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Lying about Reagan to get Romney elected

Lying about Reagan to get Romney elected

I have been pounding the keyboard all week about the lies and distortions of the Romney campaign and supporters about Newt’s record of support for Ronald Reagan.

These allegations were played out by the Romney campaign and on Drudge, and did serious damage to Newt, both substantively and by forcing Newt to get off message.

I was highly suspicious of several accounts, including that by Elliot Abrams, regarding a speech by Newt in 1986.  That article in National Review gave rise to this notorious Drudge headline:

I noted in my prior post that Abrams never provided the entire speech or a link to the speech, which made me even more suspicious.

I was in class most of this morning, and came back to hear Rush reading this post by Jeffrey Lord, Elliott Abrams Caught Misleading on Newt:

In fact, I’m sorry to say, what appears to be going on here is that Elliott Abrams, a considerably admirable public servant and a very smart guy, has been swept up in the GOP Establishment’s Romney frothings over the rise of Newt Gingrich in the Republican primaries. He is even being accused of trolling for a job in a Romney administration. No way!!!! Really????

What else can possibly explain a piece like the one Abrams penned on a day when Gingrich was being of a mysterious sudden targeted in one hit piece after another for his ties to Reagan? The pieces invariably following the Romney line that Newt had some version of nothing to do with Reagan.

A piece like the one Abrams wrote depends for its success in garnering headlines — which it did — by assuming no one will bother to get into the weeds and do the homework. Usually a safe assumption when dealing with the mainstream media, particularly a mainstream media that, as one with Establishment Republicans, hates Newt Gingrich.

Not so fast.

Due to the diligence of one Chris Scheve of a group called Aqua Terra Strategies in Washington, Mr. Abrams has been caught red-handed in lending himself to this attempted Romney hit job….

The main point is that the Newt Gingrich who spoke on the floor of the House on March 21, 1986, was thoroughly pro-Reagan, honestly engaging in a serious intellectual effort to assess the strengths and weaknesses of American foreign policy in the day from a hierarchy of vision, strategy, operations or projects and then last but not least, tactics.

In grossly misrepresenting this speech as some sort of anti-Reagan jihad, Elliott Abrams has ironically only called attention to Governor Romney’s lack of strengths and experience in this area.

I’m not done with this, I’m just tight for time right now.

I have warned you about the way Romney was running his campaign, and now that one of his operatives has been caught lying about Reagan and the heroes of the Reagan revolution in order to elect someone who was anti-Reagan and anti-conservative when we needed support most, I’m not letting it go.


Prior posts:


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i think abrams is married to a podhertz

Prof- you have my entire support. Please keep fighting, and I will do everything I can to keep directing people to this blog.

Anything else I can do?

Rush Limbaugh, calling out a lying, dishonest attack on Newt? A first!

Pigs are taking wing and ice is forming in a certain Very Hot Place.

Up until now, Rush has never debunked any Romney lies.

Perhaps El Rushbo has belatedly sensed his professional peril. Too late, maybe. Too late certainly for this former dittohead.

    DINORightMarie in reply to CalMark. | January 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    If you go back and listen, Rush didn’t “debunk” anything. He re-hashed and read the whole mess on air (listen here), but did it in such a way that he is just “talking” about what others said.

    He made a few misstatements, to say the least. Too many to list, IMHO. He even couched his walk-back today.

    I am beginning to wonder if Rush is in on this Newt hit job, but not willing to commit directly because it would kill his reputation.


      That’s a bit too conspiratorial for me. I believe that Rush is doing his best to be fair and objective, calling it like he sees it. He is trying not to use his considerable heft to influence the election, and allow people to reach their own conclusions. Have you thought about how much discipline it takes to do that? I admire him for it. Everywhere I go, people have a different opinion about who Rush is “really supporting,” generally based on some perceived slight against their own chosen candidate. Some people think he is “in the tank” for Romney. I don’t believe that. I think he is trying to avoid giving the media sound bytes to use against the future nominee, whoever that person is.

I said this yesterday: propaganda.
Unfortunately, the regular folks will never hear about this, and the well has been poisoned.

And the conservative blogs that covered this hit piece by Abrams will probably never post a retraction.

Eliot Abrams just pissed away an otherwise elegant legacy of service.

    It’s remarkable, isn’t it, how they almost trip over themselves to do it. The emoluments of the Establishment are many, and moral courage scarce.

