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KalWest's avatar

Do you think Gingrich has a better chance against Obama then Romney?

Asked by KalWest (1389 points ) December 14th, 2011

I just don’t understand how Gingrich can be be their number 1 choice (not that I mind – I’m voting for Obama)... just curious if anyone can explain to me how Newt is now the frontrunner?

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44 Answers

ucme's avatar

Speaking purely as an outsider (englishman) looking in, i’d say Obama is a shoe-in with those motley collection of misfits batting for the other team.

Qingu's avatar

They don’t want Romney ‘cuz he’s a Mormon who enacted Obamacare in Massachusetts and their other options in the Repub primary are rapidly diminishing.

marinelife's avatar

Party-wide amnesia. Gingrich is the man who shut down the Government. he has been involved in so many scandals that I doubt he could survive a general election.

bkcunningham's avatar

How’s Newt the front-runner? Romney said he was. Sounds like he’s positioning himself as the underdog as a strategic plan. Who knows?

fundevogel's avatar

I like Quasniki for the nomination.

JLeslie's avatar

I think Romney has a better chance at the national level. So ridiculous that being a Mormon works against him. Both Huntsman and Romney have shown they Do not mix their rekigion with politics. In fact, I like the idea of a religious minority, because they are more likely to get keep religion out of government.

@Qingu I recently saw Pres. Clinton in an interview and he said some stats came out recently that Mass had some of the lowest rates of healthcare costs, and he wondered out loud how Mitt is going to handle it. Take credit for his program? Not take credit? What?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Nope. Ron Paul is the ONLY viable candidate! : ))

dappled_leaves's avatar

Newt is polling high right now, but even his friends don’t want to see him as president. I don’t think he’ll end up being the candidate.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Christmas season is starting to mess with my head, I read “Grinch against Obama”.

Mariah's avatar

No, I saw a poll recently that said that although Gingrich is currently leading Romney in the polls, Romney is neck and neck with Obama for the general election while Gingrich trails behind.

Aethelflaed's avatar

No, of course not. But it seems like the Republican party is having some trouble finding (and then throwing weight behind) a candidate that could win against Obama, instead of someone that speaks to the more extreme ideology within the party.

@CaptainHarley The candidate you personally find the most desirable is not necessarily a viable candidate. Ron Paul repeatedly has trouble getting actual support.

phaedryx's avatar

No, I think he’ll rise and fall like the rest have and somebody else will be up next year.

Incidentally, Romney is currently trading at ~48% and Gingrich at ~31%
http://www.intrade.com/v4/home/

Blondesjon's avatar

I think everyone forgets that Newt is a master of the political game. The fact that he has sooo much dirt under his nails and is still a viable candidate speaks volumes about this.

Remember kids, America is just as pissed now as they were when they voted for Obama. This is the kind of environment the Gingrich’s of the world thrive in. I think he was right when he said he would get the Republican nod.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I truly don’t understand how he would have a snowball’s chance. Or Romney either.

bkcunningham's avatar

This morning I heard Ann Coulter say she’d vote for Jeffrey Dahmer over Barack Obama. Funny hyperbole.

filmfann's avatar

Ron Paul could easily win the nomination of his party. The problem is that his party isn’t the Republican. It’s the Libertarian.
Newt has too much baggage to attract any democrat voters. My favorite is how he served his first wife divorce papers while she was going through Cancer treatment.
Romney belongs on this site. Jelly-fish are spineless. Mitt hasn’t got a position that wasn’t dictated by the polls, and still he can’t get more than 24% of his partys vote.
This election will be Obama in a cake-walk.

phaedryx's avatar

@filmfann I cynically suspect that for many voters it comes down to “am I better off than I was 4 years ago?” if yes, then keep, if not, then switch (regardless of who is to blame for their current condition). I suspect Obama will win, but it won’t be easy.

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . . I support neither side, but I do think I have a good feel for the political climate in this country. I have said for a long time now that Obama is a one term president and would like to back that up now with a little wager. That is, if you feel strongly enough to make one?

Sunny2's avatar

I think Gingrich has too many skeletons in his closet to get him elected. His character is extremely flawed as his decisions have shown over and over again. He’s intelligent, but not wise.

filmfann's avatar

@Blondesjon I will PM you the wager.

mazingerz88's avatar

Gingrich has a chance if he convinces Ron Paul to be vice-president.
Romney has a chance if he gets the Pope to be vice-president. Lol.

bkcunningham's avatar

Does anyone else think Marco Rubio will be a VP choice for, perhaps Romney? Paul won’t be a VP candidate.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I hope not. I think Romney should do the same thing I said about McCain, pick a VP who is moderate and really go after Independents. The evangelicals are not going to vote for Obama, so why play to them? I guess maybe they won’t come out to vote, but I doubt that, I think they want to get rid of Obama bad enough.

bkcunningham's avatar

Are you saying Rubio would be catering to the evangelicals, @JLeslie?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham He definitely would to appeal to them in my opinion.

