George Will: Wisdom isn’t exactly Newt Gingrich’s strong suit

posted at 1:25 pm on December 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Remember when conservative columnist George Will called Mitt Romney a “recidivist reviser of his principles”? As it happens, the veteran pundit has nothing nicer to say about Newt Gingrich, whose astounding sudden popularity in the polls recently prompted the candidate himself to say he’ll be the 2012 GOP nominee.

On “The Laura Ingraham Show” today, Will took Gingrich to task for a lack of wisdom — and prophesied a bleak future for the conservative movement if either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich happens to become the GOP nominee (or, worse, according to Will, actually president!). The Daily Caller reports:

“Mr. Gingrich said it’s not enough that he is the smartest guy in the room, he also has to be wise,” Will said. “Now you can associate many things with Mr. Gingrich, but wisdom isn’t one of them. Surely the Republican nominating electorate should understand the fact that people have patterns. Don’t expect the patterns to go away. Expect the patterns to manifest themselves again. If Newt Gingrich has any pattern at all, and he does – it is a pattern of getting himself into trouble because he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.”

Will said that he thought Gingrich actually believed it when he said he was going to be the Republican nominee, particularly because the stage in Gingrich’s mind “is lit by the fires of crisis and grandeur.”

“Ask yourself this: Suppose Gingrich or Romney become president and gets re-elected – suppose you had eight years of this,” Will said. “What would the conservative movement be? How would it understand itself after eight years? I think what would have gone away, perhaps forever, is the sense of limited government, the 10th Amendment, Madisonian government of limited, delegated and enumerated powers – the sense conservatism is indeed tied to limitations on federal authority and the police power wielded by Congress – that would all be gone. It’s hard to know what would be left.”

See, these comments from one of the columnists who converted my theretofore Democratic mom to conservatism scare me — just as Allahpundit’s recent indictments of Gingrich make me nervous, too. At times like this, I remember just how few election cycles I’ve personally witnessed. I was born at the tail end of Reagan’s presidency and was a little kid when Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House. The point is, I can study his past patterns — but I didn’t personally observe them. I’m still young enough and naive enough to believe that people’s patterns can and do change — and to think the image Gingrich portrays today is a sincere one. But I also tend to think Romney’s present conservative positions are the product of his own personal growth, rather than the product of his deep-seated and evident desire to be elected to the presidency.

Which is wiser: To believe the best of our candidates and be disappointed or to believe the worst of them and be pleasantly surprised?

In the meantime, if conservatives are so disenchanted with Romney and Gingrich, why aren’t Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann (especially Michele Bachmann!) still in the mix of contenders? Don’t tell me Gingrich is more conservative than Perry, the Texas governor’s crony capitalistic tendencies and squishy immigration positions aside. Gingrich all but lobbied for Freddie Mac. And Gingrich has echoed the very immigration positions that presumably disqualified Perry from conservative consideration. (Then again, if Perry’s really no more conservative than Gingrich, why would nominate a nervous speaker over a confident one?) As for Bachmann, has anyone anywhere ever been able to cast genuine doubt on her conservative bona fides?

At this point, mightn’t it be better to run a conservative with virtually no pretense at electability for the sake of demonstrating genuine commitment to conservative principles? If, as Will says, the election of a Republican sellout in 2012 would mean the death of conservatism, wouldn’t it be better to let the opposition to Obama continue to grow by a second term, until the American people are so thoroughly tired of him that a conservative could easily trounce any Democratic candidate in 2016? And if, as so many have said, Obama is so thoroughly underwater right now that Republicans ought to be able to beat him by nominating a skunk, we really have no excuse for not nominating a conservative.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

I have to say that Will is right about both of them.

csdeven on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I also tend to think Romney’s present conservative positions are the product of his own personal growth

Which conservative positions?

Norwegian on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

If, as Will says, the election of a Republican sellout in 2012 would mean the death of conservatism

Re-electing Obama in 2012 will mean the death of America.

pseudonominus on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I wonder if his wife was turned down from the Gingrich Campaign too.

swamp_yankee on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

At this point, mightn’t it be better to run a conservative with virtually no pretense at electability for the sake of demonstrating genuine commitment to conservative principles?

I had the same thought until 10/5/11. George Will didn’t like her either. He didn’t think she could be trusted with the nuclear football in fact.

