Thursday, December 1, 2011

Newt Is The GOP's Newest Not-Romney Presidential Candidate

As Herman Cain ponders whether he will have to drop his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, and Rick Perry continues to stumble, Newt Gingrich find himself breaking away from the pack.

In the most recent national Quinnipiac University poll of 1,039 Republican primary voters conducted in mid-November Newt Gingrich leads (26 percent) second place Mitt Romney (22 percent), with Herman Cain trailing (14 percent) in third place. The other Republicans found support only in the mid to low single digits.

But in a later question about a hypothetical match-up between Gingrich and Romney, Cain supporters break for Gingrich over Romney by a 49 to 35 percent margin, with 16 percent uncertain, according to results provided to HuffPost by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Among all Republicans, Gingrich tops Romney on the two-way match-up by a slightly narrower margin, 49 to 39 percent.

A just-released Economist/YouGov online survey of 326 likely Republican primary voters conducted Nov. 26-29 produced similar results.

The initial vote question shows Gingrich leading Romney by a slightly wider margin (25 to 17 percent) than the Quinnipiac University poll, with Cain running third (at 15 percent) and the other candidates receiving single digit support.

But the survey also asks Republicans for their second choices. When the vote preference is recalculated, reassigning Cain's supporters based on their second choices, Gingrich has an even wider lead over Romney (32 percent to 19 percent).

In other words, Cain's departure would increase Gingrich's support by 7 percentage points, but increase Romney's by only 2.

GOP Presidential Candidates Say Anything

Everyone agrees: Newt Gingrich may be polling strong now, but the man has a lot of “baggage.”

But former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the GOP's now leading "not Romney" candidate, and Mitt Romney have a lot of baggage in common.

One of the most common gripes about Mitt Romney — if not the most common one — is that he lacks core values, and chooses positions based on political expediency, not sincere beliefs. A place to keep up with Mitt Romney's flip-flopping.

Mitt Romney Serial Flip Flops

Newt Gingrich Serial Flip Flops

The DNC put out a video (left) with a website to tell the Romney story - "two men trapped in one body."

The GOP's anti-Romney candidate, you might expect, would be someone of pronounced non-flip-flopping consistency.

Asked recently by Fox News why conservatives should prefer him over Romney, Gingrich tried to play up that image. "First of all, I have a lifetime record of being a consistent conservative," he said. Except that ... he doesn't.

Through the years, Gingrich has demonstrated a willingness to cravenly flip-flop in ways that might make Romney blush, as the video (left) put out by Ron Paul's campaign illustrates.

And as our own Joan Walsh put it, even his baggage has baggage.

Here are some of the most notable examples of Newt's flip flops:

Baggage-Beset Newt Gingrich

Newt’s Baggage by Robert AriailSalon

It’s not just the loony leftists who think the former speaker is baggage-beset. Conservative professor John J. Pitney wrote of Newt Gingrich’s baggage yesterday at the National Review’s The Corner. But there seem to be two very different definitions of what’s Newt’s baggage.

Here’s what Joan Walsh described as his baggage: Newt Gingrich served his first wife with divorce papers while she was recovering from cancer surgery, he left the woman he left his first wife for for another mistress (he then converted to Catholicism in order to ask the church to annul his second marriage), he petulantly shut down the government in 1995 in part because he was upset that President Clinton sat him in the back of Air Force One, he gleefully led the Clinton impeachment drive while cheating on his (second) wife, and he had, for some reason, a $500,000 line of credit at fancy jeweler Tiffany and Co. And he blamed Susan Smith’s horrific murder of her children, and the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres, on Democrats. And he says racist stuff.

When Did The GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

GOP Presidential CandidatesA Commentary by Marc Pitzke

The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country's reputation.

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed -- well, they shouldn't make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns.

For months now, they've been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what's still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.