These are frightening words to type, but … Newt Gingrich and I agree with each other.
Talking to Greta van Susteren last night on Fox, the former speaker noted that Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate in New York’s 23rd congressional district, had been chosen by county party leaders in that district to be the GOP’s nominee in next week’s special election.
Yet Republicans from outside that district are trying to overrule that choice as ideologically unsuitable and impose their own candidate on the district.
Here’s an outtake of the discussion:
Gingrich: Well, I just find it fascinating that my many friends who claim to be against Washington having too much power, they claim to be in favor of the 10th Amendment giving states back their rights, they claim to favor local control and local authority, now they suddenly get local control and local authority in upstate New York, they don’t like the outcome.
There were four Republican meetings. In all four meetings, state Representative Dede Scozzafava came in first. In all four meetings, Mr. Hoffman, the independent, came in either last or certainly not in the top three. He doesn’t live in the district. Dede Scozzafava…
VAN SUSTEREN: He doesn’t live in the district?
GINGRICH: No, he lives outside of the district. Dede Scozzafava is endorsed by the National Rifle Association for her 2nd Amendment position, has signed the no-tax-increase pledge, voted against the Democratic governor’s big-spending budget, is against the cap-and-trade tax increase on energy, is against the Obama health plan, and will vote for John Boehner, rather than Nancy Pelosi, to be speaker.
Now, that’s adequately conservative in an upstate New York district. And on other issues, she’s about where the former Republican, McHugh, was. So I say to my many conservative friends who suddenly decided that whether they’re from Minnesota or Alaska or Texas, they know more than the upstate New York Republicans? I don’t think so. And I don’t think it’s a good precedent. And I think if this third-party candidate takes away just enough votes to elect the Democrat, then we will have strengthened Nancy Pelosi by the divisiveness. We will not have strengthened the conservative movement.
Gingrich goes on to conclude that if “we’re going to purge the party of anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent — that guarantees Obama’s reelection. That guarantees Pelosi is speaker for life. I mean, I think that is a very destructive model for the Republican Party.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Newt Gingrich, the voice of reason in the GOP.
That too is a scary thing to type.