GOP's anti-Newt chorus holds its tongue
Originally Posted by oatmeal
Both Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney are wonderful candidates.
Sen. Tom Coburn declared a year ago that Gingrich is “the last person I’d vote for president” and lacks the character to lead the nation.
“There are so very many stories out there about his failings, his moral failings, that he certainly would be a bad pick to bear the title of the president of the United States,” says Guy Molinari, a former congressman who had a falling out with Gingrich in the 1980s,
Newt’s critics now quiet – Why? There is a dawning realization they might have to make peace with Newt the nominee.
“There were Newt war stories,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said. “About how things with him were very difficult in terms of focus and discipline and his new plan every day.”
Newt’s critics now quiet – Why? Partisans know better than to throw rocks at their prospective presidential candidate.
This is a man who led the push for Bill Clinton’s impeachment even as he carried on his own extramarital affair. He was fined $300,000 for obstructing a House ethics probe against him. He spearheaded the 1995 budget showdown with Clinton that led to two government closures and resurgence in Clinton’s popularity despite the “Republican Revolution” the year before.
His lack of discipline often resulted in a morning strategy that was discarded by day’s end if not noon, much to the dismay of his own caucus.
Gingrich allies acknowledge the candidate’s baggage — the multiple marriages, his troubled speakership and even new fodder for critics, such as a six-figure Tiffany line of credit — but argue voters are willing to look past it.
Added one longtime Gingrich insider: “This really is someone who has been humbled by life … He is in a happy marriage, he converted to Catholicism. He is in a very different place.”
Asked directly if Gingrich has the temperament to be president, Former Senate GOP Leader Trent Lott said: “Oh, I don’t know about that.” And if there’s not a burgeoning Stop Newt movement among his current and former Hill colleagues, there’s also little enthusiasm to have him on top of the ticket next year.
“Most members I talk to still think Romney is [the] best bet to provide them with the environment they need to be successful,” said one unaligned House Republican.
Some Gingrich associates are bracing for a display of Old Newt at any moment — the quick-to-anger, nasty man who was so easy for the Clinton White House to caricature, particularly if he starts to face tough questions about his third wife, Callista, with whom he carried on an affair before they married.