Newspaper That Once Endorsed Forbes Knocks Romney as “The 1%’

Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and all-of-a-sudden surrogate for Newt Gingrich, tells MSNBC that a Romney-Obama election would amount to “Obama’s 99% versus the 1%, and Romney sort of represents the 1%.” The oddity of this: In 2000, the Union Leader endorsed a far wealthier candidate for president. The editorial was by Joe McQuaid.

Steve Forbes is The Union Leader’s choice in the Feb.  1, 2000, New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

This is a promising but also a very challenging time for the United States. It demands steady, intelligent, conservative leadership.  That leadership must be grounded in respect for free enterprise, wariness of big government, and an understanding of and ability to deal with the dangers that still threaten America.

Just as important, it must be leadership that is God-fearing, respectful of innocent life, and determined to restore a sense of decency to the White House.

Of the candidates with any hope of success, Steve Forbes is head and shoulders above the others in fitting that bill.  He understands the freedom and opportunity that free enterprise can provide and he is pushing to extend it by freeing Americans from the IRS, cutting back on government, and letting people make their own decisions.

Forbes believes in what he says and he says it.  His two main rivals, on the other hand, seem much more interested in what the news media say about them than in their own messages.

George Bush has said virtually nothing substantial in this campaign because he thinks that will get him the nomination.  And John McCain will say virtually anything because he thinks that will get him attention.

Thursday night’s debate finally brought Bush into view with the others but its Bush-approved format provided little chance for comparisons.  No matter.  There will be other opportunities and we believe New Hampshire voters who take the time will discover what we have:

Bush is a nice guy but an empty suit with no philosophical underpinning.

McCain could finish a strong second, in the Democrats’ race.

Steve Forbes is not charismatic.  (Some would say he looks like a geek.) But he’s also not a phony.  Ask him a question, you’ll get a thoughtful answer, not a soundbite.

He is one tough, smart customer who can be the strong, principled leader America needs.

Odd, sure, but you see the consistency: The Union Leader hates, hates, hates phoniness, and it attacked Romney in 2008 for the thing it’s subtly attacking him for right now. The “1%” stuff is a patina, although I suppose it says that the Occupiers’ message is standing strong apart from all the bad headlines.

In other news, here’s a video of Senate candidate Mitt Romney shouting out Herman Cain in 1994.

The random recollection of Cain’s race is sort of a classic Romney moment.