Now, that is not to imply that I am only supporting Newt because I just don't like the others. I really enjoyed watching him in the debates. While all the others were busy trying to pick each other off and, other than Santorum & Romney, would have cringeworthy moments in debates, he kept the message of the debate focused on defeating Obama. I remember thinking during a few of the debates how, despite his low levels in the polls, he was really adding value by eloquently communicating the conservative message to millions of viewers (as well as pointing out some of the nonsensical positions this administration has taken). And he has continued to do so, constantly appearing in interviews, both friendly and relatively hostile (unlike Mitt who has insulated himself from any real scrutiny). Also, as I mentioned before, Newt's actual record is quite conservative:
- Voted YES on the Reagan tax cut of 1981
- Voted YES on the Reagan tax reform bill of 1986
- Voted NO on the George H.W. Bush "Read My Lips" tax hike in 1990.
- Voted NO on the Clinton tax hike in 1993.
- Voted YES on the capital gains tax cut in 1997.
- Voted NO on the Chrysler bailout in 1979
- Voted YES on the Gramm-Rudman balanced budget bill in 1985
- Voted YES on a balanced budget amendment (as part of the "Contract for America" effort that he led) in 1995
- Led the effort and voted YES to cut $16.4 billion from the budget in 1995.
- Voted YES on welfare reform in 1996
I am not saying by any means that he is perfect, but nobody is going to be perfect. Take Ronald Reagan. He raised taxes as Governor of California and 11 different times as President. Federal spending grew by 7.6% a year under his administration, more than double the rate that it grew when Newt was speaker (3.1% a year). He granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. He negotiated with Iran and the evil empire itself, the Soviet Union. Also, back in 1976, he promised to pick a liberal northeastern running mate, Richard Schweiker, in order to be more palatable to the establishment Republicans. Despite these imperfections, Reagan was still the greatest President since at least Abraham Lincoln thanks to the really great things that he did. First, he made America feel good about itself again after years of liberals convincing everyone that America had peaked and things were only going to get worse. I remember quite a few people thought eventual Soviet victory was inevitable and that it was only a matter of time. Even Republicans like Kissinger believed that to some extent. Second, he got the economy moving again through his sweeping tax cuts. Third, he was able to defeat the greatest threat to mankind since the Nazis, the Soviets, freeing hundreds of millions of people (many of whom are current NATO allies).
Now take a look at Churchill, as Steven Hayward did expertly today, both on his blog and in the National Review. Here are some things that were said about Churchill (and if you replace Churchill's name with Newt's as Hayward did on his blog, you would be surprised they weren't talking about Gingrich):
"Winston is often right, but when he is wrong, well, my God!" "His planning is all wishing and guessing." "He is easily taken in by quacks and charlatans." "Mr. Churchill carries great guns, but his navigation is uncertain." He is "a genius without judgment." He is a man of "transitory convictions," who has been "on every side of every question." "His mind is essentially critical and volcanic and he is used to proposing and propounding schemes and ideas . . . and as a rule gracefully withdrawing them." About his military views, one high-ranking officer said, "He knows no details, has only half the picture in his mind, talks absurdities and makes my blood boil to listen to his nonsense." His many non-fiction books have been dismissed as "autobiographies disguised as a history of the universe." Even his historical novels get the lash, with critics calling them "crude and immature," revealing Churchill to be "a perfect poseur, adept at the arts of notoriety." One of his accomplished peers in public office said, "He will never get to the top in politics; with all his wonderful gifts. . . [he] does not inspire trust." Even the kindest description of him cannot avoid noting his flaws, such as "He is like a wonderful piece of machinery with a flywheel which occasionally makes unexpected movements."
Churchill also was the king of flip-floppers, changing parties not once, but twice, going from Conservative to Liberal (for 20 years!) and then back to Conservative.
I'm sure some of you are thinking "then doesn't this excuse Romney as well?" No. Despite flip-flopping, Churchill and Reagan, like Newt, actually had a core set of values that they didn't alter. I really can't say the same for Mitt Romney. I couldn't tell you what he really believes in. And unlike Churchill, Reagan and Newt, Romney doesn't have a long public record. He has one term as a Massachusetts Governor and that is a net negative, if anything, given Obamneycare.
Right now, the United States faces an enormous number of threats. Our economy continues to be weak, with millions of long term unemployed and a constantly disintegrating currency. Our standing across the globe is greatly weakened due to our withdrawal from Iraq, both Egypt and Turkey turning Islamist, the threat of a nuclear Iran and our backstabbing of allies the world over.
Newt Gingrich has what it takes to be a really great President of the United States just when we need one the most, and that is why I am supporting him for President.