Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bachmann quits GOP race; Romney on to New Hampshire

January 4, 2012, 10:48 a.m. Updated January 4, 2012, 7:53 p.m.


— Mitt Romney eagerly pocketed an endorsement from two-time New Hampshire primary winner John McCain on Wednesday and bid to convert a single-digit victory in Iowa into a Republican presidential campaign juggernaut. Unimpressed, Newt Gingrich ridiculed the former Massachusetts governor as a liberal turned moderate now masquerading as a conservative.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sought to rally conservatives to his side after coming achingly close to victory in the Iowa caucuses.

“This is a wide-open race still,” added former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who skipped the Iowa caucuses in hopes of making his mark in next Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Romney is the odds-on favorite to win the New Hampshire primary, and the endorsement of McCain, an Arizona senator, made his welcome in the state a warm one. “The time has arrived for Republicans to choose a presidential nominee, a new standard bearer who has the ability and determination to defeat President Obama,” said the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a man with a demonstrated appeal to the state’s independent voters.

Already, the Republican field of challengers was dwindling.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann ended her campaign after a dreary 5 percent showing in Iowa, the state where she was born.

After suggesting he, too, might withdraw, Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided otherwise. “Here we come South Carolina!!!” he tweeted. That primary is Jan. 21 and will mark the first balloting in the South as well as in a state that is part of the Republican Party’s conservative, political base nationally.

Iowa, for months ground zero in the Republican race, yielded an almost impossibly close finish.

Romney emerged with an eight-vote victory over Santorum, whose grass-roots campaigning produced a late surge that fell just shy of victory. Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished third, followed by Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann.

A survey of Iowa caucusgoers highlighted the internal divisions in the GOP as it sets out to find a challenger for Barack Obama in the general election campaign.

Romney, who campaigned as the man best positioned to defeat Obama, was the favorite by far among caucus-goers who said that goal was their priority. Paul was preferred by those who said what mattered most was backing a true conservative. Santorum ran particularly well among those who said they were looking for a candidate with strong moral character.

Paul outpolled his rivals among younger voters and gained an estimated 48 percent share of self-identified independents, a group that traditionally plays a major role in determining the outcome of New Hampshire’s primary.

“If you look to bringing new people in, the frustrated young people that Obama had, you have to look at my campaign. I mean that’s where the enthusiasm is,” he said.

McCain and Romney clashed sharply as rivals in 2008 before reconciling for the fall campaign.

The Arizona senator did well among younger and independent voters in his two New Hampshire primary campaigns. Now, in a supporting role, he said, “Our message to President Obama is, you can run but you can’t hide from your record.”

Romney was more scathing. Paraphrasing the president, he recalled, “He said, ‘If I can’t turn this economy around in three years, I’ll be looking at a one-term proposition.’

“Well, I’m here to collect,” he added.

Before leaving Iowa, Romney made the round of early morning interview programs, sounding at times more like an analyst of a race than a competitor.

“I think there’s a real boost coming out of Iowa, not just for me but also of course for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul,” he said.

At the same time, he brushed aside suggestions that his share of the vote in Iowa, less than 25 percent, was a sign of weakness.

“Ronald Reagan got 29 percent of the votes here and ultimately he was able to become our nominee,” said, referring to the 1980 campaign that put Republicans in the White House.

He had a stiffer response to Gingrich, who refused to extend congratulations in the wake of the Iowa outcome.

“I’m sure he’s disappointed in the results last night. But I expect he’ll go on and mount a spirited campaign,” he said.

Spirited might be an understatement, given the sharp escalation in rhetoric from the former House speaker in the final hours in Iowa. His campaign purchased a full-page advertisement in the Union Leader, New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, calling Romney a Massachusetts moderate.

Talking with reporters in Concord, N.H., Gingrich described himself as a “conservative leader for the last generation,” and depicted Romney as something entirely different.

“In that same time period, Gov. Romney was first an independent, then repudiated Reagan-Bush, then voted for Paul Tsongas, the most liberal candidate in the ‘93 campaign, then ran to the left of Teddy Kennedy and then became a moderate to run for governor in Massachusetts in 2002.”


beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

"Stand aside"? Doesn't she mean left behind?

Ockhams_Razor 6 years, 3 months ago

And Perry stays in it. So while Kansas loses one of the biggest employers in the state, Sammy can go to New Hampshire.

Fossick 6 years, 3 months ago

Perry is done, he just doesn't know it yet. He's not financing all those plane trips himself.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 3 months ago

I am sad to see Bachmann go. She provided much entertainment.

Still plenty of fun to come, with the lineup still in the race.

