An Interview with Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and Share   In an ongoing series by the Nashua Telegraph, Newt Gingrich addresses the major issues of the day as he faces some tough questions in an indepth editorial board interview.

In this interview, Newt Gingrich explains everything from the real reasons why he resigned as Speaker of the House and the myth about his breaking ethics violations to his ideas on Social Security and Defense and almost everything in between.

his interview provides a much more insightful look at Newt than any debate has or can.  It  details where Newt stands on the issues, and the ideas which make him a true reformer.  It is well worth watching.

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Does Newt Gingrich Deserve Another Chance?

Bookmark and Share    Going so long without a clear and popular frontrunner with a willingness to run in the Republican presidential field has forced many to create an almost impossible standard for those who are willing to run or even think about running for President. Republicans have themselves been the most critical but nearly all voters and pundits have become frustrated by the fact that none of the candidates or potential candidates are perfect. While I too would love a perfect candidate to suddenly materialize, I have also come to grips with the fact that there is no perfect candidate. For that reason, perhaps more than most observers, I have had a genuine willingness to give the entire field a fair chance to prove who is the best candidate.

I have been especially willing to give Newt Gingrich a chance.

No matter what, for his past achievements, Newt is a remarkable political leader. But as it turns out, one of the best things about Newt Gingrich, is turning out to be the most damaging thing to his chances of being elected President.

Gingrich is a leader who is eager to think outside of the box and go against the grain. He is undeniably innovative and always seeking and coming up with original legislative solutions that are free market based and require as little government involvement as possible. And while often viewed as an establishment politician, his independent thinking and penchant for going against the flow, makes him a true leader with an anti-establishment streak that could and should appeal to the growing TEA Party movement. Yet these same qualities that make Gingrich a uniquely qualified prospect for President, have come to seemingly derail his presidential candidacy. All of these qualities are based on an apprehension for discipline. Newt prefers to break rules rather than follow them. For him conventional rules lead to traditional thinking which he feels stifles the pace of innovation and leaves one mired in the past.

For Newt, a traditional campaign was not good enough. His dislike of a standard regimen along with a typical politicians ego that has him believing he is so special that he need not run a campaign like “traditional” candidates, has led to the resignation of his leadership team and a short term collapse of his campaign that is looking like the beginning of the end for his presidential ambitions. As such, as talented as Newt Gingrich is, it is becoming apparent that his talents are not suited for being the country’s only nationally elected leader.

In a nation that needs leadership that is modest, honest, and shrewd, I have come to conclude that Newt lacks two out of three of those prerequisites. His lack of modesty prevents him from even being honest with himself. So much so, that he can not, or is not, willing to realize that he is no more special than any other candidate in this race. By not accepting that, Newt is at a disadvantage, a disadvantage that his leadership team sees quite clearly, but that Newt quite clearly does not see. This then begs the question, if Newt is so arrogant that he can’t even properly lead a campaign which is designed to serve his own best interests, than can he do proper service to a job which has the sole purpose of serving the nation’s best interests?

There is still time for Gingrich to prove that he  has the judgment needed. But much of that opportunity requires a willingness by conservatives to still consider Gingrich as a viable candidate.  He may have exhausted their willingness to give him another chance.  But now that hehas  returned from his very inappropriately timed vacation to Greece that followed the bungled announcement of his presidential candidacy, the reality check that the en masse resignation of 16 members of his leadership team provided him, might be enough to get Newt on track. Unless of course it is too late.

Much of the team that abandoned him, quickly aligned themselves with candidates who will are running against Newt. On top of that, some of the other most talented operatives out there have already been snatched up by many of those same candidates. So it is hard to say if Newt can now assemble a major league campaign team with a minor league staff.

As much as I want to give Newt Gingrich a chance to show the promise of his potential that I do believe is there, with the clock ticking, even, I am beginning to close the door on his candidacy. I deeply believe that we have yet to begin to see just how good many of the candidates in the Republican presidential field can be. Part of that thinking is based upon the magic that I know a good campaign do. A good campaign can turn an obscure Governor of a relatively small Southern state and make them the hope of a nation, i.e. Carter and Clinton. But as we have seen with Carter and Clinton, for a good candidate to become a truly good President, they need more than just a good campaign. Eventually the campaign ends and leading must begin. Up till now, despite the personal indiscretions which remained personal and were not national scandals, and despite an initially rocky start to his campaign, I believed that Newt Gingrich could serve the conservative purpose as President. I believed that he could effectively administer limited government in limited areas where it was absolutely necessary but otherwise release the genius of the American people from the chains of excessive regulation and taxation.

