In a tough call, Newt Gingrich gets my vote

Let’s be clear about this from the start: On Tuesday, I’ll vote for Newt Gingrich to be the GOP’s presidential nominee.

Now for the explanation.

In recent days, I mentally drafted one piece endorsing him, one backing Mitt Romney, and a third picking Rick Santorum. (Sorry, Ron Paul fans.) In other words, like millions of other Americans, I’ve had a hard time reaching a decision. Then I realized part of my problem was my approach.

As the primary dragged on, I began to buy the idea of picking the least flawed man in the race. Or, put another way, avoiding the most flawed one. But that thinking is bunk, because no candidate is perfect — and the most flawed one in the race is the incumbent.

Of the five men still running, only Barack Obama has a record as president. Americans who are not Democrats rate this record, by healthy margins in various opinion polls, on a scale ranging from dissatisfaction to hostility.

Even if Obama were more popular, or even if his support were to solidify before November, running the “safe” candidate is not actually safe. Recall the track record of such candidates: John McCain, John Kerry, Bob Dole — and that’s just during my 16 years as a voter.

In any case, none of the remaining Republicans will make it through November without being branded by sound bites that are taken out of context, derived from misleading questions or over-hyped.

There is, however, a difference between fearing a narrative and recognizing a candidate’s inability to write his own story. Which brings me first to Romney.

His executive experience is a big plus. Since 1912, 17 presidents have run for another term. Governors (or former ones) have beaten them five times and lost five times; other challengers are 0-7. It seems Americans like executive experience, and Romney is the only GOP contender who has it.

Yet, time and again, I’ve been disappointed by Romney’s answers to attacks on his wealth and his business experience. These answers not only let the left define him. Given that his time in business is the asset he touts most, they reflect a lack of clarity about where he’d lead the nation. He’s risen by bringing down opponents, chiefly by outspending them. He won’t outspend Obama the same way.

Worst, his health care reform in Massachusetts is the biggest liability of any GOP candidate. It makes Obama’s record look less bad. That matters.

Gingrich has a record of changing Washington. Completely? No. But then, completely changing Washington is a big job. And Gingrich led Congress to each success to which Santorum can also lay a claim: balanced budgets and welfare reform, to name two. Just as important, unlike Santorum, he was not there for the excesses of the GOP-run Congress during the 2000s.

Gingrich also matches Santorum’s ability to convey his beliefs — conservative beliefs — unapologetically. But his way is more happy warrior than disappointed dad. That matters.

Of the remaining candidates, he has the best tax plans and is the most specific about addressing runaway regulation and bureaucracy and developing our energy resources. Is $2.50-a-gallon gas realistic? Maybe not. But it is aspirational in a way that demonstrates his commitment to the issue. Again, that matters.

Is he flawed? Yes, as are his rivals. But the most flawed candidate is the one now taking the country in the wrong direction, Obama. And the candidate who is clearest and most effective at offering a different direction is Newt Gingrich. He gets my vote.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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607 comments Add your comment

DannyX

March 2nd, 2012
6:11 pm

“Americans who are not Democrats rate this record, by healthy margins in various opinion polls, on a scale ranging from dissatisfaction to hostility.”

Despite that the same polls show Obama crushing Newt Gingrich head to head.

Real Clear Politics average has Obama +12.4 over Gingrich.

Obama would win that match-up in a landslide. Of course we will never find out for sure, will we Kyle?

@@

March 2nd, 2012
6:12 pm

carlosgvv

March 2nd, 2012
6:15 pm

Well, let’s see. Of course you would never vote for that Black African Muslim Socialist anti-American Obama. And, you won’t vote for flip-flop Romney or that crazed Rick Santorum. But, you will vote for that serial womanizer opportunist Gingrich. Isn’t it great to have a choice?????

@@

March 2nd, 2012
6:19 pm

The pollsters had Carter beating Reagan too. Just weeks before the election, they said it was too close to call. Reagan took it in a landslide.

saywhat?

