April 11, 2012


Resilient Romney Bests His Last GOP Challenger (Carl M. Cannon, April 11, 2012, RCP)

Another way to look at Romney is that he proved to have one key prerequisite to running a competitive general election campaign: He can take a punch. When he got decked, which happened repeatedly, sometimes by his own corner, Mitt Romney picked himself off the canvas and began launching haymakers on whatever rival was standing in his way -- and there were several of them.

These two images of Romney are not mutually exclusive, and one thing is objectively true: No Republican candidate ever captured the nomination after having trailed so many rivals at one time or another in straw votes, fundraising, public opinion polls, and buzz. They came at him in waves, as though they were running a relay race and Romney was running a marathon by himself. In the ended, he bested the entire tag team of Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich & Santorum.

Rick Santorum was the last, and the toughest, rival, but he spit the bit on Tuesday -- apparently to avoid a drubbing in his home state of Pennsylvania two weeks hence. Polls showed the race to be close, but moving Romney's way, even before an expected blitz of negative ads by the Romney machine that were set to begin saturating the Keystone airwaves this week.

"He would have been crushed," veteran Republican political consultant Edward J. Rollins told RCP Tuesday. "The Romney folks were going to bomb him back to the Stone Age! He didn't have any resources to fight back, and losing your home state would be humiliating."

Posted by at April 11, 2012 7:00 AM

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