With less than a day to go before voting starts in New Hampshire, former senator Bob Smith tells National Review Online that Newt Gingrich’s campaign is gaining momentum. “Every time, the crowd gets larger,” he says. “At the Derry town-hall meeting, they expected a couple hundred people — I did not go, but I was told it was actually 600. Tonight, I’ve already been told they had to move the venue for the Hudson town-hall meeting.”
Since zooming to the top of the polls last month, Gingrich has steadily declined under a barrage of attack ads aired by unfriendly super PACs. In the final University of New Hampshire survey before the primary, Gingrich earns only 8 percent of the vote (compared to Mitt Romney’s 41 percent), but Smith remains optimistic. “I think people are going to go back to the tried and true.” At the beginning of his career, Gingrich was a “warrior” in the Reagan Revolution, and now he’s the “wise man,” determined to complete it, Smith says.
Besides, Romney’s latest comments (“I like being able to fire people”) should raise questions about his electability, Smith contends. “That’s just fodder for Obama,” he says. “[The Democrats] probably had drinking party after they saw that comment.” Yes, firing people is sometimes necessary, Smith admits, but “you don’t have to like it.”
Asked whether Gingrich’s attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital are anti-capitalist, Smith replies, “I don’t think it’s about firing people. I think it’s about the purpose of these companies. . . . Their goal is to make a profit by diminishing a company. . . . The idea is you’re not producing anything.”
The difference between Gingrich and Romney, Smith concludes, is that between a visionary and a manager: “We need a visionary to change the country.”