Behind Mitt Romney’s continued assault on Newt Gingrich

My AJC colleague Jeffry Scott notes that, while a Mitt Romney-allied super PAC is battling Rick Santorum everywhere else, it has put nearly $1 million in Georgia behind this TV ad attacking a wounded Newt Gingrich:

The ad from Restore Our Future has its origins in a National Review Online piece published late last month by Elliott Abrams, an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan Administration – and a Mitt Romney supporter. The topic was Reagan’s efforts to curb Soviet expansionism in places such as Afghanistan:

But the most bitter battleground was often in Congress. Here at home, we faced vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every trick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts. On whom did we rely up on Capitol Hill? There were many stalwarts: Henry Hyde, elected in 1974; Dick Cheney, elected in 1978, the same year as Gingrich; Dan Burton and Connie Mack, elected in 1982; and Tom DeLay, elected in 1984, were among the leaders.

But not Newt Gingrich. He voted with the caucus, but his words should be remembered, for at the height of the bitter struggle with the Democratic leadership Gingrich chose to attack . . . Reagan.

Writes Scott:

Restore Our Future spokeswoman Brittany Gross declined to say Tuesday why the group continues to target Gingrich in Georgia. “We don’t talk about strategy,” she said. Though Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, once held a sizable lead in Georgia, that appears to have eroded as Santorum has gained ground and taken the lead in some national polls.

Here’s what’s likely happening: Given how close this GOP race for president has become, Super Tuesday will be a tough scrap over individual delegates. Georgia allots its 86 delegates proportionally, in part by congressional district, but only to the first- and second-place finishers. The real Romney effort in Georgia is to avoid a third-place finish – and wind up with no delegates. Or nearly none.

If Santorum is in fact moving into first place in Georgia – a la Mike Huckabee in 2008, then Romney can best help himself by making sure Gingrich drops down two spots, not one.

The downside of such a strategy is that a third-place finish in his “home” state could hasten Gingrich’s exit. And Romney may want the former U.S. House speaker to hang around a bit longer.

For those of you who want to get into the weeds, here are the rules governing the distribution of the state’s 76 delegates on March 6, from GOP counsel Anne Lewis:

GOP counsel Anne Lewis offered this breakdown of how Georgia Republican delegates to Tampa will be divided:

– 42 come from congressional districts (3 x 14) and are pledged as follows: If a candidate gets more than 50% of the district vote, that person gets all 3 delegates. If no one does, then the top vote getter in the district vote gets 2 and the second place finisher gets 1

– 31 come from the state at large and are pledged as follows: A candidate has to get more than 20% to get any delegates; among those, the candidates get the percentage of delegates equal to the candidate’s percentage of the statewide vote. Any delegates left over after that are distributed sequentially to those qualified to get any delegates.

– 3 are the RNC man and woman and chairman of the State Party, who are all pledged to the top vote-getter statewide.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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54 comments Add your comment

Rickster

February 22nd, 2012
11:19 am

Newt…. you’re in “a whole heap of trouble.”

If he doesn’t win Georgia – and Romney fails to win Michigan , we’re in a whole heap of trouble ourselves.

The Snark

February 22nd, 2012
11:36 am

I’m no fan of the Newtster, but … we’re supposed to reject Presidential candidates because they criticized Ronald Reagan thirty years ago? Seriously?

This GOP primary is shameful.

sheepdawg

February 22nd, 2012
11:37 am

funny to watch the gop implode

Tiberius

February 22nd, 2012
11:42 am

let’s remember that the statewide delegates are allocated to anyone who receives 20%. I believe all three will get more than 20% so all three will some get delegates.

Bobby

February 22nd, 2012
11:45 am

Since Georgians aren’t going to vote for Mitt (multi-choice) Romney, his best best is to have Newt win Georiga in order to keep him around to siphon off support from Santorum. Cause once Newt is goin, Rick will easily beat Romney, as Republican primary voters prefer a candidate who doesn’t base his positions on the race he happens to be running for.
While people may not agree with some of Santorum’s positions, as least people can believe what he stands for, as opposed to Romeny who was for ObamaCare when it was passed in Massachusettes as RomneyCare (exact same mandates that he seems to now be against).

BigDawg

February 22nd, 2012
11:46 am

I will vote for anybody but NoBama!

td

February 22nd, 2012
11:46 am

Jim, If I am not mistaken then if a candidate receives more then 50% of the vote in the Georgia Republican primary then they receive all of the delegates from Ga? I could be wrong but could you please have the facts checked?

Bobby

February 22nd, 2012
11:47 am

What’s even funnier, is that Newt’s criticism of Reagan is far older than Romney’s support of Abortion, Tax Increases, and Insurance Mandates/Penalties that he now claims to be against.

