Newt Gingrich

Club for Growth on Newt Gingrich

Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The first candidate they take a look at for the 2012 cycle is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In the white paper (which you can read below), the Club for Growth notes Gingrich’s consistent record when it comes to taxes and free trade. However, they also note that he ha supported expansion of entitlements - he supported and lobbied for a multi-trillion dollar expansion of Medicare - and TARP (ironically, he wasn’t even in Congress when those big government measures were passed; yet he still supported them).

What’s the bottom line on Gingrich? (emphasis mine):

As a historical figure, it is undeniable that Newt Gingrich has played leading roles in some of the most important battles on behalf of economic growth and limited government in the last quarter century.

Ryan will not run for US Senate

Last night over at Politico, David Catanese wrote that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been dropping hints that he would not run for the seat being left open by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI):

Rep. Paul Ryan is reaching out to potential Senate candidates in Wisconsin, informing them he’s unlikely to run for Herb Kohl’s seat next year, according to two sources familiar with the conversations.

The House Budget Committee chairman, who was in Chicago Monday defending his polarizing debt reduction plan in front of the city’s Economic Club, told one prospective candidate he was “leaning heavily against a run,” an adviser confirmed to POLITICO.

Another consultant said that the congressman conveyed he was “95 percent sure” he would not enter the race for the open seat.

Ryan confirmed this morning that he wouldn’t run:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will not run for Senate next year.

“Our nation is quickly approaching a debt crisis that will do serious damage to Wisconsinites and all Americans if it is not properly addressed,” Ryan said Tuesday morning. “I believe continuing to serve as Chairman of the House Budget Committee allows me to have a greater impact in averting this debt-fueled economic crisis than if I were to run for the United States Senate.”

Ryan’s name immediately came up in discussions about the seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D). Ryan has risen to national prominence in the past few months as the face of House Republicans’ budget plans. Both Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) spoke with Ryan about a bid.

New GOP candidates

Last week, we had the official announcement of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul that they want the GOP nomination to be President of the United States.  Once upon a time, Gingrich was the powerful Speaker of the House and Paul was “that weird guy from Texas”.  Today, the two enjoy much different spots in the national spotlight.

Gingrich, who has a lot of character baggage to overcome, has been out of national politics for some time.  He’s lost a bit of name recognition among the rank and file voters.  Honestly, only Georgians and political types seem to remember him, and that’s not actually a good thing.  He has a lot of scandals in his background that will have to be laid to rest, which isn’t an easy thing.

In contrast, “that weird guy from Texas” has actually made a bit of a name for himself.  A libertarian, Paul’s message has resonated with the Tea Party as he has stated his positions – which are positions the grassroots movement also shares – since long before TARP was a twinkling in George W. Bush’s eye.  This made him a bit of a hero to many in the movement.  Strong showings in straw polls have also made him more relevant.

The ironic thing is that, as far as the mainstream media is concerned, Newt is the bigger story.  Paulites claim that there is a media bias against him, that the mainstream media won’t give him the same coverage as other candidates.  It’s true that Trump, who may not even run, has gotten more press than Paul and fellow libertarian candidate Gary Johnson put together.  In fact, a CNN analyst – you know, the kind of guys who are supposed to know who’s running? – didn’t seem to realize that Johnson had already announced.

Romney’s defense of health care law slammed

The hits keep on coming against Mitt Romney. Despite presenting the case for the health care law he pushed while Governor of Massachusetts against criticism, most observers remain unmoved.

While lementing that it’s Romney’s “turn,” Mark Steyn notes how damaging this health care proposal is to his prospects in the fall of 2012:

Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!
American conservatives’ problem with Romneycare is the same as with Obamacare — that, if the government (whether state or federal) can compel you to make arrangements for the care of your body parts that meet the approval of state commissars, then the Constitution is dead. And Americans might as well shred the thing and scatter it as confetti over Prince William and his lovely bride, along with an accompanying note saying, “Come back. It was all a ghastly mistake.” For if conceding jurisdiction over your lungs and kidneys and bladder does not make you a subject rather than a citizen, what does?

I doubt Romney thought about it in such terms. In 2006, he was not a philosophical conservative. Like Donald Trump today, he sold himself as a successful business guy, a problem solver who knew how to make things happen. So he made things happen. And, as a result, he made things worse. How does that happen?

Gingrich announces bid for president

As expected, Newt Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced his bid for president yesterday via Twitter and a YouTube video where he says that “we can return America to home and opportunity.” Polls currently show him in the top five of GOP hopefuls.

