Romney's Snub of Trump Debate Seals Fate in Fla.

Thursday, 08 Dec 2011 10:23 AM

By Matt Towery

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The GOP race for president is coming to a head very quickly. Yes, Newt Gingrich had a terrible launch. But that was in political time eons ago. Now, Gingrich is the last man standing. And if he keeps his mouth shut, he will be the GOP nominee.

He can run the table after New Hampshire. Notice, I did not say after Iowa. Iowa is a strange circumstance where standing in the polls sometimes means victory or disaster (look for Ron Paul to do better than expected).

What everyone is missing is South Carolina and Florida. Gingrich always planned to make South Carolina his make or break. He knew that half the state was military in nature, and Newt is not only a military brat, but a War College genius.

The more problematic state is Florida — big media markets and a candidate with no money to make media buys. Uh, that was until the floodgates opened last week. Now, Gingrich is not only the leader in virtually every state and national poll, he is the grandfather you never had and the class genius you wish you had known. But I know this man. Like no other person, I know him. He has no opponent, no enemy, no one equal to him in intellect, experience or ability.

Newt has only one enemy — himself. And I will bet the farm that this year he does not let that enemy do him in. New Gingrich has arrived. And I'm talking directly to you, Newt.

Oh, yes, I have witnessed it all. That stupid GOPAC debacle, the years teaching a course at an emerging Georgia University that became a political firestorm . . . even an impeachment battle you really never wanted to push.

I watched a marriage that you worked so hard at fail because the two people in it were, as the Bible puts it, "unevenly yoked." I watched you suffer. Actually, I'm surprised you didn't jump in the Potomac.

But what I have seen most importantly is a brilliant man becomes a human. And that is why you are storming these caucuses and primaries. You are like the Grinch (to whom you were unfairly compared in the mid-1990s) whose heart grew three times the size . . . plus.

I know you, Newt Gingrich, better than almost any person on this earth. We fight, we argue, we debate, and we are of course good friends. You have never influenced my polling, and I have never made an impact on your very hard head. So here goes.

Newt . . . just stay quiet. You have the GOP nomination in your grasp.

The refusal by Mitt Romney to attend the Trump debate in Iowa has sealed his fate in Florida, where the Newsmax/Trump world dominates. Clearly this guy has no clue about GOP conservative politics. He might make a great VP nominee, but he is just too silk-stocking to win these Southern states.

But I stress — keep to yourself. We've been down this road so many times. In 1980, you just had to debate Doc Davis (the Democratic nominee) on all three network affiliates. It was your first re-election, and all you did was give the guy name identification. Please just hunker down (as Georgia Bulldog fans say).

There is no question that your time has come. The fact is, you are not only smarter than the other candidates, but you are far more experienced, as well. What's so funny is that the onetime moniker placed on you by some Republicans is that you were "the establishment." They never knew how much the "silk panty" crowd of the GOP hated you.

So now it comes down to this. Can you keep your brilliant mouth zipped? I'm guessing you can. But that's a big bet. Only the polls will tell us — and they won't give a single extra point in your favor.

Regardless, you have made the comeback of the year. And they can't take that away from you.

P.S. If Obama's crowd wants to take you on in the debates, they are nuts.

Matt Towery is author of the book "Paranoid Nation: The Real Story of the 2008 Fight for the Presidency." He heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

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