Congressman on Gingrich’s marital past: “Jesus is not on the ballot”

posted at 1:05 pm on January 19, 2012 by Tina Korbe

As Rick Perry said when he endorsed Newt Gingrich, the guy is “not perfect,” but whose name are we looking for on the ballot anyway? Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), a Gingrich supporter, reminds us we’re not gonna find that name, anyway, because it’s not there.

“All of us have baggage, but Jesus is not on the ballot. Maybe it would be great if he were, but the point is we have to, in this case, pick the person who can best lead this country into the place that the Founding Fathers dreamed it could be,” Franks, who has endorsed Gingrich, told TheDC at the GOP presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Monday night.

“I think if Barack Obama is re-elected, we will see our economy really diminished into a European socialism that will be hard to ever break free from.”

When asked why he chose to back Gingrich over the rest of the field, Franks said, “He has an almost asymmetric capability, a political casucci I would call it, of being able to take the left’s questions — who are nearly always laced with false premise — and turn them around before they ever know what hit them.”

As Gingrich gains momentum in South Carolina, bolstered by the pseudo-endorsement of Sarah Palin and the outright endorsement of Rick Perry, conservatives must grapple again with the question: Are they comfortable with Newt’s past — or, more accurately, with the way the GOP’s opponents will exploit it? He’s still a longshot to overtake Mitt Romney, but, as fewer and fewer alternatives to Romney exist, the possibility that voters will coalesce around Gingrich (or Santorum) becomes greater. It’s never too soon to question how a candidate would fare in the general election. As we’re learning, the MSM won’t miss a single opportunity to rehash Gingrich’s old mistakes — but Gingrich also won’t miss a single opportunity to, as Franks said, turn reporters’ questions around on them. While Gingrich’s antagonism toward the media hasn’t exactly earned him friends among reporters, it has seemed to resonate with the GOP base. It’s less likely, though, that that antagonism will appeal to independents, who are more like liberals than conservatives in terms of what TV news outlets they trust and don’t trust.

In the meantime, Franks’ message is important not merely for the primary, but also for the general. In 2008, Barack Obama might have had the aura of The One, but, with the exception of Esquire writers, fewer and fewer voters think of Obama as a messiah-like, salvific figure. Between Romney and Gingrich, Gingrich is actually the candidate who is probably most likely to illuminate Obama’s many faults in debates. Then again, Romney is probably most likely to maintain message discipline. The two candidates aren’t interchangeable, but, all polls aside, either could beat Obama with the active support of conservatives and targeted campaign appeals to independents. Neither is Jesus — but Obama’s not, either.


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Apologies if this has already been hashed out prior, but how is Gingrich going to square the idea of traditional marriage being between one man/one woman when supposedly, for him, there was once the option of his marriage being one man/one woman plus one more woman? Sorry, Newt, you just lost me.

laurendap on January 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

laurendap on January 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

A reasonable question. Granted I don’t buy moral equivalency arguments for gay marriage which essentially say that because so many traditional marriages end up in divorce, gay marriage should be legalized. But it is embarrassing when “true conservatives” fail so miserably to defend the cause.

Buy Danish on January 19, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Granted I don’t buy moral equivalency arguments for gay marriage which essentially say that because so many traditional marriages end up in divorce, gay marriage should be legalized.

Buy Danish on January 19, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Completely agree. I meant to say that it smacks of hypocrisy when he says Yes to traditional marriage being one way, when for himself (purportedly), he sought something different.

laurendap on January 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Still cannot believe how Palin can square her support for a man who asked his ex-wife to turn a blind eye to his extramarital affair.

Yeah, he’s a real champ.

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

More holier-than-thou claptrap.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

It’s less likely, though, that that antagonism will appeal to independents, who are more like liberals than conservatives in terms of what TV news outlets they trust and don’t trust.

Hello.

And it’s all about them (independents).

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Still cannot believe how Palin can square her support for a man who asked his ex-wife to turn a blind eye to his extramarital affair.

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

…because it’s a long time ago and doesn’t matter anymore to anyone except Marianne. He wasn’t asking for federal recognition and survivor/visitation benefits for mistresses, for crying out loud.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

And it’s all about them (independents).

