And they’re not slicing baloney. I’m not a big fan of Elliott “Iran Contra” Abrams, but he has a great piece up at National Review Online (“Gingrich and Reagan”) accusing Newt of dishonesty and hypocrisy in calling himself Ronald Reagan’s BFF. You’ve probably noticed that Newt says “Reagan” as often as Rudy Giuliani says “9/11.”
The whole column is worth reading, but here are some excepts:
“[N]o candidate has wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan more often than Newt Gingrich. ‘I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington,’ ‘we helped defeat the Soviet empire,’ and ‘I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress’ are typical claims by the former speaker of the House.
“The claims are misleading at best. … Mr. Gingrich equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.
“Thus Gingrich concluded as he surveyed five years of Reagan in power that ‘we have been losing the struggle with the Soviet empire.’ Reagan did not know what he was doing, and ‘it is precisely at the vision and strategy levels that the Soviet empire today is superior to the free world.’
“There are two things to be said about these remarks. The first is that as a visionary, Gingrich does not have a very impressive record. The Soviet Union was beginning to collapse…. The policies Gingrich thought so weak and indeed ‘pathetic’ worked, and Ronald Reagan turned out to be a far better student of history and politics than Gingrich.”
If Newt continues to surge against Mitt, expect more of this from “house organs” of the GOP establishment like National Review. They are very, very afraid.