Sunday, May 3, 2009

Romney pops Palin

It comes at about 14:10. Transcript directly following.

Once you watch the vid, we'll take a trip through some recent Romney statements re: Palin.

KING: As you launch this effort, anyone who picks up Time magazine this week and sees the 100 most influential people, will see two Republicans in that magazine. They'll see Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Is that helpful, hurtful, indifferent?

[After Cantor's response].

ROMNEY: John, I'd like to have a lot more influential Republicans, because I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest. But was that the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people? I'm not sure. If it's the most beautiful, I understand. We're not real cute.

Let's go back to CPAC, where Mitt Romney earned the "pretty classless" moniker from Philip Klein of American Spectator for these remarks.


There are so many conservative leaders here this weekend. I was looking forward to seeing Governor Palin again. There’s a rumor that she has been offered an 11-million- dollar book contract. My publisher has been talking to me about an 11-millon-dollar deal as well. I’m just not sure I can come up with that kind of money.

On the other hand, back in January, Mitt appeared on the Neil Cavuto show, and was much more magnanimous regarding Palin's book deal, refusing to take Cavuto's enticing bait.

CAVUTO: So there's no distinctions then, Governor, between you and the Alaksa gov?

ROMNEY: Well, there are lots of distinctions between one Republican and the other. I don't think we're all exactly the same at every single issue. But I welcome the fact that Gov. Palin is very involved in the political process now. I understand she's formed a PAC. That's good news, we got a big election coming up in 2010...

CAVUTO: But she formed that PAC, ostensibly, to some, to arguably the groundwork for a 2012 run for the Presidency.

ROMNEY: You know, I think she'd say she formed a PAC to help Republican causes in races coming up, and while it may certainly benefit her long-term political ambition, if she chooses to have that ambition, it could certainly in the interim help a lot of Republican races and at this stage, we welcome all the dollars, all the support we can get. She draws a big crowd...

CAVUTO: ... do you have a PAC? Do you have a PAC like that, 'cause maybe you need one to challenge her.

ROMNEY: Oh, sure. I've had one for several years, and I work very actively to help Republian causes, conservative causes in Republican races.

CAVUTO: She is on the verge of seeking a book deal that could include $11 million for an advance. What do you think of that?

ROMNEY: Where do I sign up [laughter]... I think it's great there's some additional voices that are being heard, more power to her. If she's able to get a great book deal, that sounds good to me.

Romney appeared on Larry King, March 19th:

King: What did you make of Gov. [Sarah] Palin?

Romney: Boy, she was able to connect with our party in a very powerful way, ignite a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. That kind of political skill is rare. I hadn't met her before the announcement that she was going to be our VP nominee.

And I thought, boy, she's going to have a tough time up there on the stage at the Republican convention. Was I wrong. She got out there and just lit the place up.

Since the CW has 2012 shaping up to be a Romney vs. Palin slugfest, any comment each makes in relation to the other will be dissected, and fairly or unfairly, be used by each side's significant factions to name-call.

For Romney, the challenge is to resist appearing churlish. His mind and gravitas aren't compatible with the scrappiness that's attractive in a John McCain or Hillary Clinton.

As a PS, it's always fun to see Palin & Romney fans dancing around division. At 2009, it's far too early to bring out the big guns, but the dance is there, albeit a tip-toe.

Conservatives 4 Palin on Mitt's remarks today:

So long as Mitt is content to build himself up, then we treat him with respect and he's just "Governor Romney." But when he resorts to his passive-aggressive elitist snark, like he did above and in his CPAC speech, then he becomes "Mittens" and we start chatting about his pandering, flip-flopping, and disastrous RomneyCare.

Engage the filter, Mitt!

[Hat tip: Ben Smith]