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Newt, Santorum: Avengers Assemble

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

There is a window of opportunity to avert another four years of the Obama Regime, as well as a devastating down ballot disaster that would threaten many of the substantial gains conservatives just made in 2010.


But it’s up to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to team up and take advantage of it.

If the two campaigns can’t set individual agendas for the good of the country in the next few days/weeks, we may look back on this time period as the moment when the last, best hope to return America to its republican roots was lost once and for all.

I am a Gingrich supporter, but I do not foresee a path to him winning the nomination either via the delegate math or a potential brokered convention—which if it happens is far more likely to produce a Jeb Bush or a Sarah Palin as the nominee then any of the current candidates. Each of those individuals know this, which is why I believe Jeb never endorsed Romney in the Florida primary, and why Palin herself has never formally endorsed Newt.

At the time I made my endorsement, Santorum was my second choice. I believe Santorum would’ve won Michigan and Ohio without Gingrich on the ballot, but I also believe he would’ve won those states if he had the ability to defend his belief system under scrutiny that Gingrich has. Santorum allowed his detractors to get him off message, which turned his moral convictions into a weakness when they should be a strength. Nevertheless, I do not believe it is possible for Santorum to defeat the Republicrat establishment with Gingrich a viable candidate.

That’s especially the case when you realize many of the conservative southern states a Santorum or Gingrich should win are proportionally allocating delegates, so even if they win all those conservative southern states they’re likely to at least share some delegates with the Republicrat establishment.


I still believe Newt is the only chance we have among the current candidates running to truly play offense in the arena of ideas the next four years. And I still believe Newt best understands historically what the nation faces, what to do about it, and has the God-given ability and skill-set to communicate it effectively via the bully pulpit (where we have lost so much ground as conservatives the past two decades).

However, the danger of allowing the Republicrat establishment to blow another election cycle, and what that means down ballot and for the future of the country, out-weighs all other concerns in my opinion.

I have come to the conclusion Mitt Romney cannot win a general election without an economy that includes a fully collapsed dollar, a cratered economy, and $6/gallon gas, which is the kind of suffering none of us would root for no matter what our political persuasion. Barring that cataclysm, there are two reasons why Romney cannot win a general election.

One, Republicans always lose when conservatives aren’t enthusiastic about the nominee no matter whom the Democrat running is (see 1976, 1992, 1996, and 2008). Conservatives clearly aren’t enthusiastic about Romney. The combined turnout of the states Romney has won so far this primary is below where it was in 2008, which was the worst year for Republican enthusiasm since the Watergate election of 1974. Romney got roughly 40,000 fewer votes in the Virginia primary than Mike Huckabee got four years ago when he finished second by nine points. Romney finished a distant third in total counties won on Super Tuesday. Romney won Ohio and Michigan mainly by winning Democrat counties Republicans have no shot to win this fall. As much as 45% of Romney’s total delegate haul this primary could come from states Republicans have no shot to win this fall when it’s all said and done, including the state he was once governor of.


Two, Romney is consistently losing non-Mormon middle-class voters. The entrepreneurial/small-business/suburban wing of the GOP is fed up with bailouts and the “too big to fail” crony capitalism Romney and the Republicrat establishment favor. This populist outrage is expressed by Romney’s consistent inability to win over Costco and Walmart Republicans who don’t share his church affiliation.

If you can’t win over middle class voters in your own party, especially when they see five times the commercials supporting you compared to your campaign rivals, how are you going to win over middle class independents and soft Democrats in a general election? Throw in the trend of the wealthiest Americans becoming more socially liberal (which is why they went for Obama over McCain four years ago), and you start running out of ways for Romney to win despite what the know-it-alls keep telling us.

Recently there was a re-election campaign featuring an incumbent with iffy approval ratings fending off a challenge from an elitist Massachusetts flip-flopper. How did that turn out?

At this point I have doubts any of the GOP candidates can win, but a Romney loss would be far more devastating because of what his candidacy would do to candidates down ballot in so many states where we made progress in 2010.

For example, how many grassroots conservatives got elected in 2010 opposing Obamacare, and now they're going to run two years later for re-election on defending its predecessor, and that predecessor's promise to repeal his own policy given how many lies and flip-flops he's already been caught in? Congressman Trent Franks made this point on my show during the South Carolina primary, and it is a good one.


As Newt himself has said, Romney is too dishonest to win a general election. What that dishonesty is going to do to the integrity of other true patriots this fall down ballot is potentially catastrophic.

That doesn't even mention the Mormon factor, and I can promise you the Left will tell us everything controversial about Brigham Young and Joseph Smith they never told us about Jeremiah Wright. After seeing the Right’s willingness to vet Obama’s religious beliefs in 2008, the Left will be all too happy to return fire on Romney in 2012. Folks like Helen Radke are going to become national celebrities this fall. I, for one, would prefer not to defend the indefensible just because it's supposedly "our" indefensible.

Even if I'm wrong and Romney wins, we'll get nothing from him for two years except a devastating midterm cycle in 2014 that will erase any gains we just made anyway, with the next Obama awaiting in 2016.

We've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends.

One of the reasons I chose to endorse Newt despite his flaws is because I didn't want to look back on this cycle later and admit to my children and my audience I didn't do all I could do to speak up and take a stand against the ruling class when I had the chance, before they ran us all the way off the cliff.

There is a window of opportunity here for a detour to the right path, but either Obamney becoming president slams it shut. As a Christian, I believe in God's sovereign will, and therefore He ultimately determines our leaders. But I also believe we get the leaders we deserve, and that perhaps God may give us the grace to avoid the Western Europe that awaits our future if we do what is right no matter what the cost.


History has shown that any Republican is not better than any Democrat. Heck, thanks to folks like Newt the American people got smaller government in President Clinton's second term than they got in three terms of President Bushes, no matter who was running Congress.

And the histories of both Romney and Obama show that the actual differences between the two once you pierce through the rhetoric are few and far between. The only real difference is who the taxpayers' check gets made out to. Romney isn't pro-life, and Romney has supported the homosexual agenda his entire career. At best he'll be a temporary speed bump against immorality, but he certainly isn't going to stand in the gap against it.

These are just some of the reasons why Donald Wildmon of the influential American Family Association referred to Romney on my radio program recently as “Obama-lite.”

Our children can't afford any more crony capitalism, Republican or Democrat. Our children can't afford any more government-funded or validated depravity, Republican or Democrat. Our children can't afford any more assaults on the Constitution, Republican or Democrat. Our children can't afford any more of the ruling class, Republican or Democrat.

The last time the Republican Party on a national level truly played offense with grassroots conservative principles Gingrich and Santorum were serving in the Congress together. It’s time for these two men that have been friends for many years to immediately come together and do it again, lest the future be left to Obamney.


Our children deserve a better future than that.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Ecclesiastes 4:12

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