Analyzing Gingrich’s “baggage” 4

By Tom Quiner

One of three men will be elected President of the United States in eleven months: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich.

Could one of the lower tier candidates like Michele Bachman or Rick Santorum experience a resurgence and win the presidency? It is possible, but unlikely at this stage in the campaign. The polls indicate it will come down to these three.

Each has serious baggage.

Mr. Obama’s baggage is profound. He has been president three years and things have gotten worse. Unemployment has gone up. Black unemployment is horrendous. The economy is running on fumes. Our debt is out of control, and the president’s only solution is to tax America’s most productive Americans, aka “the rich.”

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, the president could come up with only a single cut he’d be willing to make to the budget: block grants to community action agencies, which accounts for a little less than a billion dollars from the budget (a drop in the bucket in a sea of red ink). The irony is that community action agencies (which are not government entities), are on the front line in leading dependent people to independence in the fifty states. That’s the last place we’d want to cut.

The president has added a massive new entitlement, Obamacare, that nobody wants. And taxpayers feel conned by that boondoggle. At the time Mr. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid presented Obamacare to the American public, they sold it as a way to reduce costs. Once it was passed and we “learned what was actually in it,” to quote Ms. Pelosi, the Congressional Budget Office revealed what conservatives had been saying all along, it is going to be very, very expensive. It will not save the government money; it will add to the deficit.

Mr. Obama has serious baggage with practicing Catholics. His party crammed abortion into Obamacare over their protests. His administration is stripping conscience protection laws away from Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims who work in the medical field and want nothing to do with what they consider to be nothing short of infanticide. And now the Obama administration is pushing to make the morning-after abortion bill available over-the-counter without a prescription.

Keep in mind that Catholics all by themselves represent 27% of the electorate.

Want to talk about baggage? The president is rich with it.

What about Mitt Romney? I will preface my remarks by saying I like Mitt Romney. I could vote for him over Mr. Obama in a heartbeat. Like every politician who has been around awhile, he has had some policy flip flops. His flip flops have been on core issues such as abortion and gay marriage, a source of huge concern for social conservatives. And his embrace of Romenycare, upon which Obamacare was modeled, reveals a comfort for big-government solutions that conservatives view as major baggage. In defense of Mr. Romney, he vetoed eight of the most onerous provisions of the bill, but the liberal Massachusetts legislature overrode his veto on six of the them.

Nonetheless, Mr. Romney loses a key point of debate with the president when it comes to the critical subject of healthcare. You can hear the president’s words: “Mitt, we were just following your lead.”

Like Barack Obama, Mitt Romney carries major baggage in this campaign.

That brings me to Newt Gingrich.

I’ve heard it many times: Gingrich has too much baggage. A frequent liberal contributor to the Des Moines Register’s letter to the editor page put it this way:

“I was shocked when I read the latest Iowa Poll that has Newt Gingrich taking the lead among Republicans. How can this philandering man in the party of family values be the frontrunner?”

We will quickly acknowledge that marital fidelity is not an issue to Democrats in light of their tolerance of infidelity, and accusations of indecent exposure, sexual harassment, and even rape, by former president, Bill Clinton.

It is a bigger deal to conservatives, but not a deal killer. Here’s the question: does marital infidelity affect a person’s ability to lead?

Evidence says no.

Just look at the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. By all appearances, both have been faithful husbands. For that, I applaud them. But they were (and are) lousy presidents.

Ronald Reagan was divorced and was a great president.

Martin Luther King was known for his marital infidelities, but was a powerful civil rights leader who changed America.

One of the great leaders in biblical history is King David, a notorious adulterer who had the husband of his mistress killed.

A good conservative who had been so critical of former President Clinton’s escapades, said to me recently that he couldn’t support Mr. Gingrich. He said he’d feel hypocritical after bashing Clinton all those years.

Comparing Clinton to Gingrich is like comparing apples to oranges. Mr. Clinton took advantage of a young intern in the Oval Office. He was accused of even worse. Mr. Gingrich got divorced twice. I hate to say it, but people get divorced. Half of the country has been divorced.

I don’t see Mr. Gingrich’s divorces as an impediment to his ability to lead.

The liberal letter writer leveled another accusation at Mr. Gingrich:

“How about the fact that he faced ethics violations while serving as the speaker of the House and resigned?”

Mr. Gingrich faced 75 ethic charges while in the House. All but one were dropped. He evidently claimed tax-exempt status for a college course that was viewed as a political endeavor.

What happened?

The House had a hard time trying to figure out if Mr. Gingrich did something wrong on this issue, so they brought in outside counsel who identified two Gingrich infractions:

1. He “may” have violated tax law “by using tax-deductible contributions from nonprofit organizations to teach an allegedly partisan college course.”

2. He provided false information to the panel based on a mis-filed form. For this, Gingrich paid a $300,000 fine.

A year later, the IRS finished their review and found no improprieties in Gingrich’s tax filings.