March 2nd, 2012
6:29 pm

Gingrich changed Washington from a place where liberals and conservatives collaborated across party lines for the good of the nation to place where conservatives collaborate with extremists to place party above country. What he would do to change Washington as president I shudder to think.Luckily we will never have to find out.

I soooooooooooo hope Gingrich wins the nomination though.Or Santorum. I will enjoy watching either of them take the humiliating shellacking they would inevitably receive.

A Romney nomination would be entertaining as well, if only because it would give more Republicans the false hope that they will actually win in November, only to see their heads explode when President Obama is reelected. It will be good times no matter who wins the nomination.

Orange12

March 2nd, 2012
6:50 pm

Mitt Romney. HE’S THE MAN! A vote for Newt is a wasted vote, he has no chance. At this point in the primary Newt is nothing but a speed-bump.

Not Blind

March 2nd, 2012
7:11 pm

Gingrinch is this era’s Nixon. Let’s not make that mistake again. If he was worth the air he breaths he would still be in Washington. The voters rejected him once and they will do it again to the betterment of the country.

crankee_yankee

March 2nd, 2012
7:34 pm

“Gingrich changed Washington from a place where liberals and conservatives collaborated across party lines for the good of the nation to place where conservatives collaborate with extremists to place party above country. What he would do to change Washington as president I shudder to think.”

“Gingrinch is this era’s Nixon. Let’s not make that mistake again. If he was worth the air he breaths he would still be in Washington.”

Well said, both of you.
My inaugural vote was against Tricky Dick (how do you get to be president with a moniker like that?). As a card-carrying Republican, I have voted for whom I thought was the best person for the job in each election since, Reagan, HW, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama. I find the current GOP crop of candidates not worth my vote. I am not above doing mischief in the primaries though ;-)

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

March 2nd, 2012
7:36 pm

“flip-flop”

A term used by ignorant people who believe that positions should never change in a politician’s lifetime, even in the face of new evidence.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

March 2nd, 2012
7:38 pm

Even though your logic is flawed, Kyle, at least you thought about your vote.

Can’t say the same thing for some others on this blog.

Rafe Hollister

March 2nd, 2012
7:41 pm

Kyle, I love you man, but you are wrong. Gingrich biggest flaw is one that hasn’t been talked about, that is, he loves to feel the love. He basks in the glow. It seems at times he will say and do just about anything to get on TV. He hobnobbed with Clinton, he sat with Nancy, he pronounced the Ryan plan as right wing social engineering, he curried favor with Hillary, on and on. He breaks into a run to get on one of the Sunday shows and curry favor with the MSM.

Yes, the rest have flaws, but polls show Romney with the best chance to beat Oblamer. He has flipped and flopped, flopped and flipped but no more than Newt. We need to end this foolishness and get behind Romney and get focused on the inept regime. We all know he is going to win anyway. I am not convinced Newt will win Georgia. My opinion is obviously no better than yours, but we will soon see what happens.

Elena

March 2nd, 2012
7:46 pm

I totally agree and Newt has my vote. When I look at Romney I see a man with money who is destroying his opponents not on their records but on false accusations and that is dishonest and I cannot support a candidate who is dishonest before he even got in a White House. Santorum is too extrime for me on his believes and let’s just be honest not that great of a debater. The reason I even got involved in this GOP race because I saw Newt Gingrich on a debate and he wowed me. I knew that he is the guy for me; a strong man who believes in this country and not afraid to say what needs to be said about economy or foreign policy. Man with a vision and determination; a fighter is what I see in Newt Gingrich, and he has my vote!.

Just saying..

March 2nd, 2012
8:02 pm

Kyle-
Understand your thought process, but I’m giving you a pass here. By my rough math, you were maybe 21/22 when Newt was run out of his leadership position by the Republican Party. I was in the 6th district when he first ran in 1974, and have followed his career closely. This era of hyper partisanship is Newt’s chief legacy. Thankfully, I greatly doubt you’ll get to the understanding I have of Newt, because this is his swan song. Can’t imagine that he’ll ever hold elective office again. But for sure, the group who wants more than you to see Newt as the Republican nominee is the Democrat Party.

