Newt Gingrich in the media crosshairs
Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls is followed by the inevitable closer look at his record. Can Newt Gingrich survive the scrutiny?
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Newt Gingrich, welcome to the top of the pack.
Now, itâ€™s Gingrichâ€™s turn.
That first quote is from this POLITICO piece where other brainy conservatives take the former Speakerâ€™s intellectual bona fides down a peg.
Then, you might consider a look at these two pieces, one from iWatch News and one from POLITICO, that delve into Gingrichâ€™s work as a lobbyist advocate in his think tank and two for-profit groups which raked in $100 million in revenue over the last decade.
While Gingrich has vowed he was never a lobbyist, one conservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute - where Gingrich once held a post - notes that â€śif I were to write a Wikipedia definition of lobbying it might not be all that different from their descriptionâ€ť while adding that Gingrichâ€™s enterprises â€śmay have avoided lobbying members face to face.â€ť
Thatâ€™s in addition to Bloombergâ€™s widely-reported findings of Gingrichâ€™s work for favored conservative punching bag (and government-sponsored mortgage behemoth) Freddie Mac, which netted him $1.6 million over several years.
And thatâ€™s all before he raised a decidedly non-GOP mainstream opinion (at least among the other candidates) about immigration in last nightâ€™s GOP debate. Fox News called the following â€śNewtâ€™s Big Riskâ€ť:
â€śI do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century â€” who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago â€” separate them from their families, and expel them. â€¦ I donâ€™t see how the â€” the party that says itâ€™s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And Iâ€™m prepared to take the heat for saying: Letâ€™s be humane in enforcing the law â€” without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.â€ť
Keep your eyes peeled for long-form stories about Gingrichâ€™s background over the next several weeks. It will be key to determining whether the candidate can hold up while his record comes under intense scrutiny.
Whatâ€™s the value of such scrutiny? Isnâ€™t this just digging up old skeletons? Isnâ€™t the future more important? In some sense, yes. But as Mitt Romney is dogged with every day, voters are often as concerned - and rightly so - with what candidates have done in their past, not what they say theyâ€™ll do in the future.
- Curious about Newt? Check out his schedule to see if heâ€™ll be at an event near you.
- Missed last nightâ€™s debate? Read the transcript here.
- Read Coginitive Dissonanceâ€™s postmortem of last nightâ€™s debate.
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