Conservative pundits have been lining up to voice their frustration over the possibility that former Speak of the House Newt Gingrich could wind up being the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. And you can add Washington Post columnist George Will to that list.
On Friday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Will responded to Gingrich’s recent remarks that being the smartest isn’t enough, but instead to be the wisest.
“Mr. Gingrich said it’s not enough that he is the smartest guy in the room, he also has to be wise,” Will said. “Now you can associate many things with Mr. Gingrich, but wisdom isn’t one of them. Surely the Republican nominating electorate should understand the fact that people have patterns. Don’t expect the patterns to go away. Expect the patterns to manifest themselves again. If Newt Gingrich has any pattern at all, and he does �“ it is a pattern of getting himself into trouble because he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.”
Will said that he thought Gingrich actually believed it when he said he was going to be the Republican nominee, particularly because the stage in Gingrich’s mind “is lit by the fires of crisis and grandeur.”
“Ask yourself this: Suppose Gingrich or Romney become president and gets re-elected �“ suppose you had eight years of this,” Will said. “What would the conservative movement be? How would it understand itself after eight years? I think what would have gone away, perhaps forever, is the sense of limited government, the 10th Amendment, Madisonian government of limited, delegated and enumerated powers �“ the sense conservatism is indeed tied to limitations on federal authority and the police power wielded by Congress �“ that would all be gone. It’s hard to know what would be left.”
He went on to say Gingrich’s association with “the catastrophic government commitment to ever cheaper mortgages.
“Newt Gingrich was a willing, rented spokesman for the housing crisis that we’re now living through,” Will said. “So there’s the ideas and the reason he gave for doing them.”
And Will also chalked up Gingrich’s support of ethanol as one of his poor policy choices.
“Life’s full of close calls,” Will said. “Ethanol isn’t one of them.”
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- Newt Gingrich