First, it was Mitt Romney, then Rick Perry, followed by Herman Cain and now it’s Newt Gingrich. Is Newt a viable contender for the Republican nomination or just the flavor of the week?
Newt Gingrich’s poll numbers have been rising since the Cain sexual harassment allegations were brought forward. In a recent CNN poll, Gingrich was ahead of both Romney and Cain. Public Policy Polling has Gingrich leading with 28 percent, Cain at 25 percent and Romney at 18 percent.
Gingrich is the most seasoned contender in the 2012 race. His political experience out scores all the candidates, including Obama. Gingrich aided drafting the Contract with America in 1994. The contract included major policy changes in tax cuts, tort reform, social security reform, welfare reform and term limits. The contract is credited for the 1994 Republican sweep in which the majority in both houses of Congress went to the Republicans for the first since 1953. Newt then became Speaker of the House and served from 1995 to 1999. Many attribute the prosperity and economic surplus to former President Clinton, however it was the Republicans led by Newt Gingrich that did the work.
Another reason Gingrich is rising in the polls is that he excels in the debate arena. Gingrich is intelligent and understands the issues that are affecting our nation. He presents real visionary solutions that he explains in terms that everyone can understand. When asked to explain his surge, he responded with, “Part of the reason people took a second look at what I’m doing is both I have the right language so I can explain it … but in addition I have solutions as large as the problems. That’s a very important part of this,” he said. “Most Americans are smart enough, when they pay attention; they can render pretty sophisticated judgments.”
When The National Journal’s correspondent, Major Garrett interviewed Gingrich about foreign policy, “How would you think outside the box?” he asked. Gingrich answered, “I would explicitly adopt the Reagan-John Paul II-Thatcher strategy towards Iran…I would explicitly repudiate what Obama’s done on Agenda 21 as the kind of interference from the United Nations that’s wrong.”
Many people are unaware of Obama’s endorsement of Agenda 21. In researching this, the website The Blaze explained it as a “cloaked plan to impose the tenets of Social Justice-Socialism on the world.” Those ideas threaten everything from single-family homes to private car ownership.
Also on foreign policy, Gingrich was asked about the Middle East. He stated, “Candidly, the degree to which the Arab Spring may become an anti-Christian spring, is something which bothers me a great deal…. [Christians] are being persecuted under the new system, having their churches burned, having people killed. And I’d be pretty insistent that we are not going to be supportive of a regime which is explicitly hostile to religions other than Islam.”
If you were to ask Gingrich why he is succeeding, he would probably respond, ’I have more substance than any other candidate in modern history.’ He does. Gingrich unveiled a seven-point plan to balance the budget which included welfare programs as block grants to states, increasing domestic energy production, eliminating fraud in several government programs including Medicare and replacing or overhauling the Congressional Budget Office.
In a question from Sen. Jim DeMint, (R-SC) which described the debt as a national security issue, Gingrich reply was, “there are four interlocking national security problems: debt, energy, manufacturing and science and technology.”
On energy, Gingrich is all for opening up offshore drilling, something Americans believe is necessary for our security and our economy.
Not only is Gingrich intelligent, he is witty as well. He has a way of connecting with the people. When asked why he is running, he answered, “I’m like a lot of other Americans. I’m looking for a job,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich’s campaign surge is reminiscent of John McCain in 2008. Both McCain and Gingrich were on the bottom with the media predicting it was over for them; however, McCain struggled on and went on to run for president. McCain preached civility stating that we can’t offend Obama by saying his middle name. He encouraged the why-can’t-we-all-get along, my-friends attitude. Gingrich isn’t afraid to call Obama out.
In a recent speech he stated, “I was watching the supercommittee in Washington with amazement. This is the dumbest idea I have seen in a very, very long time,” he said. “It’s as though someone walked in and said, ‘I’m under instructions to shoot you in the head unless you let me cut off your leg.’ …You don’t have to have automatic stupidity as a replacement for self-governing as a model.”
Yet, now that Gingrich is among the top spots, it won’t be long before the Obama campaign will attempt to take him out. Gingrich is no saint and carries a lot of both professional and personal baggage. Gingrich has been married three times, and he has been accused of having a multitude of extramarital affairs, although he has only admitted to one.
Many conservatives, myself included, question whether he is a conservative at all. Gingrich’s post-congressional work as a paid advisor to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae causes me to cringe, not to mention the “green” positions on the environment which he advocated for in a commercial with Nancy Pelosi. Another issue I find annoying is how he characterized the Ryan plan as being “right wing social engineering,”
The question becomes: is Gingrich conservative enough, and can he beat Obama. I would love to see Gingrich and Obama in national debates. The entertainment value alone would be worth nominating Gingrich as the Republican candidate.