Tales from the Trail

New Romney video highlights old praise from Gingrich

Newt Gingrich Praises Mitt Romney in 2010

Mitt Romney’s campaign is out today with a new web video featuring a February 2010 speech by rival Newt Gingrich in which he praised Romney’s business acumen.

“Governor Romney in his business career created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinet combined, so he could actually talk about it,” said Gingrich in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Romney’s camp liked the quote so much they actually run it twice in the ad, interspersed with graphics saying Romney “saved” the 2002 Winter Olympics and that he eliminated a $3 billion budget shortfall in Massachusetts. YouTube Preview Image

 

Credit: mittromney.com/YouTube

Gingrich faces down protests at brain science event

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich defended himself against attacks from his rivals on Wednesday when he ran into a sustained protest at what was supposed to be a low-key event about the human brain.

Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is trying to hang on to a lead in Iowa to score a victory in the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses, the first U.S. nominating contest in the Republican race to choose a 2012 presidential candidate.

But to do it he will have to overcome sustained negative ads and daily attacks from his rivals, such as a comment Mitt Romney made to The New York Times on Wednesday calling him “zany.”

Washington Extra – End in sight

President Obama didn’t bite when asked by a White House reporter today if he still thought the U.S. war in Iraq was “a dumb war.” Back in 2002, he could get away with such a blunt statement. As president, and with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at his side, he needed to be more subtle.

Up the two men went to Arlington Cemetery, their motorcade driving past the white grave stones of wars past and present, canon shots firing in the background, until they arrived at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A military band played both countries’ anthems, Obama stood with his hand over his heart for both songs while Maliki stood erect with his hands by his sides.

Obama said it was Maliki who wanted to go to Arlington, but it turned out to be a fitting, if somber way for Obama to close this chapter. By going to a place where the costs of war are so much in evidence, he was able to answer the “dumb war” question in a serene, statesman-like way.

from Political Theater:

New ad from pro-Romney SuperPAC hits on Gingrich’s weaknesses

The pro-Romney SuperPAC Restore Our Future has released a video ad warning that Obama's "plan" to "brutally attack Mitt Romney and hope Newt Gingrich is his opponent" because "Newt has a ton of baggage" is working.

The video goes on to outline Gingrich's potential vulnerabilities, including ethics violations, lobbying profits, flip-flopping on issues, and immigration. Check it out:

Credit: RestoreOurFuture and YouTube.

from Political Theater:

New Perry ad bashes Gingrich, Romney on health care mandate

A day after releasing an incendiary ad condemning gays serving in the military and "Obama's war on religion," the Perry campaign has put out a new campaign video, this one focused on his rivals' stances on the individual mandate.

"We don't want government-mandated health care," says a voice-over in the ad:

Yet Newt Gingrich supports it.

And Mitt Romney -- he put it into law in Massachusetts.

Worse, Barack Obama forced it on the entire nation.

Rick Perry? He'll repeal it, starting day one.

The video cuts to Perry, walking through the same scenic outdoor background as yesterday's ad (though wearing a different jacket), who tells viewers he's an "outsider" and "won't let the big government liberals ruin this country."

Check out the ad, via rickperry.org, below. And be sure to catch his spin-and-grin at the 0:26 mark:

Republicans, again, look to older White House candidates

If presidential candidates, like fine wine, improve with age, the 2012 Republican field is in luck.  The top three contenders — Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — would each be one of the oldest U.S. presidents ever if he were to defeat Barack Obama and win the White House in 2012.

Gingrich, who currently leads the Republican pack, would be 69 years and 7 months old on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013. That would make him the second-oldest first-term U.S. president, just behind Ronald Reagan, who was 69 years and 11 months old when he first took the oath of office in January 1981.

Romney is a bit younger than Gingrich, who was Speaker of the House in the 1990s. But, at 65 years and 10 months old on Jan. 20, 2013, Romney would be tied for third place in the presidential age stakes, after Reagan and William Henry Harrison. James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. president, was 65 years, 10 months and 9 days old when he was sworn in on March 4, 1857, the same age that Romney would be.

Just what is a “Lincoln-Douglas” debate?

Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich and long-shot Jon Huntsman say they’ll hold a “Lincoln-Douglas” debate in New Hampshire on Monday. So how will it be different from the usual debates?

During the 1858 race for U.S. Senate in Illinois, incumbent Democrat Stephen Douglas and upstart Republican lawyer Abraham Lincoln held a series of seven three-hour debates in towns throughout the state on the day’s hottest topic: slavery.

The debates had no moderator, and the candidates spoke in paragraphs rather than today’s rehearsed 45-second sound bites. In each of the debates, the first candidate was given 60 minutes to make opening remarks. His opponent was given 90 minutes to respond, and the first candidate was allowed a final 30-minute rebuttal.

from Political Theater:

Gingrich and Trump plan ‘Apprentice’ show for poor kids

After a meeting with Newt Gingrich in Manhattan this morning, Donald Trump announced plans to start an 'Apprentice'-style program for children from New York City's poorest schools. The idea, apparently hatched during their meeting, is an extension of Gingrich's scheme to hire poor schoolchildren for jobs typically occupied by adults -- including janitor and librarian -- because, as he put it last week, these kids “have no habit of showing up on Monday; they have no habit of staying all day; they have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ — unless it’s illegal.”

Speaking to the press this morning, Gingrich said he asked Trump to "take one of the poorer schools in New York and basically offer at least ten apprenticeships to kids from that school to get them into the world of work and get them into an opportunity to earn money and get them into the habit of showing up and realizing that effort gets rewarded and that America is all about the work ethic.”

Trump expounded on the show's premise: "We’re going to be picking ten young, wonderful children and we’re going to make them apprenti," he said. "We’re going to have a little fun with it. It will be something that's going to really prove results. It was Newt’s idea, and I thought it was a great idea.”

from Political Theater:

Gingrich airs first TV ad in Iowa: ‘Is the America we love a thing of the past?’

Newt Gingrich has released his first television ad of the campaign, an optimistic rebuttal to anyone who thinks "the America we know and love is a thing of the past." Set to air in Iowa this week, the spot mixes uplifting music (from the soundtrack to the film Rudy) and imagery -- wheat fields, a picket-fence home flying an American flag, factory workers, the Iowa State Capitol building -- with footage of Gingrich making the case that "together...we can rebuild America":

"We can revive our economy and create jobs, shrink government and the regulations that strangle our businesses, throw out the tax code and replace it with one that is simple and fair," Gingrich says in the ad. "We can regain the world’s respect by standing strong again, being true to our faith and respecting one another. We can return power to the people and the states we live in so we’ll all have more freedom, opportunity and control of our lives. Yes, working together, we can and will rebuild the America we love.”

Here's the ad, via Newt.org:

Credit: Newt.org

from Political Theater:

Gingrich reiterates plan to hire poor kids as school janitors

Speaking in Iowa today, Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich repeated his idea for schoolkids in poor neighborhoods to take over some of the jobs adults are normally employed to do -- greeter, for instance, or assistant librarian or janitor -- in exchange for cash and, apparently, lessons in work ethic.

Gingrich, who according to a new national poll is leading 38 percent to Mitt Romney's 17 percent among Republicans, offered no evidence to back up his claim that "really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works." These children, he said, "have no habit of showing up on Monday; they have no habit of staying all day; they have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash' -- unless it's illegal."

Here's the clip, via CBS News:

Credit: CBS News