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Great. Let’s let the media pick our candidate again…and watch that candidate lose to the media’s darling again.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

If Gingrich becomes our nominee then I never want to hear another f*cking word about Clinton’s White House escapades.

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

…because it’s a long time ago and doesn’t matter anymore to anyone except Marianne. He wasn’t asking for federal recognition and survivor/visitation benefits for mistresses, for crying out loud.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Keep squaring that circle.

Great. Let’s let the media pick our candidate again…and watch that candidate lose to the media’s darling again.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

What do independent voters decisions have to do with the media?

Unless you are suggesting that they are too stupid to figure out the political process on their own.

If so, that is certainly fantastic messaging.

The Ugly American on January 19, 2012 at 6:07 PM

…because it’s a long time ago and doesn’t matter anymore to anyone except Marianne. He wasn’t asking for federal recognition and survivor/visitation benefits for mistresses, for crying out loud.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Great. Let’s let the media pick our candidate again…and watch that candidate lose to the media’s darling again.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Thank you, AlwaysFiredUp. It completely amazes me that the focus continues to remain on Newt’s personal life choices (which suck, by the way) instead of his ability to give pointed answers without a stutter during the debates and interviews.

Where was all of this outrage when Clinton did his thing with his harem? His popularity somehow hasn’t waned in the least, earning enormous amounts of money for giving speeches and still hobnobbing with the elites. Hypocrisy knows no bounds, I suppose.

Did it ever occur to any of you “anti-Newt’s” that people can actually have a change of heart/mind/spirituality? You know, a real “come-to-Jesus” experience? In no way am I trying to justify his marital shortcomings, but that sort of thing should really be left out of the picture as it was a personal matter. Nothing to do with politics. Get over it and get off the media’s bandwagon.

soulmate on January 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Completely agree. I meant to say that it smacks of hypocrisy when he says Yes to traditional marriage being one way, when for himself (purportedly), he sought something different.
laurendap on January 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

I understood what you meant:)

More holier-than-thou claptrap.
alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Has Newt been sanctimonious?

Buy Danish on January 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Marianne Gingrich has singlehandedly proven the Jimmy Soul song completely wrong.

meci on January 19, 2012 at 6:27 PM

or is it just one of those instances where ordinary folks are confronted with extraordinary folks and just can’t handle it, so the average sod tries to tear down the great, diminish that greatness, in order to make themselves feel less ordinary? News: there are truly amazingly extraordinary people in the world and sometimes, if you’re lucky, one of them will cross your path.

And I’m telling you, based on my real-world experience meeting men who are, by any definition, great men, that you will never, ever achieve what they have achieved. By trying to whittle others down to your size, you eliminate even the possibility of achieving something great in your life, something bigger than you are.

My advice? Aspire to humility, not greatness. Humility is knowing exactly who and what we are as individuals–and more importantly, knowing what we could be if we work at it hard enough.

No, it is not antithetical to the Christian faith to recognize that some men and women are smarter, stronger, faster, more accomplished and well-rounded, more charismatic, and possessed of greater character and beauty than oneself. They exist, and they won’t magically cease existing because your pathetic ego is too big to allow for their existence. And no, I never argued greatness was based on anything other than achievement.

troyriser_gopftw on January 19, 2012

All your quotes, you tell me I need to learn to be humble, I am a sod, I can never be great and then again tell me I have no concept of humility. All this because I refuse to say Washington is perfect? I had the temerity to say Washington and other great men can have flaws.

Yes I do need to learn to be more humble I cannot disagree. Now I would ask you to find where in my writings I have said of you anything so unflattering as you have said of myself?

Please refrain from the refuge of “oh those weren’t things I was saying specifically of you, because at least three you were very direct and the other, your inference is more than clear.

Also I happen to think someday you can be great, I believe that of all people, in my experiences managing departments I have found inspiring personal to achieve their best comes from encouraging them to believe they can achieve it. Not telling them they can never be anything great.

One more question, if you honestly believe greatness is not some innate quality how can you say of anyone they can never be great?

What is surprising to me is I have agreed The people we are talking about are great and extraordinary, I am just pointing out they were not perfect either.

