Strong night for Mitt Romney

MittRomney.com

Article Highlights

  • Romney dispelled doubts whether he wants to be president badly enough to fight for it

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  • Does the #GOP want to nominate Mitt Romney?

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  • Romney's ignorance of Gingrich attack ad undermines his credibility

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Mitt Romney dispelled any doubts tonight whether he wants to be president badly enough to fight for it. He was much more comfortable, and effective, on the attack against Newt Gingrich than he was on Monday. Newt had a better debate as well, and Santorum turned in one of his better performances, especially when attacking Romney on Romneycare. But with polls showing Romney beginning to pull back into the lead, the real question is, as it was going into the final weekend in South Carolina: Does the Republican party want to nominate Mitt Romney?

Whether Florida will answer that question differently than South Carolina might turn on how they perceive Romney’s character after tonight. If they perceive Romney’s attacks as strong and fair, he’ll keep his lead. But if they view him as arrogant and rough, enough could pull back to make the outcome close enough to keep the race open.

One bad point for Mitt: He didn’t know it was his own radio ad that attacked Gingrich for allegedly calling Spanish the language of the ghetto. Newt picked up on this at one point, and if a man whose primary rationale for running is his ability to run his company, the fact he seemed not to know what his company was doing might undermine his credibility.

Henry Olsen is vice president and director of the National Research Initiative at AEI

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About the Author

 

Henry
Olsen
  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

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