David Green

March 2nd, 2012
8:13 pm

Kyle – The character of a nation and the voters is reflected in the leaders they vote for and sad to say your choice of the Newt proves the lack of moral fiber in your own character and the total lack of morality of the average conservative voter.

Progressive Humanist

March 2nd, 2012
8:16 pm

Gingrich a happy warrior and aspirational? The guy who says every issue that comes up is an existential threat to the nation? Who warns that the country is in the ultimate state of decay and is inevitably collapsing? Yes, that’s certainly happy and aspirational. I think Kyle needs to work on his vocabulary.

I support Kyle’s decision to vote for Gingrich. The longer this mess goes on the weaker the candidates become, all of them. None of them can beat Obama in November unless unemployment goes back up to 11%, which is not going to happen. But it would be just like the Republicans to root for the country to suffer in order to advance their political agenda. Doesn’t matter. They’ll lose badly in November no matter who the nominee is.

getalife

March 2nd, 2012
8:17 pm

The newt?

Well, he needs to win Ga. or he is out.

Save the newt.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
8:26 pm

Some Americans will vote for Romney, some Americans will vote for Gingrich, some Americans will vote for Santorum, and some Americans will vote for another GOP candidate.

In November though, all Americans who vote will vote for Obozo’s opponent. If America is to survive, let’s hope Americans outnumber Democrats.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
8:35 pm

To say that you are voting for Newt and he is flawed is Floccinaucinihilipilification.

SAVE YOUR VOTE.

Just saying..

March 2nd, 2012
8:38 pm

Downward @ 8:26: “…all Americans who vote will vote for Obozo’s opponent.”

GOP = God’s Only Patriots. Got it.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
8:40 pm

Rush Limbaugh HAS JUST SEALED OBAMA’S RE-ELECT.

Everyone is seeing the DISINTEGRATION of the Republican party.

Their HATRED for a black president has DRiVEN THEM INSANE.

I say lock them all AWAY and THROW AWAY THE KEY. :)

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

March 2nd, 2012
8:42 pm

I hope Newt gets it.

Obama will beat him like a red-headed stepchild.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
8:45 pm

David Green

March 2nd, 2012
8:13 pm
Kyle – The character of a nation and the voters is reflected in the leaders they vote for and sad to say your choice of the Newt proves the lack of moral fiber in your own character and the total lack of morality of the average conservative voter.

********************************************************

Some Republicans do not have any morals.

They are obsessed with SEX and BESTIALITY.

Obama has TAKEN THE HIGH ROAD.

Republicans ARE WALLOWING IN THE GUTTER.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

March 2nd, 2012
8:47 pm

Good point, Mr. Green at 8:13. Gingrich is garbage.

MiltonMan

March 2nd, 2012
8:50 pm

Obozo taken the high road???

The clown apologizes for American getting killed. This pres is pure garbage,.

@@

March 2nd, 2012
8:52 pm

Off topic.

I see where Ms. Fluke is making an appearance on all the networks. For a third year law student, she’s not bright enough to know when she’s being used in more ways than one.

I thought Limbaugh offered an excellent solution. Let the guys buy her birth control pills. Gotta pay to play.

schnirt

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
8:53 pm

Correction: Obozo apologizes and that emboldens the Afghan extremists to kill our soldiers.

Obozo’s incompetence kills.

Bernie

March 2nd, 2012
8:54 pm

Kyle, why is that decision does not come as a surprise to no one….come November the Women of America will have their say and who supported their concerns. You will not be remembered as one of them.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:00 pm

The women of America aren’t as stupid and gullible as you Democrats think.

