Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I Am Voting for Newt Gingrich in South Carolina Saturday

Gingrich offers more than just a candidate who can beat Obama!

On Thursday, Texas Governor Rick Perry withdrew from the presidential race and endorsed Newt Gingrich. In doing so, he put into the words the very reason I am supporting Newt. Perry said that our "objective is not only to defeat President Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change."

It's not enough just to beat Obama. We need a GOP candidate whose record tells us that if he wins he will work with heart, body, mind and soul to roll back Obama's failed socialist policies and not just trim around the edges in a vain attempt to curry favor with Democrats.

There is nothing in Mitt Romney's record in public life that assures me he is willing to lead the fight that must be fought if the GOP wins. On the contrary, Romney bragged about his ability to work with Democrats in Massachusetts to achieve policy goals. And we all remember that one of those accomplishments was RomneyCare, the model for ObamaCare.

On a personal note I had the opportunity to meet Governor Romney in 2007 and ask him about concerns conservatives had about his willingness to lead as a conservative. His answer left me thinking that he was only telling me what I wanted to hear and lacked sincerity.

By contrast, I still recall the sweet taste of victory that night in 1994 when Newt Gingrich led Republicans to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Newt and company followed up their win by fulfilling their campaign pledge to bring to a vote a series of legislation which offered profound positive change. The Contract with America was a stunning achievement which was followed up by welfare reform and balanced budgets for the first time in decades.

For all Newt's faults (and they are many)his record is clearly that of a conservative reformer who can be trusted to govern that way after the campaign is over.

Before Christmas, my local newspaper published a letter to the editor which I wrote describing how South Carolina would be a two man race between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. This was before former Senator Rick Santorum's surge in Iowa. I stand by my earlier words. In today's Rasmussen poll of likely SC voters (their last poll before Saturday's election) Newt (33%) and Mitt (31%) are basically neck and neck. Ron Paul comes in a distant third at 15% and Rick Santorum at 11%. In the last two days a slew of other SC polls all show Gingrich coming on strong and Romney leveling off.

In a two man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the choice for this conservative is clear: Newt Gingrich. If Newt wins in SC he has a good shot to win the GOP nomination and he can beat Obama. And more importantly, as President he can lead the country based on a sound set of conservative principles.

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