|The Two Front-Runners for GOP|
There can be no argument that the 2011 incarnation of Mitt Romney, the candidate, is not a far better candidate than the version that ran in 2008, and as if to punctuate the point, Mitt’s campaign has come out with the first direct salvo of the season against Obama-the-incumbent.
The surprise of the move is not in the hubristic nature of such presumptuousness –Gingrich, after all, has made it clear that the two are rivals and not “opponents” — but in the aggressiveness of it. And it’s already drawing howls of protest from Obama’s camp and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as a whole, claiming that the ad is misleading.
Romney’s ad, which ran today in New Hampshire to coincide with Obama’s visit, could legitimately be labelled “sleight of hand”, but it nevertheless suggests a basic truth: if Obama’s campaign keeps talking about the economy, he will lose. The ad uses Obama’s own words from the 2008 campaign against John McCain, but Obama was quoting a McCain staffer at the time. From the Daily News:
At one point, Obama is heard saying “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”
Although it sounds [sic] Obama is talking about his chances of winning in 2012, the then-Senator was actually quoting an aide from Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008.
How fitting it is, then, that Newt Gingrich shares the lead with Romney.
Gingrich knows a thing or two about misleading ads, himself a victim of creative editing in a time when the technology was not nearly what it is today. As Speaker of the House in 1995, Gingrich was leading the fight against the last Democrat President’s attempt to inflict National health care on Americans and, as usual, the leftist sycophants struck back hard, albeit deceitfully.
As Bill Clinton was trying valiantly to implement the signature plan of his wife, First Lady Hillary Clinton, for health care reform, Gingrich was leading the opposition and gave a speech on the matter in 1995 to a Blue Cross audience. His words were selected in part and used to demonize him in what has turned out to be a most effective way. I know people to this day who still harbor a deep hatred for the man based on a lie.
It was the infamous “wither on the vine” faux-quote”, in which the left allegedly caught the right wing Speaker admitting that the Republicans wanted to kill Medicare. In 1996, during the re-election campaign of Bill Clinton, the AFL-CIO ran an ad with Newt’s “own words” saying, “Now we don’t get rid of it in round one because we think that’s politically smart and we don’t think that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine.”
But, as I pointed out in 2009, the quote was not in the full context of Gingrich’s speech. Here’s what he actually said, and meant:
“What do you think the health care financing administration is? It’s a centralized command bureaucracy. It’s everything we’re telling Boris Yeltsin to get rid of. Now we don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that’s politically smart and we don’t think that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine because we think people are going to voluntarily leave it. Voluntarily.”
Voters will do well to remember that it wasn’t Medicare that Republicans wanted to kill, it was government-run health care, much as it still is today. And as Gingrich moves closer toward the nomination, also remember this when he begins to take on that which the Democrats inflicted on us when they controlled it all. Whomever ends up with the GOP nomination, repeal of Obamacare will be a top priority, for it is that route which will cause the most immediate impact on our foul economy.
It is also pertinent to note Gingrich’s use of the word “voluntarily”. Think of how many of Obama’s own cronies have already filed for waivers from his health care monstrosity. Even people who view this president favorably have already begun preemptively leaving it, voluntarily.
If the Democrats want to whine their way through what is slated to be a particularly nasty campaign, let them, but the Republicans must be prepared to hit them with all of Mitt’s gall and the full weight of Newt’s baggage.