To: Interested Parties
From: Vince Haley, Campaign Manager
Subject: Ronald Reagan, North Carolina, and You
Dear Newt supporter,
This strategy memo to you about Newt’s campaign is one of the most important you have ever received for two reasons.
First, because of crucial news you might have missed about Governor Romney’s status as the GOP front runner.
And, second, because of even more crucial news about why Newt Gingrich may be about to cause a political upheaval that brings back Ronald Reagan’s 1976 strategy and again leads to one of the greatest moments in the history of the conservative movement.
First, here is the crucial news about why --- with 17 states to go -- the Romney forces are worried, worried that the frontrunner’s weakness is surfacing again in the Republican primaries.
Here are two crucial news items causing Romneyites to worry.
-- Despite much pressure from Romney forces, Colorado Republicans last weekend at their Denver convention surprised political observers by electing – and by a large margin -- more uncommitted than committed delegates. (The hard count was 23 uncommitted to only 13 for Romney.) This was widely interpreted to mean that rank and file Republicans are still very wary of Governor Romney’s candidacy.
-- The other news is from Washington where the news media is all abuzz about a recent Washington Post/ABC poll. Here’s the transcript from a recent Meet the Press.
MEET THE PRESS HOST -- …. I want to show you what I think is the most telling number of the week that's come out in polls and it was from The Washington Post/ABC poll that talked about his favorability ratings. Right now Mitt Romney's favorable ratings, 34 percent; unfavorable, 50 percent that is unheard of for a leading contender at this stage of the process.
Look back historically at what Republicans have enjoyed and if you look at the approval ratings that John McCain had at this point in the campaign, 53 percent; George W. Bush and Bob Dole, 49 percent. Again, Mitt Romney down at 34 percent.
Yes, that’s right. At a time when he should be zooming up in the polls Governor Romney is only seen favorably by 34% of the voters. And in other polls out this week he is also losing to Barack Obama.
Now add to this bad news the fact Romney is once against reinforcing all the doubts conservative have about him. For example, you may have noticed that just two days ago he was again conceding the class warfare argument on economics to the Democrats by saying he wants to take away mortgage deductions for people in some income levels. And just this week he was saying that he is already trying to switch his immigration stand.
So you can see why those saying Mitt Romney has the nomination wrapped up and the race over have plenty of reason for worry.
But with 17 states to go it is not enough that Romney falters. What we need is Newt coming on strong.
And that’s brings me to the second reason this strategy memo is so important: To explain why Newt has been talking about 1976 and Ronald Reagan in North Carolina.
So, I have to take you back -- back to the huge political upheaval Reagan caused and that great moment in the history of the conservative movement.
Back to 1976 when President Ford – like Governor Romney today -- had all the power of big money and a large staff and organization and he was winning primaries even though Republicans were worried he couldn’t beat then-Governor Jimmy Carter in the Fall.
Also back in 76 -- just like today -- the news media was saying the Republican nomination drive was over. They were demanding that Ronald Reagan quit the race.
And Ronald Reagan refused. He said he wasn’t running for himself. He said he was fighting for certain ideas and the conservative cause that he believed in. So he was staying the race.
But Ronald Reagan also had some supporters -- dedicated conservative supporters who refused to believe the news media and supported his decision to carry on the fight.
They found the money for Ronald Reagan to do in North Carolina what he always did best in politics – get his conservative message across on TV and talk about the big ideas.
The results were overwhelming – Republicans saw they had a real alternative. So Reagan won North Carolina and went on to win primary after primary -- from Indiana to Texas. (In Texas, he won all 92 delegates.).
Just as an historical side note -- Ronald Reagan would have gone on to win the nomination – and America might have been spared four years of Jimmy Carter – but unfortunately his campaign failed in some key states to register full slates of delegates. So at the convention the Gipper fell short by a tragic 36 votes.
I will explain in a moment why Newt’s team has seen to it a similar mistake won’t be seen at this year’s convention.
But, first, I want to ask: Can you see the parallel between Reagan in 1976 and Newt today?
Remember last summer when Newt was only 6% and everyone was counting him out?Or after Iowa in January when they did the same thing?
Each time Newt went on TV – and when the American people saw him in the debates – his numbers zoomed.
So too Newt’s power on TV was recently seen in your tremendous response to his 28 minute TV speech on the gas price crisis, energy independence and restoring economic growth.
Moreover, here is something not widely known -- the polls for the last two weeks have been showing that Newt, even as the media was coronating Romney, has been holding a remarkable residual strength in North Carolina.
What does that mean?
It means Republican voters in North Carolina are in the mood to cause an upheaval -- to tell the national news media that primary voters and not a lot of elitist liberals will pick our party’s nominee.
So, believe me, if we can get the funds to get him on TV in North Carolina Newt can win. Republicans just need to see and hear Newt and know they have an eloquent alternative who can take it to Barack Obama in the presidential debates this fall.
And If Newt does well in North Carolina, it could -- just as it did for Reagan -- set off a firestorm in places like Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas and California.
And oh, by the way, should that happen and Newt picks up momentum he won’t run short of delegates in the contested states -- Newt’s team has made sure the campaign has strong delegate slates running in the remaining states. Polls are showing that this is the moment for Newt and his leadership. With only 10% of the public believing any more in our government institutions the people want a candidate with an outsider’s agenda but an insiders’ expertise who knows how to bring big change to Washington.
Mitt Romney doesn’t measure up to that description. But Newt Gingrich does.
Newt can deliver the game changer. Just as he and others did when they helped President Reagan in the 80s or Newt did with the Contract with America that won a Republican House in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.
It could happen in North Carolina. But only with your help.
So here’s my promise to you: if you will send right now whatever you can, I will guarantee that we will put aside every penny we possibly can to get Newt’s message on TV in North Carolina.
Please help Newt with the game changer in North Carolina.
Please help shock the media, cause a political upheaval and write another great moment in the history of the conservative movement.
If dedicated conservatives like you and the 180,000 other donors to Newt’s campaign send what they can it can all happen again in North Carolina. It can happen again for Newt and you and America.