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Then there’s his activities since leaving office as Speaker of the House. In 2008, Gingrich posed with Pelosi for an ad on global warming in which he urged Congressional action on climate change. Unlike Romney, however, who has never apologized for his past liberalism, Gingrich has openly stated that this was “the single dumbest thing I’ve done in years.” More troubling, Gingrich attended the Education Equality Project conference, sponsored by race-baiting thug Al Sharpton – although that conference did include participants who went after the teachers’ unions. He endorsed RINO Dede Scozzafava in the NY-23 House race, though he said he endorsed Scozzafava as a first step toward a Republican Revolution rather than because he thought she was truly conservative. Back in 2005, Gingrich flattered Hillary Clinton to the skies, and embraced her over health-care; he reinforced that in 2011 when he said he supported a federal mandate forcing citizens to buy health insurance. Finally, he attacked Paul Ryan’s proposal to overhaul Medicare “radical,” and “right-wing social engineering.” And when forced to answer whether the bailout was necessary, Gingrich came down on the “yes” side.
Yes, that’s a hell of a lot of baggage. So, what separates Gingrich from Romney? Two elements: first, Gingrich has distanced himself from all of that baggage by apologizing for it. Second, Gingrich’s liberal leanings have all been out of office, while Romney’s liberal leanings were all in office. When Gingrich was actually in a position of power, he was perhaps the most conservative Speaker of the House in American history. The Republican Revolution of 1994 was his baby. Welfare reform was his baby. The booming Clinton economy? That could be more accurately attributed to Gingrich. On foreign policy, Newt has never wavered – he has always been a hawk. Down deep, Newt is a conservative. Romney is not. The proof is in the pudding rather than the posturing.
And again, Gingrich is smart. Very smart. He will not step into the political minefields set by Obama. At the same time, he is not afraid to embrace the Tea Party and its principles. He wrote in one of his recent books, “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” He knows the problem. He knows the solution. The only question is whether he will pursue it.
The answer, at least when he held power, was yes. If he can make us remember what he did while in office and forget what he did while out of office, Newt might be worth more than just a second look.
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