Quitters Never Win

I understand why Mitt Romney would pull out of the March 1 CNN debate (four days before Super Tuesday). He should miss every opportunity for voters to calibrate their dislike for him, and an event on the eve of some primaries he and his PAC advertising will probably be able to buy is doubly worth a miss. But why the hell did Ron Paul and Rick Santorum pull out? Romney is going to bury those guys in negative ads, which they don’t have the budget to counteract, yet they decided to give up a big chance at free media right before the most important day in the Republican primaries.

That seems odd, especially for Santorum, since a debate without Romney be a golden opportunity to pound home the point that Romney is a chickenshit who hides behind his negative ads. Perhaps they’re assuming the February 22 debate, which is still on, will do that work for them, but that’s missing the point that the more Romney people see, the less they like.

Also, too, speaking of quitting, I’ll be following Mitt, Rick and Ron’s lead and taking a few days off to travel.






99 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Brave Sir Mitt ran away
    Bravely ran away away
    When Santorum reared his ugly head
    Sir Mitt turned his tail and fled
    Yes Sir Mitt turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out
    He beat a very brave retreat
    Bravest of the braaave, Sir Mitt!

  2. 2
    Jibeaux says:

    Political Wire said CNN cancelled it after Romney w/d (and Paul , not that I think that was the deciding factor)…

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    but that’s missing the point that the more Romney people see, the less they like.

    The same is true of Santorum too.

  4. 4
    4tehlulz says:

    RON PAUL IS TRYING TO SUPPRESS RON PAUL

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Happy trails, mistermix.

  6. 6
    eric says:

    if the GOP has its way, Mitt isnt the only one that is going to to have to pull out…..

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Because they are fucking stupid.

    Anyone else see the Santorum spoxwoman on Lawrence O’Donnell last night?

    Yeesh.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    He should miss every opportunity for voters to calibrate their dislike for him,

    This was also my first thought reading about his debate skipping. It must be a mighty blow, even to a soulless carnival barker like Romney, to read polls where he nearly matches Newt as the most disliked pol in the country. And without the distinction excuse of having three wives. I have been and remain, doubtful Mitt ends up the nominee, with the usual caveat of being clueless what thoughts occupy the wingnut mind in their primary voting this year.

    But one thing about the elemental wingnut types, you can usually count on, is them sniffing out imposters in their lizard ranks. It is a feral thing, I suppose, and they may have been blinded by Romney’s shiny suit and dispatches from central command that he is the only one who can beat the hated Obama. But given time, the bloodsuckers will figure stuff out for themselves. I also can’t see either Santorum or Gingrich as a GOP nominee. So where does that leave us?

  9. 9
    David Koch says:

    But why the hell did Ron Paul and Rick Santorum pull out?

    because they’re incompetent losers.

  10. 10
    S. cerevisiae says:

    “Mitt withdraws, Santorum follows”

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @David Koch: Plus, as George Carlin said, pulling out is never manly.

  12. 12
    gnomedad says:

    But why the hell did Ron Paul and Rick Santorum pull out?

    Because their insurance doesn’t cover other forms of prophylaxis.

  13. 13
    mistermix says:

    @Jibeaux: Not that it’s super important, but Nat Journal says Newt was the only guy who was committed to debate by the time CNN cancelled:

    http://nationaljournal.com/201.....e-20120216

    Either way, anyone but Romney pulling out of the debate is dumb.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    Maybe they’ll all drop out. None of them can take any more debates.

    Except for Newt, but no one will put on a debate with just him, due to potential permanent harm to anyone who listens.

    A record of Newt doing a three hour Lincoln/Douglas style debate with himself might be useful, for historical purposes, though.

    Glad it looks like confusion, mess, fail, general weirdness and bad psychic kooties in GOP primary will continue.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @S. cerevisiae: FTW! You can pick up your internets at the rear entrance.

  16. 16
    scav says:

    Somebody may have figured out that the constant n+1 ring circus of the M+∞ debates isn’t going quite as well as planned?

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @mistermix:
    Poor Newt. Debates were his only bright spot, although he messed up both chances in FL. I know his time is over, but he had to be thinking a good debate might give him a shot.

