Newt Gingrich Issues A Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share  Shortly after the President delivered his 65 minute long, third State of the Union Address and set the stage for his reelection campaign, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, issued a rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

In his response, Gingrich aggressively characterized the President’s stated vision as one of big government, bureaucratic control, and as one strives to create a food stamp economy designed to make Americans dependent upon government.

Newt Gingrich’s SOTU Response

“We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth. Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes. But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth.

Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome. Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama.  Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair. For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule.  They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber – the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs — and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. 

That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party. No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies – not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles – openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly.

They think it’s good for rest of us.  Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party.  And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight. To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today.  We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.  With these policies the state of the union will be much better.  They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity.  Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.”

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Does Newt Really Have The Momentum to Keep Winning?

Bookmark and Share  If one were to look at Florida, the answer is yes.

Since his exceptionally strong, first place, landslide victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich has at least temporarily established himself as the only candidate with momentum on his side.

Ron Paul, and his supposed ever growing massive number of supporters doesn’t seem to be quite as massive or as rapidly growing as once thought, since his last place showing in South Carolina, and he has all but conceited the election and admitted that he is just in this thing not win, but to pick up enough delegates to finally become politically relevant.

Rick Santorum, has gone from being the surprise underdog winner of the Iowa Caucus to being the man who many question why he is still running.  And Mitt Romney has seen himself gone from a frontrunner and the inevitable nominee, to being the candidate who many are  beginning to feel that if he hasn’t locked up the nomination yet, he may never do it.

But Newt Gingrich’s recent resurrection, from political death which propelled him to become the winner of the first in the South Primary has clearly set the stage for him to finally hit a stride that will make this a two man race between himself and Mitt Romney.

In less than 24 hours of his winning South Carolina, Newt raised a million dollars and since than he has more than doubled that total. Furthermore; in Florida, Gingrich has opened seven  offices with two more yet to be opened, hired 14 paid staffers and signed up 5,000.  By contrast, Romney’s campaign had just five staffers and three offices in Florida by early this week. And on top of that, when it concerns the polls, Gingrich has gone from 27% last week, to 35% this week, a swing of eight percent which now finds Romney falling two percent and in to second place.  Such dramatic numbers would certainly indicate that Newt has the wind at his back, while Romney and the others are now encountering strong headwinds in Florida.

Normally, even though these are solid signs for Newt, I would not be very confident in his ability to keep this recent turn of events moving in his direction.  In the past Newt’s proclivity for the untraditional has forced him to rely on instincts which motivate him to go with unconventional strategies, strategies which, like his previous attempt to attack Mitt Romney from the left and go off the deep end by distorting Mitt’s record of success in the free market, have hurt him.  However after Monday night’s debate, Newt demonstrated a degree of political maturity which he has not often displayed prior to now.  He carried himself as a humble frontrunner and held back any desire he may have had to respond to Mitt Romney’s own distortions with any exaggerated flare that could have undermined Newt’s credibility.  Instead it was Mitt Romney who appeared to be desperate and stretching to find any fatal flaws in Newt Gingrich’s record.

In addition to that, up to now, Newt has not had the type of financial resources that permitted him to to take proper advantage of media advertising which helps to carry his message beyond the audiences that may sit and watch the debates which he typically excels in.  And at the same time, even though Mitt Romney has already spent upwards of $10.5 million on Florida advertising,  he is losing ground.  This bodes quite well for Newt who with his coffers filling up, and with the aid a $5 million single donation to a Gingrich Super PAC in Florida, can now chip away at the dominance of Romney’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

But that’s not the only reason I remain optimistic for Newt at least in Florida.

In his attempt to stop the newtmentum, Romney seems to be making some of his first strategic stumbles.  In the most recent debate, while hoping to paint Newt as a Washington insider and influence peddler, he brought up the issue of Medicaid Part D and claimed that Newt was paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, to lobby Congress Medicaid Part D’s passage.  During Monday’s debate he said to Gingrich;

“If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your  entities are getting paid by, and you then meet with Republican congressmen and  encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you  like. I call it influence peddling” .

