In this article, neo-conservative Elliott Abrams correctly points out that perhaps Gingrich is using Reagan's name a little too much, which is interesting because he used to criticize Reagan quite a bit!
Gingrich seems to always be criticizing--even those within his own party. Perhaps that is why he has such low Congressional support amongst House Republicans who remember his behavior in the 80s and 90s.
Gingrich's criticism against Reagan and Bush Jr. reminds me of an old Sam Rayburn quote: Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one."
I don't think Gingrich is a carpenter.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... ott-abrams
National Review wrote:In the increasingly rough Republican campaign, no 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. As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years — and I was an assistant secretary of state — Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but 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.
But the most bitter battleground was often in Congress. Here at home, we faced vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every trick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts. On whom did we rely up on Capitol Hill? There were many stalwarts: Henry Hyde, elected in 1974; Dick Cheney, elected in 1978, the same year as Gingrich; Dan Burton and Connie Mack, elected in 1982; and Tom DeLay, elected in 1984, were among the leaders.
But not Newt Gingrich. He voted with the caucus, but his words should be remembered, for at the height of the bitter struggle with the Democratic leadership Gingrich chose to attack . . . Reagan.
The best examples come from a famous floor statement Gingrich made on March 21, 1986. This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: “Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.” Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.” But of course “the burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on President Reagan.” Our efforts against the Communists in the Third World were “pathetically incompetent,” so those anti-Communist members of Congress who questioned the $100 million Reagan sought for the Nicaraguan “contra” rebels “are fundamentally right.”
In Afghanistan, Reagan’s policy was marked by “impotence [and] incompetence.” 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.”
He did the same to George W. Bush when Bush was making the toughest and most controversial decision of his presidency — the surge in Iraq. Bush was opposed by many of the top generals, by some Republican leaders who feared the surge would hurt in the 2008 elections, and of course by a slew of Democrats and media commentators. Here again Gingrich provided no support for his party’s embattled president, testifying as a private citizen in 2007 that the strategy was “inadequate,” contained “breathtaking” gaps, lacked “synergism” (whatever that means), and was “very disappointing.” What did Gingrich propose? Among other things, a 50 percent increase in the budget of the State Department.
Presidents should not get automatic support, not even from members of their own party, but they have a right to that support when they are under a vicious partisan assault. Today it is fair to look back and ask who had it right: Gingrich, who backed away from and criticized Republican presidents, or those chief executives, who were making difficult and consequential decisions on national security. Bush on the surge and Reagan on the Soviet empire were tough, courageous — and right. Newt Gingrich in retrospect seems less the visionary than the politician who refused the party’s leader loyal support on grounds that history has proved were simply wrong.
I'm also thoroughly entertained when Gingrich calls Romney a "Rockefeller Republican." Let's look into Gingrich's past:
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer. ... republican
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich yesterday compared the candidacy of former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., to that of the moderate (or liberal) Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, R-NY, who ran for president during every presidential cycle of the 1960s.
"Romney has a huge problem," Gingrich said on CNN's State of the Union, in that "he is a Massachusetts moderate Republican." Gingrich defined it as "the Nelson Rockefeller problem" of there being "a natural ceiling" for such moderates in a Republican primary. "And if you go back and look at the race last time [Rockefeller ran], he ran into a natural ceiling."
Gingrich should have the perspective to make Romney-Rockefeller comparisons. He reportedly worked on that last Rockefeller presidential campaign in 1968 as "southern regional director." The late Robert Novak memorialized Gingrich as a "Rockefeller Republican" in his memoir, The Prince of Darkness.
Novak apparently knew Gingrich during that campaign, but after serving eight years in the House during the 1980s, "Gingrich was not the Rockefeller Republican I had met in the late sixties." Novak added that Gingrich "had adopted . . . the maxim that the business of the opposition was to oppose," a plan Gingrich pursued with ethics charges against the incumbent Democratic Speaker of the House. When that congressman had to resign, the success propelled Gingrich up the Republican leadership ranks.
Gingrich's conversion away from Rockefeller moderation, Novak recalls in his book, did not last long into his term as Speaker of the House after the Republican wave election of 1994.
"Gingrich never seemed that comfortable as a right-wing radical," Novak wrote - an odd line to read, given Gingrich's recent book about President Obama's "secular-socialist machine" - adding that Gingrich "was regressing to his Rockefeller Republican roots after less than seven months as Speaker" and "abandoning the Republican base."
The result, Novak wrote, was "a do-nothing Republican congress, as far as landmark conservative legislation was concerned."