Yesterday on Fox News Sunday there were a couple of bombs lobbed at the Gingrich campaign. I hope thinking Republicans will take note. Gingrich may, in fact, in spite of his recognized brilliance as a debater, be the weakest possible candidate Republicans could field.
Let’s start with comments by Senator Tom Coburn, who was interviewed by Chris Wallace. Chris asked Senator Coburn about some comments he had made about Newt earlier this year, and asked, “As Speaker Gingrich takes the lead in the Republican race, do you still have those questions about his fitness to be President?”
Senator Coburn answered: “I am not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership.”
Pressed for reasons, he added: “There’s all types of leaders. Leaders that instill confidence, leaders that are somewhat abrupt and brisk, leaders that have one standard for the people that they are leading and a different standard for themselves. I just found his leadership lacking and I’m not going to go into greater detail on that and I think if you we to poll the gang, the group of people that came into Congress in 1994, which he did a wonderful job in organizing that. He’s brilliant. He has lots of positives, but I still, it would be my, I will have difficulty supporting him as President of the United States.”
Interesting thing, Newt’s record bears out Senator Coburn’s assessment. He left power, if you will remember, among a flurry of problems, having lost the confidence of his caucus, and having had to pay a fine of $300,000.
But that wasn’t the end of problems for Newt during Fox News Sunday. When Chris Wallace got around to his Sunday panel, he asked Mara Liasson to comment on Newt’s prediction, “I’m gonna be the nominee. I mean, it’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m gonna be the nominee.”
Chris asked, “Mara, a little early for Newt Gingrich to be declaring victory?”
Mara: “Yes, and there we have some of the seeds of why people think that he won’t be the nominee. Because he has a penchant for grandiosity and for these self-inflicted implosions just as he’s getting to the pinnacle of power.”
And he asked Kirsten Powers: “Kirsten, how seriously do you take Gingrich as a possible GOP nominee and what do you think are his biggest obstacles getting from here to there?”
Kirsten: “Well, I think if you look at him whether he could become the nominee, that you can easily see a path where that could happen. The then question is, the laws of nature are fixed and the laws of nature with Newt Gingrich is that he implodes. The question is, Does he implode before he gets the nomination, or does he implode after he gets the nomination?”
And if that wasn’t enough, we had liberal Democrats on other shows chortling with joy over the prospect of Newt being Obama’s opponent.
Colbert King, Washington Post: No, I like everything going on right now. God answers Democrat prayers, and so I hope if we just hold on, Newt will make it, make it to the nomination.
And then Nina Totenberg, NPR: “I don’t think Barack Obama has led such a good life that he deserves or will get Newt Gingrich as an opponent, but it’s possible, and it’s possible at the moment because of the time. ”
On the other hand, we have Michele Bachmann, who had another brilliant interview with Chris Wallace earlier in the show. She handled even the toughest questions with clarity and brilliance. My wife and I cheered when we heard her answer to a question about homosexual marriage and equal rights for homosexuals. She said, “We all have the same civil rights.” Further elaborating on marriage as a civil right, she said, “Well, they can get married. They abide by the same laws as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman, or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.” I have longed to hear that argument. Gay advocates present it as a matter of civil rights. But the facts are that marriage rights are conferred equally on people. There is no question on any marriage license application that I’m aware of where it asks about sexual orientation. What these advocates want is to change the definition of marriage. And when we go there, we’re headed into uncharted territory. We have little idea what effect changing the concept of marriage will have on the stability of our society, but we have inklings that it could be profound. And my wife and I cheered when we heard her present that argument that I have not heard any other candidate make.
Anyway, why would we take such a chance with Newt, when we have, with Michele Bachmann, a tested candidate who has no significant baggage, who is a solid, principled conservative, who is a shrewd and tireless campaigner, and whom we know drives the Left nuts?