Newt Against the Banksters

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 31 2012 10:45 AM

Newt Against the Banksters

ORLANDO, Fla. -- In Tampa yesterday, after accusing Mitt Romney of cutting off kosher meals for Jewish patients in hospitals, Newt Gingrich described what his victory would mean for Florida.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"When we win tomorrow," he said, "we'll send a signal to George Soros, Goldman Sachs, to the entire New York and Washington establishment: Money can't beat people power."

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An hour later, Robert Stacy McCain caught Gingrich in Ft. Myers, where he picked up this "money power" ball and sprinted through four football fields.

Referring to an interview that Soros -- a billionaire notorious for his funding of left-wing causes -- gave to Reuters last week in Davos, Switzerland, Gingrich summarized Soros as saying, "We think either Obama or Romney's fine, but Gingrich, he would change things." The anti-Gingrich cabal, said the former House Speaker, also includes investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, which backed President Obama four years ago and now -- having profited from taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts -- is bankrolling Romney's campaign attack ads. "Those ads are your money recycled to attack me," Gingrich told the hundreds gathered outside Page Field airport here.

And later, this:

I think we have an obligation to our children, to our grandchildren, to fundamentally change Washington and, frankly, to fundamentally change New York. We deserve to know the truth about the last four years. We deserve to know what happened to our money.

Where's the money? After zagging right and left and trying different attacks on Mitt Romney, Gingrich returns to the essential blue collar hit: The man's money comes from the same rotten place as the rich banker who put your mortgage into a junk CDO. Gingrich will arrive in Michigan and Arizona as the anti-Goldman Sachs candidate, a uniform that fits whether you're hitting Romney or Obama. If it works, the anti-Bankster vote is no longer Ron Paul's exclusive property.

Of course, Gingrich could just make this attack and get distracted by something else.

(Sort of Related: What happens to all of the video that people take at political rallies? At any given stop in any given state, I've watched dozens of cameras or tablets go up and record speeches. Look for the videos the next day, and they're nowhere. Is this just a modern pavlovian response to "historical events"? Something is happening in front of me: I must film it. I ask because lots of cameras were in Ft. Myers, and only McCain noticed the raw populist stuff.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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