How did Newsmax spend the day before the Florida primary? Why, with more hyping of Newt Gingrich and more bashing of Mitt Romney.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy got into the act with a Jan. 30 column criticizing Romney's "politics of division":
Even if Mitt Romney wins in Florida on Tuesday, he still may lose the presidency come November.
The old adage of “divide and conquer” may work well in war, but in politics it’s not always a smart strategy, especially in Republican primaries.
Ronald Reagan’s name has been evoked quite often in this race. The Gipper must be turning over in his grave that Mitt Romney has so badly violated his 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
Um, isn't that pretty much the same thing Gingrich is doing? Ruddy either hasn't noticed or doesn't care. He's in full Gingrich-whitewashing mode:
Sure Newt has baggage, which he wholly admits to. But despite Mitt Romney’s carpet-bombing with negative ads, the truth is that Gingrich has been a staunch conservative over many decades. The same is not true for Mitt Romney.
Also getting play at Newsmax are the usual suspects performing the Gingrich-fluffing role that Newsmax wants to see them in:
- Rush Slams Romney's Brokaw Ad: It's False
- Palin: Fed Up With Lies About Gingrich, Reagan
- Gingrich Daughter: Dad Is 'the Energizer Bunny' of 2012 Race
The day's Romney-bashing was led with a piece by Martin Gould claiming that "Discrepancies between Romney’s tax returns and the financial disclosure he filed with the Federal Elections Commission when he started his run for the White House last year are raising new questions about whether he has hidden huge sums from the public."
Newsmax even attacked Romney for "refus[ing] to allocate an extra $5 a day to provide kosher meals for poor Jewish nursing-home residents" as Massachusetts governor -- a pretty blatant play targeted at Florida retirees.
Another article discounts the reality of Gingrich's slipping poll numbers, enlisting Ed Gillespie to insist that "the race is still too fluid to call with just hours to go before the start of regular voting."
Will all of Newsmax's editorial bias be enough to help Gingrich? We'll find out soon enough.