Apparently, Newt Gingrich never learned the Mark Twain adage: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Fresh off his win in South Carolina — in which the State’s Republican voters expressed their preference for a guy who can play a crowd with a planned, made-for-TV sound bite over a person of substance — Gingrich went into full Gingrich mode and started talking off the top of his head again. It always gets him in trouble.
This time, he just flat out lied.
Trying to reinforce his conservative bona fides, Gingrich intimated he was a Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan conservative. “I went to a Goldwater organizing session in 1964. I met with Ronald Reagan for the first time in 1974. I worked with Jack Kemp, and Art Laffer and others to develop supply side economics in the late ’70s. I helped Governor Reagan become President Reagan. I helped pass the Reagan economic program and worked with the National Security Council on issues including the collapse of the Soviet Empire,” he told NBC News’ Brian Williams during the GOP debate in Tampa Monday night.
Gingrich is trying hard to “prove” he’s a conservative. It would be a difficult slog if people paid attention to reality and substance rather than fluff and propaganda. Unfortunately, most Republican voters are treating the nomination process like another episode of “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars.”
Gingrich has supported cap and trade, individual mandates, bailouts, TARP and gun control. He believes the USA Patriot Act is good legislation. He said he would have voted for the recently passed, Constitution-killing National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the government to arrest and detain Americans on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without charges or trial.
On numerous occasions, Gingrich has called Franklin Delano Roosevelt his favorite President of the 20th Century, and has said FDR was the greatest President. This is the same FDR whose New Deal policies both deepened and prolonged the Great Depression, who confiscated private property (including individually owned gold), redistributed wealth, raised taxes on businesses to more than 90 percent, conducted illegal wiretaps, tried to shut down opposition newspapers, used government make-work programs to finance and work for his campaigns, illegally interned 110,000 Japanese Americans, gave special benefits to labor unions, destroyed food while Americans starved, let Communists infiltrate his Administration and made a deal with Joseph Stalin that left millions of Eastern Europeans to suffer and die under Communism.