JLeslie's avatar

Rubio is evangelical.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think he would appeal to a lot of people, including evangelicals. He’s a shining star. I look for Romney to pick Chris Christie or Huntsman.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I like both Chris Christie and Huntsman. Catholic and another Mormon. Imagine two Mormons. I think the party would advise Romney not to pick Huntsman. Maybe neither. I don’t know, I just cannot predict the Republicans.

Qingu's avatar

Actually some evangelicals did vote for Obama in 2008. I campaigned with one.

The thing about Gingrich is that he is truly a repulsive person. Going after Clinton while having an affair, breaking up with his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from a benign tumor… he recently said that poor kids should be made to clean up school bathrooms to teach them a good work ethic, and then elaborated that he didn’t mean “working poor” kids, he meant kids from “those neighborhoods” and by the way young blacks have an unemployment rate of 47% (just in case it was unclear which color schoolchildren he was suggesting to put to work).

Obama, even if you disagree with his policies, it’s hard to argue that he’s not a decent guy. He has a squeaky clean personal life and he’s honest, very honest for a politician. I can see evangelicals balking at voting for a scumbag like Gingrich no matter how much he screams about the war on Christmas and abortions.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I am not defending Gingrich overall, but I think that school comment was taken far from his intent. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar keep saying he wants to break or change child labor laws with his idea. Did he say his idea is for elementary age kids? I think it is a good idea for children to learn a work ethic and get paid. He didn’t say the kids would then be destined to be janitors or painters. I don’t see a problem with teems getting paid to paint the school if they want a job. Newt was not talking about requiring it for the kids, but to have a program to provide opportunity. At least that is how I took it. The only big snag I see is then it takes jobs from adults wo really need a job right now.

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, I dunno. Aside from the rather clear racism in his discussion on the subject, I also think it’s rather naive to casually dismiss concerns that underlie child labor laws. Even if it’s an optional program—beyond problems with displacing adult workers, what kind of protections would these child janitors have against exploitation or abuse? I don’t think we should be so quick to ignore, you know, the entire history of exploitative child labor. Would their income be treated as household income, thus potentially depriving their family of welfare benefits?

Then there’s the premise—that having a job would teach these kids a responsible work ethic because their lazy unemployed parents can’t. School is basically a full-time job. You don’t get paid for it, but the idea that school itself cannot engender a work ethic among willing kids is absurd.

Jaxk's avatar

Gingrich has a lot of positive arguments. He was able to reduce spending and balance the budget during the 90s. And he was able to work with a democratic president to do it. That alone will carry a lot of weight. He has many good ideas, not the least of which is allowing students to work. During the 50s and 60s it was quite common for teenagers to have a paper route or mow lawns for some money. Most of that has fallen by the wayside. allowing students to work in the cafeteria or library or maintenance at the schools does provide a good work ethic and a little spending money for both poor and middle income kids. I see that as an opportunity for them. Of course democrats will see racial discrimination but hell, they see racial discrimination in everything. A lot will depend on whether Obama can convince the public to look at Newt and not him. If the focus is on Newt, the election will be more difficult. If the election is about Obama, Newt wins in a walk.

Romney is less colorful. He has fewer negatives but also fewer positives. That may work to Mitt’s favor since the only way Obama wins is to tear down his opponent. With fewer negatives, it makes Obama’s job a bit tougher.

If Newt gets the nod, many people will be voting for or against Newt. And of course many voting for or against Obama. If Mitt gets the nod, almost everyone will be voting for or against Obama. I think either one will beat Obama. But I think Newt will shake up Washington much more than Mitt. But not as much as Ron Paul

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I worked at 14, and the labor laws are still the same in that state from what I could tell. I looked at them recently when auggie had a questions pertaining to her daughter. School is not a full time job if the student is not very academically inclined, or doesn’t have after school activities. it really depends on the area of study they concentrate on also. Work for me practically saved my life. I met new people when my school friends were busy partying. I was lonely and depressed before getting my first job. Work can give an otherwise unmotivated teen a feeling of accomplishment and some cash.

My high school had apprentice and other programs where students left school early and went to their jobs.

It shouldn’t affect household income I don’t think, there isn’t a catagory for it on a tax form. Children file their own taxes, or don’t file at all if they only make a few thousand. But, it is still a gpod question.

Qingu's avatar

I worked when I was 15 too. I’d be fine with more work-study programs for kids who aren’t academically inclined.

But, my family was pretty bourgeios. I’m guessing yours was too. So we’re not the people Gingrich is talking about. He’s talking about poor kids. More specifically poor kids whose parents don’t work, and who live in inner cities. If I recall correctly he was also talking about kids significantly younger than high schoolers, but maybe not.

