According to Lott;
“I think we would be better off with Mitt Romney as our president.”
“We don’t need a good speech. We don’t need a good debater. We don’t need rhetorical passion, What we need is leadership and direction for our country.”
Last year Lott stated that he was backing Romney, but he declined to openly criticize Gingrich. But with Newt’s surge in the polls comes a new approach by Trent Lott who now aggressively seeks the opportunity to denounce Gingrich.
In addition to telling CBS that he just doesn’t think that’s what we need in a President, when asked if Gingrich could beat President Obama in the election Lott bluntly states;
“I’m sure he wouldn’t, frankly,”
The former Senate leader also went sfter Newtt for a reprimand rewgarding a ethics charge and says;
“It raises questions about management style, and it raises questions about why did he wind up with the result where you get punished by your ethics committee and wind up having to step aside,”.
“People want to know what ended up happening there.”
Lott said the Ethics Committee wouldn’t have acted against him “if there weren’t some real problems.” He said the allegations and subsequent investigation gutted whatever hope Gingrich had to lead.
“We all make mistakes when you’re in leadership, we’re human beings,” Lott said.
“That was a very serious result and one that clearly undermined his ability to lead the House. “
Lott also accused Gingrich of taking too much credit for some of those things which were achieved during his four years as Speaker of the House, one of them being the balanced budgets that were passed. According to Trent Lott, those balanced budgets were more the doing of former Ohio Congressman John Kasich and New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici.
The former G.O.P. Senate leader also claimed that the now infamous government shutdown during Newt’s Speakership, was a big mistake and that it was based on the political goal of beating President Clinton, not the policy goal of getting the buf=dget under control.
“He was the leader. He was really pushing it. He said, ‘We’re going to do it. We can take Clinton on and we can beat him on this,'”
“To me it wasn’t about beating Clinton, it was about getting things done without causing an uproar and a chaotic situation that was very unsettling to a lot of people. We could have gotten it done without that.”
Trent Lott’s assessment of the Gingrich years is certainly worthy of consideration. I mean Lott was there and he was a part of the events which he speaks about. But at the same time, as leaders of two different chambers of Congress, what Lott says needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Furthermore, while he may have been their when Newt was in charge and established that he did not like what he saw, Lott was not their with Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts, so it is a little hard for Trent Lott to judge Mitt Romney the same way he does Newt Gingrich. If Lott were sitting in a leadership post within the Massachusetts state legislature, he might not have liked what he saw in Mitt Romney either.
Ultimately though, Lott’s endorsement of Romney does little to either help Romney or hurt Gingrich.
Trent Lott is seen as a former member of the establishment, and the establishment is not really appreciated by most voters. In fact, what many anti-establishment voters conclude from Lott’s remarks is that Newt Gingrich is a fighter who unlike the establishment, doesn’t just go with the flow. And they like that. So if anything, Lott actually helps Newt Gingrich, because by endorsing Mitt Romney, Trent Lott simply reinforces the negative impression that Mitt Romney is forced to combat,……the negative impression of being the establishment choice for President.
Ultimately, Newt might want to actually send a little thank you note to Trent Lott. By helping to put the establishment seal of approval on Romney, Lott did a lot of good for Newt.
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