Professor Jacobson, I don’t know if you did it purposely but my knowledge of Mr. Elliott Abrams tells me that you probably did the greatest disservice to him that he might ever admit.

that by Elliot Abrams, regarding

You spelled his name wrong. He really, really hates it when you spell his name wrong.

Henry Hawkins | January 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

OT/Or variation on a theme: Paul lies to get Paul elected? Check out this link – a former Paul staffer says, on the record, that Ron Paul DID monitor his racist newsletter and signed off on them:

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.


Anyone needing a chuckle might check this out:

I’ve been listening to Rush, too, and I have to say the biggest shock to me is that Elliot Abrams has a sterling reputation amongst conservatives. That’s shocking to me. But then again, I’m a former liberal Reagan hater who watched the Iran Contra hearings with nothing but contempt for the whole lot of them. I still think Oliver North should be in a federal prison.

The notion that anyone, even my conservative hero Rush, would have respect for Elliot Abrams is just a shock. I think his picture should be in the dictionary next to the definition of weasel.

I’ll continue to post these items via twitter and facebook about the school bullies versus Newt. From time to time I will tackle some aspect of it at my own blog. I just wish that Rino Romney’s allies could see the hurt they’re to conservatives, Republicans and the nation in what they’re doing.

This story is really pissing me off to no end. If Newt is as bad as they say, why are they making all this crap up? Wouldn’t they have enough that is true to bring up?

The establishment is trying to ram Willard down our throats because they see him as their gravy train to government appointments (the reason for the former gov’t folks) and better access generally to the white house (for the reporters). They dont really care what he believes in just as long as he gives them what he wants.

This corruption, and it is corruption, is why government has continued to grow unabated for as long as it has and why we had a 52 year gap between good GOP Presidents (Calvin Coolidge to Ronald Reagan). I don’t really feel like waiting another 28 years.

[…] From Legal Insurrection: Lying about Reagan to get Romney elected […]

My mind goes back to the scene in “Annie Hall” where Woody Allen is in line and listening to a professor spout off about Marshall McLuhan. Woody Allen argues with him and then says, “Oh really. I just happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here”, and then Marshall McLuhan steps out from behind a bush and tells off the loudmouth professor. Woody Allen smiles and says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if life were like this?”

Well, wouldn’t it be nice if Nancy Reagan could make a statement, not endorsing Newt, but stating categorically than she and her husband knew they had a steadfast ally and supporter in Newt Gingrich.

Good, that’s great – anyone alive during the 80’s and 90’s would, and did question, the kind of “history” some were trying to re-write on Newt. It should be cleared up and the Romney camp is really good at trying to undermine the other candidates. BTW – I have yet to see Lord’s piece linked to by Drudge but hopefully it will be soon.

BUT – what about the STUPID POPULIST PAP Newt has continued to spew about Romney’s wealth??!! ANYONE? HELLO? ANYONE? PROFESSOR? HELLO?

I do like Newt. He’s second for me after Santorum but, as a conservative, I’m really getting fed up with his stupid populism against Romney. Romney has too many good targets to shoot at instead of wasting ammo on the wealth stuff. Can we agree on that?


    I haven’t actually seen any of the stupid populist pap you mention. I’ve seen those accusations, but I haven’t seen Newt say it. I know Newt said he thought everyone should be paying Mitt’s tax rate of around 15%, not that Mitt should pay more.

    What I have seen are concerns about electability that relate to a guy who says $350,000 in speaking fees isn’t very much. I’ve also seen concerns about how some of the LBO’s that Bain Capital was involved in might be made to look in the media in the general election.

It shows intellectual laziness to form an opinion without fact checking. Secondly, who cares if Gingrich did criticize Reagan anyway?! Some may find it hard to believe but Ronald Reagan was not God almighty. Just because both were on the same side does not mean they would agree w each other on everything.

check this out: Newt Beats Mitt on Energy

Just give in. It will be painless and over before you know it. Support Romney. In the end, you’ll have to.

Drudge has jumped the shark, to use a threadbare expression

I checked it daily for TEN YEARS now… but no more

Shame on you, Matt Drudge

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Reaganite Republican. | January 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    yeah, I used to check several times a day for years … deleted the link a couple days ago.

    Looking at his headlines during Fukushima, one would have believed a world wide meltdown was occurring. He sensationalized hyperbole … but this Reagan stuff is just dishonest. I hope he impressed Coulter and company.

    Did the same. Just saw a link on twitter to a Drudge Reader poll that has Gingrich last after Romney, Santorum & Paul. D’oh, are they that stoopid? Don’t they even realize the Gingrich fans have gone bye-bye? I bet their number are off!

    In ten years, Drudge has gone from essential, to necessary, to barely relevant. The internet has changed; who really needs an aggregator anymore?

    Mark Steyn, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Drudge, Krauthammer, NRO – I had to ask myself: do I really care what these people think anymore? Nope.

    As the internet matures, we have more choices. So, for example, National Review Online, which essentially died when KLO fell in love with Romney several years ago, is no longer essential,. No hard feelings, thanks for the good times, but it’s time to see other people.

Did anyone notice at last night’s debate, that Newt wouldn’t look Romney in the eyes when he’d address him? Maybe I’m reading too much into this but it seems like, after the venomous garbage that was spewed out by Romney and his team, Newt detests Romney so much he can’t even look at him. That’s pretty much how I feel about Romney after yesterday’s pile-on against Newt: I can’t watch him on TV or listen without cringing and turning the channel.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to MadCon. | January 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    yeah … not for long eye contact at least.

    Newt needs to just say Freddie Mac may have tried to buy influence with that money, but they didn’t get it. He advised against what they did, and told government to not give them a bailout. And he did this as a private citizen, and was not a lobbyist, a lie Romney repeated 100 times.

    Mitt made a lot of money, which he once again bragged was money he earned, he didn’t inherit anything. But having a Dad that was a CEO and governor, and Mitt’s penchant for dishonesty, I have to wonder if there wasn’t some influence peddling along the way.

    And maybe some blind trust wealth transfers that Mitt somehow “earned” from Daddy. I mean, a guy that can claim he created ALL 89,000 jobs at Staples after Bain invested just a 10% share can surely tell some whoppers.

    Samuel Keck in reply to MadCon. | January 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I too noticed that Mr. Gingrich seemed loath to look directly at Mr. Romney and I can relate to that.

    Whenever Gingrich (or another candidate, for that matter) is speaking, Romney always turns to the oblique in their direction to stare and then pastes the most hideous smirk on his face.

    Frankly, when he does that, Romney just flat creeps me out.

Ahhh, Ok. Here is the lastest pap I’m referring to:

From an answer Newt gave on Univision-

“You have to live to in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million a year income for no work to have a fantasy this far from reality…”

again – Help.

holmes tuttle | January 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Is anyone really surprised that Abrams, who was caught lying to Congress during Iran-Contra is lying again?

That Abrams, who was pardoned for said offenses by Bush41 is now doing a hit piece on behalf of Bush41’s and the establishment’s chosen one?

Professor, I was under the impression that as a lawyer, you operated under facts, not suppositions. Obviously, when it comes to Newt Gingrich, you throw that standard out the window.

Jeffrey Lord writes a hit piece against Abrams, claiming “Abrams has been caught red-handed in lending himself to this attempted Romney hit job.” Yet, Lord offers no proof that Abrams is working for Romney, just idle slander thrown at Abrams to discredit Abrams.

And then we learn that Lord just happened to be supplied the 1981 speech by Gingrich by a former foreign policy aide to Gingrich. Someone who took the time to go to the George Mason University Library and (to quote Lord) “track down” a 22 year old Congressional record. And the man who did that, Chris Scheve, was sooooooooo insensed by Abram’s article, that he provided “ALL seven, fine print pages worth of it exactly as it appeared in its original form” to Lord.

OK, so Scheve has a copy of the speech and he provided a copy to Lord. Now Lord, to prove to the world what a louse Abrams is, quotes from said speech. Does Lord explain why Scheve decided to contact him and not Abrams to dispute Abrams article? Nope. And does Lord, who we can assume is a saavy guy, put “all seven, fine print pages” on so that American voters can actually read what is public information, the ’81 speech by Gingrich? Nope.

What Lord does is provide you with enough red meat from the speech to evoke the desired outrage by Newt supporters.

I have visions of you going into court and telling a judge you have proof of wrong doing by the person you are trying to prosecute, in the form of a written document, but when the judge says “Let’s see it” you say “Sorry, Judge, but I will be happy to read excerps from it if you like.”