  18. 18
    wrb says:

    Afeared of the mighty Newt

  19. 19
    makewi says:

    @General Stuck:

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I like your brand of political analysis. It has just the right amount of mean girl in it combined with an unthinking self assurance that the “other team” really is just evil and stupid, and not merely wrong. Kudos to you sir!

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:

    @Violet:

    Newt is his own little El Duce. If he could figure out a way to bus in several loads of the meat eaters in Freeperville to harness that carnivore spirit, there’d be no stopping him at debates. They could send out Mitt as a metrosexual Running Man type, and let the wolves chase his perfumed ass round about without a shred of mercy. teevee! teevee!

  21. 21
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    But one thing about the elemental wingnut types, you can usually count on, is them sniffing out imposters in their lizard ranks.

    That’s why I love ‘Big Love”

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    @makewi:

    why yer perfectly welcome, Scarlett. Mean Girl, It’s what they pay me the big bucks for. Maybe you should run, Scarlett, probly do just as good the clowns running now. And besides, I kinda like you, for a numbnut troll.

  23. 23
    Calouste says:

    The headline on the GOS about this was something like:
    “Chicken Mitt skips final debate.”

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    All is not lost for the Republicans though. Sarah Palin says that if they can’t find a nominee, she is available http://dailykos.com/story/2012.....via=blog_1

  25. 25
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Looks like the most important people in the room have pulled the plug on Newt. This debate was supposed to help put him over the top in Georgia, was it not?

    /the sexual innuendo writes itself

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @General Stuck:

    We’ve got four guys left fighting to be the one true Il Douche.

  27. 27
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well played, sir. Well played.

  28. 28
    RD says:

    @makewi:

    just the right amount of mean girl

    Just like you showed Rick Perry.

    Where is your god now?

  29. 29
    General Stuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yea, but Paul is the GOP Gollum. Give him the ring, and it’s straight down to the depths of Mordor for the lot of them, and that would be that. The others could at least put that off for awhile, until election day. Who knows, they might even get lucky with the Apocalypse arriving before then. I know, it’s mean girl politics, but what er ya gonna do.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yea, but Paul is the GOP Gollum. Give him the ring, and it’s straight down to the depths of Mordor for the lot of them, and that would be that. The others could at least put that off for awhile, until election day. Who knows, they might even get lucky with the Apocalypse arriving before then. I know, it’s mean girl politics, but what er ya gonna do.

  31. 31
    KG says:

    I would think, even in this ever modern world, the candidates would still be better off doing events around the primary states than doing yet another debate. Unless they’re going to get quizzed on current events, they aren’t going to say anything new or interesting. Better to be out glad handing, or if you’re Mitt, running wall to wall commercials during American Idol that people fast forward through on their DVRs.

    ETA: besides, depending on what happens in the three contests before Super Tuesday, Super Tuesday could be a formality at that point.

  32. 32
    RD says:

    @makewi:

    Ask Rick Perry and Herman Cain. You had two perfectly good tri-corner hats, and you threw them away on technicalities.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    @General Stuck: Wrong fantasy reference, I think. Ron Paul is Alberich from Wagner’s Ring cycle. Paranoid dwarf obsessed with gold.

    Newt Gingrich _is_ Falstaff. Mitt Romney is of course Gordon Gecko. Santorum I’m not quite sure about. I think he’d like to be Nehemiah Scudder (who, Wiki informs me, was elected President in 2012…).

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    Im going to guess that the candidates don’t want to spend campaign time in GA where they won’t win.

  35. 35
    KG says:

    Here’s another thought… if you’re running Santorum’s or Gingrich’s Super PACs, wouldn’t you think of throwing some money into some “vote for Paul” ads in Virginia? If only on the idea that you want to diminish Romney’s vote totals as much as possible, even if you aren’t on the ballot?

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    Paranoid dwarf obsessed with gold.

    Well, admittedly Gollum was not a dwarf, but a halfling, yet he certainly was obsessed with a gold ring.

  37. 37
    Mary G says:

    Why? Because 73% of the country was having so much fun watching, laughing and pointing and that can’t be allowed.

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: But Gollum had the essential Smeagol/Gollum dichotomy. That doesn’t exist in Ron Paul; he’s mad dwarf through and through.

  39. 39
    ChrisNYC says:

    Romney and Santorum made a deal to both drop out. Santorum wants Newt out. Romney wants not to get hurt by Santy in a debate.

