Alex Hern covers the Florida primary, where Mittens' money secured a victory - but at what cost?
Mitt Romney has comfortably won the Florida primary, leaving the Republican nomination his for the taking. But his victory came at a very literal cost – Romney vastly outspent his main opponent, and ran a hugely negative campaign with the money.
The Daily Kos reports:
After South Carolina’s strong win for Newt, we began to see what Mitt Romney’s wealthy donors empowered him to do: by outspending Gingrich 4:1, Romney was able to launch an air war in Florida that decimated Gingrich.
Romney’s positive ads constituted a small fraction of the media buy, and by the end, Romney had himself a landslide… and sliding favorables that may come back to haunt him in November.
That it was the money wot won it is agreed by most commentators, but not by Romney himself.
TPM argues instead that:
Mitt Romney wants you to dwell on a comeback kid narrative. His camp’s version goes something like this: here’s a guy who was knocked off his game by the genie let out of the bottle by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United ruling.
Just as he was consolidating his victory in New Hampshire and his (rescinded) triumph in Iowa, suddenly a billionaire casino mogul showed up and flung millions of dollars at his bomb-throwing opponent.
And yet, the narrative goes, like a mythical hero he emerged from the flames hardened, sharpened, and willing to fight back. He raised his game in the debates and pushed back his surging rival, ultimately romping to victory by a serious margin.
With two (and a half) victories behind him now, and his opposition still failing to coalesce behind any one candidate, what will stop Romney getting the nomination? It could be the man himself, with his gaffe-filled campaign showing no signs of getting any less embarrassing.
Think Progress reports that yesterday, Romney said:
I’m not concerned with the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.
Mitt “corporations are people, I’m not concerned with the very poor, I don’t know my first name” Romney may still be an entertaining prospect for a candidate, and he is certainly less scary a prospect than Rick Santorum.
As Wonkette points out, the ungoogleable candidate was either very self-aware, or completely clueless, as he delivered his concession speech in Florida:
If there’s one message that I think we got from the campaign in Florida is that Republicans can do better. We can do better than this.
We can do better than the — the discussion and the — and the dialogue and the — and the accusations that were going on in the state of Florida. And — and, really, this campaign, you know, went downhill.
Truer words never spoken, Santorum.
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• The World Outside Westminster – Oh, Carolina – Tom Rouse, January 22nd 2012
• Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire: Press round-up – Alex Hern, January 11th 2012
• Iowa 2012: Meet the candidates – Chris Tarquini, January 3rd 2012
• USA 2012: The conspiracy aimed at nailing Palin – Alex Hern, December 14th 2011
• USA 2012: Cain self-destructs, and Huntsman attempts to drag Romney into the fray – Alex Hern, November 1st 2011