Newt v. The Gipper: Where’s Mitt?

by Jonah Goldberg

Elliot Abram’s piece on Newt’s attacks on Reagan is an interesting read. While it does muddy Gingrich’s claims that he was sort of Reagan’s junior partner, I’m not sure everyone will see it as an all-out indictment. As Josh Treviño writes on twitter:  “I’ll take ’80s Gingrich attacking Reagan from the right over ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s Romney attacking Reagan from the left.”

But my question is, Why are we hearing this from Elliot Abrams now and not from Mitt Romney weeks ago? Seriously, Romney spends a lot of money on consultants. They couldn’t prep the boss to mention a floor speech by Gingrich excoriating Ronald Reagan?

The other night Romney had a good zinger about Reagan’s diary barely mentioning Gingrich. But it would have been far more effective if he could have followed up by “Newt, you denounced Reagan from the floor of the House for his foreign policies.You said ‘the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.’ As a historian, you should at least remember the history you were part of.”

I didn’t remember this stuff about Newt (in fairness the day Gingrich said that I was celebrating my 17th birthday). But then again, I’m not on a six figure retainer for the Romney campaign either.

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