The man who would kill the EPA, Newt Gingrich, tops GOP Presidential polls

  • Published on November 14th, 2011

One thing is clear this election season – a lot of Republicans don’t want Mitt Romney to be their nominee.

The other thing that is clear – they don’t really have anyplace else to go.

The anti-Mitt mantle has been passed to Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Herman Caine… and as each has melted down, rather than line up behind Mitt, conservatives have desperately sought somebody, ANYBODY else.

This week it’s Newt Gingrich’s turn, which should make for some good comedy. In the latest PPP poll, he’s riding atop the GOP field at 28%, up from a pitiful 8% in August. Cain is down from 30% last month to 25%, while Romney has barely moved in all that time, hovering between 18 and 20%. His support is firm, but limited.

Gingrich had been ruled dead in the water after campaign gaffs earlier in the year (see: Newt screwed the pooch), but in the current climate, it appears conservative voters will vote for a dead and bloated ex-Congressman over the prefab plastic ex-Governor of Massachusetts.

Newt the flipper

If there’s one person in the GOP field who has flip-flopped more than Mitt, it’s Newt.

The man has gained a reputation as the GOP’s ideas guy, which is ironic in and of itself, considering how he’s had to back down from most of the ideas he once pushed in order to run for President again. Such as “Climate change is important and must be dealt with.”

And of course, here at Red Green and Blue we recall Newt fondly as the guy who has called for completely eliminating the EPA.

Out come the knives

Right on schedule, the other campaigns would very much like the voters to remember just how awkward Newt’s record is. Alexander Burns at Politico has obtained an email circulation among conservatives that drags some fun quotes out of the closet:

  • In A 2007 Interview With PBS, Gingrich Came Out In Favor Of A Cap And Trade System, Saying “It’s Something I Would Strongly Support.” (PBS’ “Frontline,” 4/24/07)
  • Gingrich Admitted That Climate Change Evidence Is Sufficient And Steps Need To Be Taken Immediately. ““My message, I think, is that the evidence is sufficient, and we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading in the atmosphere,’ Gingrich said.” (Aaron Blake, “Kerry, Gingrich Joust Over Global Warming,” The Hill, 4/10/07)
  • Gingrich: “I Don’t Think Right-Wing Social Engineering Is Any More Desirable Than Left-Wing Social Engineering.” (Speaking of Paul Ryan’s plan) (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/15/11)
  • “A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that’s what freedom is all about.” [At the Republican National Convention, August 1996 ]
No, wait, that last one was from progressive magazine The Nation‘s list of “Eleven craziest things Newt Gingrich has ever said.”

Getting pack to the conservative list – they also club him over his support for reasonable positions on health care, immigration, and TARP.


Back in May, Gingrich’s campaign completely melted down, with his manager and top advisers resigning in disgust. The Wall Street Journal commennted on “…[Gingrich’s] weakness as a candidate, and especially as a potential President—to wit, his odd combination of partisan, divisive rhetoric and poll-driven policy timidity.

The National Review called him a “cretin” (although they seem to have pulled it from their website) after he attempted to backtrack from that “social engineering” gaff (item #3, above)  and actually had the nerve to say “Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood.”

Newt was confronted by a conservative Iowan (at the Dubuque Holiday Inn!) who called him an embarrassment to the Republican party and advised he should “Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself”.

This could be fun.

UPDATE: Bloomberg news drops a bombshell on the campaign (via):

Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

Why is this a big deal? Because it is current Republican dogma that it wasn’t the Banks that caused the financial meltdown – it was excess government regulation that FORCED the banks to make all those bad loans. And they primarily point the GOP finger of blame at Freddie Mac.

The rabid base isn’t going to like that.

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More on Newt and the GOP field:

More on our dysfunctional political system

(Newt caricature by DonkeyHotey)

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
  • Pete

    So you don’t like him then, right?