drag on the economy. We are paying too much to not work, and rewarding too little to work.

Welfarism is not compassionate. Opportunity is.

Stephen Hayes has more.

Maine’s caucus is up next followed by caucus’ next Tuesday in Colorado and Minnesota and a nonbinding primary in Missouri. Paul hopes to do well in the caucus States, but Gingrich hopes to do well in Minnesota while Santorum is hoping to do well in Missouri.

11Alive commissioned a poll for Georgia. Newt leads but Romney is gaining.

Here’s the latest RCP Averages for the GOP Nomination, the Intrade percentages and the Delegates won according to CNN.

saltycracker February 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

Not sure the question that started sll these interpretations required an explanation of how to deal with the poor. For sure the definition of poor needs clarification.

Maybe being compassionate to Romney involves teaching the hungry to fish and in Newtspeak that Romney is dishonest for having a string of unshared fish ? (might want to compare charitable giving here)

I love a lot of Newts ideas but his acts of desperation indicate his actions will be “me first”.

Harry February 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

Romney’s now virtually guaranteed to be the nominee. The Obama-nation media will say he’s too stiff, not in touch with the “common people” (whatever that means), part of the status quo. There’s more than an element of truth in all this. At least they can’t say he isn’t a basically decent guy because it’s plain he is.

The GOP needs to contrast the Romney/GOP nation-building vision to the Obama nation-destroying record. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Romney by himself probably isn’t capable of making the contrast. Fortunately, the GOP has people who can back him up. At this point in our nation, it would be highly unusual for a single person to make much difference anyway. The only thing we can hope of Romney is that he could begin the process to turn the ship of state.

It’s interesting to compare where we are as a nation to the Romans.
http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html

Calypso February 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

I haven’t read the Cato report, but I agree with what you say here Harry. Good thoughts in the campaigns.

saltycracker February 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

Harry,

We might want to fast forward to modern Greece. Even as the agreement involves a 70% haircut on their bonds the Greek leaders are on the verge of sinking the ship as they will not show real steps to get debt to 120% of GDP by 2020. They do not want to cut back enough on public employee manpower and holiday bonuses or reduce the minimum wage. They want Europe to loan them more to sustain the good life.

Harry February 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I’ve been tracking that one too. What a mess. Right now they are playing a hardball game…we’ll see how it turns out for them. There is a lot of resentment. For example the Slovaks are saying why should we be expected to bail out the Greeks when our pension levels are 1/3 of theirs.

The main difference between us and the Greeks: We print our own money and people still have to take it.

saltycracker February 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Harry,
According to Michael Lewis the public pay scale for the same job is significantly higher in Greece than in the lead “bailout” country, Germany. A good question they have is why should Germany bail out Greece so they can pay back 30% on the euro of their bonds, why not just give German money to German banks directly.

If a bigger player like Italy goes down it’ll get crazy as the CDS’ are heavily held by US banks, off their books, and insured by EUROPEAN banks that might not be bailed out like AIG was for Goldman. Thus a U.S. “non-exposure” turns into a multi-billion dollar problem.

As mentioned in another post, China is expanding their banking presence in Europe to pick up the pieces at distress prices if that comes. But they are touting that as China might bail us out !!!

We’ll keep going along fine here using the no cost borrowed money priming the market….until…..my question for the wealth managers is, when do we go to CD’s ? Greece is probably priced in, so do we go if one of the biggees like Spain or Italy unravels or when ?

saltycracker February 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Here’s another point – Obama is claiming we are done with the too big to fails BUT he has acted the opposite to make them bigger.

At the minimum, if he believes what he says, reset who is eligible for FDIC and disqualify all the investment banks and banks engaging in highly leveraged activities, like derivatives. They can find their own insurance outside the government.

The government must behave in the most conservative manner available.

Harry February 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” – Jesse M. Unruh

gcp February 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

“Compassion of conservatism” Is that anything like the George Bush compassionate conservative that gave us eight years of deficits, 58 billion dollar Medicare Drug Program, more child tax credits, more people off the tax rolls and more federal involvement in education? I am not a big Romney fan but I agree the poor have a “safety net” and in my view that net is already too big. Kudlow, like Newtie and most Republicans love to cut taxes but when it comes to specific spending cuts this crowd is silent.

CobbGOPer February 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm

It would be awesome if Gingrich’s newly discovered Georgia team would stop calling me every day to volunteer. What part of “I’m not interested” don’t you understand?

Granted, I would do this if Romney or Santorum (or Paul) people called too, but the only ones calling lately are Gingrich people in a desperate search for volunteers and money.

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