This week, Newt Gingrich was quoted:
“They apparently looted the companies, left people unemployed and walked off with millions of dollars,” Gingrich said on NBC’s “Today” show. “Look, I’m for capitalism, I’m for people who go in to save a company … if somebody comes in takes all the money out of your company, and then leaves you bankrupt while they go off with millions, that’s not traditional capitalism.”
Compare and contrast to the language of libertarian darling Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged (from Capitalism Magazine):
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
Looters, huh? What I like to call "coded language" - using the word "looter" immediately calls to mind the libertarian nemesis.
Mitt Romney has serious erosion on multiple fronts - the libertarian wing sees him as part of the big government problem, the fundamentalist Christians are suspicious of Mormonism, and the more conservative see him at best as a flip-flopper (on issues such as gay rights, abortion, health care), and at worst as a moderate pretending to be conservative.
Yeah, he's the only candidate who can grab the middle from Obama. But I suspect in doing so, he'll lose a lot of the fire from his base.