In his diaries, Ronald Reagan wrote that Newt Gingrich “would cripple our defense program.” Elliott Abrams, key Reagan lieutenant on defense and foreign policy, writes that “Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.” (Gingrich did, however, propose to bust the budget by increasing the spending at the State Department — not exactly a bastion of conservatism — by an astonishing 50 percent!)
Of course, Gingrich’s anti-Reaganism was nothing new. Back in 1968 he had helped run the southern effort in favor of Nelson Rockefeller to block Reagan’s late bid for the GOP nomination.
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