I think we should nominate George Will. With the wisdom of Soloman how can we go wrong?

Kataklysmic on December 2, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Oh, FFS. The same intellectuals who would browbeat us for nominating someone who “lacks gravitas” like Palin, or a wacky Southerner like Perry, or a crazy religious nut like Santorum, or a “crazy-eyed” loose cannon like Bachmann, or a neophyte pizza man like Cain, are now going to ‘tsk-tsk’ us for rallying behind an intelligent, experienced politician?

I usually defend you G-Will, but go screw. You’re just complaining because it’s filling the empty spaces. Nobody we nominated would have made you happy.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

At this point, mightn’t it be better to run a conservative with virtually no pretense at electability for the sake of demonstrating genuine commitment to conservative principles?

Making this statement at this point is roughly equivalent to asking if it’s best to keep any eye out for icebergs an hour after the Titanic completely disappeared under the water. We’ve had those candidates. They were torpedoed either by their own decisions/actions, or by accusations made by others. Meanwhile, the Romneybots, and to an extent, Gingrich lovers, screamed and screamed about “electability”. Good grief, Tina. Not only has that train left the station, it’s been decommissioned and the station is a hangout for vagrants.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Newt worse blue jeans once. :(

lorien1973 on December 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Which conservative positions?

Norwegian on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The ones he’ll abandon after he gets the nomination.

lorien1973 on December 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

If it is OK with George I will make up my own mind.

NeoKong on December 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Which is wiser: To believe the best of our candidates and be disappointed or to believe the worst of them and be pleasantly surprised?

To pressure the hell out of them to make them listen to you. Who would be most likely to listen to us?

A. The guy who has never been to a tea party event or said anything nice about those who attended.

B. The guy who actually talks to us in the cheap seats and has supported our patriotic efforts.

The answer is B. Every time. And until George Will acts more like B, I’m not of much opinion about his opinion.

(Hey George buddy – come to talk to me. My real name and information is available in my comment signature.)

beatcanvas on December 2, 2011 at 1:34 PM

swamp_yankee on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

She works for Gov. Perry. I have to say I am stunned, I would have picked Mr. Will as a Gov. Romney guy.

Cindy Munford on December 2, 2011 at 1:35 PM

And if, as so many have said, Obama is so thoroughly underwater right now that Republicans ought to be able to beat him by nominating a skunk, we really have no excuse for not nominating a conservative.

Who? Bachmann or Santorum can beat Obama?

a capella on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

At this point, mightn’t it be better to run a conservative with virtually no pretense at electability for the sake of demonstrating genuine commitment to conservative principles? If, as Will says, the election of a Republican sellout in 2012 would mean the death of conservatism, wouldn’t it be better to let the opposition to Obama continue to grow by a second term, until the American people are so thoroughly tired of him that a conservative could easily trounce any Democratic candidate in 2016?

No.

If the conservative movement survived Bush, we can survive Newt or Romney. We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

The ones he’ll abandon after he gets the nomination.

lorien1973 on December 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

The ones which, if you ask him about, will make him punch you in the face.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

+1

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM

If it is OK with George I will make up my own mind.

NeoKong on December 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM

No. He is smarter than us. And better. End of story. /

Kataklysmic on December 2, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Comments like this certainly wont help him in Iowa.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Probably depends on how many right to lifers use condoms or birth control pills.

a capella on December 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Tina,
While I cast my first vote in a presidential election for Gerald Ford (vs. Carter). In full disclosure I supported McGovern as an almost 17 year old. I really paid little attention to politics until the Dems took the House in 2006 and my business began to take a severe beating.

I was all agog about Newtie and his American Solutions until its big webwide weekend of seminars. What I found, was an FDR in GOP clothing. This was also shortly after being converted into being a Glowarming skeptic thanks in large to seeking info about why Roger Pielke, Sr, PhD, resigned from the IPCC as lead author/reviewer of Gobal Climate Change chapter of its recent reports.

How can ANY Tea Party Member or affiliate buy into Newtie is beyond me. It shows a complete lack of principle in those members or absolute ignorance if not an IQ of “drool”

Kermit on December 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM

If the conservative movement survived Bush, we can survive Newt or Romney. We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This

msmveritas on December 2, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I’m no Newt fan but a comment like that coming from a guy who actually thinks he’s fooling anyone with that hidious rug on his head is rich. Wisdom must be in the eye of the beholder.

