You might say that today was a really, really lousy day for Mitt Romney. First, he is dramatically slipping in the SC primary polls to Newt Gingrich. For the past week, Romney has led Gingrich in every SC primary poll. Just yesterday Romney was leading Gingrich 33% to 23% in a CNN/Time poll—the only poll for that race. Today there are five new polls in the race: A Marist poll for NBC has Romney leading 34% to 24%; a Politico poll has Romney up 37% to 30%; Rasmussen has Gingrich leading 33% to 31%; an Insider Advantage poll has Gingrich leading 32% to 29%, and a PPP poll has the Newtster leading the Mittster by a whopping 34% to 28%.
You might say the SC primary is very suddenly a toss-up. (I know the coverage of it has sometimes made me want to toss-up, but that’s different.)
Mitt also had a bad day because Rick Perry surrendered (“you won’t have Rick Perry to kick around anymore”) and Perry endorsed the Newster.
Finally…We learned today that Mitt really, probably, kind-a lost the Iowa caucus to Rick Santorum. The blow is only psychological, as there were no delegates directly at stake. Still….
What saved the day for Romney, however, is the ABC News with Marianne Gingrich (the second of Newt’s wife collection) in which she claims Newt asked her to make theirs an open marriage:
She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.
“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,'” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”
With that, we enter the last debate before a pivotal SC primary. Will Mitt finally debate like he is fighting for his life? Will Newt go for more kills against Mitt? Will Ron Paul get to say anything? Will Santorum go after Mitt, the rich boy with a sense of entitlement, or will he go after Newt the fornicator?
Folks…it’s Popcorn Time!
I’ll be providing comments as I can. However, my power is flickering and my UPS is dead. Oh, joy.
5:05: They already did the Pledge of Allegiance and they are now doing the National Anthem. I still don’t understand how these die-hard Republicans could debate without a reading of the Constitution first!
5:07: Santorum lands the first blow by thanking Iowans for a victory.
5:08: Ron Paul reads his curriculum vita for his self-introduction.
5:08: The debate opens with a question to Newt about his open marriage request. Newt attacks the media. “I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with that!” “…as close to despicable as anything imaginable.” Trashes CNN directly. Finally…he answers: “it’s false.” And then blames the attack on Obama?!?
5:12: Is it an issue, Mr. Santorum? Santorum, “I’m a Christian, too.”
5:13: Mitt take a pass.
5:13: Paul, “I’m proud that my wife of 54 years is hear tonight.” That’s a polite attack.
5:16 Did Newt just claim that Dodd–Frank is killing jobs? That bill was signed into law in July of 2010. What the fuck does it have to do with our current unemployment?
5:18: In a supreme act of hypocrisy and projection Mitt accuses Obama of “crony capitalism.” Of course, most of the examples he gives were things Bush initiated.
5:19: Santorum, “I believe in capitalism, too.”
5:22: Santorum wants tax breaks for manufacturers. Hmmm…seems I read something about that recently.
5:26: Santorum approves of socialized programs for veterans.
5:27: Santorum said, “disgusting.”
5:28: Romney is completely outraged at Obama for wanting to cut Veteran benefits. Huh…is that what Obama said?!?
5:31: Some audience member from Tennessee asks whether these guys really believe they can “repeal” ObamaCare. Obviously the guy is a commie infiltrator.
5:33: Newt: “The American People are frightened of centralized, government run health care.” Somebody should tell the “historian” that Obamacare is not “centralized health care” or “government run health care.”
5:35: Santorum uses the question to simply smear Mitt. He’s smearing all over Mitt. Smear, smear, smear.
5:36: Things that Santorum shouldn’t say: “I’ve been fighting for health care, bottom up, the way America works best….” and “Romney care…is not bottom up.”
5:41: Santorum smears Newt over supporting an individual mandate. Smear, smear, smear.
5:49: Rick Santorum smears all over Newt’s head over being a loose cannon. Smears him some more over being a loose cannon, undisciplined.
5:54: Newt and Rick go back and forth. Mitt smiles. The exchange makes his day a little bit better.
5:55: Now Mitt joins in and gives Newt a few slaps. But mostly talks about himself.
5:59: Mitt just clarified that he will only release his tax returns for this year in April. If Mitt is the nominee, people should demand some prior years as well. He seems to have something to hide. When pressed, Mitt commits to “maybe” releasing prior years.
6:04: Mitt claims he earned every penny he has—without money from his parents. Hmmmm…
6:05: Santorum will repeal “every single one” of Obama’s regulations.
6:10: Ron Paul talks doomsday.
6:10: Rick Santorum wants a national “Right to Work” law. So much for States Rights and Smaller Government.
6:13: On SOPA…three of four candidates go so far to the right that they take the Leftist position in opposition. Santorum wants something like drone strikes on overseas intellectual property violators.
6:20: This debate has almost no “debate” to it. It has more fluff than the FAUX News debate.
6:25: Newt will take care of illegal immigration by “Making English the official language of the U.S.” I can see it now. Signs all over the Mexican border pointing out that English is the official language of the U.S. Of course, the law would require that they be written in the official language of the U.S. Rats! Foiled again!
6:27: Mitt: “Illegal immigration is easy to solve.” Just ask Bush.
6:28: Santorum is proud to be the son of an immigrant. Is Romney proud to be the son of an illegal Mexican immigrant?
6:34: Paul on illegal immigration. Babble, babble, babble, blah, blah, stuff, blah, babble.
6:35: Newt and Mitt in a cat fight over abortion.
6:36: I think I just saw Rick Santorum fellate a microphone while whispering sweet “yes, I’m pro-life” nothings into it.
6:43: The Paulistas briefly take over the debate when Ron Paul is completely ignored over a topic on which he has professional expertise.
6:45: Santorum smears Paul over abortion.
6:53: Newt calls Obama “the most dangerous president” EVAR! In the same breath he calls him incompetent. Apparently Obama wants to be the most dangerous president ever, but isn’t competent enough to actually be that bad boy.
6:59: Mercifully…it’s over.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich had pretty good debates. Mitt may have taken some hits. Santorum, in particular, managed to strike-out at all of his opponents, and was very clear in how he communicated. I think has been studying Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic debates.
Mitt did not put up much of a fight, but relied on his same tactic of using each answer to launch into a mini-stump speech. We’ll see whether that shit still flies on Saturday….