The problem is that I also believe there are several others who have that ability. Of those running, or with the realistic potential to run, I believe it could be Palin, Santorum, Romney, Pawlenty, Rick Perry, or even Herman Cain. And right now, after seeing how hard it has been for Newt Gingrich to prove he has the judgment and skills that it takes to administer the conservative ideology that we share into government , I am holding out more hope for any of those other names to have a better ability to do so than Newt seems to have.

I will still keep an open to mind to the possibilities. In 2012 we Republicans must, I repeat, must get it right. And if Newt doesn’t get things right fast, he will remain a leader who I believe did great things as Speaker of the House and who is full of good ideas, but does not have the ability to implement those ideas as President.

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Newt Gingrich Announces His Presidential Candidacy

Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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Expect Mitch Daniels to Run for President

Bookmark and Share Like the countdown to a space shuttle liftoff, the month of April has been ticking down to the launch or aborted missions of several different Republican presidential candidacies. The most notable are Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and soon to be former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr.. Both Daniels and Barbour have promised to make their decision some time by the end of April. Gingrich has recently suggested a similar timeline and Jon Huntsman who cant legally make an announcement while still serving as an Ambassador is likely to make his intentions known shortly after his April 30th resignation takes effect.

I predict that at least three of these men will be declaring their candidacy.

While that is not a bold prediction insofar as Gingrich and Huntsman go, it is a bit of a stretch to be so definitive about Barbour and even more so concerning Mitch Daniels.

As for Huntsman and Gingrich, the secret is out. Gingrich has done little to keep his intentions hush and as soon as Huntsman announced that he was resigning from his post as the nations chief envoy to China, we all pretty much knew that he was going to act on his already stated intention to look at a run for president in 2012. In the case of Barbour, his intentions have been quite clear, but so have his hurdles to a successful run for both the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency itself. His history as a very successful lobbyist, the oozing of some unfair Southern stereotypes, combined with a few early verbal gaffes on race, and his reputation as the ultimate political insider, pose the potential Barbour campaign with some obvious questions that they have had to figure whether or not they can overcome.

In an attempt to do so, Barbour has been lighting up switchboards from California, to Florida and South Carolina, as he tests the waters. He has even politely suggested that potential supporters hold their powder, and their money, until he makes a decision. Given the extent of Barbours effort so far, I tend to believe that he has the fire in the belly that gives one presidential fever, a fever that has to be fed in order for it break. So I expect that hemaysoonannopunce the creation of his presidential exploratory committee. This will be for two purposes. One is to confirm both how much fire really is in his belly and how amenable his wife is to the idea, and two, to see that if it is at all possible for the fire in his belly to be quite enough to win the White House. As for Mitch Daniels, I am going completely out a very shaky limb when I say that he will be running.

Accept for the talk of others, Mitch Daniels has done little if anything to appear like a potential Republican presidential candidate. And while he has taken advantage of a few high-profile speaking engagements, such events are in many ways only natural for a highly successful, two term governor. At the same time, it has been no secret that like Haley Barbours wife, Mitch Daniels wife Cheri is not thrilled by the prospects of having to endure an invasive and inevitably harsh presidential campaign. So there is really very little to support my conclusion that Mitch Daniels will run.

Except for three things.

The lovely Mrs. Cheri Daniels

First is Cheri Daniels. While she is not a fan of the spotlight and is not excited about the possibility of having to join her husband on the presidential campaign trail, in this, Daniels last year as Governor of Indiana, Cheri has agreed to be the main speaker at a Republican State Party dinner. That is not exactly the sign of a spouse preparing to fade in to the obscurity of private life. It sounds to me more like an introduction of both her to the people, and of Cheri to the spotlight.

Another event having me lean more towards a Daniels run, than against it, is the timing of a major speech on education that the Governor is slated to give in Washington, D.C. at the American Institute. This event is five days after the Indiana state legislative session is scheduled to conclude. Daniels has promised to announce his decision regarding the presidency when that sessionis over. It is here that I do not expect Daniels to announce that he is running, but rather the start of either his exploratory committee or the very soon date to come when he will make a similar announcement.

The final reason I have for believing that Mitch Daniels is in fact running for President has to do with his dragging the question out. Mitch Daniels is an understated man. He is not about the drama. He is a nuts and bolts guy and he had nothing to gain by dragging out the possibility of a presidential candidacy. His whole reason for not announcing his interest in running was due to state politics. Daniels did not want the left to accuse the him of advancing policies that were good for his presidential aspirations but bad for the state. And if Governor Daniels would have been able to get rid of that suspicion altogether by announcing that he was not running for President, he would have done that long ago.

There are of course some caveats.

I do not yet sense that Mitch Daniels has the same fire in the belly that his longtime close friend Haley Barbour does. For that reason, I am suspicious of there beingsome friendly teamwork going here. As I described in a previous White House 2012 post entitled Is a Barbour/Daniels Ticket in the Works? , Daniels could become a candidate in order to help divide the vote outside of the South, between himself, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney. This split would allow Barbour to fare better outside of the South where he does not do so well. It would also help keep Mitt Romney from racking up big numbers. In that scenario, Daniels would eventually drop out of the race and try to swing his delegates over to Haley Barbour.

