National Review to Newt: Get out

posted at 10:25 am on February 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Newt Gingrich came to CPAC last week to rally the conservative activist base to his campaign.  In my estimation, Gingrich did as well as he could possibly have done in his speech, but the support it generated at CPAC as reflected in the straw poll vote was disappointing, at best.  Today, National Review tells Gingrich to take the advice he has handed out to others in the race and exit forthwith:

At the moment Rick Santorum appears to be overtaking Newt Gingrich as the principal challenger to Mitt Romney. Santorum has won more contests than Gingrich (who has won only one), has more delegates, and leads him in the polls. In at least one poll, he also leads Romney. It isn’t yet a Romney–Santorum contest, but it could be headed that way.

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

Of course, Santorum didn’t take Gingrich’s advice at the time and ended up rebounding in the race.  Gingrich might still do the same.  However, given Gingrich’s low favorability numbers and an apparent funding issue, it seems less and less likely that Gingrich can catch lightning in a bottle a third time in this race.

Oddly, even though National Review’s editors ask Gingrich to withdraw, they don’t go as far as to make a choice for themselves. They certainly speak highly of Santorum and the integrity with which he has conducted himself in the race.  They don’t speak as well of Mitt Romney, whom they call a “transactional politician rather than a charismatic one,” and blast him for insincerity in his attacks on Santorum:

Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)

Romney and his supporters could prevail in a “carpet bombing” campaign against Gingrich (to use Gingrich’s terminology) because Gingrich had so many areas to attack that would damage him with conservatives.  Santorum presents a different challenge, and another carpet-bombing campaign on Santorum could end up backfiring on Romney as conservatives react to the negativity rather than the attacks themselves.  NR’s prescription of embracing the transactional — tell conservatives what they’ll win with a Romney presidency, Tim! — might be a better approach, and one that emphasizes Romney’s executive skills and ability to deliver in a general election, even if it won’t win loyalty and enthusiasm.  But it might be even better if National Review made its own choice at the same time that they ask one of the candidates to narrow the choices down for voters in future contests.


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Interesting the RUSH emphasized that he has NOT endorsed anyone or LEANED one way or the other. Yeah, right. Obviously in response to this American Thinker piece on his owning the Santorum surge.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/ok_rush_you_own_santorum_surge.html

AmeriCuda on February 13, 2012 at 2:17 PM

If anyone should get out, it’s Mitt. He was a liberal his entire life until he decided he wanted to be president.

But CPAC seems to have been a 2×4 to the head of NRO. It is ironic to see NRO back off from Mitt after Jonah’s lame reason for supporting him and after another piece advising Mitt on what to say about RomneyCare.

They must be having fights in their editorial meetings. I wonder if some I told you so’s have been said.

I’d also love to know if a few people at CPAC cornered some the NRO folk there and asked them if they’d lost their mind.

INC on February 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Why would Newt get out? Worst case for him staying in is the nomination process will go to the convention due to split vote. Best case Mitt destroys Rick via ads, people get ticked at Mitt and Newt takes the nomination. What does he have to lose?

davemason2k on February 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Why would Newt get out? Worst case for him staying in is the nomination process will go to the convention due to split vote. Best case Mitt destroys Rick via ads, people get ticked at Mitt and Newt takes the nomination. What does he have to lose?

davemason2k on February 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

There seldom, if ever, has been a Presidential candiates as badly flawed and genuinely disliked by so many as Newt Gingrich.

There is no way Newt will be the GOP standard bearer. If you believe otherwise, you’re higher that Whitney Houston was Saturday afternoon.

bw222 on February 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Here’s my message to NRO: STFU. You’re ruining the reputation of a formerly great magazine. WFB is rolling over in his grave.

LFRGary on February 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

“There seldom, if ever, has been a Presidential candiates as badly flawed and genuinely disliked by so many as Newt Gingrich.”

