By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Newt is the current flavor of the month in the GOP race for the presidential nomination, and grabbed a coup in New Hampshire with the endorsement of the Union-Leader.
However, Newt has enough baggage with enough rocks in it to drag him below surface again. His amnesty stance on immigration puts him to the left of Perry on that issue, and we now know he took $1.8 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac right when they were dragging the housing industry to the bottom of the sea. Newt’s at the bottom of the pile on that one.
We know one of his think tanks took in $37 million from the health care industry so he could hack and flack for the individual mandate, a concept that represents the grossest violation of limited government powers in our history.
He’s flip-flopped as much if not more than Mitt Romney, who, inspired by the musings of James Carville, I have affectionately nicknamed Governor Windsock. Newt’s been horrible on embryonic stem cell research and horrible on man-caused global warming, an exorbitantly costly scam whose credibility is rapidly disintegrating before our very eyes.
In other words, Newt is a consummate Washington insider, a big government Republican, and appears to be almost as much of a panderer as Romney. He’s hardly a genuine conservative; he’s just glib enough to make some people think he is one.
But the truth will out, and that spells trouble for Newt. This is even before renewed conversations about his multiple divorces and admitted affairs while married to his first two wives. His affair with his current wife took place at about the same time Herman Cain was supposed to be harassing members of the opposite sex. If the media attacked Herman hammer and tongs over things that never happened in that time frame, just imagine the scalping Newt will take once they turn the knives on him.
And turn on him they will, as each candidate who has risen to the surface has been shredded by the Ministers of Propaganda eager to do their part to buttress the dimming re-election prospects of Barack Obama.
All this means that Newt will soon start to sink under the weight of his crony capitalism, his abrupt policy changes, and his troubled personal past.
This will create another vacuum, only this time there is no one new to fill it. When Michele Bachmann zoomed into the stratosphere, and then fell back to earth, Rick Perry was there to replace her. When Perry’s star fell over his debate performances and his “heartless” comment on immigration, Herman Cain’s star rose. When the air went out of Cain’s balloon over the false allegations of harassment and the more substantial problem of his lack of depth on foreign policy, the air went into Newt’s tires.
So the question becomes: where does the air go when it leaks out of Newt’s tires? Politics as well as nature abhors a vacuum, and somebody is going to benefit from Newt’s descent. Like an elevator on its way to the basement, a countervailing weight must rise.
Gov. Perry’s star will rise once again. Joe Arpaio’s endorsement and campaign appearances will help repair some of the damage he has done to himself on immigration. And in point of fact, even Michelle Bachmann has staked out a position very similar to Newt’s on rewarding those who have broken our immigration laws the longest. All of which means there is no perfect candidate in the hunt on the immigration issue.
But Perry does well in one-on-one interviews with major media outlets, is very effective on the stump, relates very well to people in the business of retail politics, and has the money to outlast many of his rivals.
An under-appreciated fact about this election season, compared to 2008, is that Republican party rules mandate that delegates in primaries be awarded proportionately rather than on a winner-take-all basis. This will make it virtually impossible for a candidate to sew up the nomination by Florida, as John McCain did in ‘08.
This GOP primary campaign will be marathon, not a sprint, and the advantage will go to the candidate with enough gas in the tank to go the distance, a candidate who has the resources to keep getting his message out and who wears well in personal campaign appearances. That means the smart money ought to be on Rick Perry.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)