Gingrich to media: Let me explain the difference between the tea party and OWS

posted at 10:13 pm on November 17, 2011 by Allahpundit

Romney and Cain took some well-deserved shots at the occupiers today too but here’s Gingrich ramping it up with a base-pleasing tea-party contrast. Between soundbites like this and the occasional roundhouse at debate moderators, I’m starting to believe those Rasmussen numbers.

Just one question: Is a guy who got paid big bucks to push expensive new government health-care programs really going to emerge as the “tea-party candidate”? If you missed Timothy Carney’s report on Gingrich’s work for the pharmaceutical lobby while Bush was pushing his Medicare prescription-drug expansion, read it now. Quote:

While the Bush White House and the Republican congressional leadership supported a bill creating a new entitlement for all seniors, Washington conservatives mostly opposed the bill. Gingrich went around Washington at the time plumping for the bill to free-market groups and activists.

“In the height of the debate,” one conservative opponent of the bill told me, “Newt was calling around” selling the bill as a great conservative measure even though it was a new federal entitlement.

Bob Moffitt of the Heritage Foundation, another veteran of the Medicare drug battle, tells me that early in the debate Gingrich favored a Medicare drug benefit only for the poor. The drug lobby, however, had settled on backing a drug benefit for everyone on Medicare. Gingrich soon changed his tune, and began pushing the universal benefit…

A source who worked for PhRMA at the time told me that Gingrich was being paid by “someone in the drug industry” — either PhRMA, some other industry group, or a specific drug company — as a consultant during the debate over the drug benefit. My source double-checked this with a former PhRMA colleague, who had the same recollection. The Gingrich Group operates the Center for Health Transformation, through which Gingrich publicizes his health care policy proposals.

The Times is reporting tonight that in July 2009 Gingrich used a WaPo op-ed to laud a health-care outfit that had been proactive in getting patients to sign “advance directives” (which, you’ll recall, came up during the ObamaCare uproar over “death panels”). Turns out that same outfit was also a paying client of Gingrich’s health-care consulting firm. Meanwhile, at Politico, it seems Gingrich remained a paid consultant of Freddie Mac until the bitter end before it was taken over by the feds in September 2008. Seriously, given his loooong tenure inside the Beltway as a congressman and later a well-paid lobbyist and in light of his many ideological “eccentricities” over the years, how exactly is Newt more of a tea-party champion than, say, Romney is? Yeah, true, Romney has RomneyCare to his record and Gingrich doesn’t, but as Mitt reminded him at one of the debates a few weeks ago, Newt supported health-care mandates before supporting health-care mandates was “cool.” So why the obvious grassroots advantage for Gingrich?

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How relevant are the things New got paid for as a consultant, adviser, lobbist, whatever. This was his business, he obviously was good at it and hopefully got paid market value for what he did, it is called Capitalism. If he was a lawyer, would we be dragging out all the times he defended a guilty person?

neuquenguy on November 18, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I am not bothered that Newt occasionally made his living working for organizations that I disagree with.

I do the same. I will not reveal my occupation, but if you think of my business like a print shop that prints fliers for all political parties (even those he disagrees with), you will get the flavour of what I do.

The last provincial election had me in a quandry: if the party I liked took power, I would probably lose much business. If the party I didn’t like stayed in power, I would see more income from our government contracts.

I’m not going to wag my finger at Newt for selling his skill-set to certain clients.

I like Newt, more than most politicians, while recognizing that some aspects of his personal life leave me disappointed in him.

Johnny 100 Pesos on November 18, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Shane Stoops, 23, of Seattle, has been living in Zuccotti Park since the first day of the Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan.

“That was my home,” Stoops told the Daily News. “You see all those garbage trucks? That’s where I live now. They took my life.”

“All my clothes,” Dalton said. “Tent, my mattresses, and all of my books. And three years of drawings, all thrown away.

Read more:

preallocated on November 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Wonderful , Newt will win the small nothern states from Romney , making Cain the nominee.

Maybe we should work to have Huntsman peel off some too

LeeSeneca on November 18, 2011 at 7:39 PM

And no one cares if a consultant got paid by this one or that one. Consulting the client is not the same as lobbying the congress

Plus , it’s what the consultant said that really matters.

LeeSeneca on November 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM
Oh well, it’s 3, i gotta sleep…

jollybird on November 19, 2011 at 4:25 AM

Obviously, neither Newt nor Mitt are conservatives and I don’t trust either of them to stick to conservative principles once in office.

disa on November 19, 2011 at 7:56 AM

Welfare reform to me means “cut the leeches off” not “encouraging voluntarism and spiritual renewal” by the effing government.

Igor R. on November 18, 2011 at 1:05 AM

And you think/believe that Herman Cain will do that if elected?

Why, then, hasn’t he said this very thing?

Solaratov on November 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Just about all that love this internet know that the government is very fat and will under no circumstances remove the useless departments of government. We had a little hope in the 2010 elections with the new blood sent to DC but they were overruled by the intrenched fraternity and in order to stay in office they are doing what they promised to eliminate while running for office. I see no hope in changing anything in the future and it will probably end when we are invaded and the enemy controls the government.

mixplix on November 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Obviously, neither Newt nor Mitt are conservatives and I don’t trust either of them to stick to conservative principles once in office.

disa on November 19, 2011 at 7:56 AM


Romney is not conservative, but Gingrich??????

Newt Gingrich accomplished more forward progress for conservative principles in a national office than any other living human being. Hell, he accomplished more for conservatism in his first 100 days as Speaker than any other living human being has accomplished. If balancing the budget, reforming welfare, and leading Bill Clinton around on a leash are not enough for you, then nothing can be, and you need to stop talking.

Those famous “Clinton surpluses?” Those were actually Gingrich’s work.

Get a frakkin’ CLUE, will you? Gingrich spent the last 10 years devising policies that could be agreed to by more than 2/3 of American voters, as a means of bringing the country back from the precipice to which progressives have led us. That necessarily meant that he had to negotiate with Democrats, and there are a handful of moments when he allowed himself to be photographed with them. That doesn’t mean he’s not conservative; that means he thinks strategically.

philwynk on November 19, 2011 at 5:01 PM

It’s a good thing that finally a national politician has the temerity to criticize the dazed-and-confused OWS morons. It was disappointing that Romney, who has wide respect, was prepared to take them seriously (though we all know that this is not possible, because they have no positions).

Newt being right does not make him electable. You want him on your side, but it’s doubtful he can rally a broad enough base for the presidency. Romney can certainly do this, but the concern with him is his wandering conservative compass.

virgo on November 20, 2011 at 11:56 AM