Newt Gingrich

Gingrich doesn’t regret expansion of Medicare

Given his all but certain entrance in the Republican presidential primary, you’d think that Newt Gingrich would be shifting to the right on economic issues. He’s not. In fact, he recently told a reporter during a press conference that he doesn’t regret expanding Medicare, an entitlement already projected to have trillions in unfunded liabilities over the several decades, by supporting and lobbying for passage of prescription drug benefit - Medicare Part D - in 2003:

At a press conference on Friday, asked Gingrich, “You were a prominent supporter of the Medicare prescription drug plan that President Bush signed into law in 2003. The Medicare trustees now say that plan is $7.2 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years. Do you regret your support for the plan looking back?”

“No,” said Gingrich. “I think that we—I mean, I am for dramatic reform of Medicare. I chaired the Medicare reform task force which saved it in 1996 when the trustees said it was going to go broke, and we passed changes which enabled them to say that we had postponed any problem for well over a decade.

Here is the video with Gingrich’s full comments:

“For God and Country” takes on a new meaning

I’ve heard some doozies when it comes to excuses for messing around on your wife, but Newt Gingrich’s latest about how “passionately I felt about this country” take excuses to a whole new – and somewhat disturbing – new level.  His full comment, courtesy of Hot Air:

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. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.

Say what?

Now, I can understand one’s “passion for their country” leading them to do things with Girls named America, Glory, or anything else that could be argued as a patriotic name (and I guess women born in 1976 count as well), but he didn’t.  He, like so many other politicians, craved power and the trappings of power.  That includes women who didn’t care he was married.

In fairness to Gingrich, as Hot Air points out, Trump has used a similar line of reasoning – that working hard lead to his indiscretions – and it’s just as ridiculous as Gingrich spouting that crap.  Trump, despite not having sought political office, still craves power.  This isn’t unusual and can be channeled towards accomplishing great things.  However, it also comes with the same potential pitfalls.

Obama outpaces GOP candidates, Paul performs better than Trump

As President Barack Obama continues to move to the center as he begins to launch his bid for re-election, polling indicates that he leads potential Republican opponents - though he is still vulnerable:

Republican chances of taking down Obama are going to depend a lot on the type of candidate the party puts forward. Tested against a generic Republican we find Obama tied at 47%. When you ask about a couple more specific types of GOP candidates though the numbers move in different directions. Against a generic moderate Republican candidate Obama actually trails by 2 points at 46-44. But when you ask voters whether they’d go for Obama or a Tea Party conservative Republican he leads by 4 points at 49-45.

There’s a particularly large difference in how independents lean depending on the type of nominee the GOP ends up going with- they prefer a moderate Republican over Obama by 7 points, but they prefer Obama over a Tea Party style GOPer by 5 points. There’s no doubt Republican chances of defeating Obama will be best with a centrist. Whether the party base is really going to be willing to sacrifice some ideological purity to get that candidate is another question.

He may be tied with a generic Republican but Obama leads against all of the named candidates in this poll. He has a 3 point advantage over Mike Huckabee at 47-44, a 5 point one over Mitt Romney at 46-41, a 9 point one over Newt Gingrich at 49-40, a 9 point one also over Ron Paul at 48-39, a 12 point one over Sarah Palin at 52-40, a 14 point one over Jeb Bush at 50-36, and a 14 point one over Donald Trump at 48-34.

Part of the problem is nearly every candidate is viewed negatively by voters. If only “Generic Republican” could run in 2012.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Thursday, February 17th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

CPAC 2011 straw poll results

For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won the CPAC presidential straw poll. According to organizers of CPAC, more than 11,000 people attended this year’s conference, with 3,742 of them casting ballots in the straw poll (also a record number).