Captain America

March 2nd, 2012
9:00 pm

Reagan critic, ethics violator, political outcast, serial divorcee, womanizer, child labor advocate, moon colony visionary, Super PAC dependent, on and on and on…And this is your idea of moving the country in the right direction? I will support four more years for the husband of one wife, great depression supressor, middle class champion with the foreign policy midas touch. That being said, I may join Mr. Right Wingfield on Super Tuesday to bolster my candidates odds.

Dusty

March 2nd, 2012
9:01 pm

Good choice, Kyle.

I think Gingrich will make a strong president and we need one.

MrLiberty

March 2nd, 2012
9:01 pm

From your first commentary I said you were a joke of a conservative and now you have confirmed everything I have said all along. You are just another example of a big government, anti-freedom supporter trying to pass himself off as a conservative. It is little wonder that you got the position giving so-called conservative commentary at the AJC. This paper couldn’t handle true conservative values like small government, responsible foreign policy, sound money, sticking to the constitution, support for family values, support for individual liberty, constitutional power of the states, etc. Instead they get someone who supports a liberal, big government 3 time adulterer who wants to go kill millions of innocent Iranians, doesn’t really care about sound money (but talks a good game), and clearly doesn’t care about individual liberty despite talking a good game of how god gave us our rights and how government should be protecting them, not taking them away. How’s your support for the failed war on drugs going Newt.

You should be ashamed of yourself Kyle. But of course you aren’t. You justify supporting a big government liberal like Newt because deep down you love the big government programs that push all your buttons. You are just like every other false conservative in this state.

Its truly ironic that a conservative icon like Barry Goldwater in 1964 was criticized because everyone was afraid that he would start a nuclear war. Now a rock solid conservative, whose consistent 12 term record in congress is without reproach and without equal, is criticized because everyone is afraid that he WONT start a nuclear war. How times have changed in the conservative movement. What a tragedy the GOP has become.

MrLiberty

March 2nd, 2012
9:07 pm

The only different direction offered by Newt is the republican direction off the cliff of financial disaster. There is only one candidate whose budget plan will actually cut spending and reduce the size of government. There was once a time when conservatives actually believed in those things. The fact that you have dismissed Ron Paul out of hand is just another reason why the GOP is dwindling in size, offending the young voters, and losing groud and principles. Dr. Paul is clearly the only candidate offering a sound alternative, and polls against Obama consistently show him and Romney as the only two candidates that come out on top. This race is really about two candidates. Ron Paul, and everyone but Ron Paul. All three are just Obama lites and there is not a single one that Ron Paul supporters will vote for. What would be the point. Nothing will change with any of them (except maybe the police state will get a whole lot worse).

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:09 pm

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:00 pm
The women of America aren’t as stupid and gullible as you Democrats think.

*************************************************************************

NO women ARE NOT.

Because WOMEN especially WHITE

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

March 2nd, 2012
9:11 pm

Now, now @@, just because your mother was a sportin’ gal doesn’t mean Ms. Fluke wants to be one.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:13 pm

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:00 pm
The women of America aren’t as stupid and gullible as you Democrats think.

*************************************************************************

NO women ARE NOT.

Because WOMEN especially WHITE women along with black, asian, and hispanic ARE going to VOTE democrat and re-elect Obama because ANGRY FRUSTRATED white men have gone TO FAR.

This is NOT the middle ages it is the 2lst century and Republicans have made women MAD and they are NOT GOING TO TAKE IT.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:17 pm

@@@

March 2nd, 2012
8:52 pm
Off topic.

I see where Ms. Fluke is making an appearance on all the networks. For a third year law student, she’s not bright enough to know when she’s being used in more ways than one.

I thought Limbaugh offered an excellent solution. Let the guys buy her birth control pills. Gotta pay to play.
************************************************************************

Sounds like you have PAID to PLAY.

Can’t get none unless you pay?

heeheeheeheeheeheehee

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:20 pm

@GodHatesTrash, Superstar

March 2nd, 2012
9:11 pm
Now, now @@, just because your mother was a sportin’ gal doesn’t mean Ms. Fluke wants to be one.
**************************************************

His mother was a sportin’ gal .

