Ed touched on Gingrich’s comments earlier (lefty Greg Sargent gleefully titled his post on the subject, “Capitalism on trial”), but now that big conservative outlets like CFG are pushing back, I figured they deserved a second post. Again, here’s what the putative GOP nominee had to say about Romnney’s outrageous scheme of making big money off of smart investments:
When asked about Romney’s position on immigration, Gingrich said that deporting all undocumented immigrants is unrealistic.
“You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and making $20 million for no work, to have some fantasy this far from reality,” Gingrich said.
Over to you, Club for Growth:
“Newt Gingrich says he’s a student of history, but he must have gone to the same school as Barack Obama if he is reaching the same wrong conclusion about economic freedom, “said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Mitt Romney made his money from putting capital to work to create jobs and economic growth. We should encourage, not criticize, such behavior. Newt Gingrich’s comment that Mitt Romney made money from ‘no work’ is ridiculous and continues his poisonous attack on economic freedom.”
Says Sargent, “Romney is half right when he says his critics are putting capitalism on trial. This election is putting his brand of capitalism on trial.” Does Newt agree? If so, what does he think is the difference between Romney’s “brand of capitalism” and the real thing given that no one’s accused Mitt of having dodged any taxes with his Swiss and Cayman accounts? Note that there’s nothing about Bain in what Gingrich said this morning so this isn’t a critique per se of corporate takeovers. His objection seems to be more basic, that Romney’s so far out of touch with America’s problems by dint of being rich — or rather, idly rich — that his policy proposals are bound to come out of left field. I’m curious to know what he thinks Romney should do to remedy that. Should he start a charity and manage it just so that he has something to do all day and some reason to interact with people? If that’s too white-collar, how about him taking a nine-to-five job manning the counter at Starbucks? Evidently none of Romney’s decades of work in finance and as governor are sufficient to pull him out of the super-rich “fantasy”-land he currently inhabits, so he needs to take dramatic action to ground himself in real-America’s concerns. Thank goodness there’s a guy with a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s around to give him advice.
Philip Klein asks a question that’ll send a chill down your spine: Is Newt Gingrich a “Saul Alinsky Republican”?
In his seminal 1971 work, “Rules for Radicals,” left-wing community organizer Alinsky laid out his method for instigating change. Many of the tactics he spoke about — such as exploiting resentment and pitting oneself against the establishment — have become a central part of Gingrich’s strategy for securing the Republican presidential nomination…
Gingrich has continued his class warfare strategy in Florida, referring to Romney on Wednesday as somebody who was “liv(ing) in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and making $20 million for no work. …”
It may be odd for somebody claiming to be a conservative to employ the tactics of the left, but Alinsky wrote an entire chapter on the arbitrary ethics of when the ends justify the means, noting that, “generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.”
Follow the link for more examples of Newt’s Alinskyite strategy, especially vis-a-vis debate moderators and the media. In fairness to Gingrich, it does reflect some sort of genius on his part that he could use tactics championed by one of conservatives’ foremost boogeymen to help turn himself into the conservative standard-bearer in the race. In lieu of video of Newt discussing Romney’s finances, here’s millionaire liberal Jon Stewart goofing on millionaire moderate Mitt Romney for making too darned much money for what he does. Exit quotation: “In the time it took Jon Stewart to say ‘That’s almost $57,000 a day’, the gov’t spent $180,000 (3.3 seconds).”