Redneck Woman on December 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

His wife is working for Perry that is why he is going after Mitt, and Newt.

BroncosRock on December 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

a capella on December 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM

That prevents conception, once conception happens most pro lifers think thats when life begins. Gingrich is saying life doesnt begin until implantation. Im telling you, thats going to be a problem for social cons in Iowa.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Kermit on December 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Perry’s my first choice and Newt’s my second…since Jindal ain’t running.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I’m sick of this line. Obama is a dips**t. The conservative movement, regardless of who wins this next presidential election, is a lot stronger than any one dips**t. Enough with the defeatist crap already, or you might as well slit your wrists, because the choices we’re being left with are so flawed they may very well lose the GOP the easiest race of their existence.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I am not fan of Newt or Romney but this is the same guy who didn’t think much of Reagan, go away George

KBird on December 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Newt is an idea man. And a loose canon to boot. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the candidates we now have. The next President of the United States of America will be either Obama, Mitt, or Newt. Realistically, those are your only alternatives.

So George, which will it be?

Fred 2 on December 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

As for Bachmann, has anyone anywhere ever been able to cast genuine doubt on her conservative bona fides?

Gardasil.

snoopicus on December 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

We are on the verge of an economic depression, the euro is about to implode which is going to make the stock market tank. The “dip” in the unemployment number is because 300 thousand people arent looking for work anymore, they’ve given up. This County and the people without work and the people stuck in houses they cant sell and businesses struggling cannot take another four years of Obama.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Republican politicians have been disappointing George Will since at least 1972. Every damned one of them. But Will really loved Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Just sayin’.

Mr. D on December 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I am not fan of Newt or Romney but this is the same guy who didn’t think much of Reagan, go away George

KBird on December 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Let’s not pretend Ronald was perfect.

Notorious GOP on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Don’t tell me Gingrich is more conservative than Perry, the Texas governor’s crony capitalistic tendencies and squishy immigration positions aside. Gingrich all but lobbied for Freddie Mac. And Gingrich has echoed the very immigration positions that presumably disqualified Perry from conservative consideration. (Then again, if Perry’s really no more conservative than Gingrich, why would nominate a nervous speaker over a confident one?)

Let’s see because Perry has 10 years of executive experience running the 2nd largest state in the Union, and 13th largest economy. Texas has been the largest job producer creating half the jobs in the 50 states. For starters.

Speaker of the House is not an “Executive” position.

Dr Evil on December 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Let’s not pretend Ronald was perfect.

Notorious GOP on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Thank you for that!

snoopicus on December 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM

If the conservative movement survived Bush, we can survive Newt or Romney. We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This

msmveritas on December 2, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Amen… In politics you don’t get to pick the best, but if you are lucky, you get the better.

CrazyGene on December 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Basically he is saying what the polls obviously show. We are desperately searching for not Romney while we watch each anti-romney implode one by one

snoopicus on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:50 PM

How long was the Great Depression? What kind of unemployment numbers were we dealing with? Jesus Christ, I’m pretty damned floored at the defeatist attitude of people who claim to believe in American exceptionalism. They think one idiot in a suit can destroy everything that has been built for a quarter of a millennium. As if there are no other branches of government. As if there are no other leaders. As if we don’t have the power to remove him from office if it’s truly necessary. What country are you people living in? This is the greatest goddamned nation on the face of the planet, and the most important experiment in self-government and individualism in the history of mankind.

…and you think some nitwit from Chicago can destroy it all?

You’re very, very mistaken.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Im telling you, thats going to be a problem for social cons in Iowa.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Mebbe. I was born and raised in central IA. Quaker church. Practiced in the Marion area for 17 years. I don’t think it will hurt him much overall.

a capella on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

If the conservative movement survived Bush, we can survive Newt or Romney. We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

+3

Always Right on December 2, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Another elitist against Gingrich. Good, I’m encouraged. Go Newt.

We don’t care what you think, preppy.

rrpjr on December 2, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Let’s not pretend Ronald was perfect.

