Why Newt? He dishes it back. Why not Newt? Because....
Despite very negative allegations by X-wife #2 the very week leading up to the primary, Newt still managed to surge ahead to capture 41% of the vote to Romney's 27%, Santorum's 17% and Paul's 13%. In exit polls, Newt even won over the Evangelical and Tea Party voters. How was that possible?
Now, I am no Romney fan (because of RomneyCare and my preference for a mainstream Christian), but at least I felt Romney was a somewhat acceptable default candidate for Republicans--he may not be a conservative with passion, but he would go along with a conservative led Congress. Hands down, Ron Paul is my most undesirable choice. But next to Paul, Newt would be my least desirable candidate of the roster--even when there were still 9 in the running!*
That said, I do love the way Newt dishes it back to the media, and I think that is why Newt manages to evoke a positive response--even with conservatives. He really nailed it on the head at the CNN debate, " 'I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans,' he said."
And he is right about the media keeping good candidates out of the mix when he fumed, "The destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office..." Just look at how they have gone after Rick Santorum with questions about his wife and even his stillborn son. Or the relentless attacks on Sarah Palin and her family. Is it any wonder good people like Gov. Bobby Jindal or Rep. Paul Ryan shy away from running?
Dishing it back is the same reason people responded to Donald Trump. While I don't believe for a minute that he is a conservative, and I think he and Newt have similar problems with the women in their lives, I did enjoy his boldly responding to reporters questions and tying it back to Obama, who has been abysmal as a president.
Sarah Palin should have been a natural for running in 2012. After all, it was McCain's selection of her that brought some spark into his campaign. But the media so mercilessly attacked her and her family, they pretty much guaranteed her staying out this time.
Since I started writing this post, the 4 remaining candidates had their first debate in Florida. This time, Newt didn't knock it out of the park. While I can appreciate Newt's bold rhetoric, he is NO conservative. He has been all over the map on the issues--even in recent years--supporting the individual mandate for health insurance, supporting Cap and Tax with Nancy Pelosi, and supporting pathways to citizenship for illegals.
So as Newt and Mitt continue to bloody each other and Ron Paul is just, well, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum stands firm. They all have their flaws, but Rick Santorum to me has the least baggage and will protect American's Right to Rise. (If you agree, Santorum could use your help: ricksantorum.com)
We aren't just hiring someone who can throw a punch at the press or be good at debating. We are selecting a President, and the contrasts are clear. Look at the man and his record. The goal is defeating President Obama and his oppressive socialist agenda in 2012, not trading jabs at a debate.
*Any one of those 9 Republicans would be a far better choice than what we have now. To loosely quote conservative talk show host Mark Levin, I would vote for an orange juice can over Obama. I agree.
Wall Street Journal 2012 Election Delegate Tracker
Romney, Gingrich trade barbs in Tampa debate
Oops, Nancy Pelosi On A Gingrich Presidency: "That Will Never Happen"
Krauthammer: Santorum Can Hang Around If He Keeps Finishing Third
Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, WisPolitics Quorum Call, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation