With Gingrich we get the worse of all worlds. He talks abrasively -- offending moderates and galvanizing liberals -- but then carries a teeny, tiny stick.
We want someone who will talk softly and unthreateningly while implementing vital policy changes. Even when Gingrich doesn't completely back off conservative positions, his nutty rhetoric undermines the ability of Republicans to get anything done.
By the time of the 1996 Republican National Convention, Gingrich was so widely reviled that the Democrats' main campaign strategy against all Republican candidates for office was to link them with Gingrich.
Gingrich was forced into a minor speaking role at the convention, which he used to promote ... beach volleyball.
That's right, Republicans were trying to defeat Clinton and Newt was talking about beach volleyball, which is apparently the essence of freedom -- as well as evidence of Newt's cuddly side!
(During the House ethics investigation of Gingrich, he produced notes in which he reminds himself to "allow expression of warm/smiling/softer side.")
After Gingrich had been speaker for a brief two years, the Republican House voted 395-28 to reprimand him and fine him $300,000 for ethics violations.
(Sen. Bob Dole loaned Gingrich the money in what was called the first instance of an airbag being saved by a person.)
It's true that Newt has had some good ideas -- but also boatloads of bad ones, such as his support for experimentation on human embryos, cap and trade, policies to combat imaginary man-made global warming, an individual health insurance mandate, Dede Scozzafava (Romney supported the tea party candidate), amnesty for illegal aliens, Al Gore's bill to establish an "Office of Critical Trends Analysis" to prepare government reports on "alternative futures" (co-sponsored by Gingrich), and thinking he could get away with taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac without anyone noticing.
During the ethics investigation, the committee also found among Newt's personal papers a sketch of himself as a stick figure at the center of the universe.
On one page, Newt called himself: "definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization, arouser of those who fan civilization, organizer of the pro-civilization activists, leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces."This is not a small-government conservative talking. It is not a conservative at all.
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