James Carville: Republican establishment hopes of crowning Romney early are fading
He says the GOP has been embarrassed by debate audience behavior and bizarre campaign ads
Carville: Romney's tax and corporate issues are a major liability -- and it's only just starting
He says Gingrich's past belies party rhetoric against big government and for family values
Editor’s Note: James Carville is a Democratic strategist who serves as a political contributor for CNN, appearing frequently on CNN’s “The Situation Room” as well as other programs on all CNN networks. Carville remains active in Democratic politics and is a party fundraiser.
Memo to Republican Establishment:
I would send this memo to each of you individually, but I’m not sure exactly who you are. I’ve been told that you exist and that people like my colleagues Bill Bennett, Karl Rove, and Bill Kristol are charter members of it.
I am assuming you are out there and I assume there are more than three of you. At any rate, I thought I’d take a moment to catch up with you and make some observations on how things are going for your party.
Let me break it to you gently – you’ve got a first-class disaster on your hands. I know you boys thought this thing would work out and you would be able to whip the Republicans in line to fall in behind Mitt (I assume you are all males but if there is a female in the establishment, I apologize.) Not going too good, is it fellows?
It’s been a terrible time to be a Republican. There have been many moments during this process that have caused me great joy. Certainly the events of Thursday, ending with the CNN debate, and even the Fox debate Monday night, have helped ease the pain of my beloved Tigers’ and Saints’ recent defeats.
I mean, most people thought it was kind of a watermark when your Tea Party gang booed the golden rule. You know, I’ve spent some time in Philly and they have always thought they were pretty radical because they actually booed Santa Claus and Willie Mays. Philly, I’ve got news for you – you ain’t got nothing on South Carolina Republicans. They just aren’t buying any of that do-unto-others garbage.
I actually thought my favorite moment of this delightful process was when one of your eight front-runners, Herm Cain, (as Sarah Palin calls him) actually ran an ad with his campaign manager endorsing him. (Rove, why didn’t you think of that in 2000? Imagine the headline: “Rove endorses Bush.”)
The climax of that delicious ad is when he actually takes a drag on a cigarette. But my favorite thing about Herm’s campaign manager is that he is the only person in the history of the world that was actually barred from political consulting. Let me tell you, I’ve been in this business for quite a while and I’ve never known of anyone other than Mark Block to be suspended from practicing this profession.
At any rate, let’s talk a minute about Mitt. He was your guy – he was methodical, meticulous, married once. He has completely blown himself up over an issue that everyone knew was coming. Have you had a chance to look at John McCain’s research operation on Mitt? Wow. And let me assure you, that thing has been supplemented, expanded, and annotated. God only knows about the Obama people – they’ve got a billion dollars! And how about my friends over at American Bridge (the Democrat-leaning political action committee)? Clearly Mitt is merely in the beginning of this tax-return, financial-disclosure, Cayman Island (and God only knows what else) fiasco.
Your new front-runner is one of your old front runners, Newt Gingrich. I would like to take a moment to revel: I cannot personally tell you how pleased I am to see old Newt rise to the top after listening to all of your nauseating, sickening lectures on the evils of government and the importance of family values.
Now, you guys have to deal with a $1.6 million Freddie Mac consultant (who says he wasn’t a lobbyist) who has been married three times. Hope you, at least, enjoy the Super Bowl. It could be your last hurrah for a while.
PS – As my former boss once said, I feel your pain. That’s why I didn’t mention Rick Perry.
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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of James Carville.