Various pundits claim Newt Gingrich is a credible conservative candidate for president. They must be referring to some other Newt Gingrich. It couldn’t be this one:
Gingrich, who is running for president, has said he never lobbied members of Congress after he resigned as House speaker in 1998. But U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake and former congressman Butch Otter told The Des Moines Register this week that Gingrich helped persuade reluctant Republicans to vote for the [disastrously expensive] Medicare prescription-drug program, which barely passed.
Flake and Otter, who have endorsed Mitt Romney for president, said about 30 Republican House members were holding out against the bill in the fall of 2003 because they feared the proposal would expand the federal deficit. Proponents brought in Gingrich, who addressed a private meeting of Republican House members, they recalled. “He told us, ‘If you can’t pass this bill, you don’t deserve to govern as Republicans,’ ” said Flake, who represents an Arizona district. “…If that’s not lobbying, I don’t know what is.”
Otter, who is now governor of Idaho, agreed. “I can’t define lobbying, but as a Supreme Court justice once said about pornography, I know it when I see it,” he said. “I felt we were being lobbied.”
Others say that Gingrich’s efforts on behalf of the unsustainable expansion of the entitlement state were not technically lobbying. Similarly, he isn’t technically a socialist — despite pushing for a more bloated and intrusive government at nearly every turn.
Fortunately the esteemed countermoonbat (and Moonbattery.com-endorsed Senate candidate) Jeff Flake resisted Newt’s nefarious influence.
Flake voted against the Medicare bill, which he said added huge unfinanced costs to the federal government. “It was the biggest expansion of an entitlement program since Medicare was instituted,” Flake said. “It was a terrible, terrible thing for Republicans to do.”
Otter said his impression was that Gingrich was lobbying that day on behalf of the [extravagantly spendaholic] Bush administration, but he’s not sure. He doesn’t remember exactly what Gingrich said. “My posture in listening to this was he was full of crap, and I wasn’t going to buy it,” Otter said.
Hopefully Republicans reach the same conclusion regarding what Newt is full of before voting in primaries.
Hat tip: The Bachmann Cometh.