Notorious GOP on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Thank you for that!

snoopicus on December 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM

For all you gun owners, RonnieRayGun, was the Republican Governor who outlawed real “open carry”. (George Dukemajian was the Republican Governor who gave us “the Assault Weapons ban” that was copied by the Democrats into Federal law. When asked why he signed it, he said that he knew it was “unconstitutional”. That lawsuit is still proceeding.)

CrazyGene on December 2, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Look who’s talking.

logis on December 2, 2011 at 2:01 PM

I am so tired of Will and all the other talking douchebags that I will vote for anyone that they don’t like other than obummer. They have no real idea how we feel out in flyover land. I would dearly like to take these pubnits and beat them with a sack of doorknobs.

jistincase on December 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Romney will bring in the majority of the base in the General and many disaffected Dems and Indies. However, Gingrich will bring in the majority of the base BUT the disaffected Dems and Indies will recall Gingrich’s days as the “ultimate politico” and was the cause (so they’ll say) of the Congress shutting down, they’ll recall Gingrich as combative with the Dems and not wanting to work with them, and his style that many in the Republican Congress found difficult to work with…this is why Gingrich is NOT a good pick for us as the 20% in the middle WILL NOT vote for Gingrich. They will stay home or vote Obama regrettably.

FoxNews poll conducted November 13-15, 2011

(REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS ONLY) 18. Which Republican candidate do you think has the best chance of beating Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election? (DO NOT READ LIST UNLESS REQUESTED) (Mitt Romney) 37% (Newt Gingrich) 18 (Herman Cain) 17 (Rick Perry) 5 (Michele Bachmann) 2 (Ron Paul) 2 (Jon Huntsman) 1 (Someone else) – (None) 3 (Don’t know) 13

Of all the various questions the poll asked this is all we need to know!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Calm down everyone and ignore Will and the rest of the “Know it all” pundits. We have to breathe deeply and vote for whom ever gets the nomination. As to the rhetoric about voting for a true conservative in 2012, that cannot win, so that we can really sock it to them in 2016 after four more years of Obama is a dangerous thought. Remember what Newt did with the Contract with America and welfare reform. He is not some gadfly who only talks a lot. Get off your ideological horses and think about what four more years of Obama will do to our country. The SCOTUS alone is worth voting for anyone but Obama. For those of you who keep score about who is a true conservative and who isn’t then name one that can win the big one! There is no such animal as a true conservative. They/we all have variations of both philosophies in our DNA and he/she who is truly conservative in every area will be an unthinking robot. A true conservative would do away with Medicare, Social Security, foreign aid, any grants of any kind, student loans, all discrimination laws, tax breaks, school aid and many of the give away or socialist programs that have become ingrained into our system. I do not believe that there is one except Ron Paul and that would be the kiss of death for our country as well as our party.

inspectorudy on December 2, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Is he more smarter than Palin tho?

http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/01/meghan-mccain-bachmann-is-just-more-smarter-than-palin/

scalleywag on December 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM

…and you think some nitwit from Chicago can destroy it all?

You’re very, very mistaken.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Madison…IT IS HAPPENING before our eyes. Obamacare alone will change America dramatically in so many ways!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:06 PM

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

No, he cant destroy it, but his polices can and have weakened this nation. Its also not a “defeatist” attitude, its reality. 50 percent of this Country fear they cant afford Christmas this year, millions are out of work and the guy in the White House is begging congress to raise taxes and make it that much harder for small businesses to hire. Due to a horrific housing policy people are now stuck and cant move, their homes have lost value and they are out of work. A Republican President can fix this, its simply having a pro growth agenda in place and this economy will soar. I don’t know how people do not understand whats at stake here, for Tina or others to even suggest we nominate someone who can’t win for the sake of purity is frankly disgusting to me.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Mebbe. I was born and raised in central IA. Quaker church. Practiced in the Marion area for 17 years. I don’t think it will hurt him much overall.

a capella on December 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

a capella, got a question for you. As you likely know, I am a Romney supporter. What, if any, is the significance of your former GOV, Gov Ray’s endorsement of Romney today? Will it help him amongst some of your fellow corn mates?

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

I also tend to think Romney’s present conservative positions are the product of his own personal growth

Are you talking about last week’s position versus this week’s. or Yesterday’s with today’s? It is hard.

antisocial on December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

We often hear about conservatives in Washington being really good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

But after reading commetns like these and others from other conservatives, I don’t think that saying can be limited to just those in Washington.

