(WASHINGTON) — Conservative radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said that Republican front-runner Mitt Romney may have a difficult time challenging President Obama in the general election if Obama wows crowds in 2012 the same way he did Saturday night at the Alfalfa Club Dinner.
Obama spoke at the 99th annual Alfalfa Club dinner Saturday evening, a closed dinner that is a who’s who of the Washington elite.
“A bunch of us sitting next to each other, very prominent conservatives, former Bush cabinet members, we’re looking at each other going, I don’t know if Mitt Romney can beat him,” Ingraham said Sunday on the This Week roundtable.
“He’s got to bring his ‘A’ game,” Ingraham said of Romney. “It can’t just be, you know, the kind of thing he’s doing with [Newt] Gingrich, because Obama’s operation is really smart, and I think they’re going to run a tough campaign.”
Ingraham said that Gingrich is starting to show the signs of weakness in his effort to become a serious challenger to Romney’s campaign.
“There’s a rule of thumb in politics,” Ingraham said. “If you’re at a point where you’re complaining about the other guy being mean and unfair and uncivil, that’s probably a sign that you’re losing. And that’s what he’s facing right now.”
Romney continues to widen his lead just days before the Florida primary, with two polls this weekend showing a double-digit lead for the former Massachusetts governor over the former House speaker.
“Time is not Newt Gingrich’s friend, because the more time he has, the more he talks. And the more he talks, the more he says things,” ABC’s George Will said.
But where time is not Gingrich’s friend, taxes are trouble for Romney in a general election, ABC’s Donna Brazile said.
ABC’s Austan Goolsbee said Romney’s tax returns will be a problem for him in a general election against Obama.
“There’s never been an actual candidate who personified the pathologies of the tax code that the president’s been running against for the last several years,” Goolsbee said, referring to Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, like Warren Buffett and Romney, who pay a lower rate than the middle class.
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