By Tom Quiner
Mitt Romney and the Republican Establishment (RE) are doing grave damage to the Grand Old Party.
Mr. Romney has spent $17 million in Florida alone with a single thrust: to smear Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has spent about $5 million to defend himself and counterpunch against the Romney assault, an assault joined by John McCain, Bob Dole and other members of the RE. These are the guys who lose elections by running as moderates.
Newt Gingrich is a guy who won elections by running as a conservative.
Newt Gingrich is the guy who helped Republicans regain the House in 1994 by promoting a bold, conservative agenda.
Newt Gingrich is the guy who helped balance the budget through conservative fiscal policies.
This is the guy the RE wants to destroy.
Mr. Romney and the RE tell us Gingrich questioned Ronald Reagan’s foreign policies and doubted they would work against the Soviet Union. This is old hat. It was all in the Congressional Record. But for the record, only two men in the world believed at that time that the Evil Empire could be defeated: Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.
I remember reading Dinesh D’Souza’s wonderful book, “Ronald Reagan, How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader.” He recalled a meeting Reagan had with the RE intelligentsia which included George Will. Mr. Will could be seen rolling his eyes when Reagan suggested that the Soviet Union would fall.
Here’s the point: Mr. Gingrich and most of the party believed that the Soviet Union could be contained, but not defeated. Gingrich was no different than anyone else in the party on this score.
And yet Romney and the RE are spending millions to promote Gingrich’s so-called apostasy as if this is some new revelation. It’s not.
This concocted smear can work for the uninformed who revere Ronald Reagan, as I do, but don’t know the back story.
Romney and the RE continually drudge up the ethics violations levied against Mr. Gingrich. Romney bellows for Gingrich to release “all the records.” The suggestion, of course, is that Gingrich is still hiding something.
Mr. Romney, Mr. Dole, and Mr. McCain all know, and the Wall Street Journal has reported, that all 1280 pages of the records are available online.
The smear works, because most people don’t realize this is all old news; that it’s all out there on the public record and has been for nearly fifteen years; that Gingrich was exonerated of 83 of the 84 charges while still in the House, and was later exonerated on the final charge by the IRS after he left office.
Mr. Romney’s path to the nomination seems to be through the character assassination of his chief rival, regardless of the cost to his own integrity.
The Massachusetts Moderate is doing grave damage in his assault on the standard bearer for The Tea Party, Newt Gingrich,
A party divided cannot win elections, and Mitt Romney and the RE are dividing the GOP.