We better get our crap together soon or we will never get rid of Obama.

Study Venezuela in the early days of Chavez. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

Pcoop on December 2, 2011 at 2:09 PM

When “wisdom” is the thrust of an attack, you know you have them running.

And pay attention. Due to Obama’s horrid 3 years in office, the Dems and “anti-so-called conservative, conservatives” will need to play the “smartest man in the room meme” – filled with cliches and rhetoris to tell us how smart Obama really is.

Yup – wisodm of Newt vs wisdom of Obama is now in play.

And I am laughing at the desperation.

Odie1941 on December 2, 2011 at 2:10 PM

…and you think some nitwit from Chicago can destroy it all?

He’s giving it one hell of a try.

EyeSurgeon on December 2, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Madison…IT IS HAPPENING before our eyes. Obamacare alone will change America dramatically in so many ways!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Right…assuming SCOTUS doesn’t whack the mandate. Or assuming that a GOP-controlled Congress doesn’t get rid of it on their own(Have you heard? We’re voting for more than just president in 2012…and 2014…). Or assuming that Obama isn’t removed from office by said Congress. Etc etc etc…

…for Tina or others to even suggest we nominate someone who can’t win for the sake of purity is frankly disgusting to me.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Frankly, for anyone to suggest we should nominate someone that isn’t conservative solely so that the party that controls the White House is the Republican Party is pretty damned disgusting. Every time we vote for a RINO, the GOP has another reason to tell conservatives to f**k off.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Are you talking about last week’s position versus this week’s. or Yesterday’s with today’s? It is hard.

antisocial on December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

HAS NOT CHANGED ANY OF HIS POSITIONS SINCE 2005!
Same anti-illegal immigration policy
Same Drill for Oil policy
Same Cut Taxes
Same Anti-Abortion policy
Same Defense of Marriage (actually was never for Gay Marriage just civil unions and protection in the workplace for gays)
Same stance on Foreign Policy
Same stance on Israel
Same stance on growth of Military
and on and on…

Romney IS an HAS BEEN consistent if you truly look at his ACTUAL record.

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Let’s not pretend Ronald was perfect.

Notorious GOP on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Unlike Ron Paul who you think can do no wrong.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 2, 2011 at 2:18 PM

As for Bachmann, has anyone anywhere ever been able to cast genuine doubt on her conservative bona fides?

http://wonkette.com/433801/michele-bachmann-worked-for-jimmy-carter-was-ruined-by-gore-vidal

“Michele Bachmann opened up to a gathering of Michigan Republicans on Tuesday about her shameful, Jimmy Carter-loving past. “I was a reasonable, fair-minded Democrat. And another secret you need to know: My husband and I met in college. We worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign.”

Mitt’s not the only fip-flopper. And she’s worked for the IRS… for starters. No less baggage than the rest of the crew. And the “happy birthday Elvis” thing in Tennessee on the anniversary of his death, that was pretty clueless as well. Maybe she is conservative now, but Jimmy Carter… omgwtfbbq

maineconservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:18 PM

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Gingrich isn’t anymore conservative then Romney, but hes far less electable. But what the base is saying is “Oh well, who cares, hes not Romney.” So I guess thats where we are.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:18 PM

HAS NOT CHANGED ANY OF HIS POSITIONS SINCE 2005!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:15 PM

How does anyone say this with a straight face? HOW?

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Perfect examples of why Republicans will pull defeat from the jaws of victory….. Republicans eat their own, Democrats extol any virtue they can. Elitist Repubics like these will cause an odumbo win in November, and the country will slide into oblivion. Pisses me off!

ultracon on December 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

ABO, ABO, ABO, ABO!!!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Im telling you, thats going to be a problem for social cons in Iowa.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Newt’s going to get Iowa and NH both with his reasoned abortion stance. He’s going to run the board on Mitt.

Here, you might want to send this to Mitt since it will be his last ditch gimmick to keep NH on board:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqGl-pDnYMQ

Punchenko on December 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Bottom line:
The conservative/libertarian/right of center/anyone sane hive mind is desperately calculating the best candidate to beat Obama.

I don’t think Newt will last, nor Romney. This would be a great time for someone like Christie, Ryan, etc. to get back in to the race.