Mittiful

February 22nd, 2012
11:51 am

For a guy who supported Tsongas, ran to the left of Ted Kennedy, and cheered on that Commie mayor Rocky Anderson, Mittens has no right to hit anyone on their comments on Reagan. This plastic ‘anyway the wind blows’ candidate needs to head back to MA, MI, or UT or wherever he’s from. Anyone who supports this clown needs a CT scan.

ld

February 22nd, 2012
11:53 am

Hopefully the GOP will not shut down any of the three in this three-ring circus just yet.

Dare we hope for an ‘open’ convention where a NEW choice could be made?

And they should keep Ron Paul in to sell the kookaid

ld

February 22nd, 2012
11:54 am

A three ring circus is more entertaining; even Ron Paul can sell some “kookaid”.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Why don’t you google it—-I’m sure the info is on somebody’s wordpress blog.

Mark

February 22nd, 2012
12:17 pm

I saw this commercial yesterday when I got in from work and laughed so hard I cried. Here we have Newt shouting Reagan’s name to the roof tops about how much a Reagan-nite he is and then we are shown clips from him calling Reagan’s policies a failure. How HILARIOIUS!

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2012
12:27 pm

Oops, too slow….that was for you, td. Why are you bugging Jim when you take googled crap as gospel if it’s about Obama being on the downlow?

And if you can’t find reliable information on how our state primary works all by yourself, somebody ought to revoke your internet license. You are clearly incompetent.

Real American

February 22nd, 2012
12:28 pm

LMAO @ Aquagirl

jgalloway

February 22nd, 2012
12:40 pm

TD:

I’ve added the rules by which GOP delegates will be divvied up in Georgia. Have at them.

Centrist

February 22nd, 2012
12:45 pm

Good analysis by Mr. Jim Galloway.

Gingrich has been using Reagan as a mantle, and turning his own words and voting record seems very legitimate. Santorum is digging his own current holes, and going back to his earmarking Senate days may not be necessary.

John K

February 22nd, 2012
12:45 pm

Newt spoke ill of the God of the GOP? I’m shocked he’s made it this far without a public stoning.

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

I’ve added the rules by which GOP delegates will be divvied up in Georgia.

Open wide td, here comes the baby spoon….good boy!

For god’s sake, please don’t ask Jim to burp you next.

Centrist

February 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

As I have noted before, Romney only has to get half of the remaining delegates to lock up the nomination. With proportional states like Georgia, he gets delegates even if he doesn’t win. He should stay on pace next week and the following Super Tuesday. His strongholds of delegate rich states like New York, California, and the rest of the seaboards come in later.

As noted above, the Romney strategy will not be detailed – but most political observers who don’t simply want media attention and/or the appearance of a horse race understand it well.

td

February 22nd, 2012
1:02 pm

jgalloway

February 22nd, 2012
12:40 pm

Thank you.

td

February 22nd, 2012
1:06 pm

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

Why are you being so whinny today? It was my understanding that Georgia was a winner take all for anyone receiving 50% of the vote (and if you read what Jim added then you will see that it is on a Congressional district level) and the way the article Jim quoted from it appears to be proportional so I asked a legitimate question.

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
1:40 pm

Politics 101

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
1:41 pm

Aquagirl….Are you having cramps?

2012 Preseason Fulmer Cup Champs

February 22nd, 2012
1:43 pm

UGA 1999

Come back over to Kyles blog.

Attack Dog

February 22nd, 2012
1:45 pm

Some people agreed with Liberals like Ted Kennedy that Reagan shouldn’t have used taxpayer money to supported Afghan jihad, repair the tunnels in Tora Bora, aid in the rise of Pakistan religious extremism, and help destroy the Afghan middle class. This gave rise to the classic statement that those policies have resulted in the “US chickens have come home to roost.”

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
1:52 pm

Attack Dog….Quoting your hero Jeremiah Wright again? Nice!

Your history is way off course.

missmollie

February 22nd, 2012
1:56 pm

Newt was a freshman congressman during the Reagin Era. (Mentioned only once in Reagin’s autobiography).. You would think he was the V-P. Why has the yellow smear sheets on all autos at The Redeemer Church not been on National news?. I have only seen it here???? Vote for the canddate that can improve the economy, has a proven record in the private sector and can stay in this race all the way to the OVAL OFFICE: Romney. Don’t believe all of the rhetoric that is being
spewed from two mega churches who have stopped preaching and started politicing..Don’t let Mr
Goody Two Shoes get your Georgia vote. NG and RS are depending on someone financing their
campaigns. When the air clears and the funds run out they will fade, IMO. Be sure and listen to the debate tonight …8:00 PM EST SP and HC both have hidden agendas, IMO. .

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
2:03 pm

missmollie….What is a “canddate”?

Keep in mind that Newt, as just as responsible for the Clinton budget succeses as Clinton.

missmollie

February 22nd, 2012
2:08 pm

Newt and RS are not slow learners…just quick forgetters with selective memories….Each has a wannabe First Lady wife with apparent pasts. Ask yourself if fidelity is part of your values???

