If you’re a little bit older than I am, you will probably remember the calamity that was Mr. Gingrich’s tenure as speaker of the house in the 1990’s. Whether it was the government shutdowns in 1995 or 1996 or the 84 ethics charges filed against him, Newt Gingrich was certainly a controversial and polarizing figure during the Clinton administration.
Fast forward to 2012 and this supposed paragon of Republican moral values is running for president. That is correct. Some arch social conservatives are backing the man who cheated on his first wife (and divorced her) while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery and then allegedly proposed an open marriage to his second wife (to clarify, he is now happily married to his third wife with whom he had an affair six months after his first divorce). The sheer level of hypocrisy from the man who spearheaded the impeachment of Bill Clinton over allegations that he lied about his infidelity is quite overwhelming. What is perhaps more shocking is the fact that with such a record, Mr. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary with 40% of the vote (a state which is traditionally known for its social conservative leanings).
Multiple cases of infidelity aren’t the only skeletons Newt Gingrich has in his closet. Yet another example of the candidate’s hypocrisy are his attacks on the government mortgage organization Freddie Mac. What Newt failed to disclose was that as a lobbyist for the very same firm he was paid over $1.5 million to convince congressmen to support legislation in favor of the company. Gingrich is also fond of telling the current President to be more fiscally responsible; yet his $500,000 debt to Tiffany and Co. clearly indicates his inability to comprehend sound fiscal policy. Although he was charged with 84 ethics violations he was only convicted of one (using tax-exempt money for political purposes) and fined $300,000. Other charges were dropped because he was no longer engaging in such activities.
The Republican primaries have been interesting so far, with Mitt Romney holding steady and many other candidates rising and falling. This indicates displeasure among voters over the candidates presented. Gingrich’s rise came relatively recently and he rode the surge to victory in North Carolina. Fortunately for sanity’s sake Romney won in New Hampshire, Iowa and Florida. It would appear the voters are making the reluctant choice to support the “least bad” candidate in Romney. Gingrich has too many skeletons in his closet to ever defeat Barack Obama in November and the Republican electorate is beginning to see that.
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