This may sound too Machiavellian to some but this is the big time. It is politics at the highest level and few know how to play politics better than the ultimate political insider, Haley Barbour. That combined with a well established, longstanding friendship between Barbour, Daniels and their families, makes this not quite as far-fetched as some might be inclined to think.

I for one hope that isnt the case. As someone who in 2008, supported Mitt Romney for President, was a part of the Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement, and is currently torn between them Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Newt Gingrich, I am looking forward to a genuine battle for my support. I am hoping for a contest that will force the eventual nominee to have to truly earn the nomination and allow us to discover who truly represents our conservative values best, can advance them the most, and is most capable of applying them to the practical application of government. I believe all of the above mentioned names are candidates who can do that. The question is, which one can do all three the best? It is my deepest wish to find that out through a well fought contest, that publicly tests all these skills among all the candidates.

But before that process begins, I expect this final week in April to be slow, in the sense of it being a slow build up to a very busy May.

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Gingrich Presents His Tax Plan in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share Speaking to an audience at New Hampshires St. Anselm College in Manchester, Newt Gingrich laid out a tax plan that claims will shift nearly 2/3 of the people on unemployment and dependent on government, into becoming independent, self sufficient, taxpayers and thereby be the single biggest step you can take back toward balancing the budget,

The former Speaker of the House and likely presidential candidate called for cutting the capital gains tax to zero, making the so-called George Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminating the estate tax, an allowance for companies to write off 100% of new equipment purchases in the first year, and a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.

Gingrich explained that reasonable tax rates will prevent companies like General Electric from sheltering profits to avoid paying federal taxes. He also stated that the slight increase of jobs recently added to the market only occurred after President agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year. He added though, that businesses still remain leery to adding jobs because those tax cuts are set to expire and if they do, businesses will take a hit that they are prepared for.

Gingrichs plan is seemingly sound, but is it truly brave and bold, or is it just the same cut tax mantra that Republicans have always rightly called for? Dont get me wrong, tax cuts are necessary, but we can keep on raising and lowering taxes and tinkering with a broken tax code for the next two hundred years. Or we can fix the broken and antiquated tax system by calling for bold reforms such as a flat tax.

Personally I am disappointed in Newts tax proposal. As someone who has a proven record as an innovator, I expect more from him than the same old solution, a solution we must repeat every time Democrats raise taxes. A Flat tax would truly spur economic growth. In the case of former Soviet bloc nations, such a taxcode created some of the fastest growing economies in the world. A Flat tax is one rate for one nation and its time for Republicans to demonstrate the will to bring about true reform and show some true vision.

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Newt Explore 2012. Gingrich Launches His Presidential Exploratory Committee

NewtExplore2012Bookmark and Share Newt Gingrich today launched his Presidential exploratory committee, not with an announcement and press conference, but with the introduction of Newt Explore 2012, a website for his presidential exploratory committee. In it Newt writes;

“America’s greatness lies in “We the People.”

We are a nation like no other. To remain so will require the dedicated participation of every citizen, of every neighborhood, of every background. This is the responsibility of a free people.

We are excited about exploring whether there is sufficient support for my potential candidacy for President of this exceptional country.”

Newt also set up a Facebook pagefor his exploratory committee.

His website is interactive andin exploring options for his potential candidacy in 2012 he asks that people use his websiteto send him and his teamyour questions and ideas.

The establishment of an exploratorycommittee is a necessary legal step encouraged by federal election law. As an exploratory committee, one can test the waters with polls and trips to events without having to make public where the money comes from.

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Fox News Suspends Rick Santorum And Newt Gingrich

As announced by anchor Bret Baier late Wednesday morning, Fox News has ‘suspended it’s contributors arrangements’ with 2012 presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. for the next 60 days while they are in the process of deciding on a 12012 run at the White House. Both, Baier said, “have signaled possible runs for the presidency” and it “is Fox policy” for them to be suspended addressing concerns that once an official announcement is made, that the network would come under fire for ethics violations as well as campaign finance laws that may have been violated as the candidates were positioning themselves for a campaign.

Santorum has agreed to take part in Presidential debates and Gingrich is ‘exploring’ an exploratory committee. Both which Fox feels are signals that the two are planning on making runs in 2012.

The suspensions will be lifted on May 1 if the candidates notify Fox News that they will not be throwing their hat in the ring. If Fox is not notified by that deadline the contracts will be terminated.

