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Newt Gingrich is not conservative enough for … er … Romney supporters?

Newt Gingrich is not conservative enough for … er … Romney supporters?

I was on the road and in meetings all day, with only passing opportunities to log on.  But I see a trend emerging.

Bloggers and websites which support Romney, explicitly in some cases, impilicitly in others, are making lists of reasons why Newt Gingrich is not conservative enough, finding anywhere from 5-10 positions he has taken over 30 years in public life which render him not the conservative savior.

Don’t fall for it.

More tomorrow, when I’ll have a longer post about my views on Newt, and the circular firing squad being created with the intention of leaving Romney the last candidate standing.


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youre 100 percent on this. i was wondering the same thing. people like jr at wapo and qh at spectator and others are going on about how newt is not conservative. they do not try to convince anyone mitt is conservative. newt has venial sins against conservatism while mitt has mortal sins.

    I don’t see anything that is “small government” about Romney.
    Newt at least makes a good game, although he has fallen off the wagon from time to time.

Charles Curran | November 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

As Paul Newman said in Hud ” If you take the saints away from the sinners, you’d be lucky to be left with Abraham Lincoln”.

This stuff went around in May, and now it’s going to it full force, inasmuch as Gingrich appears to be the chief threat at the moment. Goal #1 is getting this administration and Senate out of office. Conservatives and Republicans need to say, regarding their own, “I prefer Soandso because…” rather than chewing each other up. The person who stands to win from that is Barack Obama.

    javau in reply to janitor. | November 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    these people are seen as threats only when they threaten romney. these overt and covert romney supporters dont really care about conservatism they care about romney. do we ever see lists compiled about romneys offenses to conservatism.

      janitor in reply to javau. | November 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Agreed. I suspect that Romney “supporters” also include liberals, especially in the media — who do not support Romney at all, but who fear anyone who might motivate the Republican party (which, of course, is not Romney.)

        I DC arm of the Republican Party is anything but “small government.” They are merely slightly right of the typical RINO.

Is it just me, or does this post by Katrina Trinko at NRO’s The Corner blog look suspiciously like a rewrite of what we’ve seen on the pro-Romney blogs?

– JP

i was reading a gingrich-is-not-conservative post at another blog. the author praised j rubins works. in response to a comment the posts purported author said “Jen Rubin isn’t a Romney supporter.” i suppose that’s true. but she is a vehement critic of perry, gingrich, cain, palin, paul, pawlenty, bachmann, huntsman, johnson, and roemer.


I don’t know what “conservative enough” means but surely you agree that Gingrich has vacillated between liberal (man-caused global warming, etc.) and conservative policies. His personal and politician career are checkered by problematic relationships, indicating that confidence has led to bullheadedness along the way.

Hell, I’d love to see the persona of John Wayne be the GOP nominee but I’ve seen this act many times with executives. We refer to them as “fast-processors with jagged sharp elbows.” To wit, many on both sides of the Congressional aisles breathed a sigh of relief when Newt left in 1999.

My fear is that you turn this website into a Gingrich advocacy site. You’ve already reached for the poison pill by stating that the only thing keeping us from Romney is Gingrich. I believe that suggestion is overblown.

It’s not just Romney supporters who find fault with Newt, believe me.

The worse possibility would be for Obama to be reelected. But the next worse thing is for our nominee to be a second-term GWB, where we reelect a “conservative” and stand by helplessly as we get a judicial nominee like Harriet Myers. A prescription drug policy we can’t afford, etc.

The inconsistencies and vacillations demonstrated by Mitt and Newt are duplicitous and more troubling than, for example, Cain and Perry with a memory lapse. And, I must say, Newt’s advocacy of Freddie Mac as a “consultant” is not a good place to be as we are treated to Nancy Pelosi’s scam, etc.

What? They can only find 5 to 10 questionable, dubious and idiotic causes Newt has championed? They aren’t looking very hard…

huskers-for-palin | November 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It’s not only that, but I’m noticing Laura Ingraham chirping in as well. Laura sounds like she’s in the tank for Romney.

I was chatting with a guy today and we (very) reluctantly admitted that we’ve pitched tents around the fringes of the Newt camp. Our justification is that he’s pretty much fully vetted. Just about any dirt on him has been hashed and rehashed by the MSM. He can play the “That’s old news” card. Of course, the MSM will be contend to rehash the hash once more, but there’s little that will upset the base.

Too many liberals want Romney to run; what liberal doesn’t want McCain II for 2012? National Review seems to want Romney. I don’t follow them closely enough to know if they’ve made an outright endorsement yet.

Newt has the intellect and the experience to navigate the rough water that will await whoever represents the GOP in the next year. This is going to be a nasty fight. Liberal ideology has failed (again), and the Obama answer to every setback is double down. The damage he will do as his desperation multiplies will be great.

StephenMonteith | November 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

For me, it isn’t about which of them is more conservative; it’s about the hypocrisy of saying you won’t support Romney because he isn’t conservative enough and then throwing your support to Gingrich.

