Romney vs. Gingrich--Stylistic differences

Caucus Blog, NY Times:
What is the essential difference between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich?
During Saturday’s ABC News debate, when Mr. Romney was asked this question, he paused for a moment and then started in about Mr. Gingrich’s plans for moon development, before eventually working his way around to his campaign’s official answer: that Mr. Gingrich has spent his life in politics while Mr. Romney is a businessman.
But Mr. Romney offered a more compelling — and politically important — measure of the two men later in the debate, during an exchange over Mr. Gingrich’s comments that Palestinians were an “invented” people.
“If I’m president of the United States, I will exercise sobriety, care, stability,” Mr. Romney said, chiding Mr. Gingrich for shoot-from-the-hip statements that could have repercussions in the unstable political climate of the Middle East.
“I’m not a bomb-thrower, rhetorically or literally,” Mr. Romney said.
And there it was, the difference that may help explain why Mr. Romney is struggling in his second attempt to capture the Republican nomination, and why Mr. Gingrich — a 68-year-old Washington politician from another era — has become a real threat to prevent him from doing so.
At his core, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is a meticulous man whose approach to politics is rooted in the pragmatism of the business world. Mr. Gingrich, by contrast, revels in the emotional response he elicits with his words — a rhetorical bomb-thrower if there ever was one.
In fact, the exchange at the debate about the Middle East was a perfect example. By calling Palestinians “invented,” Mr. Gingrich evoked just the reaction he hoped for: feverish media coverage, endless speculation about what he meant and an opportunity to look tough.
“I will tell the truth, even if it’s at the risk of causing some confusion sometimes with the timid,” Mr. Gingrich declared a few minutes later.
Mr. Romney seemed perturbed by the whole notion. Before making “a statement of that nature,” the former governor said, “I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say, ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’ ”
Putting aside the differences between the two men at the margins of policy, this is what separates Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich: one is measured and mild-mannered, the other is anything but.
The question is, which one do Republican voters want.
The problem with this post is that it focuses on the things that liberals do not like about Gingrich and omits the things that conservatives do not like about Romney.  It should also be noted that most of Gingrich's bombs have been thrown at the media in this campaign.  for the most part he has gone out of his way not to be critical of other GOP candidates while focusing on the issues that all Republicans have with Obama.

For many of us, the Middle East policies of the Obama administration have been far too soft on the Palestinians.  They are the problem and yet the administration acts like Israel is the problem.  The Palestinians have nothing of value to offer Israel in any deal and they are the ones who are stalling talks by putting preconditions on those talks.  They whine about Israel settlements, yet they have rejected deals in the past that would have limited them.  If they really want to stop them, they need to make a deal and they cannot do that by refusing to negotiate.

I think Gingrich's history of the two sides is also closer to reality than the current memes of the Palestinians.  Gingrich is also right about the terrorist nature of many of the Palestinians.  Few argue that Hamas is not a terrorist organization.  Fatah on the other hand has one voice it uses in English and another it uses in Arabic, but the ultimate problem with Fatah is they are either unwilling or unable to restrain terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their own terrorist wings.




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