Is it Time for Newt to Go?

There is a grisly pallor that has beset former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Then, too, there is a lumpiness — to his face, to his features, to his … well, to his lump.

When he walks into a room, I feel rather sorry for him, but then I feel rather sorry for Bill Clinton, too, and for Hillary. No longer do I call her “Bill’s lovely wife Bruno.” She looks grandmotherly rather than tough. I guess maybe her coeval from the 1960s generation of student government goody-goodies, Newt, looks grandfatherly rather than brainy. What does Al Gore look like these days, and Jean-Francois Kerry? They all quite abruptly assumed old age.

Yet Newt did it on the field of battle. I suppose I should compliment him for that; he is running once again for high office: the presidency. But there is something manic about his presence in the presidential field. Now he’s been reduced to saying that he has been counted out so many times that it’s just a matter of time before he wins the presidential nomination. Can anyone other than Newt follow that line of reasoning? I suppose it is a variation on his co-generationist Bill Clinton’s claim that he is the Comeback Kid. Newt, however, is not a kid, and he is not coming back.

This week the editors of National Review called upon Newt to quit the race. I second the motion. A couple of weeks ago, Newt called for Rick Santorum, he having only one win in his column, to give up. Now Santorum has four wins, and Newt is stuck with his one forlorn victory an increasingly long time ago.

It is time for Newt to throw his weight behind Santorum or Mitt Romney. It is time for him to retire from the race and go on to become the greatest Futurologist in America and possibly the known world. The present is no place for him. He has displayed his judgment repeatedly, and it is deficient.

He has also displayed his art for the one-liner, and it is destructive — destructive of other Republicans in the race. He began his race for the presidency with a flourish of ostentatious braininess that hurt Congressman Paul Ryan, a real Republican leader.

Newt has gone on to endanger Santorum and Romney. It is time for him to go.

National Review asks whether he “remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride.” Those of us who grew up with the 1960s generation recognize that he believes both. He thinks he could be the nominee and indeed the president and that he wants to avenge his pride. In any event, he should quit now. He has already done enough damage. All of his one-liners are being studied by President Obama’s staff and will be deployed soon against the Republican nominee.

The only good that has come from Newt’s campaign is that Santorum and Romney are getting some practice in parrying Newt’s anti-capitalist one-liners. They will be better campaigners against Obama because of Newt.

I suggest that both candidates agree that they are unrepentant proponents of free-market economics. In other words, they side with about 70 percent of the American people. We gave Obama his chance to get the economy back on the path to growth, and he blew it. Worse, he saddled the country with a burden that it will take years to relieve. The community organizer in the White House brought down on America four straight years of deficits, and they were hardly normal deficits. They were all above $1.29 trillion. He initiated an unprecedented four years of federal spending at more than 24 percent of GDP! Now he wants to tax the top 2 percent of income earners to balance the budget somewhere down the road.

Does anyone believe the remaining 98 percent of Americans are not going to be hit by Obama’s taxes and very soon? We are headed toward Greece.

This is not the road to growth. It is the road to serfdom, as the great economist F.A. Hayek warned. This presidential campaign should be waged on the topic of President Obama’s last four budgets and the onerous burden of ever paying for them.


Emmett Tyrrell


R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: the Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery, among others.

  • Howard

    Newt is the only candidate experienced, smart, and battle tested in the campaign.  I hope he stays in.

  • Dave

    He’s the only candidate that definitely can’t win.  However, I hope he stays in.  It will help Ron Paul.  Gingrich can actually probably win most Southern states.  It’s just that most of the primaries have been in the north so far.  There’s no way on God’s green earth that he could win the nomination, or beat Obama, even if he did, though.

  • Anonymous Seminarian

    Why is there no consideration for Newt ‘throwing his support’ behind Ron Paul? or is the only consistently pro-life voice and true economic conservative in the race to be ignored? Don’t we deserve better than a war-hawk or a soft socialist?

    • pamelanak

      Dear Anonymous Seminarian did you not get the email?  Republican elites and their servants  have decided that RP is “not electable” and therefore not to be mentioned in a serious manner when discussing the election. The same people are telling you that Rick Santorum is, which should give us all an idea of their talents at soothsaying.

    • Martial_Artist

      Amen! Amen! Amen! Not to mention that Dr. Paul is the only candidate from either major party who  (a) understands what is required for the nation to have any hope of averting a reprise of the last century’s Great Depression in the present century, and (b) has a published a plan to implement that solution in order to eliminate the deficit inside of one four-year term, and (c) has shown the integrity in 30 years in Congress to provide some reassurance that he will do all in his power to effect that plan.

      Pax et bonum,
      Keith Töpfer

  • Ruthmcc

    It doesn’t matter how intelligent Ron Paul’s domestic economic plan is.  His view of our place in international affairs is insane.  He is living in an unreal world.  He says it doesn’t matter if Iran gets a nuclear bomb???
    Rick Santorum is improving day by day and I am just about to send him a check in support of his candidancy.  And don’t you think he would capture the Catholic vote?  We’ve been told that Catholics voted for Obama overwhelmely and were responsible (along with African-Americans) for his victory. Could you imagine that Catholics (even Democrats) would vote for Obama over a true-blue pro-life
    American like Santorum?


  • Jcsmitty1212

    It’s time Newt drops out and endorses Santorum. Even Newt acknowledged that they were splitting the conservative vote between them  and allowing Romney to benefit, but that their combined vote would best Romney. Santorum has now shown he’s the anti-Romney and tops the polls, not Newt, so the thing to do to nominate a conservative candidate is for Newt to do the “right” thing.

    Romney can’t beat Obama because of the Obamacare/Romneycare parallel that destroys the GOP’s best issue. Gingrich has just has too much baggage for the Obama billions in negative ad money. Santorum didn’t go for bailouts or nationalized healthcare, so at least he has a real shot.

    • Martial_Artist

      An absolutely marvelous suggestion Jcsmitty1212. Nominate a self-identified Catholic who believes in government bailouts, big government and taxpayer funding of a variety of forms of contraception, although I am unsure if he considers any abortions to fall within the scope of “contraception.” But do make sure you buy lots of “junk silver” because Rick has shown absolutely no understanding of the fiscal problem the nation is facing. The Social Security prognosticators (the official government ones), published within the past week a forecast that moves the date of insolvency of Social Security one year closer to the present, and I have seen published a credible assertion that just the total unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will exceed twice the value of the GDP of the entire world within the next ten years or less.

      If Santorum is our next president we are in for an extremely rough ride, at least those of us who live longer than a further decade.

      Pax et bonum,
      Keith Töpfer

  • They are saying that RP is not ellectable because  –  well  –  he’s not.  Perhaps its those back issues of the anti-semitic magazine he published a few years back or his lack of understanding of international issues.

  • Daniel

    Everyone reading this:

    Please vote for Rick Santorum.  Your country needs you and your Church needs you.  If you value either or both then vote for Santorum.  Vote for the good and against evil.  Get involved.  Make an impact.  Vote for Rick Santorum 2012.