Is Newt Gingrich the "Anti-Romney" or the "Other Romney"? in the Republican Debates, Newt Gingrich Has Placed a Great Deal of Emphasis on His Conservative Leanings, but His Supposed Beliefs Are at Odds with His Actions
Eddlem, Thomas R., The New American
As Tea Party supporters cast about for an alternative to the flip-flopping Mitt Romney and his long history of political liberalism, an increasing number are turning their eyes back to a face from the political past: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
But is Newt Gingrich the new "anti-Romney," or is he simply another Mitt Romney? Despite Gingrich's masterful performance of conservative rhetoric during presidential debates, Tea Party supporters may find Gingrich's record surprisingly liberal and comparable to Romney's record. Conservative opposition to Mitt Romney has focused upon two major issues, Romney's initiation of an individual healthcare mandate in Massachusetts--which served as the model for ObamaCare--and Romney's support for the Wall Street bailouts under the Bush/ Obama TARP program.
Gingrich's Support of the Individual Mandate and Federal Healthcare
Newt Gingrich has campaigned on a pledge to repeal ObamaCare, but he also has a long history of supporting the same government healthcare mandates in Romney-care and ObamaCare. In campaign videos, Gingrich insists, "I am completely opposed to the ObamaCare mandate on individuals. I fought it for two and a half years at the Center for Health Transformation "
But in a May 15,2011 interview on NBC's Meet the Press with host David Gregory, Gingrich admitted he has long sought an individual mandate by government:
Gregory: Now, I know you've got big differences with what you call Obamacare. But back in 1993 on this program this is what you said about the individual mandate. Watch.
Video of Gingrich in 1993: I am for people, individuals--exactly like automobile insurance--individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.
Gregory: What you advocate there is precisely what President Obama did with his healthcare legislation, is it not?
Gingrich: Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay -- help pay for health care. ... I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond.
In addition, Gingrich enthusiastically pushed for the Bush administration's plan to create an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program. "If you are a fiscal conservative who cares about balancing the federal budget, there may be no more important vote in your career than one in support of this bill." Gingrich wrote in a Wall Street Journal oped back on November 20, 2003. But far from helping to balance the budget, the new entitlement program sent Medicare onto a bankruptcy trajectory.
In his 2003 oped, Gingrich also claimed, "Let's face it, a Medicare drug benefit is inevitable." But the Wall Street Journal pointed out earlier this year that Gingrich's eagerness to promote this new prescription drug program in exchange for a sop from the Left in the form of personal medical savings accounts may have made the prescription drug program's passage through the Republican Congress inevitable. "Mr. Gingrich stepped down after the GOP lost House seats in 1998, but he re-emerged in 2003 to campaign for George W. Bush's Medicare prescription drug benefit. His personal contribution was to promote the bill's modest market fillips as epic virtues that lesser minds couldn't grasp. Instead, the bill damaged the GOP's fiscal credibility, while Democrats have since rolled back medical savings accounts and private insurance options for seniors."
Gingrich's Support for Wall Street Bailouts, Mexican Bailout, and NAFTA
Newt Gingrich campaigned on behalf of the misnamed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying on the House floor on September 22, 1993: "What we're being told is that free trade with Mexico would devastate the U. …