It’s Time To Tone It Down: An Open Letter To Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum


First off, congratulations to the four remaining candidates in the race. All of you have something to be proud of so far. Rick Santorum won Iowa, Mitt Romney won New Hampshire, Ron Paul finished 2nd in New Hampshire, and Newt Gingrich won South Carolina. Whatever else happens, everyone left in the hunt has proven that he deserves to have gotten this far.

That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that only one of you can emerge victorious. Afterwards, that candidate must unite the party and go forward to defeat Barack Obama because this country can’t afford another four years of his job-killing, out-of-control-spending, dependency-creating policies that are wrecking the economy, destroying our health care system, and threatening to do so much damage to the country that we may literally never fully recover.

If you win the primary and lose the general election against Barack Obama, then you won’t have won anything at all.

With that in mind, this primary has been considerably dirtier and more vicious than it should have been. It’s one thing to go after Barack Obama, but trying to win brutal negative campaigns against your fellow Republicans in a presidential primary is a loser’s game. Maybe, just maybe, you could make a case for it if the race had ended early, but clearly, this fight isn’t going to be over in a week or two. If the sort of vicious attacks we’re seeing from ALL the campaigns and the Super PACs that are supporting them don’t stop, the eventual winner will be considerably weaker versus Barack Obama. We’re already seeing a lot of hard feelings, lingering resentments, and entrenched negative opinions and if these scorched earth campaigns continue on for another few months, it may simply create too much bad will for ANYONE to defeat Barack Obama.

So, with that in mind, I have a simple request: Tone it down. Stop blasting your opponents, quit going for the throat against each other during debates, and make it clear publicly that you want all the Super PACs working on your behalf to stop running negative ads. Granted, you can’t communicate with Super Pacs, but if they know you genuinely want them to stop running negative ads, they will do it. After all, they’re doing this to help your campaign and curry your favor if you win. Make it clear that you don’t want negative ads run and they will respond. Granted, you can’t control your supporters or the media, but they’re only following the tone set by your campaigns. If you go positive, you’ll see most of your supporters slowly, but surely start to follow.

Just to be clear, this is not a phony call for civility or an attempt to help or hurt any of the remaining campaigns; it’s just an acknowledgement of reality. Republicans across the spectrum may not agree on which candidate to support, but we can agree that we do want to see the victor beat Barack Obama. Unless all four campaigns can get together and commit to a gentlemen’s agreement to run positive campaigns from here on out, it’s entirely possible that the winner of the primary will be so damaged that he may not be able to get the job done.

Everyone running thinks he’s the best man to represent the Republican Party and lead the country. So, here’s a chance to prove your leadership on an issue that may spell the difference between victory and defeat in November. Let’s hope all four campaigns are up to the challenge.

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