Posted In: Election 2012, Kids Not Cuts, South Carolina, Uncategorized
by Amanda Litvinov/photos above courtesy of Gage Skidmore
There was no shortage of drama coming into Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary: cries for Romney to release his tax returns reached a crescendo; Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife dished details of his alleged open-marriage-or-divorce ultimatum; Rick Perry quietly left the stage; and former competitor Herman Cain told America to “lighten up”.
The primary results, however, were pretty straightforward: Mitt Romney’s campaign took a nosedive with middle class Americans. He was only able to connect with the Palmetto State’s wealthiest citizens, which follows the trend of his campaign: In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney did worse with voters the closer they got to the average American’s income.
And that allowed Gingrich to wallop him with a double-digit defeat. But both of the top finishers used their post-primary speeches to target foes outside the pool of Republican candidates.
Romney, in his post-primary concession speech, accused the president of “demonizing success and disparaging conservative values,” charges that he has leveled consistently as evidence of the “class warfare” that is presumably being waged, and headed up by the current administration, against people like him. Ahem.
Well, the campaign had to come up with a sound bite to help obscure the fact that Romney’s platform would provide a $6.6 trillion windfall for the wealthiest Americans and a few big corporations. Under Romney’s proposal, his own taxes would be cut to nearly half of what they would be under President Obama’s proposal.
Gingrich alluded to a much more shadowy foe, the “the elites in Washington and New York” who “have been trying for a half century to force us to quit being American and become some kind of other system.”
It’s hard to figure how Gingrich—an incredibly wealthy and connected former House speaker turned lobbyist—isn’t part of the elite by any standard definition of the word. He seemed at turns to use the label to talk about his own party’s refusal to embrace him and then about the media for their unfair coverage of his personal life as well as his campaign.
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