    Romney is not burying Ron Paul in negative ads. No one has run ads against Paul and no one will. His voters are not gettable.

  40. 40
    JGabriel says:

    mistermix @ top:

    … I’ll be following Mitt, Rick and Ron’s lead and taking a few days off to travel.

    Enjoy your travels, mistermix. We’ll be here when you get back.

    .

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    Hmm, you have a point there. There’s no nice halfling subsumed by the obsession, who occasionally is allowed out.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    But why the hell did Ron Paul and Rick Santorum pull out?

    Sarah Palin is one of their advisers?

    Romney and Santorum made a deal to both drop out. Santorum wants Newt out.

    A very deft move to deny Newt a free platform.

    Damn, I am loving me some Republican Presidential Nominee Death Match.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    His voters are not gettable.

    Furthermore, he’s not going to get any votes outside of his cultists.

    Which is why his sole hope is gaming the system via caucuses.

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    @dmsilev:

    That doesn’t exist in Ron Paul; he’s mad dwarf through and through.

    I always got a more gnomish or elfin vibe from Paul than dwarven. Just for starters, Paul doesn’t have a beard — or a halberd, as far as we know.

    More to the point, I find it easier to imagine Paul in a green cap shooting arrows at Keynesians, or complaining crankily in a potato patch, than mining underground for silver in a helmet and a hauberk.

    .

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, this thread is getting plenty nerdy, so it’s time for me to get out for a while and do live nerdy things with friends over superb Italian food.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    TPM reports on Ohio poll:

    Santorum gets 42 percent of likely Ohio Republican primary voters, as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sees 24 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets 13 and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is at ten.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @dmsilev: Romney is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    We’ve got four guys left fighting to be the one true Il Douche.

    Sure you’re not British?

    This reminds me of some of the word play on the BBC Friday Night Comedy show, The News Quiz.

  49. 49
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud: So, when does Romney unleash the Kraken the OCEANS OF UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH against Frothy? Times a wastin’, only 12 days to go before Michigan and just under three weeks to Super Tuesday.

  50. 50
    JGabriel says:

    @dmsilev:

    Santorum I’m not quite sure about. I think he’d like to be Nehemiah Scudder …

    Santorum is Emmett Milbarge, from Chuck, in his Buy More vest.

    .

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev: I think Romney’s backers may be starting to wonder about their rate of return on this particular investment.

  52. 52
    IM says:

    @dmsilev:

    Gordon Gecko without the charisma.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: The worst parts of Uriah Heep and pre-visitation Scrooge combined.

  54. 54
    Yutsano says:

    @gbear:

    Romney is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

    So he’s dead? That explains a lot.

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    Why would anyone want to go spend a day in Georgia where Newt is likely to win, when you could be working in a state where you might win? Yeah, free advertising, but its also free advertising for everyone else. You could have a perfect debate and all that will happen is that Newt will talk about the moon or Paul’s eyebrow will fall off again, which will be the discussion topic of the next day.

  56. 56
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    True: humble, so very humble like Heep with the convictions of Scrooge.

    I think as far there is a core of Romney, it is two-thirds plutocrat and one third devout mormon.

    But since he wants to be president – to outshine daddy? – he can’t show any of this, so…

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    I think this just makes Mitt look weak to anyone that was on the fence about him. It’s a lose/lose situation for him, but leaders need to go into those swinging.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano:

    Guildenstern: We’re still finding our feet.
    The Player: I should concentrate on not losing your head.

    ETA

    Guildenstern: Rosencrantz?
    Rosencrantz: What?
    Guildenstern: Guildenstern?
    Rosencrantz: What?
    Guildenstern: Don’t you discriminate at ALL?

  59. 59
    FuriousPhil says:

    The ad blitz is now in full swing here in Michigan, and since I’m an avid Jeopardy! watcher I get to be amused while watching my quiz shows.

    My favorite so far, MittPac’s anti-Santorum ads. “He voted with HILARY CLINTON!” for something or other. Never mind that a lot of Republicans voted the same as Democrats on a lot of things over the years, but tying Santorum to Hilary really didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Primaries here are turning into a “Who’s more conservative” pissing contest – and it’s all a hot stream of excrement so far. Santorum thinks genitals are icky, so he might be out. Newt “Choad” Gingrich is still running his ads too, which makes me feel like petting him on the head and saying “At least you tried.” Grumpy Newt is best Newt.