The argument could potentially have legs, but not in Florida, where the nation’s largest population of senior citizens benefitted from the program and where Gingrich successfully dismissed Romney’s claims and accused Mitt of being a serial twister of the truth.   Gingrich countered Mitt’s charge in part by stating

 “I think it’s pretty clear to say that I have never,  ever gone and done any lobbying,”

 He also added that he was  proud of the fact that he publicly, openly advocated the prescription drug program.

That last statement was essentially the punch that ended and won that round for Newt.  It successfully appealed to the very large senior citizen voting bloc in Florida, the voters who when it’s time to cast their ballots, happen to turn out in the largest numbers .

Additionally, Romney seems to be counting on tieing Newt Gingrich to the tide of foreclosures in Florida.

Florida took a hit second only to Nevada in the housing crisis and by claiming Newt made money from Freddie Mac which essentially oversaw the creation and bursting of the housing bubble, he is hoping that Floridians who lost their homes will see Newt Gingrich as the villain who profited from their losses.  The problem is that Republicans are not buying what Mitt is trying to sell in that area of political campaigning.  And another thing to note is that those individuals who lost their homes because they provided mortgages that they were not qualified for in the first place, are not voting for either Newt or Mitt.  So clearly, Mitt Romney is throwing a wildly wrong  pitch and throwing it to the wrong people.

Then there is something else working against Mitt in Florida.

Unlike the previous three contests, Florida is a closed primary.

In a closed primary or caucus, only registered members of a Party may vote in that Party’s primary and Independents, those not registered with either major Party, are not permitted to vote in either major Party’s primary. Democrats who may like Mitt Romney’s moderate image, will not be able to influence who Republicans nominate as their Party’s candidate.  This is the way I believe it should be.  It is also one of the reasons why Ron Paul has written Florida off.  Since his hero worshippers from outside of the G.O.P. and within the sphere of liberal-tarian lunacy, can not sabotage the Republican process, they are picking up their toys and not playing in the Sunshine State.  All of this is good news for Newt, who if he keeps it together, just might be able to extend his good fortune into the forseeable future.

But even if he does hold it together in Florida, he will still forced to confront some very rough seas.

Following Florida will be two contests that Mitt Romney so far looks unbetable in….Nevada and Michigan.  This will provide at least a psychological sense of momentum that swings back towards Mitt  and away from Newt.  When that time comes, Newt will have to confront his challenge, a challenge that will force him to prove he has the staying power to comeback, and put Romney back on the ropes.  So far Newt has proven that he has considerable political stamina, but if he wins Florida, he will have to turn that stamina in to a knockout punch that he can land sometime after Nevada and Michigan.  If he can’t land such a punch, Republicans could very easily end up seeing this race last longer than the 2008 Democrat nomination between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or worse…….maybe even the first brokered convention since 1976 when President Gerald Ford was almost dumped by the Party in exchange for future President Ronald Reagan.

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New Gingrich Ad Banks on Voters Desire for Positive Campaigns

Bookmark and Share   In his second televised ad, Newt Gingrich continues to try to offer voters a positive campaign as he reiterates his attempt to run for President on solutions and ideas not slander and innuendo.

The strategy is risky and some might say that by not responding in kind to negative attacks on him by all the other candidates, Newt is failing to get ahead of his rivals.  But what Newt is actually doing is giving Americans a chance to put their money with their mouth is.  Poll after poll shows that voters dislike negative campaigns, yet pollsters also find that negative ads work.  They successfully ruin the chances of the candidate who they are aimed at, of getting elected.

So here is Newt.  Here is Newt giving voters the chance to prove that they want politicians to run on the issues, not on the flaws of their opponents.

