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Saturday, February 23, 2019

April 30 (Bloomberg) — Newt Gingrich never saw it ending this way. The former House speaker, who has long thought of himself as a historic figure, envisioned he would be the candidate of innovative “big ideas” and the agenda-setter for the 2012 U.S. election.

This either would catapult him to the White House or ensure a consolation prize: a vice presidential nomination or secretary of State appointment in a Republican administration. In the worst case, he would be a genuine senior statesman in his party.

Instead, as he all-but-officially dropped out of the race last week, Gingrich is seen as a candidate who trafficked in flakey ideas, incendiary rhetoric and fiscal irresponsibility — with a campaign going nowhere and deeply in debt as he traveled on expensive private jets. He has become a favorite punch line for the late-night television satirists Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.

Unsuccessful presidential candidates can leave political footprints: Rick Santorum this year, Ronald Reagan in 1976 and, in retrospect, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney four years ago.

Gingrich isn’t going to join that crowd. His self-styled big ideas didn’t catch on, politically or substantively. Instead, he gave critics and comedians an arsenal of ammunition.

The thrice-married, ethically sanctioned Gingrich presented his candidacy as the moral crusade necessary to save America. Without him, our grandchildren were in danger of growing up in a “secular, atheist country” that would be “dominated by radical Islamists.” For Gingrich, those aren’t contradictory.

Some of his big ideas were recycled conservative Republican orthodoxy: slash taxes, eliminate the estate tax and the levies on capital gains paid chiefly by the wealthy.

Others were novel. In Florida, he vowed to build a colony on the moon by the end of his presidency. This, he said, was analogous to John F. Kennedy’s pledge in 1961 to put an American on the moon by the end of the decade.

On the judiciary, he called for eliminating courts that he said were engaged in “radically anti-American” decisions; if necessary, he would send federal marshals and U.S. Capitol police to arrest these radical judges. Former Republican U.S. attorneys general and some leading conservative legal scholars expressed alarm.

He took a pro-gun position to a new level, even managing to suggest that battery-powered cars like the Chevrolet Volt posed a threat to the Second Amendment. “You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt,” he told his fellow Georgians. “We believe in the right to bear arms and we like to bear the arms in our trucks.” Two weeks ago, he vowed that “a Gingrich presidency will submit to the UN a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right to every person on the planet.”

He was the first to seize on rising gasoline prices as a political issue. No one was going to out-promise him: Gingrich pledged to cut gas prices by about 50 percent, to $2.50 a gallon, during his administration, without really saying how.

He offered Iowans a solution for rooting out illegal immigrants: “We send a package to every person who is here illegally,” he explained. “When it’s delivered, we pull it up, we know exactly where they are, it’s on the computer.”

He didn’t shy away from foreign policy. On the Middle East, he declared that the Palestinians were an “invented people.” He was against involvement in Libya before he was for it.

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16 responses to “Gingrich’s Quest For Glory Ends As A Punch Line”

  1. An article without any sources to prove the points. Gingrich served his country, and for that many of us are very grateful. We haven’t seen the last of Gingrich. Certainly, a plain article writer can’t predict what a tempered politician’s next strategy will be. Hold on to your seats.

    • lambypie says:

      What planet are you from Manny , my God wake up and smell the Newt!

      • oldtack says:

        The old Contry Comedian, Jerry Clower, would have had a blast this year with Newt. I can almost hear him now eulogizing about Newton Nugene form over thar in Geooorgah. He would have had old newt consorting with cousin Clovis down thar towards the swamp on t’other side of the county. Newt was and is a joke.

    • Tlyna says:

      He’s a joke to any sane person on the planet.
      with his errati behavior and grandiose but nonsensical ideas I think he is either cracking up or in the first stages of dementia.

    • joyscarbo says:

      If you’re supporting Newt after all unethical behavior (which has been proven) then you need to join him on his Moon Colony with all the other republican crooks. You’ll get just what you deserve.

    • Jon says:

      Are you trying to tell us that we haven’t seen the last of Gingrich like we never saw the last of Nixon, even AFTER he vowed to get out of politics.. Numerous times? OMG!! Okay, I’ll hold my seat but eventually I’m just going to have to fart over news like this.. OOPS!! (pardon me).

  2. howa4x says:

    Newt took bafoonery to a new level. He dosen’t have the disipline to be a leader,and his thoughts are all over the place. He can’t stay focused and probably suffers from political ADD. His great accomplishment was to force a goverment shutdown which resulted in throwing the Republican house out of office. He was charged and removed as speaker for ethical reasons. His first wife was older than him and worked so he could finish college. He dumped her for a newer model and dumped her for another one. He has the same family values as his pal Rush, who happens to be in the lead in wives, but Newt still has time. Only Rudy Gulliani leads in the despicable husband catagory, leaving his wife for a newer model when she had cancer. The Republicans seem like a rogues gallery when it comes to family values. Newt (almost as big as Rush) suffers from and over active self imagery, has dillusions of grander, and is corrupt as they come. What a guy!

  3. William Deutschlander says:

    AHH, but he is still selling his trash to those with little education or common sense and his millions are protected from debtors reach. He probably will still find some ulta radical groups that will pay him to speak his poisonous venom!

  4. joyscarbo says:

    Good riddence to bad trash. Newt gives a bad name to the lizard…he’s an even LOWER life form!!

  5. aboutime says:

    My favrite Newt quote: “I can see no scenario in which I won’t be the Republican nominee.” That was monumental insight into the American political scene. How does he do it?

  6. Jon says:

    Bravo Albert.. That’s exactly where the mutton head belongs, in the political bone yard. This one was (supposed) to have been one of the Pubs shining swans but his ‘ugly duckling’ attitude was too obscene to camouflage amonst a gaggle of former losers, now there’s only one and and rumor has it that HE’S supposed to be their hero in shining armor but again they underestimate idiocy and corn hole picking and the ONE man who could give Obama and the Dems a serious run for their money is being ignored and shunned.. BY HIS OWN FRIGGIN’ PARTY!! What a laugh is these mind-numbing Pubs.. I’d feel sorry for the lot of them if it wasn’t so damn hilarious.. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Mittens.. Wait a minute! I think I do, but maybe I don’t.. But I do! Guess I best shake that etch-a-sketch and start all over again (now where’d I hide those tax free profits?)..

  7. tampajim says:

    What a gas-bag. He should have had the sense to see what a loser he was himself without having to suffer the embarrassment of doing a big belly flop.

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