Monday, December 12, 2011

Romney on the Ropes?

Republicans were watching the Republican debate that took place on Saturday closely, as a result of Newt Gingrich's surge in the primary polls. For each debate, Mitt Romney has performed very well, did not get rattled, and was rarely challenged. Saturday night in Iowa was a different story.

First is this exchange with Newt:

Second is this exchange with Rick Perry:

Let's look at the first clip. Mitt Romney came out swinging against Newt Gingrich with the four allegations, clearly underestimating the Former Speaker's ability to respond. He was clearly disarmed by Newt's "career politician" retort, which made it easier for Newt to go in for the kill. Unlike the Romney/Perry exchange, which everyone was talking about, Newt cited specifics about policy differences, as opposed to repeating already examined allegations for shock value. This was clear evidence to Romney that Newt did his research and has the experience to be with him every step of the way in this primary process, which could stretch on because of the change in counting delegates with proportional distribution as opposed to winner take all.

With the second clip, whenever a politician uses the "I'll bet you..." phrase or offers a guarantee, it's a clear sign of desperation. It does turn off voters who may not have $10,000 to bet or who do not believe in gambling, and clearly comes off as out of touch. We may remember that Tim Pawlenty made an offer, and look what happened to him.

If Mitt Romney is not going to run to the right of Newt, he needs to walk it very carefully, especially if he wants to be considered for the VP. This kind of talk may not leave him in the good graces of some, and may also cause division in a party that desperately needs to be united in 2012. Think about the Party, Mitt, and not yourself.

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