Politicians say all kinds of things and sometimes those things get them trouble. Maybe they were mis-quoted, mis-understood, mis-spoke, or revealed their true selves accidentally. Newt Gingrich can be shown to have said some things that don't sound very conservative, so naturally some conservatives have reservations about him as the GOP nominee and/or being President of the United States. Gingrich wants us believe that he's the best choice for conservatives, while Mitt Romney wants everyone to believe that he's the true-blue conservative in the race. Actions are much more important than mere words. Since both have been in powerful positions in government before (Newt as Congressman and Speaker of the House; Mitt as governor of Massachusetts), wouldn't the best gauge of how they would govern as President be how they legislated and governed in the past?
Gingrich is known as a brilliant man with a million ideas. That has served him well in campaigns and in the halls of Washington.
Remember when Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people during the Presidential debates of 1980, "Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?" The obvious answer was a resounding "Hell NO!" and is one of the most remembered and effective lines ever delivered in a Presidential debate. Want to guess who suggested to Reagan that he ask that question during the debates? It was a freshman congressman from Georgia named Newt Gingrich that sent a memo to Reagan's advisors offering this bit of debate advice. Reagan liked the idea and used it to sum up the election with 1 simple question. Reagan trailed Carter before the debates, but won going away afterward. I'm not suggesting that Reagan owes his election to Newt Gingrich. I am simply stating the obvious - that Gingrich has a brilliant strategic political mind who was on board with the Reagan Revolution and playing a key role from Day 1. That sounds like a conservative to me.
In 1983, Gingrich founded the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS), a group that included young conservative House Republicans. The group expanded over time to comprise several dozen representatives who met each week to exchange and develop ideas. Gingrich's analysis of polls and public opinion identified the group's initial focus, and used the group as a thinktank to form conservative ideas and legislation. Ronald Reagan adopted the "opportunity society" ideas for his 1984 re-election campaign, supporting the group's conservative goals on economic growth, education, crime, space exploration and social issues, which he had not emphasized during his first term.
Once again, Gingrich was there, playing a key role in Reagan's election.
Reagan even referenced the "opportunity" society in the first State of the Union address of his second term, giving credit where credit was due.
How many times have you seen republicans, even stout conservatives, allow themselves to get pushed around by democrats, liberals, and mainstream media? How many times have you wished for a conservative who would take the battle to them, instead of playing defense all the time? That is exactly what Gingrich did time and again in office, driving the democrats to hysteria.
In 1988, Gingrich was among those who brought ethics charges against Democratic Speaker Jim Wright, who was alleged to have used a book deal to circumvent campaign-finance laws and House ethics rules. Gingrich's success in forcing Wright's resignation was in part responsible for his rising influence in the Republican caucus. Is this the mark of someone trying to "play nice" with democrats?
In 1989, Gingrich became the House Minority Whip. This was his first formal position of power within the Republican party. He stated his intention was to "build a much more aggressive, activist party." As time would tell, that is exactly what he did.
In the 1994 campaign season, in an effort to offer an alternative to Democratic policies and to unite distant wings of the Republican Party, Gingrich and several other Republicans came up with a Contract with America, which laid out ten policies that Republicans promised to bring to a vote on the House floor during the first hundred days of the new Congress, if they won the election. The contract was signed by Gingrich and other Republican candidates for the House of Representatives. The contract ranged from issues such as welfare reform, term limits, tougher crime laws, and a balanced budget law, to more specialized legislation such as restrictions on American military participation in United Nations missions. Every single item was from the conservative wish list.
Once again, Newt's campaign strategy paid off big time. In the November 1994 elections, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time since 1954. The midterm election that turned congressional power over to Republicans "changed the center of gravity" in the nation's capital, and Newt Gingrich was made Speaker of the House.
How many times do politicians say one thing to get elected, and then develop amnesia once they get into office, or come up with some other excuse why they can't fulfill their promises? How about almost every time? Not so, with Newt's Contract. Congress fulfilled Gingrich's promise to bring all ten of the Contract's issues to a vote within the first 100 days of the session, even though most legislation was initially held up in the Senate. Over the objection of liberal/progressive interest groups and President Clinton, who called it the "Contract on America", many aspects of the proposal were implemented in subsequent legislation.
Legislation proposed by the 104th United States Congress included term limits for Congressional Representatives, tax cuts, welfare reform, and a balanced budget amendment, as well as independent auditing of the finances of the House of Representatives and elimination of non-essential services.
