‘I responded in a way that made no sense’

by Rich Lowry

What’s very typical in Newt Gingrich’s attack against Bain is that he had tried it once, and then backed off and apologized, and now he’s back at it again. Unfortunately, this is his m.o.—you can’t trust him to stick by any one line for very long. Here was Newt in mid-December with Sean Hannity: 

There was a very brief moment where, frankly, he got under my skin. And I responded in a way that made no sense, doesn’t fit my values. And made some references to Bain where I’ve said publicly he’s a good manager, He is a good businessman.

He’s back at Bain because it’s a cudgel that happened to be available. Here’s the New York Times account of the pass-the-trash provenance of the anti-Bain movie:

The film’s producer, Barry Bennett, a former consultant to a super PAC that supports Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, said he came up with the idea himself….

Mr. Bennett said he paid the film’s entire cost, $40,000, from his own pocket; it was never an official project of the pro-Perry group, Make Us Great Again. He said had he never showed it to the pro-Perry group, which he left in October. 

But people with knowledge of the film’s provenance said that officials at Make Us Great Again were shown an early portion of the film, and had told Mr. Bennett that they had no interest in using it or paying for it.

In a statement, Scott Rials, the executive director, said: “Make Us Great Again had nothing to do with this video in any way. Period. Barry Bennett worked with us during the startup phase of the super PAC, but we are now working on different projects.”

Mr. Bennett also shopped the film to a super PAC supporting another candidate, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. But officials with the group, Our Destiny, also passed on the film, according to a person with ties to the group. 

“We made the decision that that was just not the kind of campaign we wanted to participate in,” said the person, who asked for anonymity to describe private negotiations.