It sounded less of a substantive, well-thought out policy idea and more of what Republicans like Gingrich specialized in during the 90’s: coded race-bating attacks on black people for being lazy welfare queens who don’t know how to raise their kids.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I can understand your trepidation when it comes to Gingrich. I just think the idea, or something similar should not be completely dismissed. He may very well have in his head a very racist take on the matter, but we all know poor comes in every shape, size, and color, and if it might help the poor, I think it is worth looking at. I have said many times I want more money and focus on high school kids being prepared for a job or college. We don’t do enough in our country to promote and feel good about vocational training, which really bothers me, because not everyone has or will get a college degree, but anyone with a strong work ethic, who does their job well, should feel just as respected as the PhD. But, there is this constant message in America that you need a college degree to be worth anything, and I think that message affects people’s self worth. I really hate it.

I do fear children growing up in poor areas might be somehow pigeonholed into not following a track that would take them to college (my dad was told he would never go to college by a guidance counselor in school – idiot – and he had his bachelors at 20 years old) but that happens anyway.

I do think a percentage of the poor do not really know or get how much work it takes to be very successful in a career. They don’t have the guidance or the example. Then there are a ton of working poor, who work their assess of, it makes me unbelievably sad this exists in such high percentages in our country. Anyone who works a full work week and does their job well should not have to live in an unsafe place or fear one week missed work they will be out onnthe street. I also think there are working poor who don’t really understand how to help their children get out of poverty. They may say things like, “go to school, study hard, do your best,” but then it comes time for the kid to take SATs and they don’t know they can take it twice, or they feel lost or frightened when trying to figure out if and how to go to college. They are scared of the unknown, and their parents don’t know how to navigate it either. That’s what we need to do better in schools, we really need the seniors to get more help, more hand holding to be honest.

Well, I babbles a little more than I intended too on that :).

Qingu's avatar

But vocational training for schoolkids is hardly a new or revolutionary idea.

As for college and self-worth, I agree with your sentiment, but the reality of the situation is that people with college degrees have a much lower unemployment rate than people who don’t. I’m also tempted to go on a tirade tangent about how in some important ways PhDs do deserve more respect because they are experts whose job it is to pass on knowledge and thus create other experts, and how too many people nowadays have no respect for expertise… but that’s probably another story best told another time. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu You make a good point, it isn’t a new idea. It does make me think, after all the conversatiom on the topic, that Newt is just pandering to the part of the party who thinks of poor lacks and Hispanics as sitting around doing nothing, living on the dole. I think I am more convinced of your point-of-view. :)

And, I agree education does count for something, and I hate the bullshit out there regarding hatred and a dissmissive attitude towards what they call eliteists. It’s ridiculous. Somehow, Bush was able to sprinkle fairy dust and no one who supported him blindly remembers he went to Harvard and grew up with a silver spoon. I do not get it, never will. That is not a criticism of Bush, just the people who thought about he seemed like a great guy to have a beer with and thinks he is an average guy.

My point about education only was about respect for work ethic, respect for all people at every level. I was not saying a person with a high school degree has the same knowledge as a PhD in his field (except maybe the one in a million guy who is incredibly brilliant and self taught).

Paradox25's avatar

I think that Romney has a better chance at winning both the GOP nomination and would have a better chance at beating Obama than Gingrich would. However I think that more further right leaning conservatives would prefer the more conservative Gingrich despite his gliches. Romney, ever the political chameleon is currently trying to capitalize right now on one of them (immigration).

Personally I think that Ron Paul would have a better chance in the generals against Obama than either one of Romney or Gingrich, but I doubt Paul will take the GOP nomination to be in that position. (I hope I’m wrong on that latter statement).

Qingu's avatar

Factcheck for @Jaxk:

Gingrich didn’t balance the budget during the 90’s. There was a deficit for two years of his term. The surpluses existed outside of his term.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/dec/16/newt-gingrich/newt-gingrich-repeats-claim-about-his-record-balan/

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I’m not sure what you’re complaining about. I didn’t say he balanced it for the entire decade or even that he did it for four years. Just that he did it.

Qingu's avatar

“He did it” is a pretty misleading way to put it.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I am amazed by your take on that. Is it that difficult to give credit where credit is due. If you want to credit Clinton for the balanced budget, go ahead, I’ll give him some of the credit as well. Newt came in with budget deficits and left with a reasonably balanced budget. What is misleading about that. Don’t bother to answer, I’m pretty much finished with this thread.

flutherother's avatar

Saying he came bearing an important message from the past, a stranger from the year 1998 appeared on the Capitol steps Thursday and urged voters not to elect Newt Gingrich president in 2012. “In the late 20th century, Newt Gingrich is a complete disgrace!” said the time-traveling man, warning Americans that 14 years in the not-so-distant past, Gingrich becomes the only speaker in the history of the House of Representatives to be found guilty on ethics charges, and is later forced to resign.

From The Onion

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think Maurice Sendak summed him up pretty well in Stephen Colbert’s interview this week.

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