Richard Miniter posted this Washington Post article on Facebook.
In an effort to bring down surging front-runner Newt Gingrich, the Romney campaign has deployed a very strange choice of attack dog: former White House chief of staff John Sununu.
Sununu is everywhere these days. On a campaign conference call with reporters last week, he accused Gingrich of “a pattern of anti-principled actions that really irritated his own leadership and produced 88 percent of the Republicans in Congress voting for his reprimand.” On Sunday, the Romney campaign put him up against former Pennsylvania congressman Bob Walker on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where Sununu hit Gingrich for his “$500,000 outstanding bill at Tiffany’s” and warned, “The conservatives that he has turned his back on should recognize the fact that he’s not a conservative.” And this week, Sununu has begun hitting the airwaves on conservative talk radio, telling host Scott Hennen that Gingrich is “not stable.”
All of this raises a question: Has the Romney campaign lost its mind?
No doubt Sununu’s support is important for Romney in New Hampshire, where he was a popular governor in the 1980s and served as chairman of the state Republican Party from 2009-2011. But Sununu is a discredited figure among conservatives. To deploy him on the national stage — in an effort to convince conservatives that Gingrich is not one of them — is, quite simply, insanity.
The New Hampshire newspaper the Union Leader reports that Sununu said in an interview last week, “Then-House Minority Whip Gingrich reneged after telling then-President George H.W. Bush (41) that he approved of the 1990 budget agreement with Democrats that included tax increases.” This is supposed to show that Gingrich is an unreliable leader. Gingrich denies ever supporting the deal, but even so: Gingrich ended up on the right side — opposing the Bush tax increase, which is still reviled by conservatives to this day. So the Romney campaign is attacking Gingrich for opposing a massive tax increase — and is doing so by using the White House chief of staff who brokered the deal in which Bush broke his “no new taxes” pledge.
How on earth does trotting out the mastermind of Bush’s still-hated “read my lips” tax flip-flop to attack Gingrich help Romney? This is not territory where Team Romney should want to tread. Conservatives’ biggest worry is that Romney will flip-flop the way “41” did on his tax pledge. Sending out a man responsible for that reversal as a national spokesman only helps Gingrich and raises questions about Romney’s judgment.
[…]As White House chief of staff, Sununu spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars flying on military jets to ski lodges, golf resorts, and even his dentist in Boston, as well as taking a government limousine to New York to attend a Christie’s stamp auction. He was investigated by the White House counsel’s office and forced to repay the government. A few months later, he was forced to resign. The New York Times reported “The uproar over the 1990 budget deal, in which Mr. Sununu was seen by many Republican lawmakers as a malevolent influence, exacerbated Mr. Sununu’s troubles. In the same fashion, he was badly wounded by disclosures of his extensive use of military aircraft for personal and political trips.”
But it’s worse than that. John Sununu is the one responsible for recommending David Souter to then-President George H.W. Bush for a Supreme Court appointment.
The New York Times explains everything you need to now about John Sununu, (and, consequently, about Mitt Romney).
John H. Sununu, the White House chief of staff, said today that he had assured President Bush that David H. Souter would uphold conservative values on the Supreme Court. He also said he had given ”strong personal support” to Judge Souter at a key moment in the President’s decision-making.
As Governor of New Hampshire, Mr. Sununu named Judge Souter an Associate Justice of its Supreme Court.
”I was looking for someone who would be a strict constructionist, consistent with basic conservative attitudes, and that’s what I got,” the chief of staff said in an interview. ”I was able to tell the President that I was sure he would do the same thing when he encountered Federal questions.
”What he says and does is what he is. No pretense, no surprises.” Their Kind of Man?
The chief of staff’s comments were designed to advance the overall White House strategy of seeking to convince conservatives that Judge Souter was their kind of man, who could be trusted to vote ”right” on the big issues, without getting him involved in fierce debates about abortion or flag burning or other contentious specifics.
[…]Mr. Sununu said that President Bush had had two candidates under consideration when he retired to his office on Monday with a yellow legal pad to make his decision – the two he had just spoken with, Judge Souter and Judge Edith H. Jones, 41, who sits on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Houston.
Let me tell you something. I am a strong conservative on fiscal issues, foreign policy and social issues. My candidates for President in 2012 are Michele Bachmann, followed by Rick Santorum, followed by Rick Perry. And if I had a choice to nominate anyone to be on the Supreme Court of the United States, the last person in the world that I would choose is David Souter, and the first person in the world I would choose is Edith H. Jones. She is my absolute favorite for the Supreme Court, followed closely by Janice Rogers Brown.
I recommended Jones and Brown in this old post from May 2009, and nothing has changed since then – they are my favorites. But John Sununu passed on Edith Jones and recommended David Souter – a staunchly liberal activist judge. Sununu is not a conservative.
If you would like to see some videos of Mitt Romney explaining his liberal views on everything from abortion to gun control to global warming, then click here.