Posted on February 29, 2012 in Countdown


Romney's Narrow Victory

Last night, Mitt Romney won heavily-contested Michigan, beating Santorum by three percentage points. This victory comes in spite of Santorum’s efforts to get Democrats to turn out and vote for him. "We didn't win by a lot but we won by enough and that's all that counts," said Romney, whose victory does not guarantee him more Michigan delegates than Santorum. Romney’s win in Arizona was more decisive (20-point lead), earning him the state’s 29 delegates in the winner-take-all state. Why is Romney doing so well? We think it’s because he’s so good at connecting with average Americans. Whether he’s making $10,000 bets, or describing his experience watching the game from the box, Romney is showing over and over again what a regular guy he is. You a NASCAR fan? Romney is just like you! He said “I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.” Are you a Michigan blue-collar worker who believes in American-made cars? Romney is just like you too, because his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” Yeah, just a couple… Anyway, the next big battle is “Super Tuesday,” and if Romney does well there, game over. Unless Gingrich offers delegates condos on the moon, then… who knows!

Advice From Mr. "Cheerful"

When American troops burned Qurans in Afghanistan, the U.S. military sensibly apologized for the mistake. Well, Gingrich is not happy about that (the apology, not the Quran-burning) because apologizing amounted to American “surrender.” Yup, in Gingirch’s world, nations are all 13 year old boys who must prove they’re tough by never apologizing when they screw up. Gingrich also said it was impossible to fix Afghanistan, and that we should just tell the Afghans "You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life, because you clearly don't want to learn from me how to be un-miserable." So much compassion and wisdom! And this is coming from the guy who, when asked to describe himself with one word, picked “Cheerful.” Surely that’s only because no one word combined “thoughtful” and “compassionate.” Well, Senator Durbin has just had enough with the GOP candidates’ rhetoric undermining Obama’s efforts to calm tensions down with the Muslim world, blatantly saying: “listen to these Republican candidates for president. They’re at war with Islam.” Will Gingrich or Santorum care to rebut? Don’t expect them to disavow the demonization of Islam as unequivocally as even President George W. Bush did.

Arab Americans 2012

Two days ago, Michigan Arab American Republican leaders endorsed Ron Paul for President. A champion of ending wars and protecting civil liberties, Paul said “I am honored and delighted to receive the endorsement of the leadership of Michigan's Arab American Republicans, as well as the editorial board of the Arab American News.” Paul ended up getting 12% of the vote in Michigan, nearly double what Mr. Cheerful got. Elsewhere, two Arab Americans, State Senator Paula Aboud and State Representative Matt Heinz, are running for Gabrielle Giffords’ congressional seat in Arizona. The special election is set for June 12th. Arab Americans 2012, Represent! (Read last line out loud, then insert cool hand gesture. That’s your Countdown task of the day).

College Educated? What a Snob!

Rick Santorum has a new grievance with President Obama: the President wants everyone to go to college. “What a snob,” said Santorum, noting that the president wants people to get higher education so he can remake them “in his image.” Apparently, Santorum prefers Americans remain uneducated, perhaps so they’ll continue to vote for people like him. Oh, no, he actually just wants parents to be able to “remake their children into their image, not [Obama’s].” Ok, that’s a little creepy. How about we let children grow up to be their own people instead of “remaking” them into anyone’s image? Then again, we have no parents on the Countdown team, so what do we know! The good news is, Santorum is getting push back from the GOP, with Chris Christie reacting bluntly to Santorum’s remarks with “I don't think that makes any sense." Apparently, the GOP doesn’t want to take a stand against education (what snobs!).

Unlikely Critics of Discourse

You know, we’ve said a lot about the toxic rhetoric of this election cycle, from Hitler comparisons to the stark rise in negative ads compared to 4 years ago. Well, now some unexpected folks are speaking out. How unexpected? Try ‘far right-wing religious leader (and former Presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee’ unexpected. Yes, this is the guy who thinks Islam is the “antithesis” of Christianity, and who thinks Palestinians should go seek a state in some other Arab country (not exactly a sensible guy). He recently said: “I think that there is just such a toxic atmosphere right now, specifically in the Republican party… I would love to say that it's going to be all about ideas and solutions, but unfortunately a lot of it is about just being able to say, 'I'm more angry at the Obama administration than somebody else.'”  When you’ve gone too far for Huckabee, you know you’ve probably really gone too far.

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