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December 12, 2011

Mitt v. Newt: Here We Go

Newt Gingrich's climb to the top of the GOP heap was fueled in part by his "New Newt" persona. He was the guy who refused to attack the other candidates but focused on Obama and debate moderators. Other candidates failed to attack him because he was pulling up the rear most of the year.

That all ended Saturday night when Gingrich was at a debate for the first time as the front runner. Mitt went after him as insider and Gingrich shot back that the only reason Mitt wasn't a long time politician is he keeps losing races.

The sniping continued after the debate with Romney calling on Gingrich to return the money Gingrich made from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That was enough to get Newt to revert to his old self.

"If Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to then listen to him. And I will bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won't take the offer."

Personally I think both attacks are pretty lame. The money Newt was paid by Fannie and Freddie was for work done. If you want to say he shouldn't have taken them on as a client, fine but he met his contractual obligations, so he got paid.

As for Mitt's work at Bain Capital, I was unaware that conservatives and Republicans were against management maximizing profits for shareholders. Leave it to liberals to argue that companies exist to give people jobs. Conservatives shouldn't feed into that nonsense. Mitt made money for the people he worked with, that was his job. End of story.

If Mitt and Newt spend the next 3 weeks before the Iowa Caucuses beating the hell out of each other it could turn voters off both of them. Is there enough time for someone, say Rick Perry, to push through the two squabbling candidate by keeping their focus on Obama and the economy?

If it had started a few weeks ago, I'd say yes. Perry had a very good debate performance (I don't mean very good on some Perry Curve but objectively very good) but I don't think there's enough time.

Related(ish): Rasmussen poll says 49% of GOP voters think Gingrich is strongest candidate to go up against Obama to 24% who say Romney.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:54 AM

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