What is sparking debate however is that Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, both Fox News employees and potential presidential candidates, were not suspended at this time because neither has made an official move towards a campaign. If that happens it is assumed that they will also be subject to the same Fox policies although Huckabee actually has his own show while the others are simply on the payroll as ‘contributors.’

If all 4 announce at some point there will be ample opportunity at Fox News for other conservative faces to get some air time. Taking applications?

Newt Gingrich to Announce First Step in Run for President on Thursday

Bookmark and ShareAs mentioned by White House 2012 this past weekend, Newt Gingrich is said to be beginning a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Sources close to Gingrich and in Washington have reportedly been told to get ready to travel to Atlanta Thursday when Gingrich will announce the creation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Other sources claim that some of the closest aides to the former Speaker are beginning to move their email addresses away from his political organization, American Solutions, and toward a strictly political campaign committee mail address.

As reported here in White House 2012 during January of this year, Gingrich had already picked out office space in Atlanta, Georgia where he intends to base his campaign headquarters.

If Gingrich does indeed announce his creation of a presidential exploratory committee, he will become thefourth major contender to take this first step toward a run for the Presidential nomination. Mitt Romney was the first, Tim Pawlenty, was the second, andboth arestill supposedly in the exploratory stages. Former Rick Santorum is the other major contender to have done the same. Lesser known names who have established exploratory committees include, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, activist Fred Karger of California, and former radio talk show host and Godfather Pizza CEO, Herman Cain.

Establishing exploratory committees are largely a sign of a definite run for President. They are usually precursors that give a candidate two bangs for the buck. It allows them to get the attention of two announcements, the creation of their committee and then their actual official campaign kick off announcement. But it also creates a technical legal ability for a candidate who expects to spend more than $5,000 while contemplating an actual run for office. According to election law, exploratory money may be raised without the full disclosure of sources required of true candidates. Only when the candidate drops the exploratory label does the full responsibility of transparency apply.

In addition to these exploratory committees being used as a transitional phase for their bookkeeping but often mainly for the media attention that they afford to a candidate.

Correction;

In the above post I erroneously stated that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson hasan existingexploratory committee. That is a mistake. Governor Johnson goes to great lengthsto point out that he is not a candidate and is currently operating a 501(c)4 committee, which by law precludes him from running for office through that committee. While Governor Johnson is widely expected to run, he is not officially doing so yet with an exploratory committee.

This is something which I should be acutely aware of since Governor Johnson has declined an interview with White House 2012 on the grounds that he is a 501 (c)4 and not running for President at the moment.

Thanks to White House 2012 readerBen forcorrecting the record.

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“Happy Birthday to the TEA Party” from Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and ShareOn the heels of a week which rumor has it that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich may announce his establishment of a presidential exploratory committee, Newt issued a happy birthday message to the TEA Party movement. In a tweet on his Twitter account, the former Speaker wrote;

“Happy Birthday to the Tea Party Movement!”

He linked his message to his Facebook page whichoutined a historical foundation for the TEA Party which places the date of the creation of the TEA Party on February 27th 2009.

In it he writes;

Fed up with a Republican Party that forgot its reformer roots and a Democratic Party where every solution involved more government, tea party rallies began brewing in over 50 cities with an estimated 30,000 people attending.”

Gingrich goes on to write that those numbers increased to 1.5 million two months later on April 15th,. tax filing day. The remainder of his message discusses the big government mentality which helped the rise of the TEA Party and elegantly concludes by him writing;

“Through countless hours, an undying faith in America, and sheer force of will, the Tea Party movement has turned our political system on its head.

In doing so, the movement has built upon the great legacy of our forebears in Boston Harbor, who ignited a revolution of liberty over 237 years ago.

Happy second Birthday to the Tea Party movement.

Here’s to many more.

Your Friend,

Newt”

Gingrich’s salute to the TEA Party is most definitely a sincere one. Newt has always opposed bureaucratic government growth and solutions in favor of solutions solved through individual responsibility and the free market. But at the same time, his hat tip to the TEA movement is also a signal of just how critically important TEA Party support is for anyone with any desire to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination as well as any other elected office.

Could Newt be setting the stage for a long courtship of the TEA Party? Most definitely.

And it is my opinion, that despite Newt’s insider image his courtship does have the potential to blossom in to a romance that can help him greatly in early primary and caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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Gingrich Tells House Republicans to Place Budget Cuts Over Government Shutdown

Bookmark and Share As President Obama and Senate Democrats face-off with House Republicans on matters of the budget that could force a March 6th shutdown of the federal government, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently penned an excellent editorial in the Washington Post which lent advice to Republicans that wasbased upon his own firs hand experience . It was 16 years ago when the Gingrich led House of Representatives and President Clinton clashed over the budget and actually forced a shutdown of government.

