By Tom Quiner
Newt Gingrich represents robust conservatism.
Mitt Romney represents mellow moderation.
That’s how I see it based on their respective records. Mr. Romney has a splendid resume, but he’s a manager, not a visionary, a technocrat, not a general who will lead the charge against the radical liberalism choking America to death.
Mr. Romney reminds me of President George Bush the First. Mr. Bush ran a campaign built on a single idea: “read my lips, no new taxes.” He caved almost immediately, pressured by Democrats and mellow, moderate Republicans (like his Chief of Staff, John Sununu) to raise taxes.
He assured his defeat with this sellout.
One Republican stood out for opposing this sellout, and that was the Minority Whip of the House, Mr. Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Sununu, the champion of the Sellout, is today a Gingrich detractor. Who looks better now, Gingrich or Sununu? The answer is Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Gingrich had another detractor in the Bush I White House, Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater. However, Mr. Fitzwater wrote favorably of Gingrich in his memoirs as he assessed events of the early 90s:
“As it turned out, one of the few people on the Republican team who understood this trap [the Democrats demanded Bush raise taxes as the political price to reduce the deficit] was Newt Gingrich … Newt had … recommended a different course of action: Abandon the budget negotiations [with Democrats], keep the tax pledge, insist that Congress cut spending, and make a political fight out of it. It’s clear now that we should have followed his advice.”
Gingrich followed his own advice in his famous budget battles with President Clinton. Although Mr. Clinton won the PR battle, guess what … we ended up with a balanced budget because Speaker Gingrich led on the issue. Speaker Gingrich stuck to his guns where a mellow moderate like President Bush 1 compromised and got suckered.
As Gingrich launched the Contract With America, Mitt Romney was running for Senate in Massachusetts against the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Mr. Romney was deadset against the Gingrich approach (as you can see in the video clip above):
“It is not a good idea to go into a contract like what was organized by the Republican Party in Washington, laying out a whole series of things which the party said ‘These are the things were are going to do.’ I think that’s a mistake.”
Mr. Romney, a mellow moderate bordering on mushiness, rejected the bold leadership initiative that produced:
1. A balanced budget.
2. Welfare reform.
3. Tax cuts.
4. Telecommunication reform that opened the door to the cell phone revolution.
5. Congressional reform.
6. A trade pact with Mexico and Canada.
America is not only fixable, it has all the raw material for an explosive resurgence. But it will take a bold, dynamic leader who can speak passionately about the beauty and the power of American Exceptionalism.
Do you honestly think that man will be Mitt Romney?
There is but one candidate who can speak with eloquence on American Exceptionalism, and that man is Newt Gingrich.