Watching the debates this weekend, I was startled and impressed with one of Rick Perry’s lines.
And let’s be honest with ourselves, the fact of the matter is that Obama has thrown gasoline on the fire, but the bonfire was burning well before Obama got there. It was policies and spending from both Wall Street and from the insiders in Washington, D.C., that got us in this problem.”
He is exactly right, and voters need to remember that while Obama has exacerbated the problems this country faces it wasn’t all that long ago when Republicans had also lost their way on fiscal matters. As someone who voted for George W. Bush, I wasn’t impressed with his final years in the White House and many of the policies he sought to enact. We often forget that President Bush didn’t realize he had the ability to veto legislation until his sixth year in office.
This is one of the reasons I have not felt compelled to support Rick Santorum. If my alternative to Mitt Romney is Newt Gingrich or Santorum, I’ll choose Gingrich because of his accomplishments during his time as Speaker and the GOP’s clear loosening of fiscal principles once he was out of office.
NEWT GINGRICH: As speaker I was negotiating with Bill Clinton. He knew I wanted him to be a one term president. And we got a lot of things done, including welfare reform, because you have to reach– I go to what Governor Huntsman said earlier. You have to at some point say, “The country comes first. How are we gonna get things done? We’ll fight later.”
“Let’s sit down in a room. Let’s talk it through. I’ll tell you what I need and I’ll tell you what I can’t do. You tell me what you need and you tell me what you can’t do.” And it sometimes takes 20 or 30 days. But if people of goodwill, even if they’re partisans, come together, talk it out. You know, we got welfare reform, the first tax cut in 16 years, 4.2% unemployment and four straight years of a balanced budget with a Republican speaker and a Democratic president. So it can be done with real leadership.
We sent 87 freshman Republicans to Congress in 2010 to do more than oppose President Obama. They are also there to ensure Republican lawmakers also resist the old habit of overspending.