Scheve, a K-Street lobbyist, has a copy of the speech. Lord has a copy of the speech. And we are to believe that neither one of them know how to use Scribd? Please, what the American voter deserves is the speech in its entirety, put up on or some other venue, and let the voters decide what they think is important in that speech, not some guy (Jeffrey Lord) who seems hell bent on destroying someone else in his efforts to pander for Newt.

Is Abrams right? Who knows. Is Lord right? Who knows. But the American voter deserves better than what they are getting in this primary season, and you should not be supporting jounalistic hacks, from either camp, that are not willing to present ALL the information, like ALL seven, find print pages of the speech.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to retire05. | January 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    This just in:

    Ft. Worth (AP) – Texas Governor Rick Perry remains out of the race for the GOP nomination. One supporter continues to lash out at people who declined to support Perry when he was in.

      retire05 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Hawkins, your snide remarks do not add to your I.Q.

      Look, you can beat up on me all you want, but I don’t have a gladiator in the ring right now. I have been reduced to observer, watching as sides are picked and the two top gladiators go afer each other. Basically, I am watching the GOP destroy itself.

      All this blood letting is causing the sand to shift. And it doesn’t matter who wins, there is going to be so many hard feelings by the general election rolls around, that one side or the other is going to sit this one out. Maybe that’s what you want. But it is not what I want. I want Obama out. Pure and simple. And that takes voters who are not so pi$$ed off they sit the election out.

      I am sick and tired of claims like Lords to have “all seven fine print pages” but he doesn’t think they are worth giving to his reading audience. If they are so supportive of Newt, release them. Use Scribd or some other venue to get them on the internet. It’s called transparency, Hawkins. Something we have long done without.

      Did any of you bother to investigate this wonderful man who took the time away from his busy K Street lobbying firm to provide Lord with the speech? Seems he is a “greenweenie”, and a cheap one at that according to And seems he was able to parlay his Gingrich foreign aide staffer position into owning his own lobbying firm. You want to tell me he doesn’t have a vested interest in getting Gingrich elected? Hells bells, man, he would have an inside door right to the Oval Office.

      I know you support Newt. So what? Take a step back and at least demand transparency from those who are making claims about others. If Abrams has an axe to grind, let him be open about it. If Lord, in his desire to see Newt Gingrich elected POTUS, let him be at least honest about it an not try to smear someone else (Abrams) with unsubstantiated claims of Abrams being part of the Romney hit team.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to retire05. | January 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        You’ve been so ugly to so many who did not deserve it, attacking good conservatives for no greater crime than holding opinions that differ from yours, that you’ve rendered yourself irrelevant. Claiming to be personally close to Rick Perry, a standard internet ploy, made you look like an idiot, or perhaps merely revealed it. Basically, you are past your expiration date, good only for a laugh. And just like Perry’s campaign faceplant, you have absolutely no one to blame but yourself. By all means, keep flailing away in posts people skip over because they are so predictable. It might be therapeutic for you.

          retire05 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

          Whoa, there hoss! I never said I was “personally close” to Rick Perry. In my neck of the woods, being “personally close” means that you visit each others homes, are part of the circle you call when you want to share happiness, and sadness, get invited to their kid’s high school/college graduations and weddings, someone you would call when your car breaks down and can basically say they are a friend.

          Now, perhaps in your world (considering your abrasive personality), you consider someone “personally close” if they bother to give you a mere “Hello.” But not where I come from.

          I am not sure that people skip over my posts, but I am sure that someone as shallow as you are would be more than happy to survey them. Then you can thump your chest, give out a Tarzan yell and proclaim to the world what a great guy you are. And if that is what it takes to make you feel good about yourself, please, have at it. I would hate to think that your self esteem suffered on my account.

    holmes tuttle in reply to retire05. | January 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    first of all the speech was from 1986, not 1981

    second of all, Lord obviously couldn’t include all 7 pages in a somehwat shorter artcile that people would read. few are going to read all 7 pages.

    that said, i agree that the entire speech should be posted. I’m guessing if it is it will be clear that while he may have been critical of certain policy choices being made at that moment(as many other leading conservatives were at the time as the article points out), Newt was in no way attacking Reagan or criticizing his principles or anything personal like that.

    I agree, post the entire 7 page speech, now that he has it.

      retire05 in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      You’re correct, 3/21/86 to be exact. Thanks for pointing that out.

