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If I had to vote today, I would most likely vote for Rick Santorum. In my mind, he is the most solid conservative still in the race. My second choice would be Gingrich. Today, I would probably give Romney a slight advantage over Paul, primarily because of Paul's foreign policy beliefs.
I will be blunt. There has always been something about Mitt Romney that I just do not like. It has been a little difficult for me to put my finger on it, but the last couple months have really crystallized it for me. I don't want to come right out and say he seems phony to me, but there is something disingenuous about him in my mind.
When the entire process to determine the GOP nominee for President, I wrote a post about the negative ads that were being run in Iowa. In Iowa, Gingrich ran positive, patriotic ads. On the other hand, Romney, and to a degree, Paul ran primarily negative ads, mostly attacking Gingrich.
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Gingrich had been calling on everybody to run a positive campaign, but after Iowa, he decided to fight fire with fire. He has started to run his own share of negative ads against Romney. The two of them have gotten extremely personal.
In the past few debates, there have been a few incidents where Romney has appeared, well, less than fully honest. In one debate, when answering a question about inaccurate attack ads, he claimed not to have seen any of the ads, but then went through and detailed one of them. In one of the Florida debates, he claimed not to have knowledge of a particular ad, but then Wolf Blitzer pointed out the ad ends with Romney citing his approval of the message.
Today, while driving home from work, I heard a report stating that the Florida primary race has been the most negative in history. Not one of the most negative, but the absolute most negative ad in history. Out of all of the ads that have been run, 92% have been negative. Some reports have stated that the Romney campaign and Super PACS have out spent the Gingrich camp 4 to 1.
The report says that 99% of the ads run by the Romney campaign were negative. 100% of the ads from his SuperPAC were negative. Not that the Gingrich campaign was much better, as 95% of the Gingrich campaign ads were negative. However, the Gingrich SuperPAC had only 53% of their ads considered negative. There were nearly three times as many negative ads run against Gingrich as compared to Romney.
The negative ads are bad enough, but they obviously work. Here, though, is another example of what I would consider less than forthcoming. Romney is claiming that the only reason he is running negative ads against Gingrich is in retaliation to Gingrich running them against him in South Carolina. The truth is that the Romney campaign started the negative ads in Iowa. Every time they start to fall behind in the polls, their knives come out.
If Romney does end up being the eventual nominee, I will go into the voting booth on November 6th, hold my nose, and vote for him. As much as I dislike him, I still would prefer him to the current President. Of course, after George Soros has come out with statements that it doesn't matter if the President is Romney or Obama because there is not much difference between them, I may have to think twice about it.