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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

A Newt-ron Bomb of a Presidential Campaign



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From the Morning Jolt:

Newt 2012: A Fast-Burning Roman Candle?

Kevin Binversie observes, “I would not want to be Newt Gingrich right now. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board just unloads on him.”

In that editorial, the Journal editors write, “The irony is that Mr. Gingrich’s own history of political failure on health care has made Mr. Ryan’s proposals all the more necessary. In 1995, Mr. Gingrich pushed a “Medicare Plus” reform through Congress that shared many of the same features as Mr. Ryan’s. It would have cut $270 billion from Medicare over seven years, while giving seniors a premium-support choice to join HMOs. President Clinton vetoed it, which along with Mr. Gingrich’s refusal to compromise helped precipitate the government shutdown… now he is trashing Mr. Ryan for thinking far more deeply about health care, and in a far more principled fashion, than Mr. Gingrich ever has. The episode reveals the Georgian’s weakness as a candidate, and especially as a potential President—to wit, his odd combination of partisan, divisive rhetoric and poll-driven policy timidity.

In his recent campaign book, “To Save America,” he describes Mr. Obama as bent on leading a “secular–socialist machine” that “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Mr. Ryan speaks softly but proposes policies commensurate with America’s problems. Mr. Gingrich speaks loudly but shrinks from hard choices. Who’s the “radical” and who’s the real leader?”

Worst of both worlds?

Is there a doctor in the house? Ah, thankfully, Charles Krauthammer is on hand to perform the autopsy of the just-began campaign. The Daily Caller quotes him: ““This is a big deal,” Krauthammer said. “He’s done. He didn’t have a big chance from the beginning but now it’s over. Apart from being contradictory and incoherent as we saw in those two bytes you showed where he contradicted himself in the course of one day on the individual mandate – calling the Republican plan, which all but four Republican members of the House have now endorsed and will be running on, calling it radical and right-wing social engineering is deadly… I mean, I think every one of these Republican candidates running for the House is going to have a Democratic opponent who’s going to run an ad you can write today. It’s going to start even conservative Newt Gingrich, the former leader of the Republicans in the House, says ‘It’s radical, it’s social engineering.’”

 


Tags: Newt Gingrich


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