Gingrich a star on Reagan team: Romney “work product” as conservative at issue.
Mitt Romney has raised the issue of Newt Gingrich’s “work product.”
Intended to prod the former Speaker on the issue of his work for Freddie Mac (Gingrich last night released his contract with Freddie), the question, as seems to be a Romney characteristic, has clumsily backfired. It raises an all-too obvious question that is becoming increasingly revealing.
What is Mitt Romney’s “work product” for the conservative cause?
The closest Mitt Romney ever got to the Reagan Revolution is apparently because he reads about it 30 years later. And he isn’t even reading everything he should. This is the man, remember, who proudly professed when running against Ted Kennedy in 1994:
“I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush”
A peculiar stance considering Reagan carried Massachusetts twice in his two presidential landslides. Romney now assures that Newt Gingrich — who actually had a serious and considerably well-known role working with Reagan — had little role in it. (By the way, Reagan won over 1, 310, 936 votes and over 51 percent in Massachusetts in his 1984 re-election race, while Romney won his solitary gubernatorial victory in 2002 with 1,091,988 votes and 49.77 percent. Which is to say, Reagan outpolled Romney by over 200,000. In 1980, third party candidate John Anderson drew off 15 percent of Reagan’s vote, otherwise, one suspects, Reagan would have trumped Romney then as well.)
Why? Why is Romney going after Gingrich on his supposed lack of Reagan ties?
Because the former Governor apparently looked into the “G” section of the Reagan Diaries and found the then backbench congressman’s name but once.
The ignorance this shows about what was actually happening inside the Reagan Revolution — not to mention the positive change Ronald Reagan and his lieutenants like Newt Gingrich were bringing to Washington and America — is almost painful to watch. Romney flounders, giving the impression that he is learning conservatism as others learn painting by numbers. A splotch of free market economics here at Number 1, a dab of social issues over there at Number 2… or not…or, well, maybe… or… yes, kinda sort of maybe… ending with bright bold colorful strokes of national security war paint at Number 3.
And voila. Conservatism by Romney.
Why would one in the position Mitt Romney now finds himself — thoroughly defeated in South Carolina by a surge of support for Gingrich’s conservatism — ever even entertain the idea of going after Newt Gingrich on Reagan?
This utterly dumb line of attack for Romney is as bad if not worse than Gingrich’s flirtation with attacking Bain Capital. It raises exactly all the questions of Romney’s vulnerabilities. Why, for example, did Romney deliberately play the wimp when it comes to defending Ronald Reagan in Massachusetts? At precisely the time in the fall of 1994, it should be noted, when Newt Gingrich was leading Chapter 2 in the Reagan Revolution? Is Romney really trying to draw attention to the fact that while Gingrich and hundreds of Republicans were on the verge of a historic landslide retaking the House by attaching themselves to the Reagan legacy… Romney ran from Reagan… and got clobbered?
If even those simple political basics can’t be learned, which in Romney’s case now include not just the broader inability to defend either Reagan or free markets but the quite specific inability to use the general principle of free markets and capitalism to defend himself over the inevitable “Mr. 1%” accusations — this should be a red flag for conservatives.
Who knows why Romney gets tongue tied ? Or, as our friends at the Wall Street Journal note, “befuddled.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online