Another great soundbite from Newt Gingrich at the Presidential Forum in Iowa today, moderated by Frank Luntz.
In other news, the Gingrich campaign has launched a webpage on Newt.org titled Answering The Attacks to ease the concern some primary voters have about Newt’s conservative bona fides. The page addresses Newt’s views on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, a health insurance mandate, cap and trade, immigration and other topics some conservatives accuse him of flip flopping on.
On Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan:
Newt agrees wholeheartedly with Rep. Ryan that we must give our seniors more choices than the current one-size-fits-all Medicare model. Both concur that creating the opportunity for seniors to buy private insurance is the key to both improving care and lowering costs.
The one key difference is that under Newt’s plan, as outlined in his 21st Century Contract with America, seniors will also have the choice to stay in the current Medicare system or choose a private insurance plan with support from the government to pay the premiums. The other difference is that Newt believes that seniors should have this option starting next year, not in ten years.
According to the new poll Newt is in second behind Mitt.
The survey, conducted by Magellan Strategies for the website NH Journal, had Gingrich at 27 percent – only 2 points back from Mitt Romney and within the 3.6 percentage point margin of error.
Romney has long coasted in the Granite State and drew 40 percent of the vote in a Bloomberg poll out earlier this week. That poll was conducted Nov. 10-12, while the automated Magellan survey was taken Nov. 15-16, as the Gingrich campaign drew the most intense media coverage it’s received in months. Whether this is a genuine shift in the polls or statistical anomaly remains to be seen.
National Fox News poll just released: Gingrich 23, Romney 22, Cain 15.
Among Tea Party supporters, Gingrich takes a commanding lead with 35% while Cain is at 20% and Romney 15%. Newt is also the most trusted with a nuclear weapon at 30%; Romney is second with 17%.
This comes on the heels of yesterday’s McClatchy-Marist Poll that shows Newt is the strongest Republican candidate to defeat President Obama, down only 2% (45-47%) overall but leading 47-41% among independent voters.
There has been a lot of news today criticizing the former speaker about his relationship with Freddie Mac.
So here are two things you might not have read:
New Information About the Newt Gingrich/Freddie Mac Relationship (Updated: Freddie Mac Says Gingrich Did No Lobbying)
Multiple sources are reporting that Newt Gingrich received up to $1,800,000 in compensation from Freddie Mac–the government mortgage giant that many conservatives blame for causing the housing collapse along with Fannie Mae. This is much more than the $300,000 amount that was mentioned during the CNBC Debate. Newt has maintained that his role for Freddie Mac was one of a consultant, not a lobbyist. That is going to be a tough sell, as sources within the government entity are contradicting Newt’s story.
Update: Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist at the time, has said that Newt did not lobby on behalf of the government entity: “What he did was provide counsel on public policy issues…There was no expectation that he would do any lobbying, and he did not do any lobbying.”
Last night Newt Gingrich was on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Show. It was the most comprehensive interview I have seen thus far of Newt addressing what many see as a checkered past, personally and politically (in the eye of conservatives).
In the video Newt discusses the veracity of the charges that he divorced his former wife while she was on her death bed, the infamous ad with Nancy Pelosi, his support of parts of The Dream Act, and the recent Freddie Mac lobbying controversy.
The interview is worth watching if you have not seen it yet, and you can watch it here. Of course, Newt is going to have to answer these same questions, and more, from an unbiased interviewer who is more willing to challenge his answers.
Here is another video you should watch if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s Herman Cain struggling to answer a simple question about his views on Libya. With Cain’s popularity decreasing due to the sexual assault allegations and his shallow understanding of world affairs, it is likely that Newt will gain even more in the polls, as many of Cain’s supporters have a high favorability rating of Newt.
Newt is on top according to Public Policy Polling:
“Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in PPP’s national polling. He’s at 28% to 25% for Herman Cain and 18% for Mitt Romney… Rick Perry is at 6%, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum each at 1%.”
