My problem with Newt as a presidential candidate, from the beginning, has been the character issue. Twelve years ago, Democrats were trying to sell us on the idea that character doesn’t matter in a president – only his policies and what he does. I wasn’t buying it, and I thought Republicans in general weren’t buying it. But then we have Newt coming along with all this baggage of serial marital infidelity, ethics questions in the handling of money, and temperament issues, and I hear pundits I used to respect trying to tell us to pay attention only to his policies.
For me, I don’t care how brilliant he sounds, if I can’t trust him, I don’t want him running the oval office. Obama has shown us how easy it is to conceal what the executive is doing. The times call for moral courage, and a president with moral failings has to struggle with guilt which undermines courage.
And, to a lesser extent, Rick Perry gives me similar feelings of distrust. He seems to say things he thinks the people want to hear, and any many who wears his faith on his sleeve as he does is suspect to me.
And the current road their campaigns are taking them bear out the wisdom of that judgment, that we need to put an emphasis on character. Their attacks on Romney for being too much of a capitalist are really bizarre and self-defeating. Rush Limbaugh commented on it on his show today, taking a slam at Newt: “I don’t understand why the Occupy Wall Street crowd is protesting Newt. They’re singing from the same hymnal.” And Rick Perry is slamming Romney calling him a “vulture capitalist.”
Folks, it’s the character issue. Stand up and take note. The people doing this are putting self above party and are willing to play games with the facts in order to promote their own candidacy. And hint, hint, Rick Santorum says he will have no part of it.
Thank you men, for helping us see who has the character to be president. And everyone, pay attention. Character does matter – it matters a lot.