A sportin’ gal .

That’s funnnnnny.

I NEEDED A GOOD LAUGH.

Thank you

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:23 pm

American women aren’t impressed by a thirty-year-old woman at Georgetown law school whining about how people who work for a living should be required to pay for her minor contraceptive expenses. American women take responsibility for themselves. Democrat women, not so much.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

March 2nd, 2012
9:25 pm

@@’s hero is the man-pig Rush, the lard-o sex-tourist from Cape Girardeau who got caught smuggling little blue oills back from the DR.

AC58

March 2nd, 2012
9:29 pm

Newt Gingrich is the only conservative who can hold Obama accountable to his disastrous record.

Romney has RomneyCare, how do you think the GOP looks with Romneycare up against Obamacare? It’s a victory for Obama because all of a sudden… the republican nominee had done the same thing in MA.

Is Gingrich perfect… NO. But I won’t let what others say about his past influence my decision in choosing who best to lead the country.

justin

March 2nd, 2012
9:32 pm

you people who are discussing this that dont like newt, you just dont know anything about him. you only take parts of what his critics say and base your thoughts of those tidbits. look at the picture. newt will do what he says. also, you people who vote for the person that “experts” say has a better chance to beat obama are allowing yourselves to be told who to vote for. you should vote for the person that you like and would represent your views the most. dont let someone or others tell you who to vote for. you people need to grow a set and make your own decision. for one its anonymous anyway , what are you cowards so afraid of ?

Conoco Phillip

March 2nd, 2012
9:34 pm

Didn’t a different Gingrich enter the race or is this the same Newt Gingrich that the House of Representatives officially reprimanded (395 in favor, 28 opposed) for ethics violations? Is this the same Gingrich who was fined $300,000? Newt Gingrich who became the first Speaker was disciplined for an ethics violation? The Newt Gingrich who said, “I brought down on the people’s house a controversy which could weaken the faith people have in their government.”

I forgot, it’s Georgia – the state where (instead of jail), criminal politicians get elected to higher offices

@@

March 2nd, 2012
9:35 pm

GHT:

Now, now @@, just because your mother was a sportin’ gal doesn’t mean Ms. Fluke wants to be one

Beats the alternative. Capitalist vs “free market”.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:38 pm

If you’re going to fluke, do it on your own dime please. How often do you have to fluke to run up a $1000-a-year condom bill?

RaceToTheBottom

March 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Newt is not smart. He is just a smart*ss. Big difference.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:44 pm

@AC58

March 2nd, 2012
9:29 pm
Newt Gingrich is the only conservative who can hold Obama accountable to his disastrous record.

Is Gingrich perfect… NO. But I won’t let what others say about his past influence my decision in choosing who best to lead the country.
**************************************************

“Is Gingrich perfect… NO.”

YOU Republicans HAVE NO MORALS.

The bible says….

YOU CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS (God & The Devil).

You either hate one or love the other.

We know where your LOYALTY LIES.

But you will pay in the end.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:44 pm

Newt: Balanced the budget.

Obozo: Runs $1.5 trillion deficits every year.

Big difference. Not smart.

Lynn43

March 2nd, 2012
9:45 pm

Heaven help you and your sweet little heart, Kyle. I know you don’t have much choice. Also, on the birth control subject, these pills are hormones, and many, many women use them for other health problems (many are very serious) not birth control. You men would not know this because you have only one thing on your mind. I hope Rush’s wife-if he still has one-uses birth control. I would hate to think we would have to tolerate another generation of him.

Voting For Newt Is Floccinaucinihilipilification

March 2nd, 2012
9:45 pm

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

March 2nd, 2012
9:38 pm
If you’re going to fluke, do it on your own dime please. How often do you have to fluke to run up a $1000-a-year condom bill?

*******************************************************************

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW. :)

td

March 2nd, 2012
9:48 pm

I went and proudly cast my 6th (and probably last) vote for Newt. So glad I have been able to cast my vote, campaign for and attend class with a great American.