January 23, 2008


Romney Leads in Ill Will Among G.O.P. Candidates (MICHAEL LUO, 1/23/08, NY Times)

With so much attention recently on the sniping between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, the almost visceral scorn directed at Mr. Romney by his rivals has been overshadowed.

“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig,” Senator John McCain said in New Hampshire this month after reporters asked him about Mr. Romney. “You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

Mike Huckabee’s pugilistic campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, appeared to stop just short of threatening Mr. Romney with physical violence at one point.

“What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn’t get in the way of my thought process,” Mr. Rollins said.

Campaign insiders and outside strategists point to several factors driving the ill will, most notably, Mr. Romney’s attacks on opponents in television commercials, the perception of him as an ideological panderer and resentment about his seemingly unlimited resources as others have struggle to raise cash. [...]

In stark contrast to Mr. Romney, Mr. McCain seems to be universally liked and respected by the other Republican contenders, even if they disagree with him.

Mr. Schnur used a schoolyard analogy to compare Mr. Romney, the ever-proper Harvard Law School and Business School graduate, to Mr. McCain, the gregarious rebel who racked up demerits and friends at the Naval Academy.

“John McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess,” Mr. Schnur said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2008 9:47 PM

“John McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess":

Sheesh, is it any wonder that the dorks at NRO endorse Mitt and hate McCain?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 23, 2008 10:00 PM

Mittens has mo' Mo' at the moment. I think he may yet win this thing.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 23, 2008 11:57 PM

Mittens is a fraud. All the water carrying in the world by the commentaristas won't put him over the top with joe sixpack.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at January 24, 2008 1:21 AM

I'll bet Rollins is just jealous that he isn't working for a winner. He has fallen quite a bit from his Reagan days, hasn't he?

Posted by: ratbert at January 24, 2008 7:22 AM

I wonder what the animus is? The article mentioned negative tv ads and the fact he has money, but that just seems lame.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 8:17 AM

it's his hollowness. you can't trust a guy who believes nothing.

Posted by: oj at January 24, 2008 11:25 AM

An election campaign is always a tournamnet of poses.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 24, 2008 11:51 AM

I wonder what the animus is?

Religious bigotry. People can only accept one unbelievable story at a time.

Posted by: Perry at January 24, 2008 11:59 AM

John McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess.

Okay. I'm now a Romney supporter.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at January 24, 2008 12:24 PM

"it's his hollowness. you can't trust a guy who believes nothing.

Still seems lame. Unless he has betrayed me personally, I don't get all het up. I just don't trust him.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 1:14 PM

In my experience people use such vitriol only against those who represent the greatest threat to them. Therefore my interpretation is that they see Romney as their biggest obstacle.

Romney certainly has negatives. Some people just won't vote for a Mormon. And I think OJ is right that some Joe Six-Packs just won't vote for such a corporate guy.

But he's a very strong candidate in other ways. First, he has the money. Second, he has the best record as an executive. That is really his strongest argument.

No doubt his policy changes hurt him. But what are his detractors really saying? That they would have preferred for the GOP to not have the governorship in MA? That they only want losing candidates in MA? He got the GOP a win there by conceding that there are a lot of issues that won't fly in MA so he promised not to do anything about them. Now that he's not limited to the MA pond, he tells the base that he'll fight for them on those issues. Seems silly to be complain about that, although I understand why other candidates want to make that an issue.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at January 24, 2008 1:18 PM

Money doesn't matter and he failed as an executive. They don't like him because he went from liberal to "conservative" without any thought or growth and gives no sign he'll stay there.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2008 7:26 AM