The amount of wishful thinking about Newt displayed here is stunning. Newt is not some stalwart conservative. In fact, he is generally less conservative than most of the elitists currently holding “leadership” roles in the GOP like Boehner.

It’s not that I hate Newt. I just realize that he isn’t what so many people are projecting him to be.

The good professor posted this link earlier this week or last and it appears that nobody actually read it:

    Agree completely and as much as I love the good professor, I wonder if HE actually read it.

      WarEagle82 in reply to Joy. | November 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      I suppose increasingly people think Newt is the best they can get out of this cycle. I haven’t given up on Cain yet though he has made me wonder lately.

      And if I had to choose between Perry or Romney I would probably choose Perry though his weaknesses are truly glaring.

      Bachmanm, Santorum and Cain remain my favorites. Perry plus one of them might get me to vote GOP in 2012. If my choices are Romney or Newt as the candidate I will probably vote Constitution Party again.

      Hate me if you like, but I am done with the GOP establishment and the MSM picking candidates…

      (And I respect the professor immensely even though we seem to disagree on Newt for whatever that is worth to anyone.)

    janitor in reply to WarEagle82. | November 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm… isn’t that website owned and controlled by domain retailer from South Florida, I think… Monte Kahn> Didn’t he sell some domain-or-other to Mitt Romney…? I could be wrong, of course.

      WarEagle82 in reply to janitor. | November 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      I don’t know but if he writes something that is actually true…

        janitor in reply to WarEagle82. | November 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

        I’m probably wrong. Something I’m mixing up about Romney buying to go after Rick Perry from a company that was owned or used to be owned by the guy who is the privacy registrant for the domain…

You kniw what they say about the goose and the gander.

When supporters of Romney and not incidentally other rivals start delving into Newt’s votes as a Member of Congress on thousands of issues, there will be a lot more than five or 10 instances of his straying from the true conservative line.

Rather than get worked up about this, people should take it as an object lesson in how and why it is impossible for anyone in our democracy to wield significant power (as opposed to comment from the sidelines) without compromises that recognize countervailing powers and the interests and needs of constituents.

Rush Limbaugh can afford to be pure. Neither the Speaker of the House nor the Governor of Massachusetts (or Texas) has that luxury.

    windbag in reply to JEBurke. | November 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    You touch on an important feature of our two-party system. It forces the sides toward the middle. Compromise. Newt has tons of instances of straying from the conservative line, because our two-party system forces that. This isn’t the time for purity test for the candidates; we have to defeat Obama.

      WarEagle82 in reply to windbag. | November 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Did you ever ask why the “two party system” forces people to the left rather than toward the center? Clearly that is the historical trend over the past 25 years. Only conservatives are expected to compromise and move toward the left. Leftists are NEVER expected to compromise and move toward the right…

      I R A Darth Aggie in reply to windbag. | November 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

      While a purity test is a bit much, if we end up with Oromney (aka, Democrat Lite) we’ll still end up going over the cliff. Just not as fast.

      And that’s a dead albatross to be hung on the Republican Party. Which is a party of Big Government. Just a different sort of Big Government.

For me, it has very little to do with ” who is most conservative”. Its clear we dont have a Reagan 2.0 this cycle. That ship sailed a while ago. What I want is someone who is going to right after Obama. No mincing of words. Just pure, unadulterated fight.

Given his past, it is impossible for Romney to be that person.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Jaydee77. | November 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    “Going after Obama” simply isn’t good enough. We nee someone who will defeat him and then govern in a constitutionally acceptable manner.

    While either Romney or Gingrich have a good shot at beating Obama, frankly, I don’t believe either will govern in a constitutionally acceptable manner. That gets us nowhere.

      DocWahala in reply to WarEagle82. | November 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      Will disagree with “Going after O isn’t good enough”.

      Fully disagree. Can’t find any way to even begin to agree.

      There are two issue: (1) Who can win, (2) who makes the better President after winning.

      Trust me on this one – Point 2 doesn’t amount to hill of beans if Point 1 doesn’t happen.

      And if this was just about two men with two different visions of how to rebuild America, or this election was just about ideology alone…then maybe, just maybe, we would be able to discuss the issues as the issues, and only the issues.

      But we live in a land filled with Sheep – led around by their shepards in MSM.

      We live in a land where the majority can tell you the names of at least 10 actors/actresses, but can’t name 2 SCOTUS Justices… we live in a land of imagary and empty slogans…

      So yes…it’s all about going after the O. Because the O-machine isn’t going to sit idle…it will go after the opposition. November is going to be a political street fight like few have ever seen before.

      Now is not the time to be afraid of looking for a candidate who’s ready to swing back.

      Today’s Fortune Cookie (brought to you by Rocky!)
      “It’s not about how hard you can hit… it’s about how hard you can be hit”

    StephenMonteith in reply to Jaydee77. | November 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    By “given his past”, I assume you mean Obamacare. Romney already has a counterattack on that issue. President Obama tries to bring it up in a debate, Romney jumps back with “If you thought my idea was so good, then why didn’t you call me? I’d’ve told you that it wouldn’t work at the national level.” And he would have. Romney’s on record as far back as 2007 as saying that his Massachusetts reforms would be a bad idea for the whole nation.

