Promoted
Politics

Mitt Romney Thinks Gingrich Could Beat Him

Don’t listen to what Romney says, watch what he does.

John Moore / Getty Images

Republicans who despise Newt Gingrich hold one of two conflicting theories about him: Either he’s a dangerous maniac who will collapse under his own weight; or he’s a dangerous maniac who must be stopped.

Among moderate and Estabishment Republicans, the case for complacency is a compelling one: Gingrich, this argument goes, wears poorly. The less voters hear of him, the more they like him — this was literally the case in early polling — and the higher he rises, the faster he falls. His success reminds voters of his past and his personality, and they reject him. There is, by this theory, a mathematical equation that will stop Gingrich from being the nominee, and — apologies to Nate Silver — his probability of victory is always zero.

The other theory is embraced primarily by Gingrich’s supporters. He’s not winning despite his combative, undisciplined personality; he’s winning because he’s Newt. Voters embrace the large, flawed, complex, and visibly intelligent candidate one they fear lacks depth. Gingrich’s powerful message, as Alex Castellanos recently wrote is that his “opponents are fine but you know they are not the big leader you need.”

Romney’s staff projects a belief in the former theory. McKay Coppins recently talked to a top aide:

Asked whether Romney’s collapse in the polls is forcing Romney’s campaign to consult its own mortality, the aide laughed.

“Oh God, no,” he said. “I mean, to face Newt Gingrich?”

The last two days have pretty fully undercut that blase pose. If you’re not afraid of someone, you don’t try to tear his face off.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 
 
Here Are The Top Stories
  • Two University of Cincinnati officers who were on the scene shortly after Samuel Dubose was fatally shot have been placed on leave. The officer accused of killing Dubose has been released from jail on bond.
  • An ultra-Orthodox man stabbed six people at Jerusalem's gay pride parade on Thursday.
  • The new Apple TV will debut in September, along with its own App Store, sources tell BuzzFeed News.
Get The News App

More News

More News

Now Buzzing