Newt Gingrich is so angry right now that his head just might explode. Less than a month ago, Gingrich had a massive lead in Iowa. At one point he was averaging 31 percent support in Iowa polls. But after an unprecedented onslaught of negative advertising his numbers began to drop like a rock. Ultimately, he finished in fourth place in Iowa with only 13 percent of the vote. Pro-Romney “Super PACs” spent over $3 million on negative ads that just ripped Gingrich to shreds. Of course considering his track record, that is not hard to do. But Newt Gingrich is not someone that is just going to “forgive and forget”. Gingrich honestly believed that he was going to win Iowa. In fact, he was so confident at one point that he told ABC News that he would “be the nominee“. Now that his dreams have been shattered by pro-Romney forces, Gingrich has apparently decided that he is going to make it his personal mission to destroy Mitt Romney. The next few weeks of the Republican race should be very entertaining as Gingrich pursues this vendetta.
But the Gingrich vs. Romney feud does have the potential to shake up the Republican race.
At this point, the mainstream media is portraying Mitt Romney as the inevitable nominee. The conventional wisdom is that nothing can stop him now.
But if Gingrich is able to derail Romney, at least to a certain extent, it could present an opportunity for another candidate.
For most of this campaign, Newt Gingrich had been trying to take the “high road”, but Gingrich has become visibly angry in recent days, and after his dismal showing in Iowa Gingrich could barely contain himself.
According to a Politico article that just came out, Newt Gingrich plans to never congratulate Mitt Romney for his win in Iowa. In fact, Gingrich seemed even angrier on Wednesday than he was on Tuesday night….
At a news conference in Concord, N.H., Gingrich was asked by CBS correspondent Dean Reynolds why he congratulated Rick Santorum but not Romney.
Gingrich stared at the reporter and raised his eyebrows in silence, eventually drawing laughter from some of the reporters.
“Because I know you would be a man of great professionalism, I know that’s a rhetorical question. And a good one,” Gingrich said.
Normally following a loss, it is customary to give a speech congratulating the winner. On Tuesday night, that is not what Gingrich did. He refused to mention Mitt Romney by name and he sounded like a man that was ready for war….
We’ll have — one other great debate and that is whether this party wants a Reagan conservative who helped change Washington in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan and helped change Washington in the 1990s as Speaker of the House, or we want a Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay but has given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any act to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government.
Let me be clear, because I think it’s important given all the things that were done in this state over the last few weeks. We are not going to go out and run nasty ads. We’re not going to run 30-second gotchas. But I do reserve the right to tell the truth and if the truth seems negative, that may be more a comment on his record than it is on politics. So this is going to be a debate that begins tomorrow morning in New Hampshire and and will go on for a few months, and I’m convinced that the Republican party will pick an era of Reagan and somebody with a track record of changing Washington.
But this is not something new for Gingrich.
In fact, he has a long history of playing nasty when it comes to politics.
The following comes from a Mother Jones article that was just posted….
Gingrich, as is widely known, entered the House in the late ’70s, throwing bombs. He aimed them at both the stodgy leadership of the Republican House minority and at Democratic leaders, whom he routinely called “corrupt.” For years, he hurled harsh and bombastic rhetoric, routinely comparing those with whom he disagreed to either Nazis or Nazi appeasers. It was often hard to keep track of his faux historical analogies. (For a partial list of his excesses, see this run-down.)
During his venom-laced rush to the top, Gingrich sought to institutionalize his hate politics. His political action committee, GOPAC, sent out a memo to Republican candidates counseling them to use particular words when describing Democrats, such as “decay,” “betray,” “traitors,” “pathetic,” and “corrupt.”
And Gingrich has already begun his assault on Romney in New Hampshire. On Wednesday a full-page ad appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper which contrasted the “Bold Reagan Conservative” Newt Gingrich with “Timid Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney.
In addition, Newt Gingrich is now publicly criticizing Mitt Romney during public appearances, which is something he had not really done before. For example, Gingrich made the following statement during a public appearance on Wednesday….
“Governor Romney was first a independent; then repudiated Reagan-Bush; then voted for Paul Tsongas, the most liberal candidate in the 1992 campaign; then ran to the left of Teddy Kennedy in 1994 [in Massachusetts]; then became a moderate to run for governor in 2002; and then with ‘Romneycare,’ for example, included state-funded abortions and specifically designated Planned Parenthood as a Romneycare; appointed liberal judges in order to placate Democrats and raised taxes on business, which I think will be a job killing approach. So the contrast will be very wide and that will be a key part of what we describe going forward.”
Not only that, Gingrich has also floated the idea of forming an “anti-Romney” alliance with the other candidates.
So will the attacks by Gingrich work?
It is certainly possible.
The truth is that the national poll numbers for Romney have been in the mid-20s for months. He just can’t seem to go much higher.
Romney may have “won” Iowa, but he still only got 25 percent of the vote.
Just like in the rest of the nation, 75 percent of the Republicans in Iowa did not want Mitt Romney.
But the Republican establishment desperately does want Mitt Romney. They have been showering him with money and they have been trying to pump him up as the most “electable” candidate.
For the Republican establishment, there are two scenarios at this point.
Scenario A: Mitt Romney wins the nomination
Scenario B: Make sure no other candidate wins 50 percent of the delegates and force a “brokered convention” where the Republican establishment can handpick a nominee.
So could Gingrich or some of the other candidates spoil the party?
It will certainly be interesting to watch this “Republican civil war” play out. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond recently told the New Hampshire Union Leader the following….
“We will fight Romney on the airwaves, on the beaches, on Interstate 93, on WMUR and in every county”
Gingrich himself may have given us a taste of the blood that is coming when he made the following statement on Wednesday….
“I suspect it’s going to be a very lively campaign.”