So Much for the New Newt

Many years had passed since Newt Gingrich served as Speaker of the House. In those years, Newt told us that he had matured. He had seen his mistakes, found religion and was ready to put policy solutions and a positive vision for America at the center of his campaign. He refrained from fighting with the other candidates during debates and cited Reagan’s ’11th commandment’. His strong positive vision, clearly presented solutions and generally revamped image propelled him from the bottom of the pack to the leader. Then came the attack ads against him and everything changed.

The Newt we all remembered came back from exile and the professorial solutions image was chucked into the dumpster. The old Newt is backThe scrapper from the past is back and his debate appearances and interviews are now completely devoid of policy or vision. He’s even gone so far as to attack from the left and make the case that Obama was right when he claimed there is some limit to when someone has made enough money.

Where once it was feared that Ron Paul would be the one to fracture the party and set up an Obama victory, the truth is that Gingrich has assumed that role. In his effort to salvage his campaign, he’s not only attacked the character of his opponents, but also attacked bedrock beliefs of the Republican Party. The Free Market he championed when he was ‘new Newt’ is now in his cross hairs as he asserts that shutting down a failing business is immoral “looting”. That sounds like something Obama would say and it will be something he does say and a soundbite he will use in November. Even if Romney is not the nominee, Newt’s attacks on free enterprise are ammunition for the Obama campaign because Obama hates free enterprise and will want to weaken whoever is the Republican candidate by undermining that person’s support for free markets through Newt’s arguments.

There were many things I liked about Newt Gingrich and he was in my top three from which I expected to pick who I would finally support. I called his rise in the polls and was offered a spot campaigning for him in my State (which I declined at the time due to still being undecided) because of my praise for his ideas and character. Yet now, I regretfully add his name to the sort list of candidates I will not support. His leftist attacks cannot be forgiven. The ammunition he has handed to the Obama campaign cannot be forgiven. That he would be a man of positive vision and solutions can no longer be trusted due to how quickly he abandoned those characteristics when he faced difficulty. The Presidency is inherently difficult. The opposition from the Democrats, the Washington machinery and the liberal media will be far worse than the attack ads that drove him to destructive retribution.

I am sorry to see the ‘new Newt’ gone. I liked him. I could have happily supported him. He gave me confidence and inspired me. But, he’s gone now and I wouldn’t trust a reemergence of him as genuine. The field has thinned by one. Most people may not know it yet and may need to see what happens after SC and FL, but Newt has killed his own campaign. Had he stayed positive and solutions oriented, he could have come in third in NH and won SC and FL. By making leftist attacks on Romney and belittling Santorum as a ‘junior partner’, he has alienated the voters he needed. SC will not be the turning point of his campaign. It will prove his campaign is already finished.

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