I have been documenting the so-called conservative media’s attempt to hijack the primary for Mitt Romney. The media’s strategy constists of two parts: Some, like Matt Drudge and Ann Coulter, have been hammering Romney’s conservative challengers, particularly Newt Gingrich (click the image to the left to see for yourself). Others, like Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin, have been promoting conservative alternatives, like Rick Santorum, in an effort to split the conservative vote.
The establishment forces for Romney hit a fever pitch after Newt Gingrich trounced Mitt Romney in South Carolina. The National Review and others smeared Newt as an opponent of Ronald Reagan. The lies were coordinated with attack ads that Mitt Romney was running at the time. On a thursday January 26, 2012, a day that will live on in infamy for conservatives, Drudge linked it all together on his website.
In response, Michael Reagan came out to defend Newt Gingrich and his true legacy of working with and supporting Ronald Reagan. Newt Gingrich and his supporters spread a video of Nancy Reagan proudly proclaiming that Ronald Reagan had “passed the torch” onto Newt. However, all of it was too late to correct the lies before the election.
Additionally, Michelle Malkin and the Limbaughs came out to endorse Santorum in an effort to split the conservative vote. A parade of has-beens, including Tom Delay and Bob Dole, were brought out by the republican establishment to smear Newt’s record. Ann Coulter wrote an article entitled “Re-Elect Obama: Vote Newt!” The coordinated attack was so obvious that even many liberal media outlets took notice.
The result was that Newt Gingrich went from a commanding lead in the polls in Florida to wide loss by the time the election took place. The establishment and their comrades in the press cheered. All of their attacks, along with Mitt’s multi-million dollar attack ad bonanza, had secured victory for Mitt Romney, and he went on to win in Nevada too. Everything was finally right with the world, they thought.
However, something was not quite right. Newt gave a concession speech after Florida where he said what many interpreted as a hint at a third party run. He said that he would no longer run a “Republican campaign but a people’s campaign.” Whether Newt meant it or not is hard to say, but many of Newt’s supporters picked up the idea of a third party run and vowed not to back Mitt.
Other troubling signs existed in Mitt Romney’s wins. The voter turnout in South Carolina was up 35% from 2008, where Newt won. In Nevada and Florida, the turnout was way down. Romney’s campaign had been strictly negative, and it showed.
It has become increasingly apparent that Mitt Romney can not win the general election and that conservatives voters are likely to go to a third party or stay home. Worse still for the old conservative media, people have been tuning them out (I have switched to Newsmax, CNS, American Thinker, etc.).
What could the old media to do? They decided to take the farce and run with it. They all got behind the other anti-Romney candidate, Rick Santorum, and pushed him to a three-state sweep: MN, CO, and MO.
Will the old media continue to back Rick Santorum? Will Mitt Romney come back? Will Newt stay in and attempt a comeback or plan for a third party run?
If Mitt Romney does manage to win the nomination at this point, conservatives will need a third party candidate. Mitt Romney would lose anyway, but having him as the leader of the party would leave the base so despondent that the Republican Congress would suffer greatly. A third party run by Newt Gingrich would not only have a chance of winning, but it would be the best method for getting conservatives to the polls.
February 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm Comment (1)