A central pledge of President Clinton's campaign was to reform the welfare system, adding changes such as work requirements for recipients. However, by 1994, the Clinton Administration appeared to be more concerned with universal health care and no details or a plan had emerged on welfare reform. Gingrich accused the President of stalling on welfare, and proclaimed that Congress could pass a welfare reform bill in as little as ninety days. Gingrich insisted that the Republican Party would continue to apply political pressure to the President to approve welfare legislation. Again, we had a powerful republican who was not afraid of liberals, democrats, or the media. Led kicking and screaming, Clinton finally signed a welfare bill into law on August 22, 1996.
By 1997, the Gingrich-led Republicans forced the Democrats and President Clinton to agree to a federal spending plan designed to reduce the federal deficit and achieve a balanced budget by 2002. The plan included a total of $152 billion in Republican sponsored tax cuts over five years.
In 1998, the increased tax revenues from the tax cuts helped reduce the federal budget deficit to below $25 billion. Gingrich then called upon President Clinton to submit a balanced budget for 1999three years ahead of schedulewhich Clinton did, making it the first time the federal budget had been balanced since 1969.
Also in 1997, Clinton signed into effect the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which included the largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history. Gingrich has been credited with creating the agenda for the reduction in capital gains tax, especially in the "Contract with America", which set out to balance the budget and implement decreases in estate and capital gains tax.
Among the first pieces of legislation passed by the new Congress under Gingrich was the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, which subjected members of Congress to the same laws that apply to businesses and their employees, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As a provision of the Contract with America, the law was symbolic of the new Republican majority's goal to remove some of the entitlements enjoyed by Congress. The bill received near universal acceptance from the House and Senate and was signed into law on January 23, 1995.
Gingrich was to drag Clinton to the signing table on some measures, but not on others. That led to a government shutdown when Gingrich refused to cave to Clinton. Reflecting on the impact of the government shutdown for the Republican Party, Gingrich later commented that, "Everybody in Washington thinks that was a big mistake. They're exactly wrong. There had been no reelected Republican majority since 1928. Part of the reason we got reelected ... is our base thought we were serious. And they thought we were serious because when it came to a show-down, we didn't flinch." The government shutdown led to the balanced-budget deal in 1997 and the first four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s, as well as the first re-election of a Republican majority for the first time since 1928.
We had a strong conservative promising a strong conservative agenda and delivering. The conservative Gingrich Republican Revolution of the 1990s was a continuance of the conservative Reagan Revolution started in the 1980s. Newt was an integral part of the first and the author of the second. I would challenge the Newt-haters who insist that Gingrich is some sort of liberal to name the 3rd most important conservative political figure in modern American politics. You can't. It's because Reagan is #1, Gingrich is #2, and everyone else is so far back everyone else is essentially tied for last.
Has Newt Gingrich said and done some less-than-conservative things, both privately and publicly? Absolutely. So did Ronald Reagan, by which we all measure a politician's conservatism. Reagan brought us Sandra Day O'Connor, amnesty, and some other mis-steps, but the good things that he has done so far outweigh his mistakes that we revere him today. Do you Newt-haters also hate Reagan? If not, why not? Because of Reagan's overall record? The one that Newt helped make possible? How is Newt's overall record any less conservative than Reagan's? It's not. Again, the 90's Republican Revolution was getting the 80's Reagan Revolution back on track after having been derailed by Bush I and Clinton.
Now then, let's look at Mitt Romney's "conservative" record. Forget what he's saying now. Let's look at what he actually DID the last time he won an election.
First, Romney tried to ride Gingrich's coattails in 1994 by running for Senator in Massachusetts against Ted Kennedy. He did not, however, follow the Gingrich gameplan and tried to run to the left of Ted Kennedy on social issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Is that how a conservative runs a campaign? Even riding a 1994 GOP tsunami and the pandering to the Massachusetts liberals, Romney lost.
He did get in the door in 2002 as governor of Massachusetts, using his work in the 2002 Olympics as his main resume enhancer. Romney's Olympics omnipresence irked those who thought he was taking too much of the credit for the success, or had exaggerated the state of initial distress, or was primarily looking to improve his own image.
As governor, he made his mark immediately by picking his cabinet and advisors more on "managerial" abilities than partisan affiliation. Evidently he just couldn't find any good conservatives who were also good "managers", although I'm sure he looked really, really hard. Again, is that the mark of a true conservative?
Romney supported raising various fees by more than $300 million, including those for driver's licenses, marriage licenses, gun licenses, and gasoline. The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship. How's that for a conservative?
Romney was at the forefront of a movement to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state, despite not having even campaigned on the idea of universal health insurance. A surprise bonus for liberals! Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal heath coverage his life's work and who over time developed a warm relationship with Romney, gave Romney's plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to work with it. We know how Ted Kennedy loved to cozy up to those rascally conservatives!