Newt Gingrich was cleared. All the charges were bogus.

Our liberal writer continues with another bit of Gingrich baggage:

“Have you already forgotten about the luxury cruise he and his wife went on at the beginning of the campaign? “

Is it a crime to have money in this country? If it is, Barack Obama is disqualified. So is Mitt Romney. So is Ronald Reagan. So is Hillary Clinton.

Is the writer critical that Mr. Gingrich wished to take a vacation and spend some time with his wife, Callista, before the rigors of the campaign made this opportunity impossible?

Keep in mind, he took his cruise last Spring, a year and a half before the election. Is that really baggage? On the other hand, the president is in Hawaii for 17 days right now on his umpteenth vacation of the year. I don’t hear many liberals squawking about that.

Mr. Gingrich’s views are crystal clear on the subject of life:

“As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception. I believe that every unborn life is precious, no matter how conceived. I also believe that we should work for the day when there will be no abortions for any reason, and that every unborn child will be welcomed into life and protected by law. That is why I have supported, and will continue to support, pro-life legislation that not only limits, but also reduces, the total number of abortions, with a view to the eventual legal protection of all unborn human life.”

Unlike Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich offers a complete package for Independent and conservative voters. He is unequivocal on life issues. He is not only a fiscal conservative, he actually balanced the budget when he had a chance to do something about it.

He reformed welfare when he had a chance to do something about it.

He reduced capital gains taxes when he was in a position to do something about it.

He ramrodded the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 which made Congress live by the same rules that business had to live with.

Newt Gingrich has demonstrated that he is an extraordinary leader with a brilliant mind. We need his talents to help restore America.

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Cities of hope Reply

By Tom Quiner

Hope is like manna for the soul. It allows us to dream big dreams, to believe they can come true.

Hope energizes our lives and communities.

In this election cycle, we need candidates who can restore the American Dream, the belief that we can become the best version of ourselves and leave the world a better place than we found it.

How do we create cities of hope? It seems as if there are a number of key ingredients:

1. Low crime rates.

2. Good, safe schools.

3. A business-friendly environment.

4. Low property tax rates.

We need to ask what causes high crime rates? Certainly one of the key factors is fatherless homes. But bad immigration policy hurts, too. America did something wrong when it essentially looked the other way in the seventies and the eighties and let illegal immigrants flood into our country. We did it because we wanted their cheap labor.

Many conservatives want to deport illegal immigrants. On one level, that is understandable. They broke the law. But on another level, we exploited them, too. We let them come because we didn’t have to pay them the minimum wage. We didn’t have to pay them extravagant union benefits. As the years turned into decades, many of these workers became established, but not fully integrated, in our communities. How could they become fully integrated? They could be sent home. They were subject to exploitation by predators who knew they couldn’t turn to the local police for protection without fear of deportation.

As a result, communities throughout our country have large pockets of people living in a state of hopelessness. What a lousy way to run a city, a state, a country.

So what do we do? I think Newt Gingrich has this issue right. It is impractical, unaffordable, and even impossible to try round up every undocumented worker in this country and ship them home. Some politicians call for a “comprehensive” immigration reform. But that is unlikely to happen. President Bush couldn’t get it done with a Republican Congress. President Obama couldn’t get it done with a Democratic Congress. And the American people don’t trust Congress with comprehensive reform anyway.

Congress needs to do one thing at a time. That starts with securing our borders.

Mr. Gingrich has outlined a formula for dealing with undocumented workers that I believe is humane and good for America. It would create a path to an earned legal guest worker status, but not citizenship. Here is how Mr. Gingrich describes the process:

“Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.

The government will rigorously enforce a requirement that all individuals seeking this path to legality must be able to prove that they can independently pay for private health insurance. If an individual cannot prove this, they will lose the ability to stay in the United States.  Furthermore, proficiency in English within a certain number of years, similar to the requirement for naturalization, will be required for anyone who seeks continued legal status in the United States.

Once an applicant has been granted the right to obtain legal status, he or she will have to pay a penalty of at least $5,000.  Moving forward, those who receive this status will have to prove on a regular basis that they can support themselves without entitlement programs and pay for health insurance or else risk the ability to stay in the United States.”

Gingrich says we must end the “catch and release” practice where criminals are returned to society. He calls for the efficient and expeditious deportation of these criminals and gang members.

Gingrich emphasizes the need for English as the official language for America and the teaching of American Exceptionalism to prospective new citizens.

In my small business, my wife and I have had the opportunity to work with Hispanic small business owners throughout the country. Our experience with these men and women is consistent: they are humble, hard working, warm, and courteous to a fault. I’d like to have more clients like them.

Mr. Gingrich’s rivals characterize his immigration approach as amnesty. I’ve read his entire plan. It is not accurate to call it amnesty, because he is not advocating citizenship. He is allowing the best of the undocumented workers with roots in our country to redress their past crime, and move forward as productive members of society.

