Tone down criticism, Romney rivals told

2012-01-14 10:09

Greer - Conservatives urged Mitt Romney's rivals to tone down criticism of the Republican front-runner, fearing they will undermine the party's pro-business identity and damage its chances of capturing the White House from President Barack Obama.

Under fire, Romney rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry backed off on Thursday from directly attacking Romney's tenure at the helm of the venture capital firm Bain Capital. They had been painting Romney as a job-killer.

Gingrich and Perry have been leading the charge against Romney ahead of the crucial January 21 South Carolina primary. Romney won the first two nominating contests, in Iowa and New Hampshire, and South Carolina may be his opponents last chance to stop his momentum and prevent him from becoming the Republican presidential nominee.

Some conservatives are wary of Romney because of his shifting positions on abortion and other issues and his sponsorship, when he was Massachusetts governor, of a health care plan similar to one pursued by Obama that is widely disliked by Republicans.

Still, even conservatives and other Republicans with long histories of disagreeing with Romney have argued that the attacks on his business record weakened the party's chief argument against Obama, that federal intrusion has stymied the economy's recovery.

Former Arkansas Govenor Mike Huckabee, who ran against Romney four years ago, wrote in an online letter: "It's surprising to see so many Republicans embrace that left-wing argument against capitalism." Another 2008 foe, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, told Fox News Channel: "I'm shocked at what they are doing. I'm going to say it's ignorant. Dumb. It's building something we should be fighting ignorance of the American economic system."

The US Chamber of Commerce entered the debate on Thursday, saying it was "foolish" for Republicans to bash Romney for his work as a venture capitalist.

Although the latest comments were more a rejection of attacks on Romney's record at Bain than an endorsement of Romney as a candidate, they signalled a warming toward Romney by a cross-section of Republicans as the party struggles to settle on a more conservative alternative.

They also signalled that attempts by Gingrich, a former House speaker, and Perry, the Texas governor, to cast Romney as a cold-blooded predator in the business world appeared to be backfiring badly - and playing right into the Romney campaign's hands.

  • Oneant - 2012-01-14 11:36

    what about Ron Paul? Is there a media blackout concerning him because he will actually change the status quo and not merely flash a million dollar smile while leading the world into a pit?

  • chris.kleynhans - 2012-01-14 12:00

    You read this article and you notice that Ron Paul was cleverly sentenced into oblivion. Although he may a contender for the real popular vote, the vote that actually defines true democracy, he has become a victim of the press and his name is withheld where-ever necessary. The concerns of big business and there king maker status are also considered above that of the individual with a vision in this race. We all know that big business are the subject of concern with many citizens and that the power of specific certain businesses and their ethics needs to be put into the spotlight if we are to have a peaceful America from here on. The solution does not lie in puting more laws on the lawbook to control popular revolt, it lies in addressing the issues that the revolt is talking about. Start by looking at the elite and ask why people such as George Soros are so involved in financing preferred candidates and how does he benefit from that?

  • Graziella - 2012-01-14 12:18

    It's at times like these that one is reminded of the prophetic words of John Swinton, “There is no such thing, at this stage of the world’s history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Other of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my papers, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. “The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

      Paul - 2012-01-14 14:49

      So true Graziella and a fitting reflection of SA coporate media.

      chris.kleynhans - 2012-01-14 15:19

      Thanks Graziella. Isn't it disgraceful? What has become of this world. Even Media24 is beginning to irritate me with the same saucy rubbish everyday while so much is actually happening in the world that we have to search and hunt through alternative means. And the doors on alternative means is also closing and internet censorship is on the cards to prevent us from knowing. The last thing that they want us to have is our opinion and to know. And watch how programmed our fellow human beings have become. They don't do the research and therefore they don't see and thus don't believe what is happening. How do we stand up for the sheeple if the sheeple is happy to find their way to the slaughterhouse.

      Graziella - 2012-01-15 11:51

      The people you speak of you wish to wake up are beyond comprehension of facts like these. It is too uncomfortable for them to admit to themselves that their ordered and conformist world is not so rosy after all. To believe anything else by these people is far too unsettling. In short they remain ignorant, no matter what the facts are because they choose to do so. The word you mention, RESEARCH, doesn't aply to these people. They are too lazy to do anything for themselves and as such are happy to swallow anything the hired commentators feed them as strawberry and cream. The rest of us will have to be satisfied with preaching to the converted so to speak.

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