By Adam Bitely — Contrary to popular belief, Newt Gingrich is not a limited government supporter. If he is, please produce the record. For every action he has taken in the name of moving the country towards a more limited government, he has taken three actions against it.
Consider the following.
In 1993, Newt Gingrich supported health care mandates, similar to the ones imposed by ObamaCare. He supported such mandates as recently as 2008. Now, as a candidate for office who suddenly saw the light on how damaging such mandates could be, Newt has changed his tune and now opposes them.
On climate change, Newt has a similar story. He famously appeared with Nancy Pelosi in a 2008 television ad urging Americans to pressure government to take action on climate change. Now that he is trying to pass himself off as a limited government candidate, he opposes the government taking such action.
And on government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we learn that Newt was a proponent of bad housing policy, accepting $1.6 million from Freddie Mac to garner support from Republicans on Capitol Hill in an effort to get favorable policy for the company. Newt claims that he was not paid to be a lobbyist, but he has changed his story several times over the past week as to what exactly he was paid to do. And beyond that, Newt now claims he opposed the reckless nature of Freddie Mac and would, if elected President, work to undo policy that he had a hand in selling.
Newt sure does change his positions fast inside of 3 years!
It’s not wrong for a candidate to change his or her mind on important topics as more information becomes available. In fact, everyone does it, including myself, and everyone has the right to do that. But something is fishy about someone who routinely changes their mind, seemingly dependent upon their interests at the time.
Newt has a pattern of doing whatever is best for Newt. And currently, Newt sees it best to be the anti-Romney and appear to be a die-hard supporter of limited government.
The current version of Newt, which is just a few months old, is suddenly opposed to anything perceived as being Big Government. On the debate stage he attacks Democrats and leaves his fellow Republicans alone. The constant barrage that he levels on the left has apparently convinced some that he must indeed be a supporter of limited government.
But this is not so.
Where was limited government supporter Newt Gingrich in 2008 when Bush did the bailouts? He was supporting them, “reluctantly” as he put it, but support nonetheless!
Where was Newt Gingrich on Medicare Part D, the biggest expansion of Medicare ever? He was supporting the expansion.
Where was Newt Gingrich when the Bush administration launched No Child Left Behind, a gargantuan expansion of the Department of Education that most supporters of limited government would agree is unnecessary? Of course, Newt supported it!
Gingrich is a political opportunist who changes his rhetoric around to fit the moment. He is not the deeply philosophical historian, deeply rooted in a limited government philosophy that he plays on TV. If he were, he would not be walking back so many of his previous positions.
He is just another typical politician who takes whatever positions appear to be in his best interest at the moment.
And at this moment, what appears to be best for Newt is to create an image of being the anti-Romney. And so far, he is doing a good job at making that image stick.
Unfortunately, positions that are so obviously rooted in an effort to gain limited government supporters votes in a primary are just as easily shifted during a general election campaign or even once in office.
If only we had a crystal ball, we could see what sort of politics a President Gingrich would employ. Unfortunately, I suspect it would extremely cloudy since not even Newt may know what his actual positions are on the most important issues facing our nation.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.