There is “no doubt” that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a strong conservative in the proud tradition of former President Ronald Reagan, Media Research Center founder and President L. Brent Bozell II told Newsmax on Thursday.
Regarding the GOP presidential candidate’s commitment to Reagan’s principles, Bozell said flatly of Gingrich: “He was a warrior — of course he was.”
Bozell’s remarks came in response to a controversial article by Reagan-era Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, published Wednesday in the National Review. In the article, Abrams maintains that Gingrich failed to support Reagan’s foreign policy initiatives against the former Soviet Union.
“I read Elliot Abrams’ piece, Elliot Abrams is a good man, and I am loathe to question him,” Bozell told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “And I suspect it is true that, look, there wasn’t unanimous peace and harmony in the ranks during the Reagan years with the conservative movement.
“There were differences of opinion,” Bozell said. “And sometimes, those differences of opinion were pretty strong: The INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] treaty, there was a huge difference of opinion there . . . there was criticism from within the ranks.”
But Bozell noted: “You have to look at the big picture, though,” to evaluate Gingrich’s commitment to Reagan’s ideals.
Bozell added: “And I think when you look at the big picture, and you look at the totality of the years with Reagan, and you look at what happened after the years of Reagan, when you were pushing back against the ‘cauliflower agenda’ — I don’t think you can question Newt’s commitment to the Reagan principles.
“He was a warrior — of course he was,” said Bozell, the nephew of the late William F. Buckley. “And it was because he picked up that mantle of Ronald Reagan in 1993, which had been dropped by the Bush people, it’s what led to the great victories of 1994.”
Bozell’s account of Gingrich’s role in the Reagan era is likely to be influential, given his lineage within, and lifelong dedication to, the conservative movement.
His father was a well-known conservative activist and Yale University debate team partner of Buckley, who founded the National Review. His mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell, was the “Firing Line” host’s sister.
In addition to conservative media watchdog MRC, Bozell founded the Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com), the Parents Television Council, and the Culture and Media Institute. He has served on the boards of the American Conservative Union and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
He attributed the attacks on Gingrich’s conservative bona fides to “the fact that, for whatever reason, Newt has made some enemies in Washington.”
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