Overheard on CNN.com: Dissecting political success of Romney, Paul
Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates received passionate evaluations from CNN.com readers after New Hampshire.
January 11th, 2012
02:44 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Dissecting political success of Romney, Paul

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"What's going to be hilarious is when the defeated pretend to endorse the candidate they just got done slandering."
- Austinstar

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains in the spotlight as the GOP front-runner after winning the New Hampshire primary. With 95% of precincts reporting, Romney received nearly 40% of the vote in Tuesday's balloting. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas picked up 23%, and former Utah Gov.  Jon Huntsman garnered 17%.

Romney received a lot of criticism from readers - among them liberals, independents and Republicans who didn't vote for the politician. Still, a selection of some readers' remarks illustrates not only why Romney has been successful so far in this unusual GOP race but also why Paul has made a strong showing as well.

If you have thoughts on New Hampshire's outcome, be sure to share these views on video at CNN iReport as well as in the comments area below.

GOP race moves south after Romney wins New Hampshire

People who spoke in favor of Romney often talked about change.

Florida425: "I voted for President Obama last election, but I will be voting for Romney this time around. President Obama has had time to turn things around, and I haven’t seen enough to re-elect him. Go Mitt!"

A few readers said backing Romney represents support for moderate policies within the Republican Party.

CincyIndep: "A Romney win is a rejection of the tea party's extremism. They've done everything they can to get rid of him and the rest of the Republican Party and independents keep him in there. It's a battle for the Republican Party's soul, and the moderates are winning. Our country has had just about enough of the tea party (and far-left) extremism. Let no group in our society rule us all of the time."

Some assessments were more lukewarm.

rsmnr: "At least this is not such a scary prospect like Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain or Rick Perry."

Samilcar: "Romney is the Republican John Kerry."

Others said that a Romney win doesn't say much.

No9: "Willard Romney, the least offensive of a very offensive bunch. Nice way to pick a candidate. ... This should be fun."

agent13: "Hi, I'm Mitt Romney and I'm the least offensive candidate."

Some commenters strongly opposed Romney, saying he was less than an ideal candidate.

gofigure063: "Does Romney even realize the only reason he is moving forward is because the GOP pick is not exactly the best?"

Liberals2012: "I wouldn't even let the GOP pick a fresh banana for me."

One reader said the current political environment does not work in favor of the GOP.

kgbpazan: "The core problem for GOP challengers is that they cannot be respectable Republicans because, as (New York Times columnist Paul) Krugman pointed out, Obama has that position occupied. They are forced to move so far to the right that they render themselves inherently absurd."

Some Romney critics have characterized him as a "flip-flopper," and many commenters referred to his evolving positions on issues over the years.

yooobetcha: "Is this the same Romney that was pro-choice before he ran for president? ... Romney has flip-flopped so many times, he should be debating himself."

A few readers criticized Romney's speech after his primary win, but many said they liked it quite a bit.

rawpimple: "Actually loved that speech by Romney! He has won over this independent! Made the mistake of voting for Obama last time. I will not make the same mistake twice. The independents will decide this election. Hopefully, they all will follow suit!"

CNN iReporter Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, called the speech brilliant but disagreed on one point, saying he didn't want to see past economic principles come back. He also said income and wealth disparity is worse than it used to be.

"If America will be so gullible to decide, let us give supply-side economics a try again," Willies said. "After all, 30 years of this has given us income and wealth disparity. The numbers are out there. Mitt Romney is promising us the same medicine again."

Another reader from Europe took offense.

kitano: "Going from thinking Mitt Romney was maybe OK, or at least better than the other GOP candidates, as a European, I find this whole speech enormously offensive. First of all, to imply that Europe is this one place where every country is the same is ridiculous. Secondly, to imply that Europe is somehow terrible, spoiled and entitled is amazingly insulting. And thirdly, why is it necessary to constantly talk about how America is the greatest country in the world in order to win an election here? Why must American politicians constantly assert it's best and put everyone else down? Imagine if you were at school and there was one kid who was always saying he was best. Everyone would hate that kid! We all share the world, and Obama at least attempted to build some bridges."

Plenty of readers said they want a different direction for the country, and they talked about how neither Obama nor Romney was offering what they were seeking. Among them were supporters of Paul.

MIRNDA: "Does anyone remember the Constitution? It was a well-thought out, well-written document to protect our certain rights, freedoms and beliefs. Ron Paul seems to be the only one who not only remembers the Constitution but would be willing to live and rule by it! The corrupt bunch of puppets we have had in positions of too much power, have ignored our Constitution for their own gain!"