  60. 60
    R-Jud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The worst parts of Uriah Heep

    He’s nowhere near as clever as Uriah Heep. Heep, however loathsome, was able to mastermind an extortion campaign without an army of accountants and consultants helping him out.

    Romney, by contrast, couldn’t transport a dog.

  61. 61
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud: I read somewhere today or yesterday that apparently Donald Trump is making fundraising calls on behalf of the Romneytron. That’s never a good sign. Maybe the Oceans Of Cash are starting to run just a tad dry.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @R-Jud: Cleverness was one of Heep’s good qualities. I was going for loathsome, avaricious, and utterly without charm.

    Charm goes a long way.

  63. 63
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beltane: Yeah. I got to watch the interview with Sarah on Fox today, where she didn’t endorse anybody. But she had some good advice to offer them to “start attacking president’s failed policies” rather than trying to outdo each other and all that insider stuff. Good to know, Sarah. Yeah, she really knows how to campaign. Why on earth are these candidates vying for attention? She seemed confused.

  64. 64
    Alesis says:

    Whenever you see Gingrich out of step with the other candidates in the race rest assured the GOP establishment has just laid down the law on something.

    In this case they’ve pulled the plug on the circuses that have been the debates. The primaries have been one episode after another of the Republican establishment smacking the Tea Party down when they get too excited.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dmsilev:
    Why does Mr Billionaire Donald Trump need to go around calling up other rich people to donate to Mitt’s campaign? Why not just give Mitt’s superPAC the damn money, the way Adelson and Friess gave to their own candidates? (I ask rhetorically.)

  66. 66
  67. 67
    FuriousPhil says:

    @JGabriel:

    Wow, I’m imagining a D&D session with the major Repub candidates.

    Take it from me though, evil alignment parties are always a disaster to DM. Mitt might be a more true neutral alignment, with Paul lawful evil, Gingrich neutral evil, and Santorum chaotic stupid. Paul would be the wizard, (turns paper into gold!) Santorum the paladin, Mittens a multiclass rogue/aristocrat, and Gingrich would maybe be a low charisma gnome of some sort.

    Sorry, my geek is showing.

  68. 68
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Because it is “Billionaire” Donald Trump.

  69. 69
    KG says:

    I see Ron Paul as more of a Ferengi than a dwarf or gnome. Just imagine him adding “pressed latinum” after each time he says “gold.”

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    It appears that Wednesday’s debate is still on.
    February 22, 2012 8pm ET on CNN (Originally Dec 1, then Nov 30)
    Location: Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona
    Sponsor: CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona
    Participants: Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich

  71. 71
    JGabriel says:

    @FuriousPhil:

    Sorry, my geek is showing.

    You are posting comments on a political internet blog. Every person commenting here is showing a little geek, just on that basis alone. So, I wouldn’t sweat it.

    .

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JPL: Why is a network sponsoring a debate?

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Anybody watching Ed Schultz? They just showed a clip of Willard in front of a poster of all the businesses sponsoring (I guess) his appearance. Over his right shoulder it said “Videos for Grown-Ups”. What would The Elders say?

  74. 74

    @dmsilev:
    I really think the unlimited cash will prove to not be unlimited, and a whole lot of rich people are going to realize over the next few months that they wasted incredible amounts of money for no return whatsoever. I don’t know how they’ll react.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    @FuriousPhil: Palin, who now wants to jump in at the brokered convention, would be a lead figurine.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Veritas begs to differ and also too VICTORY!

  77. 77
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: BOOKMARK IT LIBZ!!

  78. 78

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Thought experiment: Gleeful with the opportunity to finally buy an election outright, rich people pour insane amounts of money into SuperPACs, largely abandoning traditional financing methods. This money is essentially flushed down the drain, too disorganized and grifted to be of use. The trend we’ve seen so far continues, and it actually makes the GOP look so bad they get their asses kicked in the general election. Obama wins another 4 years. The wealthy GOP scheme how to fix this hole in their awesome new money pool. Obama appoints another Supreme Court judge. Citizens United is overturned.

    Nothing here is unlikely, and if it all came together the results would be so hysterically ironic I think it would go down in history books.

