There are certain big-name Republicans who invite liberal ridicule and media mockery almost every time their open their mouths.
Sarah Palin? Check.
Michele Bachmann? Check.
And then there’s Newt Gingrich.
Ever since the onetime history professor graced a New York tabloid cover as a crybaby in diapers during a government shutdown, he has been a magnet for publicity—especially the negative kind. Gingrich is a smart fellow steeped in the issues, but also has a knack for straying off message.
Of course, Republicans can score points with their base by complaining about MSM mistreatment. But lately, with Newt actively exploring a presidnential candidacy, I’ve noticed that commentators on the right are roughing him up.
Take, for instance, the Daily Caller:
“So far, he’s angered the conservative intelligentsia with an ostentatious defense of ethanol subsidies, botched the announcement of his exploratory committee, bombed on explanations for his repeated adultery and three marriages, been seen as flip-flopping three times on Libya within a month and awkwardly warned about a future atheist America dominated by Islamic radicals.”
Not bad for a month’s work.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page was appalled when he went to Iowa and, like many pols before him, defended ethanol subsidies:
"Given that Mr. Gingrich aspires to be president, his ethanol lobbying raises larger questions about his convictions and judgment. The Georgian has been campaigning in the tea party age as a fierce critic of spending and government, but his record on that score is, well, mixed…
"Some pandering is inevitable in presidential politics, but, befitting a college professor, Mr. Gingrich insists on portraying his low vote-buying as high ‘intellectual’ policy. This doesn't bode well for his judgment as a president. Even Al Gore now admits that the only reason he supported ethanol in 2000 was to goose his presidential prospects, and the only difference now between Al and Newt is that Al admits he was wrong."
Michelle Malkin hasn’t been a fan, as she made clear last year:
"The conservative base is wising up and pushing back. And constantly invoking Reagan isn’t going to erase the damage Gingrich has done to his brand over the years by wavering on core issues and teaming up with some of the Left’s biggest clowns."
And Gingrich clearly didn’t help himself with this explanation of his serial infidelity to the Christian Broadcasting Network, though he must have had years to think about formulating a response:
"There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” Gingrich told David Brody.
He just cared too much about America. Especially when he was leading the drive to impeach Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky while carrying on with the House staffer who is now his wife.
Even Rand Paul couldn’t resist a swipe, albeit at a media dinner:
"I was happy to see that Newt Gingrich has staked out a position on the war; a position or two, or maybe three. I don't know. He may have more war positions than he's had wives."
Gingrich may add some intellectual heft to this race if he ends up running. But at the moment, his right flank looks awfully exposed.
No sooner did the U.S. first announce the talks to reporters than did Karzai again seem to suggest the Taliban was working in cahoots with us, reports Josh Rogin.