    Romney’s been attacking the president since before his campaign even started. You should check out the campaign videos he’s already posted on his website and YouTube. They’re a far sight better than anything Herman Cain’s produced, I’ll tell you. Romney knows how to hammer Obama, and he will do it.

      Again, the question isn’t “hammering Obama.” It is what the candidate will do after they take office. Romney will pull leftward like he always does because he is a liberal Republican. He isn’t going to change. It is the nature of the beast…

Check out Melanie Phillips column, Narcissus v. Lazarus,2012?


The definition of Conservative today seems to be “a person who has agreed with me on every single damn issue that has ever come up.”

Nobody can meet that standard, and in fact Reagan did not.

This is the thing that baffles me about Conservatives: they seem hell-bent on defining themselves as far away from a majority, and hence the need to actually be responsible for governing, as possible.

The truth is, the last Republican candidate for President was a fine man, a war hero of great physical and moral courage, and would have been much better in office than the bullet we didn’t dodge.

The last Republican President may have seemed unimpressive at first (I was still listening to the LSM at the time), but he understood his office, and grew into it. I am grateful my initial judgment of him was overridden.

The current Republican field does not include my favorite, but does include an interesting elder statesman who knows how to think outside the box, a third-term governor of one of the country’s most populous, and definitely the most disciplined and economically successful state, and an inspirational businessman who has a history of turning around troubled companies.

Perfection is not and will not be available. But, damn fine is here.

    DocWahala in reply to Valerie. | November 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Well said – each and every sentence.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Valerie. | November 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    No, not well said at all. Romney is not a conservative and Paterico’s article demonstrates that Newt isn’t either. Take a moment to review Newt’s record and you can come to no other conclusion.

    I am not demanding perfection. But I do demand CONSERVATIVE. It is that simple.

      Estragon in reply to WarEagle82. | November 16, 2011 at 1:53 am

      Funny how people’s attitudes change. Romney was widely regarded as the most conservative candidate in the field in 2008 – at least after Fred dropped out. Now people won’t even concede he is conservative at all, although if anything he has moved to the right in the last four years.

    JEBurke in reply to Valerie. | November 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

    You’re absolutely right. All the same guardians of the conservative true flame spent 2008 blabbering about what a RINO McCain was, how awful it was that he was the liberal media’s favorite Republican, how it hardly mattered if he or Obama or Clinton became president, groaning about how tough it would be for them to vote for him.

    Now they are all hammering Romney — and even Newt! — with the same baloney.

    These folks should be forced to make a list of the major issues of the past three years on which it would have made no difference whether Obama or McCain was President.

    It’s ludicrous.

    Estragon in reply to Valerie. | November 16, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Quite right! I also notice a disturbing trend to denounce any Republican as a “RINO” as soon as they disagree on any issue, including some with lifetime ACU ratings of 90 or more.

    Often the same people brag they deserted McCain last time, or will not vote for Romney or (fill in name here) next year. But if they desert the Party’s democratically chosen nominee on a personal whim, isn’t it in fact THEY who are the true RINOs?

    janitor in reply to Valerie. | November 16, 2011 at 2:30 am

    The insistence on perfection worries me.

    Ronald Reagan, divorced actor, liberal youth, fan of FDR. As governor of California, signed a pro-abortion bill. And a bill for no-fault divorce. Supported gay rights. Consulted astrologers. As president, actually expanded the federal government. Didn’t eliminate the Departments of Education or Energy as promised. Bailed out and expanded social security. Supported the 1986 Tax Reform Act, imposing the largest corporate tax increase in history. Supported the earned income tax credit.

    Could Ronald Reagan get elected today?

Right, because NO ONE has criticized Romney this cycle.

Why is okay to criticize him and not the others?

Newt is still for Medicare D, don’t think he renounced support for cap and tax, definitely still favors ethanol subsidies and “green” tax credits, etc. But the disqualifying thing about Newt – other than a lack of administrative experience – is the absolute certainty he will manage to tick everyone off sooner or later.

Palin’s term from six weeks or so ago seem very prophetic: “Flavor of the Month.” Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich. Get your tuitsy-fruitsy ice cream here!

Not a vote has been cast yet. But people are complaining about the “Establishment” or the “Elitists” in the Party which is “forcing” their will upon us.

Are they paranoid nuts?

I’ve participated in Republican primaries for forty years, and not once has anyone tried to tell me who I had to vote for, no “establishment” figure ever pressured me. Our process is open and democratic – unlike the Democrats who reserve 20% of their delegate seats for party bosses, elected officials, union thugs, and former Politburo members (which segment nominated Obama), virtually all our delegates are chosen by the people in primaries and caucuses.

No back rooms, smoke-filled or otherwise, all out in the open.

It seems to me some people want to label anyone they don’t like as “RINO,” “Elitist,” or “Establishment.”