In his editorial Gingrich explains that at a crucial juncture in 1995, after technically fulfilling several budgetary aspects of the Contract With America , he and fellow Republicans weren’t interested in procedural success but instead understood that they were elected to deliver results. So the House Republican leadership decided that they would voluntarily balance the budget eventhough they were unable toachievea balanced budgetamendment mandating such a thing.

The former Speaker states that after the House adopted a timetable and created a plan that would end deficit spending by 2002, the Clinton White House and Senate Democrats set out to test our seriousness. They made a calculated, cynical decision to use the threat of a presidential veto – which would close the government – to insist that we drop our balanced budget.

Gingrich adds that:

it was President Bill Clinton’s veto of our budget in December 1995 that closed the government. The White House knew that it could use the power of the presidency and the support of liberal media to blame us. So, we faced a choice. We could cave in and be accepted by the Washington establishment, or we could stand firm for a balanced budget for the American people. We decided to stick to our principles through a very contentious and difficult period. Our attempt to balance the federal budget was distorted in the news media as an effort to ruin family vacations, frustrate visitors to the nation’s capital and prevent government employees from going to work. For the Republican leadership, the effort to hold together the House and Senate caucuses while negotiating with the White House became extraordinarily exhausting.

But in the end it was Republican determination which ultimately produced the first of four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s balanced budgets that paid off more than $450 billion in federal debt, overhauled welfare, strengthened Medicare and enacted the first tax cut in 16 years. Gingrich added;

It was this tax cut that boosted economic growth and allowed us to balance the budget four years earlier than projected. During my years as speaker, more than 8.4 million new jobs were created, reducing the national unemployment rate from 5.6 percent to 4.3 percent.”

After laying out the case Newt urges the G.O.P. to work to keep the government open, unless it requires breaking their word to the American people and giving up their principles. It his belief that House Republicans should give President Obama and Senate Democrats the opportunity to sign significant spending reductions and keep the government open, or to veto their cuts and close the government. And if they go for the second option Republicans must;

make clear that it is their stubborn liberalism that is closing the government.

The approach which Gingrich takes is both a moral one and a strategic one. Morally we as Republicans know that the moral thing to do is to begin to make sure that we stop spending more than we have. Furthermore; we realize that the proper way to do this is by cutting spending not raising taxes. Therefore the Gingrich approach is the right thing to do. It is in fact what they were elected to do.

Strategically though Gingrich is also correct to warn us to preempt the liberal media biases and general liberal spin machine that will undoubtedly try to paint Republicans as the heartless fiends who would should down government and take from the poor to give to the rich.

For Gingrichs advice to work, every Republican entity from the RNC to state and local Republican committees and from the Republican Governors Association the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees must get on the same page and join with TEA Party groups across the nation in a campaign that can make Democrats inability to stop spending like drunken sailors the blame for such a a government shutdown.

Only if the forces which elected the new Republican House majority, stay united behind the issues they voted on, and only if House Republicans prove to be committed to those issues will it work. Without such a partnership of commitment to cuts by legislators and of , commitment by voters to the legislators who support such cuts, the news will not be good for the G.O.P. But if this partnership holds firm the real bad guys can take the heat for their real bad decisions.

I would also add this. Republicans should be much more afraid of compromising their principles than of a government shutdown. If they do not go all out to achieve the significant budget cuts they seek, voters will turn their backs on them for years to come. For many voters, 2010 was a last chance for Democrats to prove themselves to be sincere fiscal conservatives not liberal spenders. As such if the government remains open on March 6th but Republicans failed to achieve any significant spending solutions, the majorities that elected them in to office will be much less inclined to vote for them again. On the other hand, if there is a government shutdown and Republicans have shown that it is because Democrats refused to make necessary spending cuts, those who supported them before, will continue to do so and more will join them.

The bottom line is that Newt is right. Now if he is willing to take this message and translate it into a Republican campaign for President, it just make have a lot of play.

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CPAC 2011: Newt Gingrich’s Speech at CPAC

Bookmark and Share In what can be described as a solid foundation to run a presidential campaign on, Newt Gingrich spoke to CPACstriking many chords with the conservative audience that he addressed. In it he indirectly laid out some of the immediate priorities that he would act upon if he were President. He outlined, in detail,what he called two large strategies that would lead to jobs creation. It included a call to end the environmentalProtection Agencies’war against American oil and gasand the creationof an Environmental Solutions Agency that would replace the Environmental Protection Agency and create a truly American energy plan.

