By Tom Quiner
Newt Gingrich is the most interesting candidate in the field. Love him or hate him, you’re going to listen to him and talk about about what he is saying.
I’ve gathered together comments from reader’s of this blog post regarding Speaker Gingrich.
A Des Moines attorney who was a Pawlenty backer this Spring said this about Gingrich to me last June:
“Newt is not viable, by the way. He is running a terrible campaign.”
Interesting how things can change.
A pro life advocate on the Des Moines scene had this to say:
“I like Newt. I think he’s totally, 100% prolife and knows the political scene in and out. I love how he can’t be duped in debates, calls a spade a spade and doesn’t allow the MSM to railroad him. It matters not that he’s had 2 failed marriages. Wrong choices in love do not necessarily indicate bad judgement in all areas of life. If that were so half of America wouldn’t be qualified to hold public office! I would be stunned if the Republican party actually nominates a candidate for whom I wouldn’t have to hold my nose before I cast my vote. Newt could be that man and I would vote for him without reservation based on what I know about him today.”
Here’s what she said about Mitt Romney:
“I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could throw him. He was pro-abortion before it became necessary for political purposes to claim to be pro-life. Don’t walk away from this guy. RUN!”
A Quiner’s Diner reader who voted for Mr. Obama last time had this to say about Newt Gingrich:
“Newt Gingrich may sound good on tv, may have good ideas, but I don’t think I could trust him. He’s the one who so relentlessly castigated President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewensky and tried to bring him down with the Starr investigation. While, at the same time he was cavorting around with a woman while he was married. Talk about the height of hypocrisy! I’m no longer interested in Cain either. If I was to support a Republican right now, it would have to be Ron Paul. In listening to him he’s willing to make hard and necessary decisions to actually lower our country’s debt that actually make sense to me. . Plus I think he is trustworthy. I would enjoy talking with you about Ron Paul, and would even listen to what you have to say on Gingrich.”
I would ask this gentleman, did you trust Bill Clinton? Hmmm. And Mr. Obama has done a great job at reducing the debt, hasn’t he!
A faithful reader who is a pilot in Georgia weighed in with these thoughts:
“I like Newt. He comes across as presidential. I like what he has to say. And, even more important, I like the way he says it. He is, undoubtedly, the most qualified candidate in the race with the greatest ability to get the most things done during his presidency. My mom and I randomly crossed paths with him several months back. The last time something like that happened to her, George W. Bush ended up becoming president. I’m just sayin’!”
A Catholic journalist viewed Mr. Gingrich this way:
“Despite the difficulties Gingrich’s campaign has encountered I don’t think it’s wise to count him out. Anything’s possible.A lot has been made about the “baggage” he carries. Does he have some? I’d say most likely, but specifically what that is depends on your particular perspective.
Certain things are deal-breakers for certain people. Vote for him because he’s Catholic? Vote against him because he’s divorced? Those two and many other elements could be debated on many levels. And the idea of a completely purist approach is the subject of controversy in more things than just candidate selection.
It’s just too bad there is so much decision-making based on perception created by the media.
I think Newt Gingrich is the object of significant derision precisely because those who oppose him find him to be a threat.
Really, before we ask, “Is there a spotless candidate,” I think we should ask whether a spotless candidate could get elected with the government and media we have today.
I am supporting another candidate, not because I want to vote against Gingrich, rather, I want to vote FOR my candidate.
Something I heard at a recent gathering regarding Gingrich has stuck with me for some reason. That was: Say what you will about him, any of the other candidates in the field, or anything that’s occurred in the campaign, he’s still the smartest one in the room. Now someone is always going to dispute a statement like that. But this gathering was a diverse sampling of candidate loyalty, and no one said a word in reply.
I hope and pray my candidate wins. If that is not God’s will, my prayer is that it is someone who is smart, as well as someone possessing character and fear of the Lord; because those are all things our country desperately needs restoration of at the helm.”
A retired Des Moines grandmother had this to say:
“To be honest, I’m at a loss for words about Newt’s candidacy! I think he is very intelligent and surely “knows the ropes” of politics much better than some of the other candidates. I have to admit that I was not very aware of things back when the Libs were dragging all the skeletons out of his closet and caused his “fall from grace”. It’s a sure thing he can lead– for instance, the success of the “Contract With America.” He’s currently being bad-mouthed about some financial debt, and that may cause problems down the road. You can be sure the Dems will be digging as much dirt as possible on every candidate!”
A retired employee of the federal government, a staunch Catholic, was short and sweet:
“We have a president who is a great campaigner and is clueless when it comes to governing. Newt is a mediocre campaigner but based on his past, would be excellent at governing.”
A Des Moines college professor reacted thusly:
“I do not know much about Newt. I can say that I think he is very bright—perhaps the brightest of all the candidates. He is also a very good thinker. He is clear. He understands economics. However, I find him to be unreliable, and a loose cannon.”
A Des Moines Catholic Mom said:
“I’m not the one to ask…I like Newt…think he’s so darn smart and tough too…I’m supporting Santorum. He’s the real deal.”
Finally, a Chicago attorney with Des Moines roots offered a thoughtful analysis of Newt Gingrich in reaction go my blog a couple days ago titled, “Analyzing Gingrich’s baggage”:
“I enjoyed reading your post today and agree completely with your analysis re: the three possible candidates in 2012. I would take it a step further: if Romney is the nominee, he wins; if Gingrich is the nominee, he loses. I think this will be the case unless there is significant economic deterioration between now and voting day. Independents have been hugely important in recent elections, and I think the majority of them (myself included) care more about social issues (which to me means limiting government interference in my life) than whether the top marginal tax rate is 39.4% or 42% (just making up numbers). I don’t believe a President really has that much control when it comes to the economy, but I am very critical of Obama running up the deficit. I think it would be a tactical mistake to shoot for the moon with a staunch social conservative, believing that Obama will be so unappealing that he will lose no matter what.
As for Newt, I’m a bit put off by him — maybe that will change. He’s clearly intelligent and has a better grasp on policy issues than any other contender, but I doubt that I would be able to vote for him because of his stance on social issues. I don’t have any issues with his divorces per se; I have an issue with his blaming it on his passion for our country. I also think you kind of lose the right to moralize about “traditional marriage” when you’ve cheated on your wives and have gone through multiple marriages. I also think — and this isn’t hyperbole — that it would be somewhat of a disgrace if we have a First Adulteress instead of a First Lady. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the race. It should be interesting. I’m sure my thoughts about Newt will evolve as he spends more time in the limelight.
Most importantly, congratulations on your 400th post. That is a huge accomplishment, and I know you have put a lot of effort into it and are putting out a great product. I don’t always agree with your positions, but I know that you have really thought about them. You’ve certainly made me re-think some of my positions, and I thank you for that. Keep up the good work!”
Lay it on me. What do YOU think of Newt Gingrich and the other candidates in the field? The day of decision nears.