It is antithetical of being a christian to believe someone somehow has more potential to be more than others innately. Which is very much what has come across in your writings on this matter. God gives all gifts, anything to the contrary is easily refuted biblicly. God has created no man lesser or greater than another. Therefor all men can aspire to be something great. most never will but that doesn’t mean they can’t. This has nothing to do with humility.

One can believe they can achieve great things and still be humble, those concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Skwor on January 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Newt:

“Marriage is a union between one man, one woman, and then however many other women the man wants to be with”.

How do we discuss DOMA or traditional values with a straight face if we have this sociopath in the oval office? Are we that desperate to see Newt supposedly tell Obama off in the debates we are willing to sell our souls?

Well, not me. Mitt is perfectly capable of doing the job and we won’t have to worry about explaining, defending and apologizing for his moral failings.

echosyst on January 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

My instant, gut reaction is that – with the general electorate that is just now beginning to focus on 2012 presidential politics – what happened to Cain may save Gingrich.

In Cain’s misfortune, Newt may have caught a very lucky break. Once the voters see two GOP candidates being kneecapped at critical junctures, they feel manipulated.

Had Cain not already been crucified, Gingrich goose would likely have been cooked.

As it is, not only will Newt survive, but may get a sympathy backlash from people who are worried about the country’s future, and see nothing but media games.

Perry’s endorsement was a BIG plus.

I am glad to see which side Perry came down upon. Also feel bad for Perry, as he is almost certainly a much better executive than his first experience in presidential politics showed.

I suppose now that a lot of Romney fans will be going nuclear on Hot Air.

Between the monotonous spamming and relentless ad-hominem attacks on Gingrich by the likes of bluegill, Jailbreak and 1punchWill, and all the juvenile name-calling since the open registrations, sorting out the real discussion from the hyperbole and bullying in the next few days will be a tiring chore.

The signal-to-noise ratio here has been getting lower each week since open registration and I honestly am losing my enthusiasm for commenting, due to the garbage that came in the door.

cane_loader on January 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM

what happened to Cain may save Gingrich.
cane_loader on January 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I honestly thought of that also back when Cain was getting…”Cained”. I figured, well they at least maybe used up the whole sex scandal thing, and people might become highly skeptical if that type of attack surfaced again. Hope you are right about that “sympathy backlash” theory.

lynncgb on January 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM

It makes zero difference if conservatives “get comfortable” with Newt’s Fat Angry Horny Hobbit habits – the fact is that he’ll get seal clubbed into a bloody mess in a hypothetical general.

PPP today shows him – alone of Republican candidates – down against The One in…..

Texas.

Romney winning by 7. Santorum by 7. Paul by 6. Newt? LOSING to Obama.

Wake up people or live with losing. Badly.

InVinoVeritas on January 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM

It makes zero difference if conservatives “get comfortable” with Newt’s Fat Angry Horny Hobbit habits – the fact is that he’ll get seal clubbed into a bloody mess in a hypothetical general.

InVinoVeritas on January 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM

It astounds me that some, (most) of these “true” conservatives are completely blind, willfully blind, to what a hypocrisy this is for the Republican party and the massive ridicule coming our way. I don’t know why they think Gingrich will attract even one moderate or one independent, and sorry folks- but we can’t win without them.

BettyRuth on January 19, 2012 at 7:55 PM

laurendap, does it matter that the daughter that was there is and has been saying the entire story around the divorce was and is a lie? I mean, she was actually there. Were you?

SDN on January 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Hey Rep Franks, we don’t expect Jesus, just someone who smells better than the stuff the dog leaves in the yard. And I really don’t want Callista as FLOTUS , Ladies and Gentlemen President Adulterer and the First HO !!! We have had enough of elitist turds who think the world revolves around them. Give us leaders not self centered blowhards. D or R listen up your lies are about to be exposed and you will be doing the perp shuffle all the way to your six by six enjoy your permanent next residence.

stormridercx4 on January 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Skwor on January 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

By the time I got to this thread, it was too late to reply to you.

Just wanted to say, I read each of your comments. It is rare to see wisdom on display on HA. Kudos!!

bluefox on January 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM

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