This time the “Reagan hated Newt/Newt hated Reagan” bullshit.
Why would one in the position Mitt Romney now finds himself — thoroughly defeated in South Carolina by a surge of support for Gingrich’s conservatism — ever even entertain the idea of going after Newt Gingrich on Reagan?
This utterly dumb line of attack for Romney is as bad if not worse than Gingrich’s flirtation with attacking Bain Capital. It raises exactly all the questions of Romney’s vulnerabilities. Why, for example, did Romney deliberately play the wimp when it comes to defending Ronald Reagan in Massachusetts? At precisely the time in the fall of 1994, it should be noted, when Newt Gingrich was leading Chapter 2 in the Reagan Revolution? Is Romney really trying to draw attention to the fact that while Gingrich and hundreds of Republicans were on the verge of a historic landslide retaking the House by attaching themselves to the Reagan legacy… Romney ran from Reagan… and got clobbered?
If even those simple political basics can’t be learned, which in Romney’s case now include not just the broader inability to defend either Reagan or free markets but the quite specific inability to use the general principle of free markets and capitalism to defend himself over the inevitable “Mr. 1%” accusations — this should be a red flag for conservatives.
It is for this one. But the establishment RINO GOP has already demonstrated A) that they will stick at absolutely nothing to pimp their chosen standard-bearer, and B) they care far more about holding onto their power, such as it currently is, than they ever will about principle.
Newt Gingrich certainly was not Speaker or the House member pictured who already (and correctly) was thought to be the one who would follow O’Neill — Jim Wright. He wasn’t the Republican Leader or the Whip like the also-photographed Trent Lott or even a ranking member of a committee. By 1985 Newt Gingrich had been in the House of Representatives a sum total of six years, next to nothing against much older men like Speaker O’Neill (33 years in 1985) or Claude Pepper (23 years).
So why the young Congressman Newt in this book?
Answer: Newt Gingrich was part of the Reagan Revolution’s Murderers’ Row. And anybody who was in Washington in the day, much less in the Reagan White House or the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign (and I would make that particular cut of three), knew it.
WHAT, EXACTLY, DOES this mean? To use Mitt Romney’s words, what was Newt Gingrich’s “work product” for conservatism — for America — as part of Reagan’s Murderers’ Row?
Glad you asked. Here is an example of the kind of “work product” that made a young congressman from Georgia such a key player on Reagan’s Murderers Row.
This one, too, ought to be read in full. If anybody out there wonders why I’m all in for Gingrich despite having some major issues with him over the years, I’ll repeat: because he is the only one out there with a verifiable record of achievement advancing the cause of Constitutional conservatism, limited government, and liberty, that’s why. We don’t have to wonder, as we certainly must with Romney, if Newt would govern as a conservative once elected; he’s already demonstrated it, in spades. In sum:
Why did Newt Gingrich win South Carolina?
Because he was one of Reagan’s Lieutenants. A member of Reagan’s Murderers Row of conservative stars.
It’s too soon to know whether the conservative Gingrich or the moderate Romney will win this nomination. Or, yes, Santorum. Or even, if all those panicked rumblings from the Washington Establishment are true, someone not yet in the race — a Daniels, Jindal, or Ryan.
But whatever happens, quite unlike the picture Romney is trying to paint of his prime opponent in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich was very much present and accounted for on the Reagan team. To borrow from Reagan’s farewell address to the nation and the men and women who served him, Newt Gingrich wasn’t just marking time. He made a difference. He helped make that Shining City on a Hill stronger. He helped make the City freer.
Quite to the contrary of the Romney message, Newt Gingrich was in fact one of Reagan’s Young Lieutenants.
One of the best.
And that’s from someone who oughta know, folks, and not just some grubby, deceitful hack of a Massachusetts moderate.