Advice to Romney: Don’t attack Rudy

I don’t watch TV much, so I miss a lot of stuff. But Kavon Nikrad at Race4 2008 notices that Rudy Giuliani’s campaign thinks that Mitt Romney is preparing to whack them.

To do so would be a big, big mistake. Rudy is a hero. It will slime Rudy, but it will also slime Romney, perhaps even more. That’s what happened when Romney tried that against Sam Brownback (here, here, and here).

Furthermore, there’s a deeper issue. The only people who can attack Rudy are people who have impeccable stature within the conservative movement. As Blog PI pointed out in a somewhat different context, there’s a bond between Rudy and the GOP base that Romney just doesn’t have. By attacking Rudy, Romney will even further endanger his relationship with that base.

Club for Growth praises Brownback

The Club for Growth continued its evaluation of 2008 candidates with Sam Brownback, with a mostly positive result. This is important for Brownback because it differentiates him from Mike Huckabee, who the Club has savaged.

I think that this confirms that Brownback is in the 2nd-tier, not the 3rd. He has been building an organization for quite a while, as I have documented. He has solid economic credentials. Furthermore, the evidence is that he is doing better in the polling than Huckabee, as The Plank recently noted.

This is why I would echo Adam’s assessment on Redstate that Huckabee should consider the Senate instead of the White House. Arkansas is just an economically liberal state, and, as Mitt Romney has found, it is very hard to run with a record out of sync with the national party on bedrock issues.

Are the ads Romney’s last stand?

Last week, Mitt Romney released ads in a bunch of early states. I argued that Romney was going on the air because he was getting defined in the media. Now HotlineTV weighs in, arguing that Romney made a fundamental mistake with these ads because now, if Romney’s numbers don’t move, Romney will appear totally dead. Watch it:

I think this makes an important point. As I argued earlier, Romney is getting clobbered in the press. I’m talking about the AP, not the NY Times. Romneys only hope is fighting back with TV. But if he can’t do that and continues to get defined — if he cannot shift the discussion to his own terms — he is completely over.

Romney lies about Bush, then calls him stupid

Last week, Mitt Romney was in trouble because he lied about George Bush’s record on abortion. Then this week, the Boston Globe points out that Romney’s campaign lost control of a planning presentation. I think that Matt Lewis’s write up on this will be the definitive one.

The closing sentence of the Globe’s article is:

… the plan lists two ways Romney can set himself apart from Bush. The first says, simply, "Intelligence."

So Romney is telling conservatives that he is as pro-life as Bush (and Brownback?) and smarter than Bush. Not a winning message for Romney.

Newt, CPAC, and the conservative leader

Newt Gingrich just blasted out an email, reprinted here, and several things jumped out at me:

First, Newt is wrapping himself in the banner of a conservative movement based on ideas by invoking both Reagan and Goldwater. He says, "This may be the most important CPAC since Ronald Reagan helped launch the annual gathering in 1975", and "I just read Ambassador Bill Middendorf’s A Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater’s campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement (read my review here), and he reminded me of the ferocity of the 1964 Lyndon Johnson campaign."

Second, Newt is collecting contact information and communicating with attendees throughout the convention:

What is the Winning the Future Text Message Challenge? It’s a chance for College Republicans, state delegations, Facebook groups — anyone attending CPAC — to go head-to-head to see who knows the most about the ideas and principles that have shaped the conservative movement.


To register your team, click here. Be certain to fill out all the required fields, and you’ll receive instructions on Thursday, the first day of CPAC.

In other words, Newt is going to be communicating about ideas to the attendees of the convention. But not just in his Saturday night speech, well after the straw poll closes, but throughout, starting when people register (and vote in the straw poll). I bet Newt is trying to win it.

Third, he is attacking the electability argument:

Running as a bland, business-as-usual Republican will be a dead loser. In 2006, the American people repudiated the GOP, because the idea of Republicans’ trying to manage the liberal welfare state they inherited from the Democrats was a dead loser.

The line about "trying to manage the liberal welfare state" is particularly devastating to Romney, I think. And:

Focusing on an anti-Hillary campaign will also be a dead loser. The Clintons are the most determined and intense politicians of our lifetime.

I think that Newt is trying to ride CPAC into a draft movement. Something similar to what Sam Brownback tried to do with the March for Life.