The PJ Tatler

Newt needs a mute button

Newt Gingrich apologizes to Rep. Paul Ryan for calling his plan “radical” and “social engineering from the right.” He also promised to cut an ad for any Republican who finds themselves targeted by Democrats, using Gingrich’s quote against them.

That Gingrich thinks such an ad will help anyone but the Democrats is a sure sign that his opinion of himself far outpaces reality. The fact is, if he shows up in a campaign on both sides of any issue, but especially an issue as serious as the nation’s fiscal crisis, he nukes his own credibility and takes down the candidate he is supposedly defending. The fact that his negatives around most of the country are already so high also doesn’t help. On that basis alone, many if not most Republicans would avoid having Gingrich cut an ad on their behalf, but having him defend them from attacks by Democrats, using his own words? No thanks.

Gingrich has made that rare political mistake from which there is no easy return. Ordinary damage control tactics will not do the job.