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Robert Reich Trashes Newt Gingrich

by Robert Wenzel

MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2012

Reich says that even if Gingrich has a 10% chance of beating President Obama, if Gingrich gets the nomination, it’s too much of a risk for Democrats to want a Gingrich nomination. He sees Gingrich as that much of a nutjob. Reich writes:

…no responsible Democrat should be pleased at the prospect that Gingrich could get the GOP nomination. The future of America is too important to accept even a small risk of a Gingrich presidency…

“Weird” is the word I hear most from Republicans who have worked with him. Scott Klug, a former Republican House member from Wisconsin, who hasn’t endorsed anyone yet, says “Newt has ten ideas a day – two of them are good, six are weird and two are very weird.” 

Newt’s latest idea, for example – to colonize the moon – is typically whacky.

The Republican establishment also points to polls showing Gingrich’s supporters to be enthusiastic but his detractors even more fired up. In the latest ABC News/ Washington Post poll, 29 percent view Gingrich favorably while 51 percent have an unfavorable view of him…

Independents, who will be key to the general election, are especially alarmed by Gingrich.

As they should be. It’s not just Newt’s weirdness. It’s also the stunning hypocrisy. His personal life makes a mockery of his moralistic bromides. He condemns Washington insiders but had a forty-year Washington career that ended with ethic violations. He fulminates against finance yet drew fat checks from Freddie Mac. He poses as a populist but has had a $500,000 revolving charge at Tiffany’s.

And it’s the flagrant irresponsibility of many of his propositions – for example, that presidents are not bound by Supreme Court rulings, that the liberal Ninth Circuit court of appeals should be abolished….that the First Amendment guarantees freedom “of” religion but not “from” religion…

Yet Democratic pundits, political advisers, officials and former officials are salivating over the possibility of a Gingrich candidacy. They agree with key Republicans that Newt would dramatically increase the odds of Obama’s reelection and would also improve the chances of Democrats taking control over the House and retaining control over the Senate.

I warn you. It’s not worth the risk.

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Filed under politics economy editorial campaign 2012 Gingrich Newt Gingrich Robert Reich

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WASHINGTON — As Newt Gingrich surged to a surprise victory in the South Carolina GOP primary, one particularly crucial voter category showed itself once again to be a major problem for erstwhile frontrunner Mitt Romney: the working class.

According to exit polling data from CBS News, voters who took in less than $50,000 in total family income last year broke overwhelmingly for Gingrich, 38 percent to Romney’s 25 percent. Voters from families earning more than $100,000 annually still went for Gingrich, but at a much slimmer margin, 37 percent to 35. And among voters with no more than a high school education, the former House speaker trounced the former Massachusetts governor, 46 percent to 22.

Overall, the numbers suggest that Romney still hasn’t managed to shake his image as a wealthy Northeasterner who’s out of touch with the struggles of ordinary people on ordinary incomes.

What’s harder to tell is whether many of those voters in the Palmetto State were swayed by attacks from Gingrich and others on Romney’s business past. Romney’s tenure at venture capital firm Bain Capital became a major campaign issue in the past two weeks; in a strange twist, Republican candidates were bashing Romney for his business success, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry going so far as to call him a “vulture capitalist” before dropping out of the race.

Romney didn’t exactly earn working class bona fides by waffling on whether or not to release his tax returns. Although he’s disclosed that his income tax rate is probably around 15 percent since he makes most of his money off investments, Romney still has not committed to disclosing his tax returns even if he’s elected president, most likely because the discrepancy between his tax rate and that of many ordinary Americans could be quite large. At the debate on Thursday night, Romney was asked once again about the tax issue by moderator John King; he dodged the question awkwardly, prompting boos from the audience.

South Carolina isn’t the first state where Romney has struggled with voters of moderate means. As BuzzFeed has pointed out, Romney was largely carried by wealthier voters in Iowa, winning all of the income categories above $30,000, and taking a plurality of voters who earn more than $200,000 a year.

—Dave Jamieson

Romney Shows Weakness With Working-Class Voters

Filed under 2012 election Mitt Romney Rick Santorum Ron Paul 2012 South Carolina Primary newt gingrich ron paul santorum sc election sc election 2012 sc election results sc election results 2012 sc polls sc primary sc primary election sc primary election 2012 south carolina primary election south carolina primary election results

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