Another reader outlined what voters should be looking for in a candidate.

Bosmonkey: "I am registered as independent. I am not liking what Obama has done. Not all of it is his fault. He inherited problems (mortgage crisis is the single biggest thing that caused the economic downturn and continued problem), but he has also caused some. ... I wish there was someone I could get completely behind. The only one close right now is Ron Paul - I think.

We need: 1) a smaller federal government, 2) to get out of these wars 3) to take care of our immigration problem and put our soldiers at our ports and borders for security 4) close tax loopholes and reduce deductions 5) to increase revenue so we have a balanced budget and lower out debt, or stop increasing the debt ceiling 6) reduce spending.

We do not need: 1) Cuts in corporate tax, estate tax, tax on wealthy 2) to mess with Roe v. Wade 3) to get involved in other countries or police the world 4) for the Feds to get involved in gay marriage or civil unions 5) for the Feds to continue to be involved in health care. It's a state-by-state issue."

Some folks also mentioned Huntsman.

annsrum: "Man, I sure hope people are able to learn about Huntsman before it is too late. Romney is a terrible choice. And the others aren't any better."

But some noted that Huntsman didn't make a strong showing and should get behind Paul.

Etilop: "Huntsman tried to spin it, but this is a big loss for him. After spending six months in New Hampshire, the best he could do was a distant third place. He needs to drop out and endorse Ron Paul."

Sphy: "It seems to me that if you want to vote 'Not Romney' your only path to beating him is through Ron Paul. Those Paulites are certainly not going to back (Rick) Santorum/Huntsman/Newt (Gingrich), so the only way to get over that hump is Paul. ..."

Huntsman received support from readers who weren't Republicans.

shiloweyes: "I am Democrat. I would have considered voting for Huntsman because he is genuine and experienced, and because I am disappointed in Obama. There is no way I am voting for Romney. This country does not need an arrogant venture capitalist who only cares about corporations. If the middle class votes this fake in, they get what they deserve, which is the decimation of the middle class. I truly believe in my lifetime I will see a second-class America. It is very sad."

Other commenters mentioned some candidates seem to be fading away.

reddog9500: " 'We're going to go all out to win South Carolina. We think that's a key state for us,' Gingrich said. ...
The only state that Gingrich is in is a state of denial. All he's doing is being a spoiler against someone (Romney or Paul) who really has a chance at being nominated."

Peshwar: "Now is the time for Gingrich, Santorum and (Rick) Perry to hang it up. They have been destructive to the GOP campaign and must drop out. They are not electable, have no public support and cannnot beat Obama!"

But one commenter wanted the competition to stay around.

Brooons: "Hang in there Gingrich, Santorum and Perry! Keep up the bulldoggin'! Romney is not the guy!"

Some readers said Obama had failed to represent the public interest.

Tacjam4: "Time for Obama to hit the road! Thanks to this loser, for the first time in history our country owes more money than our GDP! Instead of cutting and fixing the problem, he wants to borrow more money! Get him out of the White House before he destroys the country he cares nothing about."

Some readers indicated that New Hampshire voters may not represent the whole country.

catallergy: "Romney can't even get over 40% of the vote right near his home state. Those voters are supposed to be his Republican base up there. They see right through him, just like the rest of us."

sumguy2006: "Independents vote in New Hampshire. That skews a primary. Duh. 40% is pretty darn good."

Binky42: "There are no real options for a Republican nominee. That's why no one has taken a majority vote in the primaries. Most Republicans are just thinking, 'Meh!' "

Another reader cited geography as a factor in the former Massachusetts governor's win.

rachbell: "Just saw a New Hampshire voter say he'd vote for Romney because he wants someone from the Northeast in the White House. Which goes to show you Obama should keep pushing education, because this guy needs a lesson in geography and political science. Romney was the worse thing that happened to Massachusetts. He used this state as a steppingstone to the White House. Send him back to Michigan."

And finally, this reader said Romney's success spells good news for independents.

sumguy2006: "The Democrats will hate Romney getting the nomination. They will not be able to throw around the tea party slurs. (The) fact is the independents will decide the next election. Everything else is just noise. Who do you think they will vote for?"

Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. WakeUp

    Any that are considering supporting Romney REALLY should watch this first...

    January 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • rpfu

      Romney has an awesome track record !!! Venture Capitalist...very hip and Gecko like....and even one of the sons is a Hedge Fund Manager...wow...these are job functions in the US financial system that does not add any value whatsover yet make hundreds of millions....Go Romney!!! I really want the good old days of Bush (whacked) free markets like a hole in the head!

