Those who were too young to remember 1994 when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House and who have heard him debate might look kindly on the grizzled old politician.
Yes, he’s very intelligent. Yes, he answers questions well. Yes, he debates beautifully. But as Quin Hillyer points out in an article in the American Spectator (spectator.org/archives/2011/11/03/newtonian-physics) they might want to reconsider voting for him as the Republican presidential nominee.
I, for one, can’t get past the ad where he and Nancy Pelosi sit on a couch on a beach, lamenting global warming. Then there was his odd tour with Rev. Al Sharpton. Remember how he backed RINO candidate Dede Scozzafava against Doug Hoffman in the New York special election? He ranted against conservatives, calling those who differed in opinion with him “purists.”
Then when Paul Ryan came out with his budget, Gingrich trashed it. He called it “radical change” and said it was “right wing social engineering.” He faulted it and trumpeted that on talk radio. Not the view I want a president to hold.
His wife’s enormous bill at Tiffany’s has never adequately explained by Gingrich. He’d undergo intense scrutiny about it if he were the nominee.
Hillyer also discusses an incident mentioned by Senator Tom Coburn and some budget cutting where Newt went ballistic. Seems he lashes out more at his fellow Republicans in private than he does to Democrats.
And it was Republicans who suffered when Gingrich pursued the government shutdown. That was a gift to Bill Clinton. He did it again with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment debacle. Was it hubris that made him think he could be carrying on an affair and it wouldn’t be noticed? Was he naive enough to expect Clinton wouldn’t go after him? Talk about bad judgment! In the next election Republicans lost ground in Congress.
There is also a disturbing self destructive twist with Newt which might partly explain his impeachment pursuit.
It’s nice to be able to debate well in a presidential campaign. Once won, however, a debate isn’t going to help you deal with the Chinese, the Europeans, the economy or even the opposition at home. If people go beyond that and look at the man’s record, it will be hard to see a viable candidate in him.