Romney again campaigned as pro-abortion and pro-gay and governed that way as well, which is why he was endorsed by numerous abortion and gay-rights groups. Romney twice sought and received the endorsement of the homosexual Log Cabin Republican Club. Romney's campaign distributed pro-gay rights campaign literature during Boston's "Gay Pride" events. Romney supports homosexual "anti-discrimination" laws. Romney opposes the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexual scoutmasters, and even barred the Boy Scouts from public participation in 2002 Olympics. Romney appointed prominent homosexuals to key positions in his administration. Romney appointed prominent homosexual activists and Democrats as judges. Romney rewarded one of the state's leading anti-marriage attorneys by making him a judge. Romney's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth used huge taxpayer funding to promote homosexuality in the public schools. Romney's Commission organized public gay "Youth Pride Day" parades and "transgender proms" which promote unhealthy and risky behavior. Romney issued a proclamation celebrating gay "Youth Pride Day. Romney opposed federal legislation that would stop public schools from promoting homosexuality. Romney's Dept. of Social Services honored a homosexual "married" couple as adoptive "Parents of the Year". Romney refused to endorse the original 2002 Mass. constitutional amendment absolutely defining marriage as one man and one woman. Romney unnecessarily and unconstitutionally implemented homosexual marriages in Massachusetts. Romney's administration ordered Justices of Peace to perform homosexual "marriages" when asked - or be fired!
Again, is this the record of a conservative? This is the kind of liberal that Newt Gingrich seeks out and destroys, not emulates.
While Newt successfully built a Conservative army that stormed Congress, what did Romney build? Mitt had an utterly dismal record as the Republican leader in Massachusetts. He pledged to build the stateRepublican Party, but in fact he did almost nothing. During his tenure there were two elections for the entire Legislature. In each election the Republicans lost seats. Republicans now hold the fewest seats in the Legislature since the Civil War. During the four years of Romney's tenure, the number of registered Republicans in Massachusetts fell by 31,000. During that same period, the Massachusetts Democratic Party gained 30,000. Romney was really "winning" the day, wasn't he? In the 2006 state elections, most offices were not even challenged by Republican candidates. The party's slide was so precipitous that Republicans did not contest 130 of 200 legislative seats, fielded a challenger in only three of 10 congressional districts, and put up fewer candidates for statewide office than the Green-Rainbow Party. In 2006, while Romney was chairman of the National Republican Governors Association - a group dedicated to electing more Republican governors - his own hand-picked Republican successor as governor lost badly to the Democrat, despite the fact that Republicans have held the governorship in Massachusetts since 1990. Romney largely ignored the Massachusetts elections and spent most of the time during the campaign out of state building his presidential campaign. He came back and publicly campaigned for the Republican candidate the day before the general election!
"Locally, this is a rebuke to Mitt Romney and checking out within six months after being elected and having accomplished almost nothing," said Jim Rappaport, former chairman of the state Republican Party.
Again, if you want to know what a politican will DO in office, look at what they have already DONE, not what they SAY.
Anybody who suggests that there is no difference between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, or that somehow Newt is more liberal than Newt is completely ignorant of recent political history, a bald-faced liar, or both. Comparing the two would be like comparing Gerald Ford's presidency to Ronald Reagan's. Mitt Romney doesn't belong in the same universe as Newt Gingrich when it comes to discussing a politician's conservatism.
Next month, we'll stop taking polls and start taking votes. In Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and on. Unless something dramatic changes you will have 2 realistic choices for the GOP nominee - Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. Simply based on how effective their campaign strategies have been for themselves and other republicans, who do want running against Obama? Simply based on what they accomplished legislatively the last time they were in office, who would you want for President?
Despite all of his faults, I'll take Newt Gingrich in a heartbeat without thinking twice. He would lead another revolution while Romney will lead us further into the wilderness.
You Newt bashers can dig up things he said from 1987 or some other comment you don't like and try to put him in some little box of your own creation, but when you look at his actual RECORD, nobody, including Romney can touch him when it comes to conservative accomplishments.
posted on 12/02/2011 4:55:53 PM PST
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I’ll take Newt over ZERO and hope Congress can keep him in line.
... but it’s still far too early to call a winner and Newt could self-destruct.
Romney could be called to get his planet. Perry could outlast them all.
posted on 12/02/2011 4:59:44 PM PST
(You know, 99.99999965% of the lawyers give all of them a bad name)
Great post and I was all set for another Newt bashing..lol
posted on 12/02/2011 5:00:18 PM PST
("This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." the Irish)
posted on 12/02/2011 5:07:02 PM PST
by Jim Robinson
(Rebellion is brewing!! Impeach the corrupt Marxist bastard!!)
