|In the What's
My Fake Line? category, most registered Republicans are counting on the fact that anything
beats “community organizer.” So, Gingrich
calls himself an "historian," while Romney professes to be a "businessman." Neither
candidate cares for "politician," although that’s what they’ve
each been for most of their adult lives. Edge: Romney.
In the all-important Wives category, Gingrich’s total of three is hard
to top. Romney has only been married once, although his great grandfather did
flee to Mexico with at least five wives to escape U.S. monogamy laws. Edge: Gingrich.
When it comes to Exaggerated Job Creation Claims, Gingrich boasts that he
helped create an astounding 27 million jobs during the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
The math and politics are fuzzy, but who wouldn’t vote for 27 million new
jobs? Romney can only claim 120,000 jobs – most coming at places like Staples
and Sports Authority long after his tenure. Unfortunately for Gingrich, GOP voters
believe that government can’t create jobs, thus negating his 27 million.
Gingrich easily wins the Who I Want You to Think of When
You Think of Me competition.
Gingrich deftly cites Ronald Reagan in his answers to all questions. Romney,
on the other hand, doesn’t seem to relate to anyone in his past – although
he does, oddly, have a large photo of his father, George, on his campaign bus.
He also used to mention his Irish Setter Seamus, until word got out that he once
strapped Seamus to the roof of the family car for a 12-hour drive to Canada.
Fawning Over Hispanics is an important category in Florida, and Gingrich has
hired former advisors to Sen. Marco Rubio along with several other local Hispanic
leaders. But Romney trumps that by having his son Craig narrate campaign ads
in Spanish. Edge: Romney.
There’s keen competition in the category of Personal
Attacks, even though
both men claim they’d rather not stoop to such things. Romney calls Gingrich
a “failed leader”; Gingrich says Romney is “timid” and “confused”;
Romney labels Gingrich “highly erratic”; Gingrich says Romney is
full of “pious baloney.” Edge: even.
In the Wackiest Idea category, Gingrich appeared to have it wrapped up when
he declared that students should be hired as school janitors; also, that he'll
build a "colony" on the moon by the end of his second term. But in
a stunning move, Romney bested him by announcing that he favors “self deportation” of
illegal immigrants. Edge: Romney.
In the Whose Tax Returns are More Damning category, Gingrich has a lot of
splainin’ to do about the $1.6 million he was paid by Freddie Mac to teach
history. But Romney’s return not only revealed bank accounts in Switzerland,
Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, it put the lie to a fundamental GOP claim. If
low tax rates for the wealthy – Romney paid about 15% – are supposed
to spur job creation, then how many jobs did Romney create with over $40 million
that he earned the last two years? None. Edge: Romney.
It’s a tight one. The best Romney and Gingrich backers can hope for
is that it never comes down to the category all pageant hopefuls dread most:
(c) Peter Funt. This column was originally distributed by the Cagle Syndicate.