Newt Gingrich rose to the top of the GOP presidential polls in November based purely on his strong debate performances. Every time the moderators tried to get Gingrich to criticize one of his fellow Republicans, he eviscerated the media. He refused to play their games. Now, the former House Speaker has betrayed his own words and shown he is a hypocrite of the highest order.
“I’m frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other,” Gingrich said during an MSNBC debate in September. “I for one…am going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama. And all of us are committed as a team, whoever the nominee is, we are all for defeating Barack Obama.”
The live audience wildly cheered Gingrich, as did millions of conservatives watching on TV. TheIowaRepublican.com routinely proclaimed him the winner of the debates because of statements like that one. Gingrich repeatedly refused to go negative and said his campaign would be based on “solutions”.
Now, in a desperate ploy to save his candidacy, Gingrich is doing exactly what he said he would not do. Even worse, he is employing the tactics and talking points of the Democrats and the Occupy crowd to attack frontrunner Mitt Romney. Instead of criticizing Romney from the right, which is easy to do given his past stances on healthcare, abortion and gay marriage, Gingrich attacks Romney for being a success at one of the values conservatives hold dear: free market capitalism.
A new film paid for and promoted by a pro-Gingrich super PAC slams Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. Gingrich’s former campaign spokesman Rick Tyler is the senior adviser for the super PAC. The film is nearly identical to any Michael Moore movie with its lefty talking points and deliberate distortions. In other words, it is pure propaganda.
The 28-minute video is very professionally done and very effective. Through the use of typical propagandist tactics like telling only one side of the story, employing dramatic music, blurry pictures and out of context quotes, the video paints Mitt Romney as an evil, corporate opportunist who destroys companies to make himself rich. Clips from liberal commentators like MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper also help make the anti-Romney case.
Even the most radical left wing group in Iowa, Citizens for Community Improvement, plays a prominent role in the film. Keep in mind, this is a group that the Iowa Democratic Party said is “unproductive, embarrassing, and has no place in a serious debate”. Iowa CCI is too radical for the Democratic Party, but perfectly fine for a GOP presidential candidate and former U.S. Speaker of the House. The video repeatedly shows clips from CCI’s ambush on Mitt Romney at last year’s Iowa State Fair.
Although Gingrich is legally bound to have no coordination with the super PAC, he clearly approves of the film and is using the same attacks on the campaign trail. He even defended the propaganda piece during last weekend’s debates.
“I can say, publicly, I hope that the super PAC runs an accurate movie about Bain,” Gingrich said. “It’ll be based on establishment newspapers, like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Barron’s, Bloomberg News, and I hope it is totally accurate.”
Gingrich conveniently omitted left wing outfits like MSNBC and NPR, not to mention Iowa CCI, from that declaration. Incidentally, Bloomberg refutes at least one statement in the movie. The claim that Romney owns 15 homes is false. He owns three. CNN points out many inaccuracies in the documentary. The pro-Newt super PAC is now running commercials in South Carolina based on the film.
Even some of Romney’s biggest rivals from four years ago are defending him against the attacks from Gingrich. Mike Huckabee sent an email to his supporters saying, “It’s surprising to see so many Republicans embrace that leftwing argument against capitalism”.
Rudy Giuliani took it a step further. “What the hell are you doing, Newt? I expect this from Saul Alinsky! This is what Saul Alinsky taught Barack Obama, and what you’re saying is part of the reason we’re in so much trouble right now,” Giuliani said on Fox News.
Newt Gingrich is angry. It is easy to understand why. As he ran a positive campaign and refused to criticize his Republican colleagues, a pro-Romney super PAC and the Ron Paul campaign spent millions of dollars on attack ads to tear down the former House Speaker’s numbers. Those efforts paid off. Gingrich went from the frontrunner in late November to fourth place in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire.
Now, Gingrich is fighting back, but it’s too late to save his candidacy. That makes this effort appear to be done out of spite. Newt Gingrich has once again proven he is too erratic to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. The goodwill he built up with conservatives through his outstanding debate performances has crumbled. Everything he said about not going negative was a sham.
If Gingrich wants to criticize Romney, fine. Have at it. There are plenty of conservatives that will join him in that chorus. Attack his flip-flops. Attack RomneyCare. Attacking free market capitalism with distortions and propaganda is not the tactic a conservative would employ. It certainly is not Reaganesque, which Gingrich often claims to be.
Gingrich is making a mockery of his legacy in the conservative movement. If Romney wins the nomination, these efforts by Gingrich and his supporters will play a key role in tearing Romney down. The Democrats are already using Gingrich’s, and Rick Perry’s, words against Romney. These Republicans will help Barack Obama get reelected. That is one thing Newt Gingrich swore he would not do. He lied to us all.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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