More from my Romney guy. I note that when you ask a guy affiliated with a campaign about that candidate’s rivals, you’re inviting some criticism, but I think the criticism is sometimes illuminating, at least to see the way those rivals are perceived within that candidate’s camp.
On Fred Thompson: “Thompson’s having the same bumps in the road that Romney had in January but he’s having it in July… This is the era of YouTube and user-generated media. It’s like were driving a car down a freeway 70 miles per hour while we’re still assembling the engine. At some point, you’re going to lose a finger.”
“I wonder if he’s going to run. Two weeks ago that thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind…”
On John McCain: “You can’t start going up until you stop going down, and for McCain that hasn’t happened yet. He’s still dropping in New Hampshire and other states. I don’t see how he fixes it; what was
endearing back in 2000 is now irritating to the base.”
On Rudy Giuliani: “I can’t quite figure out what they’re doing over there, unless they thought the whole narrative was going to be burn rate. Now they can go brag about how little they’ve spent, but they’re just now starting to staff up in some states, and they’re doing it in states like North Dakota and Illinois, and in the end, while they’re on Super Duper Tuesday, they just aren’t going to matter they way the other states are. It’s going to take $5 million, $7 million, 10 million just to run ads in Illinois, an expensive television state. So why put staffers on the ground? … I know he has his list of twelve, but when you listen to him speak, the only two things he sounds like he really wants to do is turning everything into CompStat and winning the war on terror.”
On Barack Obama: “He’s going up against [Clinton] people who have been playing this game for a long time, and laying the groundwork for a long time. To beat Clinton and all of her advantages, you need a perfect candidate and perfect campaign. And right now the candidate isn’t perfect. He’s basically guy with a year’s experience in Senate before he started to . He has no real record of accomplishment in Illinois Senate. He was a community activist, which means he’s really good at running a voter registration drive. But is he ready to run the executive branch? How does he get beyond being a novelty and a cause?”
On Hillary Clinton: I think we’re right to expect a completely unprecedented level of ferocity from that campaign… Setting up the election as a choice between the past and the future is the only way for a Republican to overcome the gravitational field of Bush. And I don’t think there’s anybody better position to make that future vs. the past contrast than Romney vs. Clinton. You’re not going to get that with some senator.”