Also from Public Policy Polling: “There’s reason to think that if Cain continues to fade, Gingrich will continue to gain. Among Cain’s supporters 73% have a favorable opinion of Gingrich to only 21% with a negative one. That compares to a 33/55 spread for Romney with Cain voters and a 32/53 one for Perry. They like Gingrich a whole lot more than they do the other serious candidates in the race.”
Newt has come a long way since Charles Krauthammer said his campaign was “Done” several months ago.
By now it is abundantly clear that Newt Gingrich is the best debater among the Republican presidential candidates. Some of Newt’s critics will grudgingly acquiesce to this fact, but still brush the legitimacy of the Gingrich candidacy aside. However, Newt’s magnificent debating skills, his unmatched knowledge of American and political history, his tremendous command of the issues and his eloquent oratory skills should not be taken lightly.
The highest hurdle any Republican candidate faces in a campaign is messaging. It is very difficult to articulate why conservative values and policies are superior to liberal ones. Liberals get to self-righteously tell the electorate all the things he or she will give them, if elected. Liberals, for better or worse (worse), are known as those who care about the poor, the needy and the environment. As Obama recently noted, “Then you’ve got their plan [the Republicans], which is, let’s have dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance. So far at least, I feel better about my plan.” Remember Howard Dean on Meet the Press a few years ago: “Our moral values, in contradiction to the Republicans’, is we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.” Conservatives are consistently stereotyped as mean, greedy, racist, xenophobic, homophobic; the list goes on and on. This is what conservatives face in every election.
In such circumstances, it is essential for the Republicans to nominate someone who can effectively communicate why conservative values are better than liberal ones–not just economically, although, of course they are, but morally, as well. Newt Gingrich does this spectacularly, and with historical examples to support his claims. Can you imagine Obama versus Newt in a debate?
That great intellect and debating skills are essential for the next Republican nominee immediately renders Rick Perry and Herman Cain unelectable (of course, I would vote for both of them over Obama in a heartbeat).
I’m sorry, but I’ve never been a big fan of Herman Cain. Yes, he’s refreshing and bold, and has a great energy about him. But, I agree with Tucker Carlson, who recently said that Herman Cain is “not qualified” to be President. And this has nothing to do with the recent sexual assault allegations against him.
Herman Cain has made mistakes that, if a Democrat had made in similar circumstances, would have been greeted with a unanimous uproar from the right, mocking the candidate as a joke. I’ll give a few examples: Cain’s not knowing what the Palestinian “right of return” was on Fox News Sunday was unacceptable. On Meet the Press, he admitted he was not familiar with the Neo-conservative movement. And did any of you catch the Gingrich/Cain debate a few nights ago on CSPAN? Cain was asked about “defined benefit plans” with regards to Medicare, and passed the question to Newt, as he clearly had no idea what the moderator was asking. Everyone laughed it off, but really? This is who conservatives want to be represented by in a presidential election against Obama? Someone who makes Obama look like Henry Kissinger with regards to knowledge about international affairs?
The left constantly demeans the right as stupid, shallow, and unintelligent, not being able to grasp the nuance of certain complex issues. Herman Cain feeds right into this stereotype. Obama would destroy Herman Cain in a debate, no question.
Unfortunately, I feel like many on the right who zealously support Herman Cain for president, are doing what we always accuse the left of; that is, engaging in soft racism. The left routinely does not hold blacks up to the same standards as whites, as is apparent through affirmative action, and plenty of other examples. Are some on the right doing the same with Herman Cain? Are we not holding him up to the same standards we would a white candidate because he is black? This is the soft bigotry of low expectations.
As far as Rick Perry is concerned, well, after the last debate I don’t think I need to say anything to convince you that he is not the man for the job.
Yes, I know Newt has a less than stellar record in his personal life, but he has admitted to his mistakes and has asked for forgiveness. I think in this election, more than ever, people are going to be most concerned with who has the ability to fix America’s very serious problems, not either of the candidate’s personal lives. That leaves us with Romney versus Newt. Your call.