JON E. DOUGHERTY, NEWSROOM AMERICA
Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich is under fire from several quarters for associating himself repeatedly with Ronald Reagan on the campaign trail, with many saying his claims of backing the popular president throughout this 8-year tenure in the 1980s are false.
Gingrich, throughout his bid for the presidency, has said things like, “I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington,” “we helped defeat the Soviet empire,” and “I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress,” writes Elliott Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration as an assistant secretary of state.
“The claims are misleading at best. As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years…Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong,” Abrams wrote in a column posted in the conservative National Review Online.
Newt Gingrich said during an interview on April 11, 1988, that Vice President George H. W. Bush would “lose” the election that year if he followed Ronald Reagan’s policies.
Abrams said though Reagan’s strategies to meet and defeat the spread of communism in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Angola and Grenada were ultimately successful, at the time Gingrich was one of the administration’s most vociferous critics, echoing the rhetoric of opposition Democrats even though the future House speaker would ultimately vote with Reagan.
“Here at home, we faced vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every tick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts. On whom did we rely up on Capitol Hill? There were many stalwarts: Henry Hyde, elected in 1974; Dick Cheney, elected in 1978, the same year as Gingrich; Dan Burton and Connie Mack, elected in 1982; and Tom DeLay, elected in 1984, were among the leaders,” Abrams wrote.
“But not Newt Gingrich. He voted with the caucus, but his words should be remembered, for at the height of the bitter struggle with the Democratic leadership Gingrich chose to attack . . . Reagan.”
Liberal columnist Mark Shields accused Gingrich of engaging in “blatant contraditions,” and included an excerpt of a speech Gingrich delivered in the House during Reagan’s second term: “Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing and without a dramatic, fundamental change in strategy will continue to fail. … The burden of the failure frankly must be placed first upon President Reagan.”
Shields also pointed out that Gingrich accused Reagan of adding to the national “decay.”
Conservative writer R. Emmett Tyrell, labeled the former House speaker “William Jefferson Gingrich,” a reference to former President Bill Clinton, adding: “Newt Gingrich is conservatism’s Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit but he has all the charm of barbed wire.”
© 2012 Newsroom America.
Note from Self-Educated American: Please review our “Democrats In Drag” series for more background on Newt Gingrich’s longstanding political ideology, something he repeatedly and openly described in 1994 as “The Third Way” and “The Third Wave” self-labeling himself a “Conservative Futurist” (Futurists work to “impose controls on the future”). It is, as you will see, a well documented and penetrating series, regarding an attempt by Center-left and Center-right ideologues to transform the United States into a socialist Utopia while selling it as a brilliant, high-tech, vital update to the preservation and expansion of the American Dream. It isn’t. In recent books, Mr. Gingrich uses the phrase “21st Century Democracy” and “Compassionate Conservatism” to describe what he has in mind. But it’s all the same system creatively adapted to the current debate. It is revealing to note that Third Wayers also use the term “The Radical Center” to describe their approach … and once you study it out, you’ll feel quite confident that radical it is.
“Democrats In Drag: Foreword; Part 1, Technology, Sovereignty, and the Third Wave; Part 2, Clinton and Blair’s Center-Left Democracy ; Part 3, Gingrich, Toffler, and Gore: A Peculiar Trio; Part 4, Groveling in the Gutter of the Gulags; Part 5, Eradicating the U.S. Constitution by Design; Part 6, Contract With America: The Betrayal Begins; Part 7, Using Jefferson as a Cloak for Revolution; Part 8, Term Limits and the Citizen-Legislature Scam.