Here are the results of the straw poll. You can see last year’s results here:

  • Ron Paul: 30%
  • Mitt Romney: 23%
  • Gary Johnson: 6%
  • Chris Christie: 6%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 4%
  • Michele Bachmann: 4%
  • Mitch Daniels: 4%
  • Sarah Palin: 3%
  • Herman Cain: 2%
  • Mike Huckabee: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • John Thune: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Haley Barbour: 1%
  • Other: 5%
  • Undecided: 1%

Other highlights from the straw poll:

Ron Paul to visit Iowa

Despite a looming bid by former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) further advanced speculation that he is considering another bid for president by accepting an invitation to speak to a prominent activist in Iowa:

Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican from Texas, will speak in Iowa next month at a presidential lecture series for the Family Leader, a social conservative activist group. It’s another signal Mr. Paul is pondering his third run at the White House.

The outspoken lawmaker, who has said he wants to dismantle the Federal Reserve, ran as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008.

Other likely GOP candidates, including Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, will be speaking at the lecture series throughout the month.

Tax Hike Mike leads in early Iowa poll

Despite some strong signs of support in New Hampshire and holding a slight lead among Republicans nationally, Mitt Romney is trailing Tax Hike Mike Huckabee in an early poll of likely participants in the Iowa caucuses, according to a survey released yesterday by Strategic National.

Here are the results:

  • Mike Huckabee: 27.56%
  • Mitt Romney: 18.54%
  • Sarah Palin: 12.44%
  • Newt Gingrich: 12.20%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 4.39%
  • Michele Bachmann: 3.66%
  • John Thune: 1.95%
  • Rick Santorum: 0.98%
  • Haley Barbour: 0.24%
  • Other/Undecided: 18.05%

It looks like Rep. Michele Bachmann’s visit to Iowa has gotten her some attention, but it’s unlikely to get any real traction for a serious presidential bid. And though he did poorly in this poll, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is making plans to visit South Carolina Republicans to discuss a presidential bid.

Rasmussen: Romney holds small lead among possible 2012 candidates

On the heels of the first straw poll for 2012, Rasmussen is out with new polling in the 2012 Republican primary for president that shows Mitt Romney will a small lead over Sarah Palin and Tax Hike Mike Huckabee in a limited field of seven possible candidates.

  • Mitt Romney: 24%
  • Sarah Palin: 19%
  • Mike Huckabee: 17%
  • Newt Gingrich: 11%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 6%
  • Ron Paul: 4%
  • Mitch Daniels: 3%
  • Other: 6%
  • Not sure: 10%

None of this means anything right now. We’re going to spend the next several months going over the faults of each candidates, why they can win or why they can’t. But Rasmussen, with it’s Republican-leaning bent, gives us a good idea of what GOP voters are thinking right now.

Romney wins New Hampshire straw poll

Over the weekend in New Hampshire, the state’s Republican Party along with WMUR and ABC News conducted a presidential straw poll a year in advance of the primary; with Mitt Romney winning big:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the first presidential straw poll of the 2012 cycle, kicking off New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary election race.

Romney won with 35 percent, beating second-place finisher Ron Paul by 24 points in the WMUR-ABC News straw poll of members of the state Republican Party. In third place was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who won 8 percent—just one point ahead of Sarah Palin, who drew 7 percent.

Because Romney has such high name recognition here and has a home in Wolfeboro, N.H., he was widely expected to win—and observers here were far more interested in who would come in second and third.

Only three candidates—Romney, Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum—have spent significant amounts of time on the ground in the state over the past few months. At today’s convention, Pawlenty staffed a table to promote his new book while Santorum consultant and longtime New Hampshire operative Mike Biundo had a table and worked the crowd.

Romney, who is adding staff in preparation for his bid, has the money to build an influential campaign in the state. He is also focusing more on economic issues, which is a smart move in New Hampshire. For a social conservative like Santorum, who has spent a lot of time in the state, or Huckabee, New Hampshire represents a significant challenge; where as Iowa may be more welcoming.

Here are the full results of the straw poll:

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Monday, January 24th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

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