…Or this could be headlined: Hugh Hewitt’s Shameless Apologia For Mitt Romney
Hugh Hewitt, nationally syndicated talker, eminent blogger and author, wrote a book on why Mitt Romney would be the perfect presidential candidate for the GOP nomination for 2008. Yet, he claims not to be in the bag for Romney and claims he is remaining impartial, ready to support any GOP candidate. This impartiality, however, is impossible to square with reality when Hewitt’s every post on his own blog is flogging the Romney candidacy.
Now, I have no problem with Hewitt’s being a cheerleader for his man Mitt. If Hewitt wants Mitt above all others, then he should just say so and quit with the false pretension that he is not sold to the Romney camp. His claims to the contrary are disingenuous, to say the least. But, this contest is just beginning and if Hewitt wants Mitt, then he should go full bore. It is fair and honest of him to do so. (Romney’s the wrong choice, of course, but, hey, we are all entitled to our choices!)
But, yesterday Hewitt went further than just cheerleading and moved into damage control and apologia for his man who was MIA on a currently hot talk-radio/blogosphere issue. Hewitt has moved beyond mere tacit support and should be counted officially as a member of Romney’s campaign team at this point.
Many times, Hewitt has claimed that Romney is uniquely tuned in to the new media, but the fact that Hewitt had to come to Romney’s rescue on this issue reveals that Romney’s campaign is not as plugged into the internet scene, or hot button conservative issues as Hewitt claims that it is.
We are all aware of the controversy over Congressional Democrats who have made up a pack of lies that radio icon Rush Limbaugh said that our troops are “phoney solders.” This issue has been the hot topic on the blogs and talk radio for several days now.
But Romney was MIA on the issue.
Candidate Fred Thompson, on the other hand, had a statement out right away on the issue. On his website Fred08.com, Thompson personally wrote the following:
“Congressional Democrats are trying to divert attention from insulting our military leader in Iraq and pandering to the loony left by attacking Rush Limbaugh. He is one of the strongest supporters of our troops, yet Democrats claim he is not being strong enough. I wonder who General Petraeus and his troops think is most supportive?”
This shows that Fred truly IS plugged in! The speed with which he identified and commented on this issue shows he is on top of the new media.
Still, Romney was MIA.
So, quick rides Hewitt to the rescue on his white horse to save team Romney some embarrassment. And Hewitt is ready to spin his heart out to make it seem that Romney is somehow informed on the new media. On his website and radio show, Hewitt jumps to help Mitt out:
As the phoney “phoney soldier” controversy swirled today –and Rush is in no hurry to end it as it reflects well on him and poorly on Senate Democrats– Fred Thompson released a statemnt blasting the attack on Rush. Rush was discussing it today, and e-in-box began to fill up with complaints that Mitt Romney had abandoned Rush. I shot off a query to the Romney campaign: What is this all about?
Not only did the campaign respond immediately, Governor Romney called the show to discuss the controversy and state that Rush has “got a long record of supporting our soldiers. Thereâ€™s no question that this is a man who has been very much on the side of our fighting men and women.” (Transcript here.)
Romney went on to blast HillaryCradleCare, the $5,000 per baby grant, as did Rudy in new Hampshire today.
What the Thompson/Romney reactions to the Senate Democrat attacks on Rush and the Giuliani/Romney blast at Hillary’s boondoggle both demonstrate is that the campaigns are on continual alert to the ever smaller news cycle. They do not intend to allow any story that might impact the race to go unremarked upon, especially those that might reflect ont heir standing with the GOP base. An attack on Rush is an attack on the GOP base, and I will be shocked if Rudy doesn’t weigh in by COB tonight as well.
“Not only did the campaign respond immediately??” No, Hugh, the “campaign” did NOT “respond immediately.” Team Romney had no clue what was going on until YOU helpfully alerted them to it. And Romney’s replies to Hewitt’s questions about it on the air were somewhat embarrassing for Mitt.
I heard that interview between Hewitt and Romney. Romney was off balance and uninformed. Each time he answered Hewitt his answer consisted mostly of re-stating Hewitt’s question and re-stating the issue with very little actual commentary on his part added to show he was truly informed and had formed a firm opinion on the matter. Romney used classic stalling tactics to filibuster the answer while he desperately tried to work out something in his head to say to Hewitt’s questions.
Far from “responding immediately,” Romney seemed caught unawares and unprepared.
Apparently, Romney didn’t have enough time to gather a “team” to write a “white paper” on the issue, so Romney was at a loss as to what to think about the whole thing!
This incident shows that Fred Thompson is really the best candidate for the modern era. He is smart enough to know what concerns his constituents, but has enough principles to have his own opinion well and firmly formed without some radio host to spin things for him.
Vote Thompson. Security, Unity, Prosperity!
(Yes, I am “in the bag” for Thompson, in case you couldn’t guess.)