Turning back the tide of information overload with a digest of the latest developments in news conservatives need to pay attention to:
Eighty percent of the money was from online donations – which even crashed the website. … While this sum is still far behind Mitt Romney’s numbers, it’s a sign that Santorum may be gaining momentum.
The Washington Times makes the case that Mitt Romney is losing momentum:
In all three states Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, won fewer voters than he did in 2008, signaling that he hasn't been able to hold onto those who turned out to pull the lever for him last time.
In Minnesota in 2008 he won nearly 26,000 voters in the caucuses, while on Tuesday he won fewer than 10,000. In Missouri's primary his take dropped from 172,329 votes to just 63,826. And in Colorado's caucuses he won more than 33,000 votes last time but fell 10,000 votes shy of that this year.
Overall turnout was lower in each of those states, but Mr. Romney can't take solace there – not only does it suggest a drop in enthusiasm from 2008, but Mr. Romney won a smaller share of the total vote in each of the three states this year.
Tuesday also marks the first time Mr. Romney has come in third in any race, as he fell to both Mr. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul in Minnesota's caucuses.
So far, with eight states having voted, Mr. Romney has done worse than his 2008 showing in five of them.
FOX News analyst Juan Williams explains why voters don't like Mitt Romney and why he is proving to be his own worst enemy. Short version: He’s an incredibly tone-deaf, incredibly rich guy who comes off as “an out-of-touch plutocrat who is insensitive to the economic pain being felt by the average American.”
† Nice guys finish last? Maybe not this election cycle. (second item on page): The mittens have been traded in for brass knuckles as former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and his surrogates began pounding former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) after his stunningly strong showing in Tuesday’s races in CO, MN and MO, CNN reports:
Suddenly facing new questions about the strength of his candidacy, GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney indicated Wednesday he's prepared to wage a more aggressive campaign against Rick Santorum, the surprise winner of all three of Tuesday's Republican contests.
"We think we can beat Sen. Santorum where we compete head-to-head in an aggressive way, and we obviously didn't do that in Colorado or Minnesota to the extent that (Santorum's) campaign did," Romney told reporters. …
Romney also blasted Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, calling them big-spending Washington insiders.
Republicans in Washington have "spent too much, borrowed too much, (and) earmarked too much," he said. "Frankly, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were a big part."
† The Republican contender who will be Obama II: Timothy Furnish, Ph.D., an expert on Islam, contends that former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) position on Islam “is closer to Barack Obama’s than to the mainstream of his own party”:
[I]n Iowa last December … Romney said radical, violent Islamists pose a threat to Americans and others around the world. However, he said, "they take a very different view of Islam than the Muslims I know." He noted that he was raised in the Detroit area, which has a large Muslim population. "They are peace-loving and America-loving individuals. I believe that very sincerely. I believe people of the Islamic faith do not have to subscribe to the idea of radical, violent jihadism" [emphasis added by Furnish]. …
So whence come the Republican front-runner’s “All-American Muslim”-style views? From his own religion, it would seem. …
The clearest and most complete elucidation of the LDS position vis-à-vis Islam can be found in an August 2000 article by James Toronto, entitled “A Latter-day Saint Perspective on Muhammad,” from Ensign – the church’s flagship monthly magazine. … Toronto says that “as early as 1855, at a time when Christian literature generally ridiculed Muhammad as the Antichrist and the archenemy of Western civilization, Elders George A. Smith (1817-75) and Parley P. Pratt (1807-57) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered lengthy sermons demonstrating and accurate and balanced understanding of Islamic history and speaking highly of Muhammad’s leadership.” In fact “Elder Pratt went on to express his admiration for Muhammad’s teachings, asserting that ‘upon the whole … [Muslims] have better morals and better institutions than many Christian nations.’” In this century, the LDS First Presidency Statement of 1978 “specifically mentions Muhammad as one of ‘the great religious leaders of the world’ who received ‘a portion of God’s light” …
Mitt Romney’s church officials are on record as saying that Muhammad – a man who created violent jihad, who had at least 11 wives (one of whom was 9 when he consummated the marriage), who ordered the beheading of an entire Jewish tribe – was illuminated by “God’s light” and was one of the “great religious leaders of the world.” Rather like the situation involving Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright’s church, it beggars imagination that Romney has spent over six decades listening to LDS teachings and has not imbibed at least some measure of such beliefs. …
Would a President Romney, already on record as stating that jihad has nothing to do with Islam, be willing to repeal the Obama administration’s gag order on discussing jihad in counter-terrorism training – even if such honest analysis portrays Muhammad as something other than a shining beacon of virtue and tolerance, as per LDS rubrics?
Lest you think Furnish is being overwrought, consider these remarks by Romney about universal healthcare:
Did you notice in Lebanon, what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a democracy some time ago and while their government was getting underway, Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having done so. That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest towards modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world. And so, I want to see America carry out that kind of health diplomacy.
[Hat Tip: Pamela Geller]
† Romney: the sequel (click here for related article): President Barack Hussein Obama has found yet another similarity between ObamaCare and RomneyCare that he is more than happy to publicize so as to take it off the table as a campaign issue should he be running against the architect of universal healthcare coverage on the state level, The Washington Times reports:
The White House is pushing back against Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's condemnation of President Obama's recent mandate for insurance coverage of contraceptives as part of the new health-care law.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday called Mr. Romney an "odd messenger" to be criticizing Mr. Obama over the issue, considering he followed a similar policy in Massachusetts when Mr. Romney served as governor. …
Mr. Romney said the president's policy amounts to an "assault on religion," and Mr. Carney responded that the former Massachusetts governor's comments were "ironic," considering his tolerance for what he called a virtually "identical" policy in that state.
Romney counters that the contraception provision in the MA healthcare law predates his tenure and that he was unsuccessful in removing it and other healthcare mandates when crafting his own bill. That may be so, but it undermines his claims that he is a leader who can reach across the aisle to get things done.