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If you’re looking for a message to take away from Saturday night’s South Carolina Republican Primary — in which Newt Gingrich dealt a staggering blow to the momentum of a Romney candidacy — it might be that, despite the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, more war awaits.
Was it the class war? Following his Jan. 3 loss in Iowa, Gingrich launched his “Armageddon” strategy of rival attack ads. The focused negativity drew ire from establishment conservatives — and even Gingrich himself, who like other Republican power brokers called for the Gingrich-supporting Winning Our Future super PAC to stop running ads attacking Romney over his affiliation with Bain Capital. But the ads didn’t stop, and the Gingrich train rolled over Mitt in Charleston. Exit polls show that middle- and lower-class voters overwhelmingly supported Gingrich; the only income group that supported Romney in the majority is the one earning more than $200,000 a year. Something seems to have resonated.
Was it race war? Media war? Exit polls also showed two-thirds of South Carolina voters saying they made their choices based on the two local debates, in which Gingrich scored big points — and roaring applause — by attacking media pundits. On Monday Gingrich put moderator Juan Williams “in his place”?by roundly rejecting his scrutiny of Newt’s claim calling Obama “the greatest food-stamp president in American history,” furthering a nasty narrative in which Democrats allegedly pander to a lazy black voting bloc. The drubbing continued Thursday when Gingrich won more accolades by again attacking a moderator as part of an “elite media.”
There’s a war brewing, all right. But before it reaches President Obama, that war is being aimed at minorities, Romney and other liberal scare stories.
Because sometimes you’ve only got time to skim the headlines:
“Romney Newtered” Slate
“Newt’s Nine Lives” The Daily Beast
“Newt Is Alive. Aliiive!” Nymag
“Gingrich steals Romney’s cloak of electability as president” Reuters
“Mitt Romney: evitable?” Hotair.com
“Romney Aide: Newt Win Will Help Mitt” Buzzfeed
“Romney to release tax returns on Tuesday, calls delay ‘a mistake’” The Hill
“Dull, dithering Romney clings on” Financial Times
“Newt Gingrich’s Three Marriages Mean He Might Make A Strong President -- Really” Fox News
“Newt basks, looks ahead to long race” Politico
“Santorum says he feels no pressure to quit race” AP
“The GOP’s South Carolina nightmare” Salon.com
So that explains that
“I think Mitt Romney is a good man. But I think we’ve reached a point where we need someone who’s mean.”
Harold Wade, 85, a Charleston, South Carolina voter, according to reporting by The Washington Post
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.