Newt & Juan Williams: How It Shows He’d Be The Better Candidate

One of the more intriguing things about the last couple of weeks has been that as Mitt has gotten closer to capturing the nomination, many of the people who’ve been doing everything possible to help him now seem to be having some second thoughts (In the corporate world, this is known as CYA).

Take Charles Krauthammer, for example:

“(Mitt) simply doesn’t have the capacity to explain, with some color and sort of force, conservative ideas. He’s a businessman. He, you know, he looks like he’s chairing a meeting of the board. He’s a competent guy,” Charles Krauthammer said on FOX News’ “O’Reilly Factor.”

“But, for example, when he gets hit on the private equity stuff. Why didn’t he say in the debate last night ‘look, when the Democrats, the ones who supposedly are the ones who are the champion of the middle class and working class took control of GM and Chrysler, hundreds, thousands of people lost their jobs, dealerships were shut down, the Pontiac and other lines were shut down. You had to do it to save the company to enable it to survive and then to grow it as it is now beginning to grow and restore the jobs,” Krauthammer also said.

“If he had just explained that and took the playbook out of what the Democrats have done, he would have had a forceful answer. But, for some reason, he simply deflected it,” Krauthammer concluded.

Thank goodness the Republican nominee won’t ever be called upon to explain any conservative ideas….oh, wait. In fact, wasn’t that one of the chief complaints conservatives had about Bush? That he didn’t know how to effectively use the bully pulpit to advance conservatism? In Mitt’s case, that’s probably irrelevant anyway, since he’s more of a timid “moderate corporatist” than a “compassionate conservative,” but it’s still an issue.

On the other hand, there’s Gingrich and the best debate answer of the year so far that he gave to Juan Williams.

Newt’s performance there was extraordinary not just because he gave a great answer to a tough question, but because he gave the sort of answer so many conservatives have been waiting for years to hear from a Republican politician. We all know Newt’s the best debater, but how much does it matter if there are only 2-3 debates against Obama? It actually matters a lot because the same skills that make Newt an outstanding debater will allow him to articulate conservative principles and effectively target Obama.

Calling Obama “the food stamp President,” for example, is a stroke of rhetorical genius. It aggravates liberals, fires up conservatives, paints a clear difference (Conservatives want to put people to work while Obama wants Americans to be reliant on the government), and it emphasizes Obama’s weakness on the economy.

Having a conservative candidate who can effectively articulate conservative principles and who will govern the country conservatively if he wins — that’s something worth fighting for. Newt Gingrich fits that bill. Mitt Romney doesn’t.

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