Written on Sunday, December 4, 2011 by Dick Morris
Does President Barack Obama get a vote in the Republican primary? Apparently, he wants one. His campaign organization has targeted Mitt Romney for negative ads, a sure sign that he would rather run against Newt Gingrich than against Mitt.
Obama may not be right. His political judgment is, after all, flawed. But he likely sees the race in ideological terms — as he sees the world — and would rather run against a strong conservative like Newt than someone with moderate credentials like Romney.
How do we know? Obama is now running ads, through the Democratic Party, in Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin attacking Romney for changing his position on abortion. The ad begins with an announcer saying, in ominous tones, that he is about to describe the drama of “two men inhabiting one body.” But he’s not talking about multiple personality disorder. He’s attacking Romney for once having been pro-choice and now being pro-life. Apparently, Obama does not understand that Mitt — like Reagan, Nixon and Bush 41 before him — has abandoned his pro-choice position as he came to know more about the issue.
But where are the ads attacking Newt? There aren’t any. It is unprecedented for a Democratic candidate to take sides in a Republican presidential primary. But Obama is doing it. He’s scared to death of Romney. All of the things that make his nomination more problematic among conservatives strengthen his credentials to defeat Obama in November. His former pro-choice posture, his embrace of gay civil unions (but not marriage), and his sponsorship of Romneycare in Massachusetts — despite its obvious differences from Obama’s program — make him more acceptable to independents. So Obama is determined to vote in the Republican Primary for Newt.
Bill Clinton, doubtless following the same instincts, says positive things about newt. The Democrats want to defeat Romney.
But they may be wrong. Newt is the better debater and would doubtless destroy Obama in a face-to-face confrontation. And Newt’s creative thinking and original ideas might well appeal to an electorate used to sound bites that mean nothing and lead nowhere.
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