I see the selective logic offered up on Newt by the MSM and Republican elites has easily found refuge in your brain. I smell another Romneybot!

wtng2fish on February 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Newt is still the best choice. He needs to stay in as long as he can.

Rose on February 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I’ve been for Newt or Santorum almost from the beginning. Both bright, articulate and equipped with the knowledge to actually know HOW to dismantle this bureaucracy. I believe, however, that Romney did to Newt what the left-wing and Hollywood did to Sarah Palin. Our main goal has got to defeat Obama and weekly, we’re seeing an inarticulate, stumbling Romney. (severe conservative?) The man wants an automatic COL adjustment to the minimum wage.

We have to have a candidate who understands conservative philosophy, and no, a brokered convention would just give us Romney or Jeb Bush.

There really is something wrong with a man or a woman who would try to personally destroy another human being for his/her own aggrandizement. This is a serious character flaw and beyond Mitt’s checkered, progressive past, this bothers me a lot. The same church as Obama–just a different pew.

Portia46 on February 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

$16,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and our “conservative” overlords want the one man who has balanced the Federal Budget to get out of the race? Genius!

Afterseven on February 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Here’s my message to NRO: STFU. You’re ruining the reputation of a formerly great magazine. WFB is rolling over in his grave.

LFRGary on February 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I’ve thought that many times myself. If anything, Buckley would be hammering Romney for the liberal he is.

cajunpatriot on February 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Mitt Romney is a far more electable candidate than Rick Santorum and one way to make Romney hater liek me accept him is to push a sexist religious nut in my throat…

jules

So, you prefer non-religious nuts pushed in your throat? Ewww.

xblade on February 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Santorum’s record makes him ripe for caricature and demonization as the “Bible candidate.”

although i don’t dislike Santorum You know that the Obama superpac

will play over and over video of Santorums comments about gays,women as homemakers,state banning birth control,not giving money to blacks,raped women still having the baby etc. although many of these views go well with the republican base
i fear the independents and moderates will go nuts.

Jut my opinion

gerrym51 on February 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Newt needs to stay in. This I say even though I’m not supporting him. Libertarian conservatives like Madison need a place to go.

Don’t leave, Newt!

Another good reason for Newt staying: National Review wants him out.

Burke on February 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

“There seldom, if ever, has been a Presidential candiates as badly flawed and genuinely disliked by so many as Newt Gingrich.”

I see the selective logic offered up on Newt by the MSM and Republican elites has easily found refuge in your brain. I smell another Romneybot!

wtng2fish on February 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Selective logic? “Romneybot”? Irony, thy name is wtng2fish.

CanofSand on February 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

If I had my way, Romney would be exiting stage left for his ‘scorched earth’ policy and the crooked caucuses from missing ballot boxes in Iowa (Santorum won eventually) to the lengthy counting in Nevada where Ron Paul people were turned away to now Maine where a county still hasn’t caucused but the GOP Chair declares a winner. Just happens to be a county with heavy Paul support. Do I think Romney’s people are behind the caucus irregularities? Absolutely!

Romney touted winning Maine when the GOP Chair announced his victory but there is a slight problem which Romney or the ME GOP Chair did not recognize. The caucus is not finished as they didn’t hold the vote in a leaning Ron Paul district because of a little snow when it is more likely they didn’t want Paul to win Maine and have to announce it for the Sunday Morning news shows.

Washington County is going to caucus this week unless they get another dusting of snow. Girl Scouts held their event but not the GOP Caucus? If that wasn’t a set up, I don’t know what one would be. The Maine GOP Chair like Iowa and Nevada are already in the tank for Romney. No wonder VA didn’t allow anyone else on the ballot as their Governor McDonnell is in the tank for Romney as well with his comments on Santorums stand on Republican women in the military. I didn’t know that Santorum was talking only about Republican women and frankly he was right about women in combat.