He wants to keep the best of the best.

I believe this is one step in building cities of hope.


A quick look at the Gingrich years Reply

By Tom Quiner

Who do you blame for out-of-control government spending? The President?

I suggest we start with Congress, and specifically, the House of Representatives. All spending bills start in the House. The President can promote spending programs using the bully pulpit. And he can sign or veto the spending bills passed by Congress. But it is Congress that spends the money.

So who is going to do something about unsustainable government spending?

I suggest that it is going to take a real leader to get something done. There is one candidate for president who has a pretty good track record in this department: Newt Gingrich.

The chart above from the Department of Management and Budget says it all. During Newt Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker of the House from 1995 through 1999, we saw government spending decline as a percentage of GDP. Mr. Gingrich is more than a visionary, he gets things done.

If you’re concerned about the trajectory of America’s fiscal future, you might want to take a closer look at Newt Gingrich.

A nation of radical ideals Reply

By Tom Quiner

What a country we have.

Did you know that most Americans believe we are exceptional? The Gallup Poll asked us this question:

“Because of the United States’ history and its Constitution, do you think the U.S. has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world, or don’t you think so?”

Eighty percent of Americans said yes! In their eyes, America is exeptional. Here’s how the survey broke down:

• 91% or Republicans said we’re exceptional.

• 77% of Independents said we’re exceptional.

• 73% of Democrats said we’re exceptional.

One can’t help but notice the bi-partisan acknowledgement of the idea that this nation is historically better than others, although President Obama qualifies his views on the subject:

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

I’m not so sure the president is correct.

The Pew Research Center surveyed 91,000 citizens in 50 different nations a few years ago. It dramatically reveals how differently Americans think about their nation than citizens of other countries think about theirs’.

For example, 71% of Americans are very proud to live in America. But for the French, it’s only thirty-eight percent.

For the Germans, and the Japanese, its only twenty-one percent.

Only one-third of Americans think their success is determined by forces outside of their control. But for Germans and Italians, two-thirds think their success is determined by forces outside of their control.

Did you know that three out four Americans would like to see our views spread throughout the world, but only one out of three Brits feel the same about their country?

President Obama either underestimates Americans or overestimates Europe when he talks about exceptionalism.

American exceptionalism is characterized by limited government; fundamental rights that flow from God; self-sufficiency and self-sacrifice.

Newt Gingrich identifies why this concept is so important to us:

“If America is a unique nation founded upon self-evident truths about the rights of man, then that belief imposes inherent limits on the size and scope of government.

If, however, America is a normal country, no different than our European cousins, then big government socialism that takes power from citizens and gives it to bureaucrats is acceptable.”

Mr. Gingrich accurately identifies the key flashpoint in American politics. The power structure in the Democratic Party thinks that power resides in government; Republicans believe it resides in the people.

No where was this demonstrated more dramatically than in last year’s debate on Obamacare. Although Americans opposed a government takeover of the healthcare industry, Democrats believed they knew best and passed their draconian legislation anyway. In other words, in their view, that power should be vested in the State, just as Europe does it, not the individual.

According to Mr. Gingrich, America’s radical ideals set us apart from the world:

“At the time of our founding, no other nation had adopted such radical ideals. No other nation had declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — rights that no king or government could take away.”

Mr. Gingrich suggests it is this notion of God-given rights, this Creed, that unleashed the potential of a nation:

“During his travels in the 1830s, French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, observed that America was an exceptional nation with a special role to play in history.  Tocqueville wrote that, unlike Europe, where social standing defined a citizen, America was a new republic where liberty, equality, individualism, and free markets defined the “American Creed.”

To this day, Americans are more likely to believe they control their own destiny compared to Europeans who believe it is the state and the social order that controls their destiny.

God is at the heart of American exceptionalism. During World War II, President Roosevelt compared the war as a battle between our “Christian civilization and paganism.”

As America commemorates the 150th anniversary of our Civil War, it is accurate to suggest we are in the midst of a new civil war, one that pits our Judeo-Christian values against the religion of the left, secular humanism.

Secular humanism rejects a right to life.

Secular humanism is less concerned with liberty than it is equality.

Secular humanism views the idea of “pursuit of happiness” as a lifestyle issue, not a property issue as did our Founding Fathers.

And secular humanists don’t view America as being any more exceptional than anyone else.

Are we exceptional? Of course we are, as long as we stick with the radical ideals of our heritage. Newt Gingrich has produced a new movie that premiers tomorrow called “The City on a Hill:  the Spirit of American Exceptionalism.” I’ve posted the trailer for the movie above.

I’ve seen one his previous productions, “9 Days That Changed the World.” If his new movie is as good as his previous effort, it will be worth seeing and sharing with our children. After all, our radical ideals set America apart from the world.

Let us honor them.

Let us preserve them.