Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared that Newt Gingrich will never be president. When asked why she was so sure, she responded simply and mysteriously that there is “something” that she knows. We will have to wait to see what that something is, but she brings up a topic that is burning with popularity these days: the potential for a Gingrich presidency. As much as I dislike Pelosi, she has a point here. A Gingrich presidency would put a man in charge that we just cannot trust.
Republicans should not select Newt Gingrich because he is not electable in a general election. President Obama would tear Gingrich apart because of his hypocrisy and his relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
How can someone who was so adamant in criminalizing Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal be involved in multiple affairs? It surprises me that we have let Gingrich off the hook so easily on this issue, just because he said a few clever things in debates about it. Gingrich himself quoted Mike Huckabee regarding trust (referring to Mitt Romney): “A guy who will lie to you to get the job will lie to you to keep the job.” Gingrich loves to talk about Romney’s supposed lies about Gingrich’s career, but how can we trust Gingrich, who cheated on two of his three wives?
Obama would also go after Gingrich for his involvement with Freddie Mac. Republicans often blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for causing the housing crisis in 2007, which sprung us into a terrible recession that we are still suffering from. Gingrich has been accused of lobbying for Freddie Mac, which was recently revealed to have paid Gingrich around $1.7 million for “consulting.” Gingrich adamantly denies lobbying for Freddie Mac in any way, saying what he did was strictly consulting. But, after facing pressure from Romney to release records of his time at Freddie Mac, Gingrich only released his contract from 2006, failing to fully disclose documents from his ties with Freddie Mac that span from 1999-2002. Just as it was tough to believe Romney about his tax returns until he released them, there will be suspicion of Gingrich’s ties with Freddie Mac until we get a full sense of his involvement.
All I have heard about from both Republicans and Democrats is that they are tired of politicians. Looking at the numbers, 84% of Americans disapprove of Congress and 52% disapprove of the President. It’s time for someone more business-oriented to take charge. Gingrich has been a Washington politician since his first election to Congress in 1978. With Americans so dissatisfied with Washington in general, Republicans should not put Gingrich up against Obama.
Another problem for Gingrich has to do with his biggest strength: debating. As we saw in Monday’s Florida Republican debate, Gingrich was clearly rattled when Brian Williams would not let the audience cheer or give standing ovations throughout the debate. Gingrich has thrived in this race by connecting to the American people through quick, witty attacks during debates. Most recently, Gingrich won South Carolina and put himself back in the race because of the debate right before the election. But, Gingrich’s issue with the audience in Florida will only be furthered on a national stage since audience involvement is not permitted in general election debates. This is not good news for Gingrich.
In the Florida primary, Gingrich appears to hold a slight advantage over previous frontrunner Mitt Romney. If Gingrich does win the Republican nomination, I just don’t see him beating Obama in a general election. As a Republican, even I have to say to whomever it is that wins between Romney, Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum: Good luck, this is going to be a tough one.
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