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Cain departure should boost Gingrich, Publisher says

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 04. 2011 7:22PM
New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid interviews Herman Cain last week. 

WASHINGTON - Herman Cain's departure from the Republican Presidential primary field should enhance Newt Gingrich's chances for winning the nomination, New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

'(Cain) didn't have that much support in our state of New Hampshire. But I think it's going to break and probably break towards Gingrich's favor somewhat because they're looking for someone with passion,' McQuaid said during the show's roundtable discussion. 'The anti-Romney's got to be a passionate guy. Cain was a passionate guy.'

McQuaid was joined in the discussion about the 2012 Presidential election by Meet the Press host David Gregory, former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., Time Magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin and BBC World News America's Washington correspondent Katty Kay.

Ford said Gingrich was boosted in his campaign by last week's Union Leader endorsement.

'It is interesting how, with the help of the endorsement last week,' Ford said, gesturing to McQuaid, 'how he has emerged not only as the, perhaps the alternative to Romney, but as a very serious voice.'

'Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee unless someone consolidates the conservative wing, the anti-Romney wing, of the party against him,' Halperin said. 'And now, Newt Gingrich has the chance - likely to get Cain's endorsement - to scoop that up and to be the one person who can consolidate all that anti-Romney sentiment in a way that could stop Romney from being the nominee.'

Kay said Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, could try to position himself as the Washington outsider against Gingrich, who she said 'frightens' Republicans as a candidate who could lose not only the Presidential race, but lose Republican seats in Congress.

'Well, Romney, the only reason he's the outsider is because he keeps running and losing,' McQuaid said in response. 'It's not that he hasn't tried to get in.'

During a discussion the panel held on 'Good Newt versus Bad Newt,' Gregory brought up Gingrich's recent controversial comments that inner-city youth should take jobs as janitors or cafeteria workers because many have never seen what a real work day is like.

'I think he gets a bum rap on the child-labor thing,' McQuaid said. 'That kind of idea is really going to be embraced by the conservative wing.'

Gregory asked if McQuaid was 'really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models on how to work hard?'

'Not the working poor,' McQuaid said. 'But these are people who are not working and the kids are not working. And this gives the chance for the kids to take a broom, work in the cafeteria. It would require a modification.'

'How do you get to that kind of solution and not see that as a grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?' Gregory asked McQuaid, who wasn't given a chance to answer.

Later, Gregory said Romney had endured a 'bad week' when his perceived changes in positions on issues such as climate change, health care and abortion had him branded as a 'flip-flop' candidate.

'Joe, you took a swipe at him in your endorsement of Gingrich as someone who just tells you what you want to hear,' Gregory said to McQuaid.

'Without naming him, but I guess it wasn't that subtle because people figured it out,' McQuaid said. '(Romney is) back on his heels.'

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