Because if we can’t seem to get anyone worth a crap to run for office, we deserve the nightmare of Obama’s second term.

JeffB. on December 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

And we’re going to listen to the same folks that brought us John McCain? Okay Mr. Will, who is your candidate? Huntsman? Pound sand, at least with Gingrich we know what we’re getting. Pick your candidate George or go prognosticate at the DNC because you’re doing one hell of a job for them. Take Rove with you.

Tangerinesong on December 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Mitt is a total wuss:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/12/02/romney_declines_lincoln-douglas_debate_against_gingrich_112265.html

How can Mitt take on Obama if he is too scared to sit down to a friendly policy discussion?

Punchenko on December 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Great how so many like to shoot the messenger. Will is right on about this. But, again, this is about wanting the best debater, not the best candidate. Republicans said they learned their lesson after the Bush/DeLay years and the ’06 and ’08 elections. How soon they forget their principles in the search for the guy that can crush Obama in a debate.

cartooner on December 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM

How does anyone say this with a straight face? HOW?

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

You show me where WITH FULL CONTEXT.

The issue with many of you is that you take snippets and imply your own thoughts into what Romney “said”.

Those things I listed he has said the same thing over and over and over.

Look at Gingrich in the last year as Allah alreday pointed out in the other post:
Isn’t Newt the guy who was a big Donald Berwick fan before being a Donald Berwick fan was decidedly uncool? Wasn’t he way ahead of the curve in pushing health-care ideas like the mandate that conservatives are now ready to destroy Romney for? Didn’t he spend a chunk of the last decade lobbying, in consummate “insider” fashion, and then lamely trying to pretend that it wasn’t, you know, lobbying-lobbying? Hasn’t he been the tea party’s public enemy number one more than once, having endorsed Dede Scozzafava in that special election in New York and then dumping on Paul Ryan’s budget this summer? What about this cavalcade of Newt’s bright ideas that Jim Geraghty spent the morning compiling?

And you question Romney WHO HAS BEEN CONSISTENT?

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM

If, as President Newt surrounded himself with only the very best conservative principled advisers and cabinet we could count on his decisions always following the historically successful road map but that’s an issue in and of itself.
As President he should be the rock, the guiding light, principled and steadfast, and, that’s not going to happen, Newt would hire many compromise advisers, assuring a lack of consistent, steady leadership. If Newt had a history of being a solid as a rock conservative, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.

We don’t so much need a mister fix it, with all these new ideas, that’s what progressives offer and its always the wrong direction.

I’m not into the idea of any Republican progressivism.

We do need, real, strong, conservative, principles, liberty and limited government, let the public have the ideas and gumption to achieve them.

We have a self appointed parent in the Whitehouse now, we don’t need another.

Speakup on December 2, 2011 at 2:26 PM

And note how the left has been virtually silent on all of this preferring to watch as Republicans score an own-goal. Damn this pisses me off.

I blame a lot of this on the Palin supporters who sucked so much energy from the discussion for so long. They fell right in to the trap of debating her merits with the left, even as a vast percentage would never have voted for her. The left knew this and kept that debate going for as long as it could, gave her a TV show, etc.

JeffB. on December 2, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Punchenko on December 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Ok, we’ll see what happens. If conservatives really want to do this, really want to go down this road ok, but there is a reason Obama is holding fire on Gingrich, he would be their dream candidate. But I guess the party wants to learn the hard way and its too bad. He’s not going to win the White House, you will not see first lady Callista Gingrich, its not going to happen. But Im just an observer, Im just going to watch what happens and hope common sense takes over before were stuck with him.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Of all the various questions the poll asked this is all we need to know!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM

11 months out this poll is all we need to know! LOL! RomneyBots think we’re sheep?

cartooner on December 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Dude. Romney has been in politics for nearly 20 years. You just defended him by saying he hasn’t changed his positions in the last six years. You can’t even bring yourself to claim he hasn’t flip-flopped, because he has, MANY TIMES. Your own words admit what you want to pretend isn’t true.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Wisdom isn’t exactly Newt Gingrich’s George Will’s strong suit

…at least these days. When was the last time we heard a clearly conservative coherent thought from George Will?