      But the bottom line remains; make available the entire speech. I am tired of the taking heads thinking that the American voter is just too damn stupid to make their own decisions on who they want to vote for.

        holmes tuttle in reply to retire05. | January 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        Now, let me ask you, if the entire 7 pages is released, who do you think it will lean more towards? Abrams’ version or Lord’s version?

        Lord has already proven in that brief excerpt that Abrams was completely misleading and took that inadequate and will fail line totally out of context. Proven it beyond doubt.

        I can only imagine what the rest of the speech would show.

        March 86 was post the 85 Geneva summit and pre the 86 Reykavic summit when there were many conservative concerns. Reagan turned things around in Iceland in October of 86, but before that there was much criticism. Not of him, but of where the policy was going.

        Just like if a conservative was criticizing Iraq policy in the spring or summer of 2006 ebfore the surge it didn’t mean they were personally attacking Bush, but that they had real concerns about the policy. Concerns Bush took to heart and did something about.

          retire05 in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

          holmes tuttle, you are missing the point. It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong. What matters is that the information be given to the American voter and let them decided and form their own opinion.

          That’s whats wrong with everyone. They want to body slam those they don’t agree with and the only loser winds up being the voters.

          Put the speech out in the public venue and let voters, not policial hacks, decide what is pertinent.

No, I don’t have to support Romney. Gary Johnson is starting to look pretty good to this pissed off conservative. Wouldn’t be the first time I’d voted libertarian, and if this is the new Republican Party it won’t be the last.

Downstream ticket looks like the only way to go now. I’m NOT voting for Romney.

[…] Legal Insurrection, according to Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator, that Elliot Abrams piece in National Review, […]

Give this response/explanation a read. And the comments as well.

Elliott Abrams’ claims are backed up by hard evidence.

Jeffrey Lord’s Distortion

It appears Abrams’ hard evidence has disappeared along with Lowry’s article-check it out!

People can parse Abrams’ or Lord’s words, rummage through old videos, complain about editing, etc., but this whole thing is very simple:

For months, Newt said regularly and routinely in hundreds of stump speeches, in the debates, in media interviews as a basic component of his case for himself variations on this, “I worked with Ronald Reagan, creating millions of jobs and winning the cold war.”

Newt tried time after time to claim sweeping credit for a major role in the Reagan years, almost as if he had been Reagan’s VP, a cabinet member or Speaker in 1985, not 1995. This kind of grandiose view of himself is typical of Newt — and ultimately destructive of his own campaign.

Because it is not true that he was a major player. He was one of hundreds of Republican members of Congress during those years. He held no leadership positiin until March 1989. He was a Reagan supporter, most of the time, sure. He was arguably more active and forceful than many others. But his constant effort to make himself more of a big deal is simply not true.

That is what makes his public criticism of Reagan from the House floor revealing. You won’t find the real major players on record publicly knocking Reagan. But a backbencher out to make his rep, yes.

Newt brought this on himself — as is the case with so many of the difficulties in his long career. If he had not exaggerated in so obvious a way, if he had just taken credit for what he was — a young Congressman putting his shoulder to the wheel — there would be no issue.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JEBurke. | January 28, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Oh, good grief. I guess it was a ghost that Nancy saw Ronnie pass the torch to.

    Abrams got caught lying. Man up and deal with it. Turn the other cheek or whatever the hell you need to do, but just QUIT LYING. I’ve got a spaghetti colander that holds water better than your analysis does.

      Good grief, yourself.

      Let us know what exactly I wrote in my comment is a “lie?”

      As for the Nancy Reagan 1995 event, Newt was Speaker of the House in 1995, the only Republican in a position of national power, so of course, he was carrying the torch and Mrs. Reagan was spot on.

      All that does is underscore my point: Newt could always legitimately take the credit (or blame) for whatever happened under his House leadership.

      But he tried for months to conflate 1995 with 1985 and create the impression that he was a major player in the Reagan years. He wasn’t, period. By trying to aggrandize himself, he opened the door to detailed scrutiny of what he did or didn’t do or say in the 80s.

      Like I said, it is typical of Newt’s grandiosity, but he has to live with the consequences.

[…] interests in both parties. Despite a series of attacks from Romney surrogates that have been disproved, Gingrich was a stalwart defender and loyal lieutenant of President Ronald […]