Earlier this month it seemed as though Newt Gingrich was rolling. Herman Cain’s exit forced conservative voters to look for yet another “anti-Romney,” which led them to settle on Gingrich. There were three things that could hurt Gingrich’s campaign moving keeping them momentum; 1) his past record and statements 2) his arrogance and 3) lack of campaign organization.
The first two have certainly played part, though his record has been a more glaring problem than his arrogance as campaigns have pounded his relentlessly for backing big government. But the lack of campaign organization is just embarassing. Just last week, Gingrich was booted from the ballot in Virginia because he failed to turn in the proper amount of signatures (Rick Perry also failed to meet the requirements):
The Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday that Gingrich and Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures of registered voters required to get their names on the ballot for the March 6 primary.
“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the party announced on Twitter.
The rejection is a significant setback for the Gingrich campaign since he is leading the polls in Virginia among likely Republican voters and is seen as a strong contender for the nomination.
Perry’s campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, and Gingrich’s campaign said it submitted 11,050 signatures. State party officials spent Friday night validating the signatures.
It’s not the excellent video that one of his supporters recently put together, but Ron Paul’s campaign has put together a great video (you can watch it below) detailing the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich, who is the latest anti-Romney to emerge in the race.
Here’s part of the e-mail blast from Paul’s camp:
This candidate was for the individual mandate that served as the model for “ObamaCare.” He was originally for the TARP bank bailouts before he was against them. He joined with Nancy Pelosi to promote the anti-business “global warming” agenda.
He slammed Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “extreme,” calling it “right wing social engineering.”
You might think I am talking about Mitt Romney. Heck, you might think I’m talking about a liberal Democrat. But I’m not.
That candidate I’m talking about is Newt Gingrich. He is what I like to call a “counterfeit conservative.”
And I have barely even scratched the surface!
The video also makes not of Gingrich’s lobbying and ties to the corportist health insurance industry. All of this should make conservatives skeptical of Gingrich, but sadly they are buying what he is selling:
As you know, Newt Gingrich has emerged as the latest anti-Romney candidate. His campaign is riding high right now, coming off an important endorsement from New Hampshire’s Union Leader. While others that have managed to find this niche in the GOP field, albeit temporarily, Gingrich is more likely to stick around because conservatives know him and generally respect him.
Gingrich is often lauded as the intellectual conservative who took on Bill Clinton, managed to work in bipartisan fashion for welfare reform, and balance the budget. They’re also more willing, it seems, to gloss over the not-so-conservative marks in his long record, among them are his support for TARP and expansion of Medicare. Yesterday, Joe Scarborough, who served as a Republican in the House from 1995 to 2001, laid into Gingrich for often supporting statist positions:
As was noted in yesterday’s GOP Presidential Power Rankings, Newt Gingrich is coming on strong as he appears to be latest anti-Romney emerge from the pack. The latest numbers in the race from Gallup only serve to emphasize that point.
Here is how the field looks right now:
- Newt Gingrich: 22%
- Mitt Romney: 21%
- Herman Cain: 16%
- Ron Paul: 9%
- Rick Perry: 8%
- Michele Bachmann: 4%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Rick Santorum: 1%
- Other: 1%
- None/No opinion: 18%
As you can see in the chart Gallup provided in their report of the poll numbers, this has been anything but a normal primary as the GOP electorate — though primarily tea party influenced and more conservative voters — moved back and forth between whatever Flavor of the Month has been put before them.
Unlikely Bachmann and Perry, Cain isn’t dropping off very far; despite the recently surfaced allegations of sexual harrassment. Most Republican voters aren’t bothered by those stories. They should, however, be very concerned at how his campaign has handled them and the frequent gaffes and lack of knowledge on policy issues that would come before him in the White House.
Another reason Cain has managed to hang on is due to some distrust of Gingrich among conservatives and tea partyers, which is understandable.
Newt Gingrich is the lastest Flavor of the Month for the conservative movement, which is feverishly looking for an anti-Romney candidate. But the former Speaker of the House has been forced to fight back against accusations that he lobbied for Freddie Mac, the government-created housing giant:
As he tried to leverage his recent rise in national polls into a full-fledged bid for the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich was badly knocked off message on Wednesday by repeated inquiries about the more than $1.6 million he got in consulting fees from the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which had a role in the housing collapse in recent years.
At a campaign event, Gingrich said that he characterized his work for the mortgage-finance entity as offering “strategic advice” and not as lobbying. He said he provided “strategic advice for a long period of time” after he resigned as speaker of the House in early 1999. The federally backed mortgage lender has been the target of a backlash since the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market and the deep recession in the housing market.
Gingrich said his lucrative association with Freddie Mac as a consultant – he has also said he was paid for his knowledge as an historian – should not trouble voters, he told reporters on Wednesday. “It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington,” he said. “We just tried four years of amateur ignorance, and it didn’t work very well. So, having someone who actually knows Washington might be a really good thing.”