In a sea of negativity and distractions in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, I decided to throw my support behind former Speaker Newt Gingrich because I can now see much clearer distinctions between President Obama and Newt than I do between Governor Mitt Romney and the president.
These distinctions are between Obama’s hodgepodge of foggy small ideas, which he talked about in his State of the Union address, and Speaker Gingrich’s clear and bold solutions for solving the crises we face as a nation. And yes, my bold 9-9-9 tax reform plan is a serious consideration for Speaker Gingrich, which is why I accepted his invitation to co-chair his Economic Growth and Tax Reform Advisory Council.
The polls do not agree with my assessment of Speaker Gingrich, and it appears that the so-called political establishment does not agree. But remember, I’m Mr. Unconventional, and the ability of the Republican nominee to highlight distinctions clearly in the general election campaign will be critical to achieving the ultimate mission of defeating President Obama.
My decision was not based on the political pundits’ attempted labeling of the candidates as conservative, most conservative,moderate, liberal Republican, not a true conservative, not a real conservative or any other of the concocted labels by which they try to pigeonhole candidates.
My decision to support Speaker Gingrich was also not influenced by all of the attacks and dirt dug up from Newt’s personal and political past, which all of the campaigns are guilty of doing – including Newt’s. As a reminder, Newt specifically tried to stay out of the negative attack mode but was forced into it after being bombarded with attacks in Iowa, and some early attacks in South Carolina, where he not only survived but won the primary.
The bombardment of attacks on Newt is being launched again in Florida. I believe he will survive as the clarity of his solutions rises above the rhetoric.
And now, some of the former Members of Congress who served with Newt when he was Speaker of the House are trashing Newt, even though many former members thought highly of his leadership as Speaker. Their trash and attempts to say Newt was not a “Reagan conservative” (here we go again with the labels) are certainly adding credence to the emerging perception that the so-called Republican establishment is pushing hard for Mitt Romney to be the nominee.
That’s because the establishment does not want bold changes in Washington, D.C.
The bottom line is that the voters will decide. That’s why the voters got my first endorsement as announced previously, because the people have to remain inspired or the establishment wins. Most of us just want the people to win, and win with a people’s president in November.
Here are nine of Speaker Gingrich’s positives:
· He successfully led the passage of nine out of ten provisions in the Contract with America when he was Speaker of the House.
· He was a key player in passing welfare reform in the 1990s, and got President Bill Clinton to sign the legislation.
· He left Congress and spent years studying and developing bold ideas and solutions to our problems, many of which he is using as a candidate. This hiatus as an elected official gave him time for his head to clear and identify how to fix a broken Washington, D.C.
· He will ruffle feathers in Washington in order to change Washington.
· He will be bold in boosting economic growth because he understands that less government is the key, not more government as Obama believes.
· He believes in removing regulatory barriers so this country can become energy-independent by maximizing all of our natural resources.
· He is an outstanding debater and his language connects with people.
· He fearlessly body-slammed the media in a recent debate, which showed strong conviction, character and leadership qualities.
· His motivation to be president is the same as our motivation for bold solutions in Washington, D.C. It’s not about us. It’s about the grandchildren.
Thomas Jefferson said, “When people have the right information, then they will make the right decisions.” It is way past time for the media and campaigns to focus on solutions so people can get the right information.
We must make the right decision in November 2012.
Herman Cain was a presidential candidate and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza.
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