It makes me wonder whether Alzheimer’s has found another victim in the MSM.

landlines on December 2, 2011 at 2:32 PM

If the conservative movement survived Bush, we can survive Newt or Romney. We will not recover if Obama gets a second term.

John_Locke on December 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

What conservative movement survived Bush, the one seemingly about to nominate Newt or Romney?

FloatingRock on December 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM

How would it understand itself after eight years? I think what would have gone away, perhaps forever, is the sense of limited government, the 10th Amendment, Madisonian government of limited, delegated and enumerated powers

Aren’t we already a good clip down this road?
If Obama gets four more years, will this situation be better?
Has Will endorsed a candidate for president? If so, who?

The argument of the (super-duper) intellectual Will is moot. I wish all of the so-called intelligentsia would vacation in Barbados for the next twelve months.

RedCrow on December 2, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Gosh! Aren’t we lucky that we have brilliant and highly paid conservative pundits to tell us conservatives what and how to believe! They even double as oracles to tell us what will happen.

Be still my heart!

Buh bye George.

Old Country Boy on December 2, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Will is 100% right. With Newt we throw the tea party and federalism under the bus. Perry has been pushing the 10th amendment for years, long before he ran for president.

I don’t doubt Bachmann’s conservative credentials, but she has zero exec experience and hasn’t even held a leadership position in congress yet–very thin resume for a presidential candidate.

juliesa on December 2, 2011 at 2:36 PM

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Heh, Mitt got Lisa Murkowski’s endorsement. I like Mitt is more “Washington insider” than he lets on. :-)

Punchenko on December 2, 2011 at 2:36 PM

No Newt is good Newt

Snake307 on December 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM

What conservative movement survived Bush, the one seemingly about to nominate Newt or Romney?

FloatingRock on December 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Good point!

cartooner on December 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Give it up George. There is alot more at stake at this point than the “conservative movement”.
And for those of you who believe that neither Romney or/nor Newt will deliver enough to conservatives I say on some level you’re reciting the same mantra as the OWS’ers. You want more because those candidates are not going to do enough for you. You want more because you don’t want to give up anything. You want more because it’s for some greater good and you protest by occupying some moral high ground. Maybe your uber conservative will get the nomination, and maybe thay will beat Obama, but that’s just not looking the reality the rest of us are living in.

lynncgb on December 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Dude. Romney has been in politics for nearly 20 years. You just defended him by saying he hasn’t changed his positions in the last six years. You can’t even bring yourself to claim he hasn’t flip-flopped, because he has, MANY TIMES. Your own words admit what you want to pretend isn’t true.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM

DUDE! haha

Romney has not been IN politics for 20 years! Running a campaign for a year for the Senate and then going back to private life until mid 2002 AFTER the Olympics then he was Gov from 2003-07 then ran for 18 months for 2008 nominee. Campaigning over the last 3 years since 2008 is NOT the same as ACTUALLY being a Congressman or Governor…whereas Gingrich has been in Congress for decades!

My point was that even on positions you say he has flipped he hasn’t and the ones such as abortion he flipped to OUR SIDE!! So what is the cause for concern?

Again, show me on those positions I listed where Romney flipped and then flopped again. He has not. He has been consistent and even as Governor BACKED IT UP with signed legislation.

my earlier paragraph that Allah posted should be MORE cause for concern than Romney. All we Romney supporters and other NON-Gingrich supporters are saying IS BE HONEST. Gingrich is playing you…

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Romney was running as a conservative while Gingrich was sitting with Pelosi, advocating for Medicare Part D, Taking money from and promoting Fannie and Freddie, advocating an individual mandate (which supposedly makes Romney un-electable) and throwing Paul Ryan as late as this summer under the bus saying he doesnt believe in “right wing social engineering”, says hes “not sure” if Global warming is man made, a guy who once proudly called himself a Rockefeller Republican, is running as a “true conservative.” Add his post career free fall to personal baggage nightmare and your telling me this guy, this guy is the conservative choice? The real conservative over Romney? I could buy this argument when it was Perry, Cain, Bachmann, ect, but this is now totally ridiculous.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Every time we vote for a RINO, the GOP has another reason to tell conservatives to f**k off.

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

This. I won’t vote for Gingerich or Romney.

samuelrylander on December 2, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Should have said:
my earlier paragraph that Allah posted on Gingrich should be MORE cause for concern than Romney

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

How does anyone say this with a straight face? HOW?