      January 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spencer

    Obama is still our true hope and genuine chance at change. He tried to include the Republicans in helping to govern a diverse country and perhaps that was his folly, -he tried too hard for too long to work with a party that had decided early on that they would stop him, destroy him, undermine his momentum and successes. The Republicans have (under Bush II) and are destroying our country. They are the dividing force in our midsts and dare to blame Obama. They treat him with contempt and disrespect which is a negative reflection of our country and to our people. Just think about change, itself-when something or someone initiate change it most often meets with great resistance. Wake up and open your eyes and do not be deceived by the Republican/Tea Party obstructionists! They wish to keep the status quo at the cost of our middle-class, -of our country! They are resisting the needed changes that would elevate us all as Americans. You were NOT wrong to believe in President Obama! Keep the faith. Keep the hope, especially now when things are so very uncertain and chaotic. It was and is right to believe in President Obama. He needs you-needs US to support him, now, more than ever. Obama cannot do it without us but we cannot do it without him.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Looking Glass

      The whole truth and nothing but the truth!

      January 12, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • rpfu

      Obama started his administration in a fire fighting mode- keeping the terrible conflagration that Bush-Paulsen negligently started and left out of control which affected the global economy....Obama has the best intentions in protecting the common man and woman on main street from the vultures of Wall street and hedge fund managers. Voting the Republicans in office means immediate rollback of those protections and it will be once again open season on the hapless consumer..be ready for deceptive credit card rates; forget your 401 k and Social security.Long live the people who robbed the home equities of americans ..an automobile magazine featured one of them had a made to order lamborghini interior laser measured to his body specifications. he is laughing all the way to bank....suckers !

      January 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tace


    January 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dick Hertz

    Ron Paul could win with just the Independent vote.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Blackmere

    A request to the Democrats that were chosen to serve: Stand strong with President Obama! Where have you been when the going has gotten so tough? Instead of thinking of only your own career, please, remember why you were elected in the first place. Consolidate your party and power! Rally with President Obama and the American people. Stay disciplined, unified, POSITIVE and focused on seeing through that message of hope and change many of us still believe in. Show strength and wisdom of character. Reintroduce civil discourse, something that is sadly lacking in Washington. Be the ones to set a good example for how to behave in congress. Rise above the fray and reset the tone. Obama needs to know that you have his back, without question! Elected, Democrats where have you been? It's time to regroup with a new improved game plan!

    January 12, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. yasmin

    Think its funny! that we are mad at obama but dont forget we had 43 presidents before him. probably made mistakes as well but sure u cn look up and find out. who cares if there rich didnt u hear the news they dont pay taxes! sitting here complaining what our president done. the candiates are banking millions n even billion.. so if was u be at mad at that! because we are getting broker n their getting richer its good be senate. plus their tryinh to say nice things to get our votes n that have tons people helping them and their rich im sure they have someone writing their speeech! just think about befor u decided. no matter who we choose the new candiate or old we find ways dislike them like the previous presidents bush n etc.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Looking Glass

    Barack Obama all the way!

    January 12, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. W.G.

    I have real problem about Romney , isn´t it one of the cornerstones of Momon belief that Jesus had a brother and that he was satan ?

    January 12, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. CaptD

    Romney is a chamelion, he will take what ever stance he thinks is popular. I have a problem with Williard when I hear him talk about the military and how we should still be in Iraq. This is man has four grown sons who stayed as far away from military service due to the large trust funds each one has. Williard is willing to send other people kids to a place that none of sons would be willing to go or he would even send them. He said they are serving the country by helping run his campaign! Really, this shows that he his a rich snob that is willing to sacrifice the kids of the poor and middle class. He himself had several deferments during the Vietnam draft and then lucked up with a real high draft number (that was usually the case for kids of the wealthy). Mitt is a Chicken Hawk!

    January 12, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. CaptD

    The Communist Left! I think the Repiblicans are slowly turning into the Nazis right. They are trying to kill Unions just like the Nazis. If you go against there crazy ideas you're unPatriotic just like the Nazis. I don't know who Hitler is but I'm sure it's one of the Koch Brother's or Jim Demint. When you have a party that will rather see the country go in the sewer instead of working to fix it just for political gain you have a a party of traitor's! The President proposed Infrastructure Spending they voted no, he tried to offer incentives to companies that bring jobs back from overseas and they said no. I don't understand how you criticize a President who has had every thing voted down. This is Bush's economy and it has failed miserably!

    January 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
1 2