I am thoroughly disgusted by some current and former elected officials who are in the tank for Romney as they turn into pretzels to defend him. With his ‘scorched earth’ policy there is no defense. He is probably one of the nastier people we have had run and still wonder why he is being pushed so hard. Not buying into he is the only one who could beat Obama when he couldn’t beat McCain.

PhiKapMom on February 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM

$16,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and our “conservative” overlords want the one man who has balanced the Federal Budget to get out of the race? Genius!

Newt and Santorum were part of the same team in the 90s. You can argue Newt gets more credit as the leader, sure, but then you also have to look at how he performed as the leader.

Anyway, if one wants a 1994 vintage Republican legislator you are at least as likely to set it out of Santorum as you are Newt.

18-1 on February 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Conservatives to National Review-Stop publishing!

redware on February 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

This is interesting. Let me guess, they live Santorum.
Well, that’s great because soon, Santorum will be under that microscope that has killed stronger ants as the sun shone down on them.
Everyone goes after Newt Gingeich for endorsing Scazzafava, but Rick Santorum endorsed Arlen Specter over Toomey and look what that traitor did to the party.
Rick Santorum is also a big spender, so our attack on Obama’s spending will be challenged by that fact. Mitt Romney will be attacked over Romneycare.
So, there is only one true candidate and no, it isn’t Ron Paul.

RovesChins on February 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

I believe, however, that Romney did to Newt what the left-wing and Hollywood did to Sarah Palin.

Get a life-the left tried and failed (that silly e-mail gold rush and chasing the pretty bus while she laughed at them.)

It was the GOP that took her down -from Rove, Cheney, Cristie, COulter, Ingraham, Krauthammer, Parker, Noonan, Coulter and Ingrhaam together, etc. all rapid fire, knife in the back, while the RNC sat quietly smirking like a Chicago hood who was playing golf with the police commissioner when the body was found.

That final straw cost them my membership. They are the enemy pretending to be opposition, while they put up Oromney, and fairly well take down any competition.

Don L on February 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Rick Santorum scares the hell out of me. He has some weird ideas. And he is only conservative when it comes to social issues.

If it comes down to it, we’d better pray for a brokered convention, because he would lose in a spectacular fashion.

Once again, our candidate isn’t being chosen — he’s being forced on us.

grits on February 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I hardly expect (and neither does National Review)Gingrich to hold a press conference stating “National Review wants me gone so I’m out” No magazine, even in its most paranoiac grandiosity wields that kind of influence.

I do suspect, however, that NR is stating rather emphatically that a Gingrich nomination would spell triple defeat for Republicans-the White House, the Senate and the House. I agree.

MaiDee on February 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Rick Santorum is as unpopular as Newt Gingrich.

Santorum will lose to Obama in a landslide.

mountainaires on February 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Still don’t get this. Santorum doesn’t interview well, and is easy for the Dems to attack. Why are we doing this to ourselves? I see Newt as a better choice. Some days, I even see Romney as more electable than Ricky.

ChicagoJewishGuy on February 14, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Santorum has won 4 elections running in hostile districts and a hostile state as himself.

Romney won a single hostile election, apparently faking a position he didn’t actually hold.

Yet I am to believe Mitt Romney is more electable?

BKennedy on February 14, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Rick Santorum is as unpopular as Newt Gingrich.

Santorum will lose to Obama in a landslide.

mountainaires on February 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

So, if what I read here today is true, then its Obama for another 4 years.

Santorum will lose, Newt won’t get the nomination, and Romney is Obama lite. Why would anyone vote for Obama lite when they can have the real thing? Didn’t we learn this last time? Its got to be Santorum or Newt. Newt is the smartest guy, with the skills and knowledge to get it done.

I guess I should put in my application for New Zeland right next to James Cameron. Somehow I don’t think we will be on the same list as him.

JeffVader on February 14, 2012 at 10:20 AM

So Newt should get out just when Mitt Romney’s appeal is collapsing, just when Rick Santorum’s record is being analyzed unfavorably, and just when the best states for his campaign are coming up?

DarkKnight3565 on February 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

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