MadisonConservative on December 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Because he hasn’t. Which means, irrespective of why he changed, he is going to win or lose on the positions he has held for 6 years.

Unlike Gingrich who is running around apologizing for all his mistakes. Yeah, coming from a career politician, we all know it is just another tried and true political tactic.

csdeven on December 2, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Of all the various questions the poll asked this is all we need to know!

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM

11 months out this poll is all we need to know! LOL! RomneyBots think we’re sheep?

cartooner on December 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM

you’re making a comment about me pointing out a poll result and yet if it was YOUR candidate you would not be?

You are on this site commenting all the time about poll results.

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Newt plus a tea-party influenced senate and house would be able to start the tough job of getting our country turned around, including getting some excellent appointments to the SCOTUS and the lower federal courts.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 2, 2011 at 2:48 PM

George Will is a snob. He no more represents the concervative movement than Jon Huntsman.

flataffect on December 2, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Romney will bring in the majority of the base in the General and many disaffected Dems and Indies. However, Gingrich will bring in the majority of the base BUT the disaffected Dems and Indies will recall Gingrich’s days as the “ultimate politico” and was the cause (so they’ll say) of the Congress shutting down, they’ll recall Gingrich as combative with the Dems and not wanting to work with them, and his style that many in the Republican Congress found difficult to work with…this is why Gingrich is NOT a good pick for us as the 20% in the middle WILL NOT vote for Gingrich. They will stay home or vote Obama regrettably.

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I think some folks are thinking entirely the wrong way about the coming election. The microscopic inspection of republican candidates is completely unnecessary.

Consider this: If republicans take the Senate and hold the House, will a victorious republican president sign a bill repealing Obamacare, for example? (Would Obama?) Would Mitt/Newt/Whoever sign legislation reforming entitlements? (Would Obama?) Spending? (Obama?)

RedCrow on December 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Yes and this article explains it best. The base showed up last election, we lost to Obama with the indies. The base if they showed up for John McCain after Bush fatigue will show up again, but Newt is not going to get the indies and hes going to lose huge with Women.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/284700/romney-s-one-ramesh-ponnuru?pg=4

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I want to hear more about this Romney/Newt debate business. Sirens sound if Romney’s really backing down from that. We need a fighter, and nothing less.

sleepingiantsup on December 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

RedCrow on December 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM

true! this is something I believe Jay Cost was saying as well in another article…

Even though I am strongly for Romney I will back ANY of our candidates and hope the rest here on HA do as well. I do not want to see a repeat of 1996/2006/8 because “strict” conservatives wanted to teach the rest of us a lesson! This is why we are in the position today with the 2007-2010 Dem House and 2008-2010 Dem Senate and 2008-2012 Dem WH.

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

sleepingiantsup on December 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Hes not going to do it because by doing it he would essentially be admitting its a two person race, he doesnt want to do that. The more viable alternatives to him the better for his campaign as it divides the vote. If he agreed to it, he would be an idiot.

nswider on December 2, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I want to hear more about this Romney/Newt debate business. Sirens sound if Romney’s really backing down from that. We need a fighter, and nothing less.

sleepingiantsup on December 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I think Romney should do the debates. It is when Gingrich is stroking his ego with his pontifications that we get to see exactly how much of a Washington insider he is.

csdeven on December 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I am strongly for Romney

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Obvious.

I’m not strongly for anybody, but pretty strongly against Romney. Newt will do in a pinch. All the others, while more conservative, have torpedoed themselves. I think Newt has the experience at this level of political gamesmanship not to do the same.

alwaysfiredup on December 2, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I do not want to see a repeat of 1996/2006/8 because “strict” conservatives wanted to teach the rest of us a lesson! This is why we are in the position today with the 2007-2010 Dem House and 2008-2010 Dem Senate and 2008-2012 Dem WH.

g2825m on December 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

That’s stupid. We are in the position we are in today because we keep nominating squishy fish as our candidates. People who competently run on solid principles carry the election every time they are run as the nominee. Unfortunately, we keep getting scared of losing the independents (read “liberals who won’t admit it”) rather than scared of not capturing our own base.

samuelrylander on December 2, 2011 at 3:05 PM

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