The Goobernator

February 22nd, 2012
2:10 pm

ALL Political Ads LIE! Does anybody really watch them anymore? (just mute the Newt)
The SuperPACs just give one more level of separation for the candidates, ” I didn’t say that lie on TV, and someone, that I have no association with, just spent $10 million to put those on TV.”

Can we just stop giving free publicity to negative campaigns and let the ads die?

missmollie

February 22nd, 2012
2:16 pm

Thanks UGA 1999…..how about what are “succeses”??? I believe your CANDIDATE will win Georgia even though he was not born here and has lived in D C. for the past 40 years. He was doing the same thing as Clinton and I am not talking about budgets…if you know what I mean…. Peace!!!
Go Dawgs….

Look before I leap...

February 22nd, 2012
2:18 pm

@UGA aka Mr Spelling and Grammar

“Keep in mind that Newt, as just as responsible for the Clinton budget succeses as Clinton.”

You do realize that the main clause in the above sentence lacks a verb?

Bernie

February 22nd, 2012
2:27 pm

As the former speaker of the House The Honorable Nancy Pelosi says, ” Newt for President, It will never Happen”. I am inclined to agree….100%, Thank GOD!

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
2:28 pm

Bernie….The fact that you think anything that Nancy Pelosi is correct, shows your mental capacity.

jconservative

February 22nd, 2012
2:37 pm

“…we’re supposed to reject Presidential candidates because they criticized Ronald Reagan thirty years ago?”

Only if the candidate brags about being Ronald Reagan’s right hand man 30 years ago. You know, the claims like “me and Ronniee defeated the Soviets”, “me and Ronnie brought down the Wall”, “me and Ronnie reduced taxes”.

Gingrich brough this commercial on himself.

DannyX

February 22nd, 2012
2:38 pm

“Bernie….The fact that you think anything that Nancy Pelosi is correct, shows your mental capacity.”

UGA, Look Before is right, if you’re going to be the blog’s grammar/spelling whiner at least lead by example, especially since you usually have only one sentence to get right.

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
2:45 pm

DannyX…..Awe, look DannyX likes “Look Before”, that is sweet.

missmollie

February 22nd, 2012
2:51 pm

Donald Trump said a WIN FOR RS would be an early Christmas gift for the incumbent and the
Democ..Rats….not the Republ.. l..Cans….

Marlboro Man

February 22nd, 2012
3:14 pm

Newt, the PA damnyankee carpetbagger has it on his shoes and can’t get it off.

UGA 19999

February 22nd, 2012
3:15 pm

You do realize that the main clause in the above sentence lacks a verb?

What’s a verb? Pleas don’t try to be so fancy smancy with tirms like main clause an all that.

Random Reader

February 22nd, 2012
3:15 pm

He is as much of a COWARD on this blog as he is on Jim Galloways….PUNK!!!

Random Reader

February 22nd, 2012
3:16 pm

Can anyone tell us what the hell a “tirms” is???

Ol' Timer

February 22nd, 2012
3:20 pm

If the purpose of this ad is to show that Newt says one thing but actually does another — why, hellsbelles, that’s Newt! That’s the Newtster being the Newt!

No surprises there!

Look before I leap...

February 22nd, 2012
3:24 pm

@Random
You’ve been punked.
The 3:15 post is not by the original UGA – look again, there is an extra “9″ in the moniker.

Random Reader

February 22nd, 2012
3:28 pm

He is still a coward!!

Attack Dog

February 22nd, 2012
4:05 pm

1. Fact. Reagan supported of Afghan jihad, repaired tunnels, aided Pakistani extremist, and help destroy the Afghan middle class all as a part of his battle against the USSR. 2. Fact. Over $60 million was spent on negative ads about Speaker Pelosi just because she was able to pass conservative pieces of legislation such as health coverage mandates, bailouts monies to prevent a total financial meltdown, and stood up against Dixiecrat males who did not want their wivies, daughters, and sister to get equal pay for equal work. Dixiecrats wish that Boehner was just 10% of a leader as Pelosi. Dixiecrats are chasing their tails, thinking it’s a liberal.

phildo

February 22nd, 2012
4:18 pm

Life ain’t easy for a boy named Newt.

honested

February 22nd, 2012
4:42 pm

Was just looking as November set up polls on RCP.

Noots does even worse than sans-scrotum against the President.

Nobody in the Clown Car even gets close.

But on Super Tuesday, Democrats need to show up and pick who they think is the least capable among them, because we cannot afford even four years under any of them!

Centrist

February 22nd, 2012
5:02 pm

Still in S. Florida enjoying the beach, etc. Please tell me how the debate goes tonight 8)

Hope you don’t mind if I get other internet opinions since posters here just might have a little bias :) :) :)