N2K Florida: Every Day the Paper Boy Brings More
Thursday, January 26, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.
Every Day the Paper Boy Brings More
Mitt Romney has figured out how to talk about his wealth. And his answers at Thursday’s debate weren’t perfect – the notion of “blind trusts” seems a bit alien to middle-class voters – but they were good enough.
Romney’s evident energy on the Jacksonville stage, and Newt Gingrich’s lackluster performance, lent credence and additional momentum to the polling trends running in Romney’s favor. And Rick Santorum flashed the feistiness that put him over the top in Iowa, again effectively tattooing Romney over the Massachusetts health care plan.
And, of course, it will travel into history as the debate where candidates facing an economy-fixated electorate spent time debating the prudence of residential developments on the moon.
Even before their guy’s second consecutive muscular debate showing, the highest levels of Romney’s campaign, there was an expectation that turnout could salvage him in Florida.
In 2008, Florida’s primary drew over 1.9 million votes. Two years later, Florida’s GOP gubernatorial primary brought under 1.3 million. Romney’s camp has calculated turnout figures closer to the 2010 model, and perhaps below that. Such a pattern would benefit Romney substantially.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL'S FLORIDA REPORT
The Indignation of Newt
You know it's an ugly, brutish debate when Newt Gingrich of all people turns to his rival and says, "You have to be realistic in your indignation." National Journal's Ron Fournier breaks down the debate and the state of the race.
To the Moon, Newt
Gingrich sounded peevish and defensive the whole night and barely landed a punch on Romney as the latter floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, says NJ's Michael Hirsh.
GOP Heavies Move Against Gingrich
The Republican establishment has weighed in, heavily, against the prospect of a nominee named Newt Gingrich, writes NJ's Major Garrett.
Fact Check: Santorum Off-Base on Colombia
Rick Santorum inaccurately accused President Obama of holding Colombia "out to dry for three years" on the free trade agreement. The pact first stalled during the Bush administration, and Obama revived it.
Romney Dares Gingrich on Tax Returns
Romney didn't start the fight over tax returns, but tonight he seemed intent on finishing it, NJ's Tim Alberta concludes.
Romney Ducks Ad He Approved
Romney said he was unfamiliar with an ad blasting Gingrich. The problem? The ad itself includes Romney's voice stamping his approval.
Paul is Different Again, This Time on Cuba
The outlier is a familiar role for Ron Paul. During the debate, his free-trade overtures toward Cuba were yet another example of his outsider status.
Romney, Gingrich Vulnerable on Housing
Instead of offering housing policy solutions, Romney and Gingrich instead delivered attacks. That's a strategy that could backfire, NJ's Alex Roarty writes.
A Moon Base? Tried That
It may seem novel, but George Bush proposed a Moon base in 2004.
Dole vs. Gingrich: The GOP Empire Strikes Back
Bob Dole, the GOP's 1996 nominee and former Senate majority leader, attacked Gingrich as "a one-man band who rarely took advice."
Families USA Tweaks Mitt on 'Obamneycare'
The left-leaning group, which strongly supports health care reform, pointed out key similarities between the Romney-backed Massachusetts health care reform and Obama's health care reform.
Pelosi on Gingrich: 'I'm Not Here to Give a Road Map Through the Public Record'
Pelosi refused to elaborate on the Ethics Committee's final public report on Gingrich, saying only that people should "read the public record."
Republican Rhetoric on the Poor: Blame Obama
Attacking Obama for economic policies isn't offering the GOP candidates the opportunity to hold a productive discussion on what to do to fix the poverty epidemic.
Santorum: Gingrich Moon Plan ‘Crass Politics’
Santorum said Gingrich's promise to create a colony on the moon was "not being realistic with the people of this country" about the problems facing the economy.
Santorum: ‘We’re Going to Run Every Race’
Despite calls for him to drop out, Rick Santorum pledged Thursday that he would "run in every state" the campaign can manage.
Bob Dole Criticizes Gingrich, Supports Romney
Bob Dole is yet another establishment Republican backing Romney's push for the nomination.
Romney's Hispanic Problem
Florida will be a test of Romney's strength among Hispanic voters – a relationship that could put him back on the road to the nomination or foretell his defeat in November, Hotline editor Reid Wilson writes.
Why Did Romney Go So Far Right On Immigration?
Gingrich pulled a Spanish-language radio ad that called Romney "anti-immigrant" on Wednesday. What’s surprising is not that the ad aired, but that the ex-Massachusetts governor gave Gingrich so much material to work with.