Popcorn, anyone?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Not to worry. I'm sure she'll follow Palin's lead and become a full-time celebrity.

Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

You beat me to it. Indeed! The entertainment value was priceless.

And BTW, I'd like butter on mine. I

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Here's an excellent article from Matt Taibbi--

Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins

The 2012 presidential race officially begins today with the caucuses in Iowa, and we all know what that means …


The race for the White House is normally an event suffused with drama, sucking eyeballs to the page all over the globe. Just as even the non-British were at least temporarily engaged by last year’s royal wedding, people all over the world are normally fascinated by the presidential race: both dramas arouse the popular imagination as real-life versions of universal children’s fairy tales.


Most likely, it’ll be Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, meaning the voters’ choices in the midst of a massive global economic crisis brought on in large part by corruption in the financial services industry will be a private equity parasite who has been a lifelong champion of the Gordon Gekko Greed-is-Good ethos (Romney), versus a paper progressive who in 2008 took, by himself, more money from Wall Street than any two previous presidential candidates, and in the four years since has showered Wall Street with bailouts while failing to push even one successful corruption prosecution (Obama).

There are obvious, even significant differences between Obama and someone like Mitt Romney, particularly on social issues, but no matter how Obama markets himself this time around, a choice between these two will not in any way represent a choice between “change” and the status quo. This is a choice between two different versions of the status quo, and everyone knows it.


Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely agree. thanks for the post.

blindrabbit 6 years, 3 months ago

What is it with these nutty Republican women; Bachmann, Palin, Brewer, McDonald, and that one from Nevada? Too much religion and not enough brains. Pumped up by the likes of Coulter and daughter Cheney.

woodscolt 6 years, 3 months ago

Headline should read "Bachman completes her audition for Fox". She can only wait and hope now. I think she had a formidable audition. Hit on all the major factors: Don't let the truth get in the way and by all means don't be tripped up by the facts.

Fossick 6 years, 3 months ago

And John McCain endorses Romney. As if we needed another reason to dislike Romney.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

And remember, it was Mr. McCain that inflicted Moose Lady Palin on the party. Romney should be cringing by now.

Fossick 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, to be fair, Palin was already in the party. But McCain did inflict that insufferable daughter of his on the world. Good grief, I feel stupider just for seeing her on television. They ought to have a rule that if you're merely the daughter of a politician (whether McCain or Cheney or Clinton or Kerry) you're not famous, you're not important, and you don't get to be on the news. You are most especially not news yourself.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

And I saw Santorum on CNN speaking about the Republican never-ending mantra to make abortion illegal again and send women back to the coat hanger medical providers. He said that "all doctors that perform abortions (a safe and legal medical proceedure) should be arrested and jailed". What more evidence do you need as to the underlying (and lying) facist inclinations of these Republican clowns who want to be elected to destroy the health care law and the current president? Bachman's concession blather was fully laced by her hatred of the current occupent of the White House and clearly revealed why she should have been outed from this race a long time ago.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 3 months ago

Romney has done a great job avoiding all the abortion/immigration/gay marriage traps, but that can't last forever. I am very curious if the hatred of Obama is enough to get the hard core religious right to vote for a Mormon.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 3 months ago


As in fasces, as in fascicle, or a bundle of sticks that symbolized authority and punishment in the roman empire.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 3 months ago

I am surprised that you can use the word "santorum" on this site and not violate the use policy against explicit, vulgar terms.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 3 months ago

I really feel sorry for you liberal nuts!

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

That is no way to talk about Mitt Romney.

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

Funny how that's the exact same thing that they said about Bush in 2004.

Anyway, no difference at all between Romney and Obama.

Fossick 6 years, 3 months ago

Romney is going to be the Republican conservatives' worst nightmare. They are going to forced to choose between giving a progressive Republican political victories (a la Bush 2001-3) or holding fast to their principles.

Principles, it was good to know you.

acg 6 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

And your opinions on the GOP field beyond your blind hatred for our current President?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

You know, I sort of enjoy these rantings including mhy own contributions to the fray. I get a kick out of reading some of the obtuse and mangled ideas I see here. It tellls me a lot, why we have a dysfunctional state government, why we are constantly haranged by the obnoxious media blathering about some assembly of midwestern residents to vote on an aggregation of totally comical and clueless dolts each who thinks that they could do a better job at being Cheif Executive than the current office holder. The blind hatred and distress that is heaped on the opposite party, the constant assertions by various inconsequential personalities who are brave enough to think they can do the job better, is disheartening, and the results are evident in the incompetant members of Congress that can do nothing but squabble like schoolyard childern. A pox on all of them.

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