  79. 79
    Schlemizel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I’d really like to take this opportunity to say how much I miss the lair that called itself truth – which is to say not at all.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I would also do my happy dance at each step of this progression.

  81. 81
    magurakurin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Veritas. meh. He’s not real. He doesn’t like Romney any more than anyone here. It’s an act. I mean, shit, even Mitt Romney doesn’t like Mitt Romney as much as Veritas pretends to do.
    Boring.

    Oh and WyldPirate, too. He tipped his hand with his little ethnic slur slip up. He’s fake, too. But his variety is more odious than ole RC/V. The former probably really is just having a laugh. But I suspect the Pirate is a genuine outside agitator trying to spread the doubt. His little accident yesterday totally exposed him though.
    Boring.

    This place needs some mo betta trolls. The old ones are really showing their wear.

  82. 82
    Raven says:

    @magurakurin: Veritas. Still, Really, God, who gives a fuck?

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin: I just like the bold/caps/exclamation point thing. It has … something.

  84. 84
    Schlemizel says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Given the concept of Stare decisis I don’t think you could find a decent jurist that would flat out overturn Citizens United. Nibbling at the edges might help but this ugly will be with us for generations unless there is a constitutional amendment passed. IF it turns out this does not work out for the thugs I think they won’t believe it or think it can be tweaked (and maybe it can be, its not like they can’t afford to try) so I don’t see them trying to help undo it.

  85. 85
    magurakurin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, I mean he has certain redeeming qualities, but it’s still like when you find out Santa Claus isn’t real. The magic is gone. It’s all like, sigh, RC/V really was DougJ afterall…

    I’m sure this place will blessed with something new and funky soon though.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin:

    but it’s still like when you find out Santa Claus isn’t real.

    What?! Take that back!

  87. 87
    magurakurin says:

    @Raven: In the words of Dr Ben Sobel, “I’m grieving. It’s a process.”

  88. 88
    FuriousPhil says:

    @MikeJ:

    Palin would be the annoying NPC that the party has to put up with to get some inconsequential quest reward.

    These D&D analogies almost write themselves.

  89. 89
    Redshift says:

    @FuriousPhil: Or perhaps the character the DM creates to include his non-gamer girlfriend in the group, and constantly gives unwarranted advantages to.

    Not that I’ve ever experienced that…

  90. 90
    Anne Laurie says:

    @dmsilev: I’d say Santorum sees himself as Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip. There are people who say Heinlein based If This Goes On… on It Can’t Happen Here, but Rick is the old-school, Old Testament type.

  91. 91
    mdblanche says:

    Is this GOP Debate Graham’s number or cardinality of the continuum that’s been canceled?

    @Yutsano: Terminal case of unawareness of his surroundings I’m afraid.

    You should have seen him in better days.

    @Schlemizel: Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t a decision that overturns a century worth of case law itself do a number on stare decisis?

  92. 92
    amk says:

    watch out, here comes $arah, the “white” knight(dress) to save the partay.

  93. 93
    Veritas says:

    cIt’s less about “liking” Romney for me than wanting the candidate that will have the easiest chance of beating BO.

    With a Republican Congress the President will be little more than a glorified bill-signer on domestic policy, and the candidates really have zero differences on foreign policy (with the exception of the unelectable Ron Paul).

    And yes, Romney has the money. Big, fat suitcases full of money. And that’s at least 70% of what matter in politics, otherwise why would you all be so pissed about Citizens United?

  94. 94

    @Veritas:
    So, Grover has told you what to think…

    Can we please have some form of originality that isn’t two days shopworn GOPer talking points?

    Geeze, a cartoon troll of cartoon candidates…

  95. 95
    amk says:

    @Veritas: All that money down the ditch now. poor mitt.

    So how did stealing Maine feel like ?

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @amk:

    In “fuck me” pumps, no less.

  97. 97
    Dream On says:

    I suppose Rick’s advisers decided that the public would not enjoy staring at Santorum for a full hour. A gross prospect indeed.

  98. 98
    Matt says:

    @Baud:

    Note that this should be taken with a mighty grain of salt – our own personal Il Douche (the governor) has made the GOP brand so toxic that I wonder if anybody but the lunatic Christianists will even vote in the primary…

  99. 99
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @S. cerevisiae:

    The judges would also have accepted “Mitt pulls out, Santorum follows.” Good show. Good show.

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