Now contrast that with Rick Perry’s latest 30 second spot, “Problems/Solutions:


To his credit, Newt Gingrich is not trying to decrease our chances to defeat President Obama next November.  Instead he is trying to prove why he is the candidate to beat President Obama with.  And if Newt does not actually become the nominee, he won’t have to flip-flop on any words that were designed to destroy his rivals.  Instead, he will actually be in a perfect position to unify the Party.

Imagine that, Newt Gingrich being a uniter.  That is quite a surprising turn of events and a sharp contrast between him and the divider-in-chief, Barack Obama.
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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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See The Entire Gingrich-Huntsman Foreign Policy, Lincoln-Douglas Style Debate Here

Bookmark and Share   In one of the rare one-on-one debates of the Republican presidential nomination contest, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman participated in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate on the issue of foreign affairs that allows each candidate to speak for five minutes on each of the topics related to foreign policy and national security.

The 90 minute debate at the  St. Anselm Institute of Politics, in New Hampshire received little attention, but for those who care about making an informed decision regarding the selection of the next Republican presidential nominee, the forum was an extremely insightful and informative event that should not be missed.

White House 2012 foreign contributor Jason Collins provided readers with an excellent analysis of the debate and while urge you to take a look at it, I also belive that you should not miss the actual.  So when you have some down time, poor yourself a nice cup calming tea, grab a couple of biscuits,  and watch the video of the entire debate here.

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Newt Gingrich: Phoenix Rising or Leader Emeritus? Can Newt be the Next Frontrunner?

  Bookmark and Share  While Mitt Romney maintains a steady 25% in most Republican presidential polls, the polling numbers for other candidates have seen wide fluctuations that provide them with five minutes of fame in frontrunner status. That has been a phenomenon mainly to the desire of the G.O.P. base to find a viable alternative to Romney that they can get excited about. For a while that alternative was Mike Huckabee Mitch Daniels, and Donald Trump.  Then it was  Michele Bachmann, and soon after her it was Rick Perry.  When Perry stepped in and did not meet expectations, the enthusiasm shifted back towards the hope that a new name would jump in to the race.  Paul Ryan again declined and then Chris Christie spent an hour in a press conference convincing people that he was not running.  Soon after that, Herman Cain catapulted to the top.

At the moment, Cain still remains in the lead in several state and national polls, but it is a slim lead that seems to be slowly fading.  Meanwhile Romney stays mired in the mid twenties.

So what’s next?

Will Cain build on his lead?

It is possible but not very likely.

Herman Cain has had a few hiccups such as his contradictory remarks regarding abortion.  These bumps in Cain’s road to the White House have stalled his momentum a bit and it provides a little space for a new name to move up in the polls.  And while Cain can certainly recapture that momentum, he is still quite limited in the sense that he has not been able to coordinate any significant organizational strength on the ground in any of the early states.  Without such organizational strength, high poll numbers are in truth artificially inflated.  Coordination of an operational organization that keeps a close track on voters is the only way to insure that those high poll numbers translate in to actual votes.

But between now and when the first votes in Iowa take place, perception is the name of the game.  Voter perceptions will continue to be the driving force behind the polling numbers and if I am right, I believe that perceptions will soon find Cain being viewed in a much dimmer light and cause Newt Gingrich’s name to the forefront.

As Rick Perry focusses on tearing Romney down instead of building himself up, and as Herman Cain is forced to waste time correcting and explaining himself, candidates like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul will continue to look for opening that will let them get in to contention.  Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich has recently found his opening.  An average of polls as indicated by Real Clear Politics, shows that Newt Gingrich is practically tied with Ron Paul for third place.  Paul’s numbers are basically as high as they can go in a Republican primary or caucus.  That essentially leaves Newt as the candidate in third place and that ultimately gives Newt Gingrich the best chance to become America’s next new Top Model………….,  I mean candidate.

