« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Newt speechless on Bain, paid hush money by Freddie but squeals for Bush Rx bill

Former Speaker finally finds his “big government” voice

The tropical climate of Tampa finally loosened the Newt’s vocal cords for singing the praises of government intervention in the economy and the biggest expansion of government after LBJ’s Great Society, before ObamaCare.

Newt Gingrich is big man with big ideas who helped balance four budgets with capital gains tax cuts, and once again proved at Monday night’s GOP presidential debate that those achievements are not mutually exclusive from support for Government Sponsored Enterprises, i.e. GSEs like Freddie Mac nor Medicare Rx Drug bills.

Finally, some honesty and a contrast with Rick Santorum, who now expresses regret for his support of President George W. Bush’s signature legislation adding drug benefits to Medicare.

This breathe of fresh air from Newt Gingrich was especially welcome after his appearance the day before on Meet the Press, where he still provided no specific allegations of wrongdoing by Romney at Bain:

MR. GREGORY: You’ve raised questions about Romney’s business background, particularly his time at Bain. As he was conceding last night in South Carolina this is one of the shots that he fired across the bow. Listen. (Videotape, last night)

FMR. GOV. ROMNEY: Those who pick up the weapons of the left today will find them turned against us tomorrow. And let me be clear, if Republican leaders want to join this president in demonizing success and disparaging conservative values, then they’re not going to be fit to be our nominee. (End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: The question, Mr. Speaker, after all of these questions about Bain, is there anything beyond the questions? Where’s the beef, as was once said in politics when it comes to his management of Bain?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: Well, I think, first of all, you don’t get any beef because you don’t get any answers. The fact is he is trying to cleverly hide behind an argument that no high school debater would ever let stand. The questions about the character, the judgment, the record of a presidential candidate, is not an attack on business. That’s silly. That would be like saying that my critique ofRomneycare as resembling Obamacare means that I’m against any kind of government involvement. That would be silly. The governor’s trying really hard to avoid answering anything whether it’s on his–the Romneycare, for example, where the news reports are that they cleansed every single computer, we have no real record of how they developed it, and we have no real understanding of the overlap between his advisers and Obama’s advisers, although President Obama says they are the same people. So I think the governor keeps trying to make these kind of ad hominem arguments that even in high school debate he would lose if he can’t do better than that.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, by all means bait and switch from Bain to RomneyCare, where one could make specific allegations detrimental to Mitt’s conservative bona fides. Of course, the problem there is that you supported ObamaCare-like individual mandates before Romney and Medicare RX coverage expansions.

We do agree that the “lobbying” allegations against Newt are misplaced. Lobbying is free speech anyway, and we shouldn’t look back now with 20/20 hindsight and blame all who favored federal government mortgage market help as responsible for the Great Recession.

What is instructive concerning Newt’s millions from Freddie Mac for history-based consulting, is his silence from 2003-2008 on the subject.  Now that was historic!

Mike DeVine

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist –  Examiner.com

Editor - Hillbilly Politics

Co-Founder and Editor - Political Daily

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern ConservativeUnified Patriots,  and Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at Townhall.com.

Get Alerts