Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier, Dec. 27, 2011

On Newt Gingrich’s recently rediscovered support of the Romney healthcare plan in 2006:

Well, this quote is a setback. I’m not sure if it’s Waterloo, 1815, I’m not sure if the Spanish Armada 1588. It could be the Battle of Marathon, but I’m not sure that Newt could do the whole 26 miles….

This is a damaging piece of information. And the reason is, two reasons. Number one, it’s a question of can you believe him? He has been explaining away his support for the individual mandate — that is the core of his [2006] support for Romneycare — as, well, something he did he in the early 1990s as a way to oppose Hillarycare. Well, this quote, this statement occurs 13 years after Hillarycare, only five years ago. And so you have got to question [his claims about] how long ago did he abandon the individual mandate.

Secondly, it’s a matter of substance. The main attack he has on Romney is that Romney is not authentic. And the main issue here is what he passed on health care. It isn’t just a policy dispute. It’s something that Romney actually enacted into law. If you take away that attack, what does Gingrich have? If he supported the bill that Romney had passed in Massachusetts, his entire attack on Romney as an unreliable conservative who did this horrendous anti-conservative thing [Romneycare] — collapses.

On the fact that 45% of Iowa Republicans say they could still change their mind:

That’s why I think Jonah [Goldberg], with all due respect, is wrong [that the revelations of Gingrich's support for Romneycare are too latebreaking to matter]. If you have half of the electorate undecided — sort of like Day Two at Gettysburg — it could go either way…. People are looking at exactly what’s happening [now]. I think Gingrich is hurt here. He is in decline. Look, he had a week, everybody has a week now, to do something, [but] he is going to be defending himself this week when he should be on the attack. And I think to the extent he is in decline, this is going to accelerate it.

On Rick Perry’s filing suit to overturn registration procedures in Virginia on the grounds that they are too onerous:

Four hundred signatures in 11 districts in a big state is not exactly onerous. I don’t think this [suit] has any chance of being successful.

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