Krauthammer: Gingrich 'Blew It, It's Over'

Thursday, 19 May 2011 09:33 AM

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“He’s done. He didn’t have a big chance from the beginning, but now it’s over,” says Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist, adding that declared presidential candidate Newt Gingrich appeared “contradictory and incoherent” during his recent NBC interview. “It’s deadly,” he concluded, according to the New York Times blog.

And the rank-and-file seem to agree. Newt Gingrich's foot-in-mouth statements about Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare changes and other gaffs have not gone unnoticed by the electorate.

Indeed, 66 percent of those responding to a CHQ poll said Gingrich has already killed his chances in the race, with "good riddance." Moreover, 22 percent more also think he's done, but feel it's too bad. Meanwhile, 11 percent say it's too early to tell whether he's out, and a mere 1 percent answered that they agreed with Newt - and it's good for the debate.

In an interview with Meet the Press last Sunday, Gingrich told NBC’s David Gregory that House budget chairman Paul Ryan’s plan was “right wing social engineering.”

He also admitted he has been a long-time supporter of the individual mandate, which would require every citizen purchase health insurance.

The mandate is a key concept of Obamacare, the law Gingrich says he opposes. But conservative critics noted that Gingrich’s argument would derail the legal challenge brought by 26 states, which argues the federal government has no constitutional authority to force citizens to buy private insurance.

Krauthammer noted that Gingrich is smart enough to detect his own Achilles heel.

“During his appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday, Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker, clinically diagnosed what he called his own ‘great weakness’ as he pursues the presidency: a lack of personal and political discipline.

“‘One of the most painful lessons I’ve had to learn, and I haven’t fully learned it, obviously, is that if you seek to be the president of the United States, you are never an analyst, and you are never a college teacher because those folks can say what they want to say,’ Mr. Gingrich said.”

Story continues below video.

The noted commentator found the self-analysis even more significant because it followed an interview where the former Speaker of the House shot himself in the foot more than once.

“He slammed the Republican Medicare proposals in Congress, declared the city of Detroit 'destroyed' by food stamps and implied that he supported the individual mandates at the heart of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

“What was supposed to be the beginning of a conversation with the American people about Mr. Gingrich’s big ideas became a nightmare of political damage control. And on Tuesday the week got worse, with reports that Mr. Gingrich — who urges fiscal discipline for the country — owed as much as $500,000 to Tiffany’s.”

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