Up to now, Newt has been running g a low-key campaign.  That is mainly due to the fact that he has had no choice in the matter.  His fundraising has been relatively meager, many conservatives have not wanted to give Newt much of a chance because of his personal marital infidelities, and the establishment has not wanted to give Newt much consideration because of what they see as a general image problem that makes Newt unelectable.

But all that may change and Gingrich is ready to force that change upon voters.

Mitt Romney is eventually going to have to move in one direction or another.  He will have to break out of the mid-twenties and break in to the at least the low  to mid-thirties.  Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen until Romney wins a primary or caucus other than New Hampshire, where he is an obvious favorite.  Until Republicans who are apprehensive or unhappy with Romney have concrete reasons to resign themselves to an inevitability of Romney winning the nomination, they will either remain on the fence or commit themselves to another candidate.  Right now, Rick Perry, the candidate seen as having the most potential to be the alternative candidate,  is not picking up many votes and he is not having an impact on the 25% that Romney steadily maintains.

Perry also has many troubling hurdles.  While his Republican rivals will continue to chip away at his strong suit……..job creation, and hammer away at his unpopular illegal immigration positions, Perry is stuck with other problems.  He is not good on the stump.  Perry does not do well in unscripted environments.  Whenever he is left to his own devices, he fumbles and stumbles and does not portray the type of command of the issues and confidence that is necessary.   While in time, he may improve, right now there is little room for on the job campaign training.

As for the others, Herman Cain faces the same problem and I believe that he and his cornerstone 9-9-9 plan are not going to hold up to the scrutiny that comes with being a frontrunner for very long.  Ron Paul has hit his usual 8 to 14 percent ceiling of support, Bachmann will fight for her life and exhaust her resources in Iowa to compete for a stop spot and in the end, she might pull off a win in Iowa but that is becoming increasingly unlikely and even if she does take the Iowa caucuses, she will have little ability to translate that in to a victory in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada or any other contested races.

In regards to Rick Santorum, while he will campaign well, he has not demonstrated an ability to catch on with voters and without any significant money available to him, it is not possible for him to become a contender for the top spot.

This leaves Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson.

Johnson is just not a factor and will not be.  He is investing all his time and very limited resources in New Hampshire where he is counting on pulling off a miraculous upset victory over Mitt Romney and suddenly become the man to beat.  But that won’t happen.  Huntsman may be able to surprise many with a second place finish in the Granite State but that too is unlikely.  And regardless of how well he does, he will not gain the type of momentum from his New Hampshire finish that can  propel him to a top spot in South Carolina, Nevada, and/or Florida.

This leaves Newt Gingrich with multiple windows of opportunities to become the next best alternative to Mitt Romney and the next flavor of the month, or at least the week and he knows it.  He already believes that he has a chance to do well in New Hampshire, and states that Romney does not have a lock on that state’s primary. And he may be right.  That is why Gingrich is finally building an organization in New Hampshire.  More so than any of the other candidates, Newt has the potential to sneak up on Romney, a state which recent primary history has shown to be the scene of many surprises.  If Newt has the resources, he could take advantage of New Hampshire by pulling off a surprise second place showing.  That would be a great start to the firewall Newt has stated that he will build in South Carolina.  With a good showing in New Hampshire, Gingrich may be able to build what could more accurately be called a large sand dune in South Carolina, but not a firewall. Nonetheless, he can establish himself there and turn what is currently a campaign to talk about in passing, in to a campaign that grabs the headlines——positive headlines.

Leading up to the first nominating contests, in order for any of this to be possible, Newt can and must begin to take control of the agenda through successful strategic messaging.  By turning his numerous ideas in to the topics of discussion, he can quietly rise in the polls, as he has already been doing, but at a significantly faster rate.

