With Mitt Romney winning 39 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, his chances of getting the nomination seem all but assured. But we knew tha, months ago. What’s been happening since then are a few faint feints towards other candidates, barely postponing what seems inevitable.
Populist critiques of Romney have risen… from his competitors. As Politico puts it:
That helps explain why Gingrich and Perry are now hammering away at Romney over his tenure at Bain Capital, casting themselves as populists against the financier even as national fiscal conservatives accuse them of adopting a heretical line of attack against capitalism. [Former Congressman Rick] Santorum, who has been talking up his plan for restoring American manufacturing, has his own economic vulnerability: South Carolina is a leader in the national “right to work” movement, and he will be taken to task for pro-labor votes he cast when he represented Pennsylvania in the House and Senate.
The South Carolina primary is up next, and Romney has a double-digit lead over Santorum and the rest of the pack. I can’t help but think the most Presidential riposte came from former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman during Sunday’s NBC/Facebook debate. Romney stated during the debate about his rival: “I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.”
In return, Huntsman argued that [Romney]:
….criticized me while he was out raising money for serving my country in China, yes, under a Democrat, like my two sons are doing in the United States Navy. They’re not asking who — what political affiliation the president is. I want to be very clear with the people here in New Hampshire and this country: I will always put my country first. And I think that’s important to them.
In the end, Huntsman did win among one clear demographic — Democratic voters. Hardly a recipe for GOP primary success.