Today's the day of the Florida Republican Primary! (Although early voting has been going on for a bit and more than half-a-million votes were cast before today.) Although its still (technically) a four-man race, Rick Santorum is tending to a sick daughter and Ron Paul is focusing on greener primary pastures. That just leaves your unloveable front-runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
And Mittens is in the lead ... (for now).
That lead didn't come easy, since Gingrich was on the rise after race-baiting his way into a South Carolina win. But will a poor debate performance from Gingrich and a lot of passive aggressive "Isn't that so sad that Newt Gingrich is so unfaithful and pathetic? He just can't help it!" from Romney.
From The New York Times:
“If you’re part of the housing crisis, you’re probably not going to get elected president,” Mr. Romney said of Mr. Gingrich, attributing that perception, more than any other, to Mr. Gingrich’s steep fall in the latest polls.
“Speaker Gingrich, he’s not feeling very excited these days,” Mr. Romney said at a rally in Dunedin. “He’s been flailing around a bit, trying to go after me for one thing or the other. You just watch and shake your head. It’s been kind of painfully revealing to watch.”
Painful indeed. Unless you're not a Republican and just enjoy the side show.
Gingrich, as he's wont to do, fell apart in Florida, as he is the epitome of someone who enjoys dishing disrespect out, but clearly cannot take it. Someone who expects discipline and loyalty out of others, but has no intention of those things himself.
Case in point: Mitt Romney's a "liar," according to Gingrich. But that doesn't mean Gingrich can't straight up lie, over and over, about Romney.
From Huffington Post:
"Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare," Gingrich said, stretching the truth. And Gingrich also hit Romney for a 2005 decision as governor to require Roman Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception, which many Catholics believe is a form of abortion, to rape victims.
"You want a war on the Catholic church by Obama? Guess what: Romney refused to allow Catholic hospitals to have conscience in their dealing with certain circumstances," Gingrich said.
Having called Romney "pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase" on Sunday, Gingrich added the title "pro-gay rights" on Monday, in an acidic interview with Fox News. He rewound his last few days of attacks, combining all of his insults and all his vitriol into a string of remarkable assaults on Romney.
Gingrich has gone from referring to former governor as a "Massachusetts Moderate" to now a "Massachusetts Liberal." Both were disingenuous, but now the lies are coming ever-so-harder. The thing is, Gingrich doesn't have to lie. There are plenty of terrible things about Romney to point out.
But subtlety was never Newt's strong point.