In his speech, Newt suggested that President Obama be invited to give the keynote address at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, but only if he makes good on his perceived attempts to move to the center. According to Gingrich he could prove himself sincere in that goal and be deserving of the invite to CPAC if he did the following seven things;

  1. Sign the repeal of Obamacare
  2. Sign tort reform for doctors
  3. Sign the permanent repeal of the death tax
  4. Sign a new Hyde Amendment so that no taxpayer money funds abortions
  5. Sign a new Paul Ryan drafted budget act to control spending and move to a balanced budget
  6. Sign a law to decisively control the border now
  7. Sign a 1oth Amendment Implementation Act that returns power to the states and the people thereof

While Newt’s speech was not a rah-rah, inspirational call to arms for conservatives, instead of coming off as a conservative firebrand, he presented himself as the quintessential optimistic, ideas man and proved that underestimating him in a potential 2012 race for the presidency would be a foolish thing to do.

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Newt Gingrich vs. Howard Dean Debate Shows Why Newt Can’t Be Underestimated in 2012

Bookmark and Share On Tuesday, C-Span aired a live debate between former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The forum was the first joint venture between College Democrats and College Republicans on the campus of George Washington University. Together the two partisan political entities hammered out the details andarranged fora debate that was engaging and enlightening.

While Dean and Gingrich demonstrated their usual ideological passion, both men avoided any truly partisan bickering and instead embarked upon an insightful exchange of ideas and opinions. To be sure, there were differences but each man expressed themselves in eloquently articulate ways that at times, won both of them points from both sides of the aisle in the campus auditorium. Right out of the gate, Newt noted where he parted from where during his opening statement, Howard referred to America as a multicultural nation. Gingrich, in his opening statement stated We are not a multicultural country. We are a multiethnic country.

Newt explained that people come here to become American and be a part of an American civilization which is very different from Europe and Asia and Africa and demonstrated that in the United States, we come together to work as one common nation not divided by different cultures.

For Republicans, Newt Gingrich provided good reason for him to be given a fair hearing in the Republican presidential nomination process. Throughout the debate, Gingrich showed himself to be quite artful and adept at laying out the problems that our nation faces. He also proved himself to be one of the best spokesman for conservatism in America that we have today. Be it on immigration, healthcare reform, gay marriage or terrorism, Newt Gingrich has an unmatched ability to paint a picture of conservative thinking that is hard for even the most liberal of Democrats to not understand and see a degree of logic in.

The only moment during the debate that approached being confrontational came toward the end of the forum when Taylor Barnes a student from the audience set up a question regarding Republican opposition to the gay agenda and asked Newt Gingrich if he truly believed that LGBT individuals should not have the right to marry those who they truly love, I ask that you tell all of us, all of my friends who happen to be gay, why you believe that right now? During the question, Gingrich sat back in his seat and looked at the questioner with an expression of consternation, but when it was time for him to respond, he leaned forward and said Look Im quite happy to say that I come out of a tradition, which is several thousand years old, that says marriage is between a man and a woman. And I am prepared to defend that tradition, and I happen to believe it and I believe I have as much right to my opinion that you have to yours.

In its entirety, the Gingrich-Dean GWU debate is one that is worth anyones while to watch. Insofar as it pertains to Republicans, after viewing it, many will begin to understand why I have consistently stated that Newt Gingrich has the ability to surprise many if he does actually run for President. If Newt becomes an official candidate for the Republican nomination, no one should write him anytime soon and in the end, no matter who wins the nomination, Newts active participation in the process will do nothing but help the cause of conservatism in America.

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Big Deal In Georgia. Governor Endorses Gingrich for President

Bookmark and Share The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported that Newt Gingrich has essentially made his decision to run for the Republican presidential nomination and is already eyeing Atlanta office space to stake out as his campaign headquarters.

Now the AJC writes that in answering a reporters question about Gingrich, Georgias new governor, Nathan Deal, declared that he will support Newt Gingrich for president if he runs.

According to Political Insider reporter Jim Galloway, the exchange went like this:

Reports from Republicans weve talked to say Gingrich is much further along in his decision-making process than he lets on. In any case, Governor, will you support Gingrich if he runs for president in 12?

Deals response was; I will,.

Prior to that answer, Governor Deal said of Gingrich;

Hes, of course, a long-time friend and a supporter of my efforts to become governor of this state. Its no secret he is taking exploratory actions to determine whether or not hes going to pursue the presidency of the United States and we talked briefly about that. I dont think hes made that decision. He indicated hes still in the deciding process.

Former Speaker of the House represented Georgia in his days in Congress and has strong roots their. He has recently been meeting many of the states most powerful Republicans, including Governor Deal. In 2010, Gingrich pulled out all the stops to help Deal win his race for Governor. Now it looks like pay back time is approaching.

A similar story is playing out in the Northeast where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently met for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Drumthwacket, New Jerseys governor mansion. In 2009 Romney endorsed Christie in his primary for the Garden States Republican gubernatorial nomination. On top of the favor owed to Romney, the two share more than a few things in common. One thing they share is their former state campaign chairman. That was a position which State Senator Joe Kyrillos held for Romneys presidential campaign in 2008 and for Christies gubernatorial race in 2009.

