- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: ‘Get yourself some firearms’
GOP voters belie Gingrich’s claim to conservative mantle
Surveys find Romney winning plurality on right
Question of the Day
Mr. Gingrich, though, shrugged off Mr. Romney’s strong performance among Nevada conservatives during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying that “this is the state he won last time, and he won it this time.”
“Our goal is to get to Super Tuesday, where we’re in much more favorable territory,” he said, arguing that he expects to catch up with Mr. Romney by the time of the Texas primary on April 3, in part by highlighting that “real conservatives” like himself have been fighting to pull people out of poverty, while Mr. Romney “doesn’t worry much about the very poor because they have a safety net.”
Laying claim to the conservative throne is a tried-and-true strategy in GOP primaries, where candidates are eager to win over the grass-roots voters who play such an active role in determining the outcomes of the contests.
As a result, Mr. Romney has worked to convince voters that, after staking out a pro-choice position earlier in his career, he is now reliably pro-life. He also has portrayed Mr. Gingrich as unreliable and too erratic to lead and highlighted the 2008 global-warming awareness TV spot he cut with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as Mr. Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage giant that many conservatives blame for the housing crisis.
He drilled home that message on the television talk-show circuit Sunday, warning that Mr. Romney’s claim to the conservative mantle is based on false advertising. He said Mr. Romney, as governor, “was pro-abortion, he was pro-gun control, he was pro-tax increase.”
“The challenge is to say, ‘Do you really want to go into a fall election with a moderate candidate?’ The last two times we nominated a moderate, 1996 and 2008, we lost badly,” he said, alluding to the failed presidential bids of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, both of whom have endorsed Mr. Romney. “A conservative candidate can offer a much greater contrast with President Obama, can offer a much bigger difference.”
“Gingrich is trying to find different angles around Romney’s growing momentum so he can head him off at the pass in upcoming primary states,” said Ron Bonjean, a GOP consultant. “According to the polls, it isn’t clear that he is the conservative alternative; rather, he’s trying to say something to muddy the waters.”
• Stephen Dinan contributed to this reportfrom Nevada.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Muslims give Obama high marks over first half of 2014
- Chris Christie leading N.H. GOP presidential field; Mitt Romney lingers large
- Big 2014 for incumbents so far
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Obama showed up after Hurricane Sandy, why not the Texas border?
- Jeff Flake: House should have passed Senate immigration bill
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: 'Get yourself some firearms'
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- CRUZ: 'Fahrenheit 451' Democrats
- New York City creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs