Gingrich's Fury a Boon for Romney
Newt paints Mitt as a moderate—handy for November: Jonathan Alter
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2012 12:22 PM CST
Mitt Romney greets supporters during a Grassroots Rally at The Grove on February 2, 2012 in Reno, Nevada.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – You might think that Newt Gingrich's assault on Mitt Romney would give President Obama the upper hand in the general election—but actually, it's just the opposite, writes Jonathan Alter at Bloomberg. Gingrich's efforts will position Romney as the "more rational and centrist" candidate, which will prove to be a big help when he snags the nomination. Romney's "pivot" into moderate general election mode will seem all the more genuine thanks to Newt.

"'Massachusetts moderate' may be an epithet in Republican primaries, but it’s a compliment in the general election, which will be determined by independents with no sympathy for the Tea Party," Alter notes. Obama's task will be "to lash Romney to the conservative policy agenda that created few jobs and helped drive the economy off the cliff." But it'll be a tough job: Even though Romney has in fact been conservative since about 2007, the media has painted him as a moderate—and now Gingrich has, too.

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Feb 4, 2012 5:41 AM CST
So I gather from this article that it's all about the comparison - and Romney looks like he's sane and normal when compared to Newt, and then - when he's face to face with Obama? He thinks he'll come out of that exhibition a winner? Really? In what category? The economy? Foreign Affairs? Jobs? Health care? Civil rights? Coherent thought? Public speaking? Empathy? Statesmanship? But go ahead, enjoy the illusion of adequacy that Mitt may emit while next to the newt, because he's about to transform before your very eyes on the debate stage with Obama. Bring tissues.
Feb 4, 2012 5:01 AM CST
This guarantees the pitch will be there's not that much difference between Romney and Obama. It's going to be just like when they ran GWB against Gore. The difference is now we can remind them, oh yeah, Gore wouldn't have started a war in a country next door to the two countries where thirteen madmen came from. That ol' 'there's not that much difference' pitch cost us 4400 American soldier's lives last time we bought it. How many soldiers do we want killed cause we get talked out of voting this time? I don't know about ya'll, but I got enough remorse over not getting out to vote for Gore to last me a lifetime. If I'm alive, I'm voting.
Feb 4, 2012 2:25 AM CST
If he gets painted as too far to the left, the conservatives won't show up for the vote. Works for me.