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    Romney sending John Sununu to attack Newt is a second unexpected Christmas present

    Romney sending John Sununu to attack Newt is a second unexpected Christmas present

    As I noted the other day, Mitt Romney’s new strategy is to send out surrogates to attack Newt.

    Tomorrow it is former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, a big name in New Hampshire politics but someone whose name is associated with two of the most major conservative failures in the post-Vietnam war history of the Republican Party.

    As Matt Lewis points out, Sununu holds a grudge against Newt because Newt tried to stop George H.W. Bush from breaking his “no new taxes” pledge:

    With former Speaker Newt Gingrich surging in the polls, Mitt Romney has finally decided it’s time to go on the  offensive. One of the men Romney has lined up to attack Gingrich is former New Hampshire Gov. John  H. Sununu. The feud is not new.

    As a former chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush,  Sununu has a grudge against Gingrich — who fought Bush’s budget deal that  included raising taxes.

    Here’s an excerpt from a 1990 Fred Barnes article that describes a meeting for Bush’s  re-election efforts:

    Sununu attacked congressional Republicans for abandoning the president. House Republican whip Newt Gingrich, who led the opposition to the budget deal, wasn’t invited to the meeting. But he was on Sununu’s and [former OMB director Richard] Darman’s mind. “You could see the Newt chip on their shoulders,” said one Bush adviser. “It was a strikingly bad discussion. The death embrace [of Sununu and Darman] grew tighter.”

    There’s more.  As Lewis points out, Sununu’s other claim to fame is that he convinced Bush to nominate to the Supreme Court a New Hamphire state court judge who Sununu assured Bush was a rock solid conservative notwithstanding indications otherwise.  That person was David Souter.

    Sununu serving as surrogate Romney attack dog is the second unexpected Christmas present for Newt after Nancy Pelosi’s failed blackmail attempt, because it shows that all the wrong people hate Newt for all the wrong reasons.

    Update 12-8-2011 — More on Sununu’s grudge against Newt for fighting H.W. Bush’s breach of his “no new taxes pledge” here.


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    Joan Of Argghh | December 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Mitt who? Where?

    Seriously, where is he? Is he hoping to emulate Sarah Palin’s disappearance from campaigning in order to re-invent herself?

    I still say if she reconsidered tomorrow, Iowa notwithstanding, she’d win it all. Hmmm… Gingrich/Palin?

    spartan | December 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    There is a back story on the breaking of the ‘no new taxes’ pledge. IIRC, Daddy Bush publicly committed to kicking Saddam out of Kuwait. The Democrats who ran the House (and Senate) told Daddy Bush there would be no money for a war unless he raised taxes. Caught between losing face as a world leader and breaking his word, Daddy Bush chose the latter.
    That being said, I hope Sununu goes back to enjoying his stamp collection after the primary.

      William A. Jacobson in reply to spartan. | December 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Source for that?

        spartan in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

        This was relayed to me 6-7 years ago by a friend who worked on the Hill (for either Duncan Hunter or Dana Rohrabacher) during the time in question. I seem to recalled it was during a discussion concerning the origins of the Iraq War.
        If one uses a timeline … it makes sense. I wish I remembered more details such as the name of the Democrat who forced Bush’s hand.

        (I don’t recall whether April Glaspie’s actions were discussed)
        I have to address one other of Sununu’s proclamations (as if Souter wasn’t enough). He claims he kept quiet all these years (from the update) but only skewers Newt’s actions. Newt was the only bad actor in this drama? If this is his only point of reference for attacking Newt, I think it helps Newt.

        Source? Why would spartan mess up a perfectly good Slander with Facts?

        Truth is there were a lot of Democrats who were supporters of war in Iraq (both the Kuait kickout, and the amazingly popular sequel) until public opinion shifted, and suddenly their support turned into opposition. They needed a Reason for their shift in opinion (other than the real one, that they were opportunistic headline-grabbers), so we got the meme “Bush lied about WMD”, which has been spread around so thick it has aquired a life of its own.

          spartan in reply to georgfelis. | December 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

          Who and/or what was slandered? Ooops ….
          At worst, this post was written, libel alone would apply. If my source chooses to go public with his knowledge, that would be their business. I can tell you this person still works and resides in DC.

          Please refrain from revising history, especially the Gulf War. Only 10 Democrat senators voted in favor of the original Gulf War, which narrowly passed. Perhaps, you have forgotten Al Gore’s voting his conscience after being given 20 minutes to speak at prime time.

      The break of the “no new taxes” pledge was about deficit spending, not Gulf War 1 (although they did happen almost on top of each other). The budget deal was signed on 11/05/1990.

      Iraq invaded Kuwait on 8/2/1990. On 11/29/1990 the U.N. passed security council resolution 678 which gave Iraq until 01/15/1991 to withdraw from Kuwait and empowered states to use “all necessary means” to force Iraq out of Kuwait after the deadline.

      The The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 provided for automatic spending cuts (called “sequesters”) if the deficit exceeded a set of fixed deficit targets. The process for determining the amount of the automatic cuts was found unconstitutional in the case of Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986) and Congress enacted a reworked version of the law in 1987. see for references.

      The break of the pledge of “no new taxes” by GHW Bush was part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, which included the Budget Enforcement Act or 1990 which established PAYGO rules and increased income taxes by creating a new 31 percent individual income tax rate (via 10% “surtax” on the top income bracket), but capped the capital gains rate at 28 percent. Personal exemptions were temporarily phased out through 1995. The first version (rejected in the House) included a gasoline surtax of $.05 per gallon, with increases in future years; rejected by Democrat members for falling “too heavily” on the poor. see for references.

      Sidenote: Ed Rollins was fired from the RNC for telling Republicans to distance themselves from GHW Bush if they wanted to get reelected.

      This whole arrangement was come to in order to try to do deficit control, because the structural costs of the government because all the assumptions for income were based on the 1980s growth continuing, and thus a growth in mandatory spending and a declining economy, caused the federal deficit to greatly increase when the 1990 recession hit.

      from (unverified, and partially attributed to Grover Norquist, but it seems to be jogging a memory, and re-ordered to bring relevant portion to the top):

      [quote]The same argument was used in 1982 when Democrats promised President Ronald Reagan that they would cut spending three dollars for every dollar of tax hike Reagan conceded. Taxes were raised. Spending, adjusted for inflation, actually increased after the 1982 bipartisan “budget deal” hammered out at Andrews Air Force base. By putting tax hikes on the table, the promises of spending reduction evaporated. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush (a cheaper date) was promised two dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of tax hikes. Yet taxes were raised $137 billion, and spending was not cut but actually increased more rapidly after the “deal.” [end quote]

      Largely this is why I start ranting every time that I hear the Democrat governmental morons saying “well, we’ll give you spending cuts in the next budget if you give us a tax increase now.


      The tax increase is always immediate, and the spending cuts are always sometime off in the future, which then magically never seems to materialize, because “they would be “too hard” on the poor and working class.”

    ThomasD | December 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Unfortunately this tactic tells me nothing about Gingrich, but it does confirm everything I thought about Romney. The name David Souter says it all.

    Isn’t it wonderful that the beltway crew is striving mightily to tear the party apart rather than risk a tilt to the right?

    These people are neither willing nor capable of saving us from what Obama promises, they will only get us there slightly later.

    Well, as for me, better sooner rather than later. I can still hoe a row, or if need be man the barricades. In ten or twenty years? Probably not. Rather it be me than my children.

    So yes, if it comes down to Romney vs. Obama then I will stay at home, counting my seeds and reinforcing the doors.

    Romney is a coward. He can’t even do his own dirty work. He’s got to go.

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