If you’re looking for Republican that has enabled big government, such as backing bailouts and expanding entitlements, then Gingrich is right up your alley.

Latest polling shows Trump on the decline (not that we’re complaining)

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm based in North Carolina, brings us the latest numbers in the Republican presidential primary, which show that the attention Donald Trump received over the birther issue was short-lived.

  • Mike Huckabee: 19%
  • Mitt Romney: 18%
  • Newt Gingrich: 13%
  • Sarah Palin: 12%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Donald Trump: 8%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 5%
  • Other/Undecided: 11%

But if Trump opts not to run, which is likely considering how dumb he has looked in the last two weeks, here is how the field looks:

  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Mike Huckabee: 20%
  • Newt Gingrich: 15%
  • Sarah Palin: 14%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 6%
  • Other/Undecided: 9%

Tax Hike Mike and Sarah Palin have not announced plans to run at this point. It’s unlikely Palin will since she hasn’t made any sort of move showing a national organization or setting up potential campaign structures in early primary states. But the tax hike-loving former Governor of Arkansas is rumored to still be considering a bid.

Another big government Republican plans presidential campaign announcement

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, will announce his bid for the Republican nomination for president at some point tomorrow:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will announce his candidacy for president Wednesday, spokesman Rick Tyler said Monday.

After an Associated Press report that Gingrich would make a 2012 bid official via social media Wednesday, Tyler confirmed it on Twitter.

Tyler said Fox News host Sean Hannity will have the first interview with Gingrich as a declared presidential candidate ahead of the former House Speaker’s speech to the Georgia GOP convention on Friday.

If you’re looking for Republican that has enabled big government, then Gingrich is right up your alley. In Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, Stephen Slivinski offers insight into the slide that eventually led to the spending spree of George W. Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress. Silvinski gives example after example of how Newt Gingrich sold out of political expedency and threatened members of his own caucus if they didn’t vote how he wanted.

Another likely GOP candidate that supported cap-and-trade

Like Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Jon Huntsman (R-UT) has a past of saying nice things about cap-and-trade and a carbon tax. In fact, Huntsman chided Republicans for not supporting cap-and-trade, a job-killing proposal that died in Congress last year.

Here is Huntsman in his own words:

H/T: James Pethokoukis

CNN: GOP field essentially sucks

CNN reports that less than 50% of Republican voters are less than thrilled with their potential candidates for 2012, which is hardly surprising.  Conversations with Republican voters have revealed the same thing to me.  This could be a potential problem come November of that year, but there’s a possibility that there’s a silver lining for libertarians.

You see, the lack of a true front runner means that there are a lot of votes still out there.  Without a candidate to rally behind, Republicans can take a look at the field with a more open mind.  In a GOP that is starting to see benefits from a Tea Party movement that often shuns social issues, instead focusing on fiscal matters.

The door is open, at least for the time being.  However, it’s essential that libertarian leaning candidates to make the most of it.  They will need to make their cases clearly and coherently, but also understand that winning elections means not just using statistics, but emotions.  Far to many people vote with their hearts, not their heads.  However, that’s grounds for another post at another time.

For now, let’s take a look at the pathetic field the GOP has so far and it’s less than inspiring.  Donald Trump is the only one I want to last the whole way, and that’s purely for entertainment value, not any real grasp of policy.  After all, the man who believes Obama wasn’t born in this country thinks that there might be a right to privacy.  Might.  Let’s look at the rest of the field.

Sarah Palin -  Enough said.

Mike Huckabee -  Oh yeah.  Raise my taxes.  Please.  What I really want is socialism with a religious flare instead of Obama’s socialism with a populist flare.

Mitt Romney -  Well, we already have ObamaCare, so his worst screw up in Massachusetts won’t be replicated.

Newt Gingrich -  See Sarah Palin

Tim Pawlenty forms presidential exploratory committee

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has announced the formation of an exploratory commitee for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Among the themes Pawlenty discusses in the video are creating jobs, limiting government and reforming entitlements:

“This is our country. Our founding fathers created it, Americans embraced it, Ronald Reagan personified it, and Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. And that’s why today, I’m announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States,” Pawlenty declared in the two-minute video.

The Republican ex-governor invokes his hard-luck upbringing in the video. “At a young age, I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship, and the face of job loss,” he says. “Over the last year, I’ve traveled to nearly every state in the country and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling—I lived it.”

Here is the video of his announcement, which was released on his Facebook page yesterday afternoon:

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