Tales from the Trail

Rove, Gingrich weigh in with advice for McCain

October 17, 2008

mccaintux1.jpg 

How can John McCain win?
    
The Republican presidential candidate trails Democratic rival Barack Obama in opinion polls and time is running out before the Nov. 4 election. The Web site FiveThirtyEight, which uses statistical modeling to predict the outcome, gives the Arizona senator only a 5.3 percent chance of victory.

It’s third and long for the Maverick, but  two prominent Republican strategists see a path to victory.
    
Here’s what they say:
    
THREAD THE NEEDLE. McCain should focus on a handful of states that voted Republican in 2004 but could go Obama’s way this time out — Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada, said Karl Rove, President Bush’s former political advisor. He can lose Iowa and New Mexico, which also voted for Bush in 2004, and still squeak by with 274 Electoral College votes, enough for a win.
 
“It’s threading the needle, but it’s come to that,” Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
    
TAXES, TAXES, TAXES. Forget on-the-ground tactics — McCain and running mate Sarah Palin should hammer Obama for wanting to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000, tapping into Americans’ instinctive mistrust of politicans, said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
    
If the message catches on, all those swing states will swing McCain’s way, Gingrich said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
 
The way Gingrich sees it, Obama could have another Bittergate on his hands after telling Joe the Plumber that he wants to “spread the wealth around” to create a healthier economy.
    
“If Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin spend the rest of this campaign focused on whether or not politicians want to take money away from you and decide how much you’re allowed to keeep, I suspect they win the election,” he said.
 
“What Sen. Obama said the other night was a Freudian slip,” he added. 
    
There’s another prominent politician who’s not ruling out a McCain victory: Obama himself. 
 
“Don’t underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” he said at a fundraiser Thursday night. “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up.”
    
What do you think? Who’s got the better roadmap for McCain — Rove or Gingrich?

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young (McCain arrives at the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York, Oct. 16)

Comments
7 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

You can see homeless people digging through dumpsters, you can see phychiatric patients on the streets, you can see children with infections, sick and starving on the streets. Nobody cares. This is not my wonderful America. State and Federal governments need to be held accountable to us, the people. We need to stop complaining about “bad government”, and start investigating budgets and spending, very closely and without fear. That will take care of corruption, which is eating American Politics.

Posted by mavis | Report as abusive
 

Karl Rove? Please get a reference from George first. But I guess it’s alright coz these are desperate times and beggars can’t be choosers. And Karl can certainly plumb the depths better than any old Joe, No?

Posted by simon li | Report as abusive
 

Neither. I have the best roadmap for McCain and America. It is to first drop out of the presidential race, retire, and swiftly support Ron Paul.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive
 

Homeless people digging through dumpsters have been with us since the invention of dumpsters, and it’s been difficult for me to find children with infections, sick and starving on the streets here in downtown Atlanta, or any other American city I’ve been in. But it’s a nice soundbite.

It doesn’t look to me to be an either/or. There doesn’t seem to be a conflict between one or the other, and both can be implemented simultaneously, if the McCain strategists wished. Asking who has the “better roadmap” is a push-polling type of question, similar to asking “Is it better for one to buy eggs or batteries?” If one only had the resources for one, there could be a reasoned answer.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

I would like to thank both Newt and Karlll for their “help”.
From the left wing,
:) Jim :)

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive
 

Thank you for asking two people, who significantly contributed to the divisiveness now permating the country and all our recent elections, for their opinions. Their opinions are always a welcome pause from rationality. To frequently it sounds like what is good for the party is good for the country rather than what does the country need and how can we deliver?

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive
 

Mccain, I think it best not take there advice any longer, perhaps grap some of the social service people of this nation and lift the ban on allowing them to speak then take their advice.

TAXES, TAXES, TAXES. Forget on-the-ground tactics — McCain and running mate Sarah Palin should hammer Obama for wanting to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000, tapping into Americans’ instinctive mistrust of politicans, said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Duh…the middle class is far below that income level.

Posted by wlwatkins | Report as abusive
 

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