Sen. Rand Paul has an op-ed in today’s Des Moines Register titled “Republicans would take a giant step backward by choosing Gingrich.” Remember, Paul has already endorsed his dad in the primary, so he has little to lose by criticizing Gingrich (he also has harsh words for Mitt Romney in the piece). But Rand really holds nothing back: he goes through a laundry list of Gingrich’s misdeeds, and then concludes:
This list could go on. So I will conclude by saying two things: Gingrich is not from the tea party. He is not even a conservative.
He is part of the Washington establishment I was sent to fight. He has been wrong on many of the major issues of the day, and he has taken money from those who helped cause the housing crisis and create millions of foreclosures.
What establishment politicians like Gingrich don’t understand is that the Republican Party wins when it stands up for what it believes in, as many of my new colleagues did in 2010.
We also win when we effectively run against big government. We cannot do that if we nominate a candidate who has both embraced it and been enriched by it.
We have a choice to make in a few weeks. If the tea party is to continue the work we resolved in 2010 to undertake, then we must not make a giant leap backward by electing big government, status quo Republicans like Gingrich in 2012.