If and when that happens it will be quite possible for Newt Gingrich to make his move and turn the nomination contest in to a two or three man race between himself, Mitt Romney and either Herman Cain or Rick Perry.  If that does occur, all bets are off because Newt can not be underestimated.  He is a man of superior intellect and his ideologically passion can be infectious among conservatives.   Add to that the undeniable fact that Newt is a  figure who has helped shape contemporary conservative thinking and what you have  is a candidate who in a mano y mano environment, will allow Newt to score many points and finally begin to tap in to all that is needed to unite critical factions of the electorate into a winning coalition of voters, a coalition that even includes the TEA Party.

While Newt is not considered a darling of the TEA movement he has the ability to tap into them and win them over. In New Hampshire he has already begun to tap in to the TEA Party.  He recently hired Andrew Hemingway, a Tea movement activist and former state chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, as his state campaign director.  In line with his potential TEA movement appeal, while Newt was once part of the establishment, he is far from an establishment thinker or player and that bodes well for him in an anti-establishment electorate.  When it comes to the conservative base of the Party, few true conservatives can turn their back on Newt if he positions himself as “the’ alternative to Romney.  Social conservatives may still put their noses up at Newt, but their vote may be end up being divided between players like Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and even Santorum.

Of course none of this is definite.  Newt has been reluctant to demonstrate a willingness to allow his campaign to operate in carefully structured environment, and while that may be refreshing and have a degree of popular appeal, it prevents Newt from avoiding pitfalls and from organizing the type of ground game that is needed to keep support once you get it.  However, as demonstrated by his new hires in New Hampshire and the opening of 5 offices in  New Hampshire, there are signs that he is resigning himself to the reality of the need to employ some type of  basic and traditional campaign structure.

All of this leads me to suspect that Newt is the next name to become the focus for the Republican presidential nomination.  The question is, will he have the ability and resources to keep his name at the top once he gets his turn, or will he fall back into the ashes like others have done?   The answer  will either start a new chapter for Newt as President or close the book on his political career and forever remain simply, the former Speaker of the House.

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A Two Horse Race

Bookmark and ShareWith the 3rd major Republican primary debate in the books there are 2 candidates whom have begun to distance themselves from the pack. Mitt Romney looked and sounded presidential as he took shots from and at the man who has unseated him as the early polling frontrunner, Texas governor Rick Perry. Perry was the self described ‘pinata’ as he wore the target as the newest candidate and he did not disappoint, handling well the shots coming at him as well as throwing some shots towards his main opponent.

There were other candidates on the stage but the debate quickly became the Romney/Perry show.

Rick Santorum didn’t do anything to hurt himself but certainly didn’t help himself either. He looked as if he were either miffed that the debate was becoming about the 2 top candidates or that he had just sucked on a lemon. Newt, always the smartest guy in the room, had some good answers but again went after the record of the media instead of the records of his opponents. Michelle Bachmann didn’t have the opportunity that she did in the first two debates to showcase her TEA party credentials and didn’t do anything to stand out. She has simply been overshadowed by the entrance of Perry. Herman Cain stuck to his buisness leader guns but is quickly fading away as he fails to have the power or ability to shine above the other candidates. Jon Huntsman was doing a good job until he got led into his global warming stance which is a quick turn off for most GOP primary voters. Ron Paul did something he normally shy’s away from and took some shots at fellow Texan Perry but again fell prey to his lack of communication skills and undoubtedly hurt the small amount of momentum he gained in Iowa.

In my opinion Romney looked more presidential, whatever that means, and remained calm and well spoken. Romney deserves the win in the 1st head to head showdown between himself and Rick Perry. Perry handled the expected barrage of shots across his bow from his opponents and came out strong in the beginning. As the debate went on Perry seemed to fade and Romney still stood out. Perry also made some bulletin board comments that his opponents, and especially liberals, will pin up and go after every time he speaks. For that he gets the 2nd place finish. The polls in the next week will be interesting. Will Perry hold onto his entering momentum….or will Romney have gained back the spot he has held since the beginning?

It would be hard pressed for any conservative who is voting Republican to deny that after this debate there are 2 candidates that distanced themselves from the rest. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

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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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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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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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