The Corner

“Why They Hate Him”

There are a lot of Romney-haters out there, Mark (Levin). I don’t think Amy Goldstein is on the mark, however, when she suggests that Romney’s rivals hate him because, for example, “[h]e believes that America’s best days are ahead of it, and not a memory.” Or because he is a Mormon. The fact that they have to raise money and he doesn’t, on the other hand, probably accounts for some of the hostility. Let me suggest two other reasons they hate him. One, they resent it when he attacks them for being to the left of positions he has very recently adopted. I think that’s an understandable reaction. Of course it has received a lot of attention. A second reason for the hostility has been less noticed. It is that the structure of the campaign has worked to intensify hostility to Romney from everyone. Giuliani and Huckabee have not been competing with each other for votes, and so there has been little back-and-forth between them. Romney has been an obstacle to everyone, and everyone else has been an obstacle to him. So he has made attacks on more people than the others, and more of the others have made attacks on him.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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