With a relatively tame month of campaigning ahead of Super Tuesday on March 6, Republican strategist Bradley A. Blakeman tells Newsmax that front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich should focus on raising money and building their organizations.
“I think that the real test is going to be for these candidates to stay topical between now and the next debate when they take the national stage again,” Blakeman said in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “These primaries that are happening between now and Super Tuesday are interesting, but they’re not going to command the kind of attention that Super Tuesday on March 6 will command — or the next debate.”
He said that both candidates need the time to organize and replenish their campaign war chests.
Blakeman added that neither former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum or Texas Rep. Ron Paul have much of a chance to win the nomination after their poor showings in South Carolina and Florida.
“I don’t think Santorum is now a serious contender. He’s just waiting for someone to falter — and of course Paul is collecting delegates so that he can influence the platform and hopefully leverage his delegates, to speak at the convention,” explained Blakeman, a Newsmax contributor, who also served as a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff.
Gingrich, who depends on his debate performances to gain momentum, will be hard-pressed to get his message across between now and Feb. 22, when the former House speaker next has an opportunity to debate Romney.
“I don’t know how he regroups without earned media because he doesn’t have the organization,” insists Blakeman, who said Romney was able to turn around his fortunes by being aggressive in the two Florida debates.
“Romney was able to pivot and come back because of the debates,” Blakeman observed. “It showed a fighting spirit. He changed his mind on his taxes and these were all pivotal moments.”
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