Newt Gingrich

Finally, Republicans Find Their New Welfare Queens
December 19, 2011

If you’ve been watching the Republican presidential debates, you’ve likely heard a surprising amount of talk about welfare reform. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum identify the 1996 law, which the Republican Congress eventually forced President Clinton to sign, as their signature achievements, emblematic of the kind of policies they would pursue as president.

The Original Tea Partier
December 16, 2011

[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Newt Gingrich’s highly puzzling ascendance is his popularity among Tea Party voters. As of December 6 he was the overwhelming Tea Party favorite, with 47% of their support. (This enthusiasm may have flagged amid the targeted attacks Newt’s opponents have been deploying this week.) Gingrich’s lead could be a passing fad, but while it lasts, he’s got the Tea Party to thank. His numbers among “moderates/liberals” and “Tea Party nonsupporters” are virtually identical to Romney’s.

The 2008 Roots of Rudy's Beef With Romney
December 15, 2011

As Republicans far and wide take turns wielding the baseball bat against Newt Gingrich's kneecaps, one legendary brawler has decided to stick up for him: Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor's counterattack on Mitt Romney earlier today held little back. From Politico: "I’ve never seen a guy change his position so many times, so fast, on a dime,” Giuliani said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Newt's Iowa Link: Callista's Unusual Alma Mater
December 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich may be coming late to the organizing game in Iowa, but it’s worth noting that he does have a Hawkeye State connection that I haven’t seen mentioned much: Callista, his third wife, is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, in the hilly northeastern corner of the state. Gingrich (nee Bisek) attended the college after growing up Catholic in Wisconsin; after graduating in 1988 with a B.A. in music, she found her way to Washington to work on the Hill, where she met Gingrich.

Rocky's Ghost
December 14, 2011

A specter is haunting the GOP--the specter of Nelson Rockefeller. It's a curious paradox. The Republican party is more captive to its wingnuts than at any time since 1964. Yet three of the party's four most important figures right now--Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Mitch McConnell--began life as Rockefeller Republicans. (The fourth, House Speaker John Boehner, was always a wingnut.) Nelson Rockefeller, you will recall, was vice-president under Gerald Ford and governor of New York from 1959 to 1973.

The Nutty Professor
December 14, 2011

If you’ve watched a recent GOP debate, you may have felt like you were, willingly or not, sitting through a class with Professor Newt Gingrich. Indeed, before Gingrich was a politician, he was an academic, albeit a not terribly successful one: In 1978, he was denied tenure at West Georgia College (the stated reason was that he had failed to publish any work). Fifteen years following that setback, however, he made a brief return to academia.

The Forgotten Campaign
December 14, 2011

If the resurgence of Newt Gingrich is strange for voters to behold, it has been doubly so for David Worley, the man who at age 32 came within 974 votes of keeping Gingrich from becoming a world-historical figure in the first place. It’s easy to forget, but, before Gingrich presided over the Republican Revolution of 1994, he very nearly lost his seat—even though he was, at the time, a twelve-year veteran of Congress and the second-ranking Republican in the House.

More Health Care Heresy from Newt
December 13, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s past endorsement of an individual mandate has drawn fire from conservatives. But that's not his only health care heresy. In 2008, Gingrich made the case for another idea that became part of Obamacare and, in due time, the focus of right-wing attacks. Worse still, at least from the standpoint of conservatives, he did so by writing an op-ed for The New York Times. Oh, and did I mention he had some help?

Romney's Underappreciated Pen Pal
December 13, 2011

Much has been made of how brazenly the Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, has been favoring Mitt Romney and disparaging his GOP rivals, to the point where she compromised her exceedingly staunch pro-Israel stance to chide Newt Gingrich for being excessively anti-Palestinian in his recent remarks on the Middle East.

The Establishment vs. Newt: A Long List of Republicans Who Want Anybody But Gingrich
December 09, 2011

As a former Republican House speaker and veteran of the culture wars of the 1990s, Newt Gingrich understandably earned his share of liberal detractors. But who knew how many enemies he’d made among the Republican political elite? As Gingrich’s recent surge in the polls moves ever closer to bearing electoral fruit in the Iowa Caucuses, it’s fair to say that the GOP political establishment is freaking out.