Earlier in the day, a “Political Playbook” forum sponsored by Politico and aired on C-Span, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made an endorsement of his own kind when he praised South Dakota Senator John Thune and calimed that he has urged him to run for President.

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Is Chris Christie Preparing to Endorse Mitt Romney for President?

Bookmark and Share New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hosted a Monday evening dinner meeting with a mix of advisers and GOP state Party leaders and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

A spokesman for Governor Christie would not comment on the gathering and Romney aides have not elaborated on it either. Several different sources reportedly deny that any specifics regarding an endorsement in New Jerseys Republican presidential primary were discussed.

But Romney has viewed New Jersey as fertile territory. In 2008 presidential campaign, the former Governor paid a decent amount of attention to the state as he made several trips to the Garden State and worked Republican grass root activists aggressively. At the time, his state campaign chairman was Monmouth County State Senator Joe Kyrillos, a former state Party chairman. Kyrillos most recently served as Governor Chris Christies state campaign chairman.

Over the past few years, Romney has been devoting a great deal of time and making an equally great amount of financial contributions to the campaign efforts of many high level and targeted Republicans. In 2009 he took sides in Chris Christies gubernatorial primary and endorsed the then U.S. District Attorney over his opponent Steve Lonegan.

Now, it looks like Romney is beginning to try to collect on his generous devotion of time and money by seeking the endorsements of those he supported since he ended his pursuit of the 2008 presidential nomination. That year, John McCain received the bulk of New Jerseys Republican establishments support, including that of the State GOP Chairman. The states Governor at the time was Democrat Jon Corzine and he was busy backing Barack Obama. Obama wound up winning New Jerseys Democrat Primary and on the Republican side McCain won with 55% of the vote with Romney coming in a distant second with 28% of the vote.

This time around, Chris Christie reigns supreme and with his high national profile and popularity, the Christie endorsement is one which any candidate for President would relish and not just for the delegate count that he could bring to them from Jersey. For Romney, having Chris Christie return the favor of an endorsement will be a prominent conservative feather to stick in his hat, a feather that Romney is going to a need lot of he wants to make past New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in the South, Newt Gingrich received an endorsement of his own.

Georgia Governor and Gingrich friend, Nathan Deal respond to reporters questions about Gingrich by saying that if Newt ran for the Republican for the Republican presidential nomination, he would endorse him.

With 29 states now controlled by Republican governors, they will all play pivotal roles in the Republican presidential nominating process. Some like Christie though may play a bigger role than others.

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New Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire Make Nothing Very Clear

Bookmark and Share Two new Strategic National polls offer results from Iowa and New Hampshire that mirror other similar surveys.

Of 410 Iowans who are described as typical caucus voters, former Governor Mike Huckabee is ahead of his closest possible rival, Mitt Romney, by 9.02%.

Complete poll results were as follows:

  1. Mike Huckabee 27.56%
  2. Mitt Romney 18.54%
  3. Undecided 17.56%
  4. Sarah Palin 12.44%
  5. Newt Gingrich 12.20%
  6. Tim Pawlenty 4.39%
  7. Michele Bachmann 3.66%
  8. John Thune 1.95%
  9. Rick Santorum 0.98%
  10. Other/Undecided 0.49%
  11. Haley Barbour 0.24%

In New Hampshire a random sample of 940 Republican primary voters offered a result that was almost as equally lopsided between the first and second place finishers as Iowa’s results were, but here it is Romney who takes the lead. The New Hampshire poll played out like this:

  1. Mitt Romney 33.51%
  2. Mike Huckabee 13.83%
  3. Sarah Palin 12.77%
  4. Newt Gingrich 8.62%
  5. Tim Pawlenty 5.21%
  6. Mitch Daniels 1.60%
  7. Rick Santorum 1.28%
  8. Haley Barbour 0.96%
  9. John Thune 0.21%
  10. Other/Undecided 22.02%

Both polls do little more than confirm what we already knew. What we don’t know though is who Iowa and New Hampshire voters will actually be splitting their votes between when it is time to vote and caucus. While we are more than certain that Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty will be running, and pretty sure people like Fred Karger and Rick Santorum are running, we do not know with any certainty if Mike Huckabee or any of the other often mentioned names are running. Furthermore, given the countless number of variables, including who will or wont be in the race and the great potential that the campaigns of many potential candidates have, it would be naive to assume that anyone who is a frontrunner at this moment, will be the winner a year from now.

However, when it comes to New Hampshire and Iowa and Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, a combination of name recognition from their 2008 presidential runs and demographics, Romney and Huckabee are where they should be in New Hampshire and Iowa and are naturals to win those state respectively.

If they did win in these tow states, the Republican presidential nomination contest is likely to be wide open well into the primary and caucus season.

Following Iowa and New Hampshire are Nevada and South Carolina. Here too a split decision is as natural as it is in the results of Iowa and New Hampshire. Demographics and established name recognition make Nevada a natural for Romney to win and South Carolina a natural for Huckabee to take. Of course with South Carolina being more of a sign of how the South goes than Nevada is of the way the West goes, Huckabee’s win in South Carolina would put him in a much better position for him than Romney.

South Carolina is where Romney has to draw his wall of fire. It is where he has to establish the “Big Mo” that George H. W. Bush thought he had behind him in the 1980 primaries against Ronald Reagan.

Of course as noted in previous White House 2012 posts, if enough candidates who are attractive to the evangelical vote, jump into the race, Romney could be the beneficiary and have the chance to walk right up the middle.

For now though, it really is too early to base any wagers on any of these polls. None of the potential candidates campaigns can be underestimated and there are so many possible players at the moment that it is too difficult to predict which way any one demographic or state will fall.

If Newt Gingrich were to run, not only will his command of the issues be undeniably impressive, but between the unique and numerous ideas he brings to the table, combined with a personality that will surprise many and the ability to reshape his image, he could quickly become an appealing figure to many, including evangelicals and TEA Party energized people.

If Sarah Palin were to run, her ability to campaign in a way that can broaden her base should not be underestimated and given the enthusiastic support that she already has from a loyal base of voters, such an expansion of her base could effect the primaries and caucuses profoundly.

But many other names also have the potential to establish powerfully effective campaigns that can attract the attention and support of any combination of influential wings of the G.O.P.. Texas Governor Rick Perry is building a solid foundation for a possible campaign that highlights states rights which appeals to TEA Party priorities. He has also built a record around anti-abortion measures and other social issues that are attractive to evangelicals and social conservatives. And on economic issues, his tax cuts, spending cuts and jobs record in the Lone Star State, appeal to all wings of the Republican Party.

Indiana’s Mitch Daniel’s is another figure whom could take the Party by storm. His American Heartland appeal and economic prowess will shine brighter than most. The entry of Mississippi’s Haley Barbour could quickly round up a large portion of the G.O.P. inner circle, raise oodles of money, count on many favors owed to him, significantly coalesce Southern support and dilute Huckabee’s Southern strength, while also surprising people with his own strategic abilities and appeal to conservatives in all four corners of the country.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota will be force to a contend with if he runs. While the addition of his name in to the field may not initially turn the race on its ear, he will quickly gain steam. Then there are other names like Rick Santorum and Mike Pence. All of these names will sharply divide the conservative vote, thereby give people like Tim Pawlenty, as well as Mitt Romney and maybe even Rudy Giuliani a better shot at racking high delegate counts.

And through it all may also be the likes of libertarians Ron Paul and former new Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as well as those dark horse candidates, such as Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and maybe even Donald Trump.

Right now, all that we can be sure of is that while some names like Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and outsider Fred Karger have all but made their campaigns official, everyone else is watching what each of the other names are doing. And until people like Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Thune and Sarah Palin, make up their minds, people like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Jon Huntsman and more, will be waiting to make up their own minds.

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Newt Gingrich Has Reportedly Made A Decision about 2012 and the Presidency

Bookmark and ShareThe headline reads “Newt Gingrich tells Georgia Republicans he’ll be a candidate in2012” and beneath it, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Political Insider” columnist, Jim Galloway, claimsthat Newthas made up his mind and is eyeing office space in Georgia to use as the campaign headquarters for his 2012 presidential campaign.

Galloway reports that Gingrich “has touched base with several prominent Republicans in his former home state, telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base and that he already has his eye on office space in Buckhead for a campaign headquarters.”

Adding fuel to the claim are Galloway’s confirmation of conversations that the former Speaker of the House has had with several prominent Georgians, including Nathan Deal, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss who said that Gingrich asked for an appointment in the near future. And told the Senator that he needed a significant amount of his time.

Gingrich also made a recent appearance at the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce where Georgia’s House Speaker, David Ralston introduced Gingrich.

It would appear that Gingrich is trying solidify his Southern base, especially in his former home state of Georgia, a state that Mike Huckabee won in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries. At a recent press conference at his Center for Health Transformation in suburban Atlanta Gingrich accentuated his Georgia roots by stating “My offices are here. My grandchildren are here. I’m here regularly”, He also added “I helped create the modern Republican Party in Georgia starting in 1960. I have a certain fondness for being back in Atlanta.”

A spokesman for Newt Gingrich would only tell Galloway that Gingrich’s “plans are to decide on whether to create an exploratory committee in late February, and make a decision about his candidacy in March,”.

If Gingrich does run, expect a very lively and heated Republican presidential contest, one which Newt is likely to surprise many in, and be difficult for his rivals to overshadow him in.

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