Liberal Groups Target Romney in Florida
Liberal groups are planning a Florida assault on Romney – including an ad buy of at least $1 million – that will focus on the ex-Massachusetts governor’s time at Bain Capital and his stance on illegal immigration.
At Gingrich Rally, Spokesman Confronts Romney Surrogates
Two Romney surrogates showed up at a Gingrich rally, but their ploy may have backfired when Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond played reporter and tried to get them to slip up on the record.
FLORIDA NEWS SUMMARY
Romney is the Aggressor in Final Florida Debate
[Associated Press, 1/26/12] He seems to know Florida is the make or break state, and that he'll need to win tonight's debate to make it — so Romney was on the attack tonight.
Gingrich, Romney Clash Over Immigration, Consulting, Moon
[CNN, 1/26/12] That final one seems somewhat out of place, but every policy was fair game in the fiesty last debate before Tuesday's Florida primary.
Newt Gingrich Swings at Mitt Romney and Misses in CNN Florida Debate
[The Daily Beast, 1/26/12] It was Newt's time to shine, and the perfect platform from which to do it. But the combative former speaker seems to have failed to impress the audience enough to win him Florida's primary come Tuesday.
A Bad Night for Newt Gingrich
[RedState, 1/26/12] This may have been Gingrich's worst debate yet, and at the worst time possible.
FACT CHECK: A 'Period' Out of Place in GOP Debate
[Associated Press, 1/26/12] What did Gingrich really say about Spanish? He didn't quite call it a "ghetto language"...but close.
Mitt Romney Assails Newt Gingrich on 'Anti-Immigrant' Line: 'Repulsive' and 'Inexcusable'
[ABC News, 1/26/12] Romney knows one of the best ways to deflect an attack is to make a candidate look despicable for attacking you — and that's just what he did at tonight's debate.
GOP Candidates Bicker on Illegal Immigration
[The Hill, 1/26/12] In a state where the Latino vote could make all the difference, the candidates drive home opposing policies on how to deal with illegal immigration.
Gingrich Knocks the Media and Wolf Blitzer
[The Hill, 1/26/12] Back to his old ways, Gingrich slams debate moderator Wolf Blitzer for asking a question about Romney's financial disclosures — but Blitzer holds his own.
A Grueling Day on the Stump, Then a Debate
[New York Times, 1/26/12] Both Gingrich and Romney campaigned all day, then headed to a pivotal debate, where Romney wouldn't relent in his incessant attacks against the former House Speaker.
Romney Tax Returns Detail Funds Not Identified in Ethics Forms
[L.A. Times, 1/26/12] Romney's personal financial statement, a filing required by law of every presidential candidate, didn't disclose some funds that were revealed by Romney's tax returns. His campaign has called the discrepancies "trivial."
Jeb Bush: Four Ways Romney Can Win Back Hispanics
[Washington Post, 1/25/12] The former governor of Florida writes that although the Hispanic community – the fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. – has drifted away from the GOP, Republicans have an opportunity to regain their support in the 2012 presidential election.
If GOP Fight Drags On, So Could Battle Over Florida's Delegates
[Tampa Bay Times, 1/26/12] If Gingrich and Romney continue in a dead heat ahead of the Sunshine State primary, the race could turn into a nightmare for the Republican National Committee and their delegate system. Should Florida award its 50 delegates by way of winner-take-all, or should the delegates be divided up proportionally?
Romney Memo: Florida Tide is Turning
[Politico, 1/26/12] Romney pollster Neil Newhouse issued a memo to the Romney campaign that argues Newt Gingrich's rise in Florida has stopped dead in its tracks.
Santorum, Short on Cash, Fights Uphill Battle
[Washington Post, 1/26/12] Polls show Santorum lagging far behind front-runners Gingrich and Romney, and his fight in Florida is beginning to dry up his funds. So can he manage to improve his chances for the rest of the primary?
Conservative North Florida Voters: Romney's Too Rich
[CNN, 1/26/12] Many voters in North Florida view Romney as an elitist because of his vast personal wealth, and this may end up hurting him on Jan. 31.
Newt In 1988: Bush Won't Win If He Runs To Continue Reaganism
[BuzzFeed, 1/26/12] Although he has touted his ties to Ronald Reagan, Gingrich has a history of speaking out against the conservative hero – like this video from 1988.