I met Newt once in the Marietta GA Bagelicious. I thought at the time that he might be the antiChrist because he ordered the salmon salad on toasted bagel FOR BREAKFAST.
Isn't that one of the signs of the AC.;-)
Seriously, I did meet him at said Bagelicious...seemed like an regular guy to me. He ordered and sat down and chatted...and chatted (he is not a man of few words...he has many ideas to share).
posted on 12/02/2011 5:10:03 PM PST
(Politics ain't beanbag.)
Well written article, but where does the Anti-Christ reference fit in?
posted on 12/02/2011 5:15:18 PM PST
posted on 12/02/2011 5:15:57 PM PST
(Diligentia, Vis and Celeritas)
He is neither. And I will never vote for he or Romney. Ain’t gonna happen for a lot of us. Maybe this is God’s way of telling us we really must have a Third Party. I refuse to bend over and say, “thank you Sir, may I have another.”
You Newt bashers can dig up things he said from 1987 ...
LOL ... just read another Newt bashing post right here on FR not two minutes ago.
This comment is about some former congress critter named Molinari who thinks Newt is EVIL:
"He speaks from experience, having worked with the presidential candidate in the 80s"
posted on 12/02/2011 5:19:45 PM PST
Well written. Of course, you wrote it with an angle in mind, but since I happen to agree with the angle you picked, that’s OK. ;-)
We could do FAR worse this election cycle than nominating Newt Gingrich. For example, we could screw up and end up with Myth as the candidate. Or Cain.
posted on 12/02/2011 5:27:56 PM PST
by Nervous Tick
(Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
Stellar. Thank you and stealing. ;-)
posted on 12/02/2011 5:29:15 PM PST
The Antichrist?! Okay — that’s just a TAD of an overstatement.
Newt is no Conservative, but neither is he the Beast of Revelation, the “little horn” of Daniel, The “man of sin” as Paul called him, the “son of perdition” as Jesus referred to him....
Newt? A lot of “baggage,” maybe. Even a sociopath, perhaps. But the Antichrist? Uh - no.
I just emailed your article to a good friend of mine in Hawaii, he seems to have forgotten the good old days. I have also persuaded some non political cousins of mine in Wash.State to watch the debates, they now know NEWT and like what he has to say.
You Newt bashers can dig up things he said from 1987 or some other comment you don't like
Endorsed Climate Change with Pelosi - 2008
Obama and Sharpton on Education - 2009
Endorsed Dede Scuzzbag - 2010
Ripped Ryan plan - 2011
posted on 12/02/2011 5:56:51 PM PST
(Dear Palin: Please Reconsider)
I’ll take Newt over Romney or Obammy. But I will never stop bashing him when he travels to the nearest couch to unite with ugly international socialist women.
Excellent article, Newt is and always has been a true conservative. I believe that Newt’s time is now, he is America’s advocate at a time in our history when we really need it most. I certainly appreciate your article when we’re seeing so many anti-Newt articles being posted and the negative comments about whoever is the leading “NOT ROMNEY” candidate.
posted on 12/02/2011 6:17:32 PM PST
Thank you for posting this; I’m sick of those here tossing all of our candidates under the bus waiting for a non-existent perfect white knight candidate.
The alternative is a commie-bastard,likely literal.
posted on 12/02/2011 7:25:19 PM PST
(Keep your head up and keep moving forward!)
Newt is not the most conservative candidate running. He isn’t my first choice, nor my second choice. But he’s a good choice. Other than ideas, what he brings to the table is a track record of getting conservative things accomplished in DC.
If you take the perspective that you’re not going to get 100% of what you want anyway, you can logically choose either the person who is going to go in with the strongest bargaining stance (i.e. the most conservative ideologically), or the person who can get the best deal (i.e. the best negotiator). I think Newt is more of the second persuasion.
While I personally think that Newt would be the best VP imaginable and I would prefer to see him in that position, he would be a competent and conservative enough President.
The 8.6 will be quietly upgraded next week. Will read your post tomorrow...
posted on 12/02/2011 9:13:05 PM PST
(I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
To: wmfights; P-Marlowe; GLDNGUN
Ping to the article (at front and at #1)
posted on 12/03/2011 5:03:35 AM PST
(Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
Excellent post for those who wish to gaze at the forest and bitch because a few trees are out of place. Newt will not cater to the demands of every stripe of conservative nor should he. He should just be Newt and we should be thankful that someone cares enough about this country to put up with the backstabbing i see here, the media attacks that are ramping up as we speak, and the tremendous work that is ahead.
posted on 12/03/2011 7:10:22 AM PST
("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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