When Should a Scandal-Plagued Politician Just Go Away?

This week, I’m wrangling with honor, shame, and the idea of “second chances” in light of the (most recent) Weiner scandal: [Read more…]

Path for Romney Getting Clearer

The Wall Street Journal has a great article about Gov. Romney’s status as the frontrunner:

The fight for the Republican presidential nomination appeared closer to a conclusion as Newt Gingrich on Sunday all but conceded to Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum continued facing a money shortage in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he has two weeks to make a last stand before the primary.

Mr. Gingrich, a former House speaker, called Mr. Romney “far and away the most likely Republican nominee,” during a TV appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” adding he would throw his support behind the front-runner if Mr. Romney secured the requisite number of GOP convention delegates.

Mr. Gingrich, who early this year briefly held a lead over his Republican rivals in nationwide polls, spoke of his campaign in the past tense, saying, “I’m glad I did this,” but “it turned out to be much harder than I thought.”

Read the rest here.

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Santorum the Stingy?

When Rick Santorum released his income taxes, one thing became clear.

He gave only 2.2% of the more than $3.6 million in total income he earned since leaving the Senate.  Mark DeMoss is incredulous:

At best it shows political bad judgment and at worst it shows a lack of personal commitment to a principle that religious conservatives and political conservatives believe in, which is being generous with our money.”

“And so I just think it’s a mistake. And look, Santorum and (Newt) Gingrich, these two candidates, they’re not the first to appear on the low end of this spectrum. Every four years we see it. And im always surprised. I am always surprised that someone running for president or who actually becomes president doesn’t have a record of a higher percentage of giving.”

DeMoss stressed that he’s not brought up the topic of Santorum and Gingrich’s charitable giving with Romney headquarters. In his own life, DeMoss said he gives away 20 percent of his family income to charitable causes.

“This is just something I feel strongly about myself,” he said. “We’ve been blessed. I’ve been very fortunate in my life. And I’m not running for anything. But if I were running I’d make sure that number stayed up there because I think it looks good.”

For comparison,

Santorum gave just over 2 percent of his income to charity over the four years covered in the returns he released, reaching its lowest percentage in 2010 at 1.76 percent. For the same year, Romney gave 13.8 percent of his income to charity, and President Obama donated 14.2 percent. (Newt Gingrich, for comparison, gave away 2.6 percent)

Going Positive on Mitt and Negative on Newt

I’ve slowed down slightly on posting, but that doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down on writing.  Today in the Washington Post, Jordan Sekulow, Matt Clark, and I make the positive case that conservative Christians and Tea Partiers are moving to Mitt:

Buried in the exit polls from Romney’s more than 15 point win over Newt Gingrich is the fact that Romney won Protestants, Catholics, and virtually tied among evangelicals. Tea Partiers too broke for Romney.

With this, Romney has won the conservative Christian vote in half of the primary contests so far This critical group makes up a plurality of the Republican primary vote in Florida, over 40 percent.

There are several key factors that have led conservative Christians to rally around Romney.  First, Romney stands for the values that evangelicals and social conservatives hold dear.  He is strongly pro-life. In addition to winning an award from a major pro-life organization in Massachusetts as governor after vetoing expanded access to the morning-after pill and expanded fetal stem-cell research, Romney pro-family, pro-life values are now touted by Florida’s pro-life advocates as well as those in other states across the country.

He has been steadfast in his defense of marriage and religious liberty.  After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage by judicial fiat, then-Gov. Romney went so far as to file a lawsuit to force the Massachusetts legislature to act on a citizen-initiated marriage amendment.  His defense of religious liberty earned him the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s coveted “Canterbury Medal,” an award given to leaders in the fight for freedom.

Yesterday on CNN.com, I made a strongly-worded case against Newt:

Many evangelicals are angry, and rightly so. They’re angry with a president who embraces abortion rights, who restricts religious liberty and who saddles their children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt. They understand the necessity of protecting life and the imperative of financial stewardship.

But they also understand that we don’t discard our core values for the sake of political victories. Fidelity, honesty, humility and charity matter.

No one doubts that God forgives, but only God knows Newt Gingrich’s heart.  We only know his actions, and we know that he has a history of deceiving even those who are closest to him.

Three other Republican candidates are anti-abortion. Three other Republican candidates have been faithful and honest in their personal and professional lives. With honest alternatives to choose from, evangelicals will soon abandon Gingrich.

I’ve gotten several messages from people who tell me that I’m too negative on Gingrich. Yet other Republican candidates have not only advanced the right values, they live them as well.  The values that Gingrich has lived have on many occasions been hypocritical and reprehensible, and I’m quite puzzled at the insistence of people who have never met him and will never meet him that he’s unquestionably sincere in his regrets.  You have no way of knowing that and many reasons not to trust him.

I have good friends who support Rick Santorum, and I understand why.  He’s a hero of the pro-life movement, a man with an exemplary personal reputation, and a person who is living the values we hold dear.  I simply don’t think he’s best-equipped to handle the economic crisis we face.  Mitt Romney is also a man with an exemplary personal reputation and is living the values we hold dear.  Why are so many people taking such a massive risk with Newt Gingrich?  Could it be that he channels the anger they feel and that anger is clouding their good judgment?

Newt Accused Clinton of “Decadence,” Evoking “Jerry Springer,” and Creating “Tabloid Headlines”

Univision’s talented Jorge Ramos asked Newt Gingrich a great question in an interview released yesterday:

RAMOS: When you were Speaker of the House, you criticized President Clinton for having an extramarital affair.

GINGRICH: No, I criticized him for lying under oath in front of a federal judge, for committing perjury, which is a felony for which normal people go to jail.

However, that’s not quite true.  In a commentary for a conservative publication, he seemed to go much further than merely critiquing Clinton’s perjury.

In the May 22, 1998 Human Events, he wrote that President Clinton had degraded the presidency to “a level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American.”

He also said the American presidency was globally perceived as a “rough equivalent of the Jerry Springer show.”

He went on to say that the “tabloid headlines” cause Americans to lose further trust in the government and the rule of law.

In other words, Newt didn’t limit his criticism surrounding the terrible Lewinsky affair to Clinton’s perjury.  So, the growing list of Newt’s lies keeps growing at an alarming rate.  Who is surprised?  Not Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher whom he married in 1962.  Not Marianne Ginther, whom he married in 1981.

Come on, American women voters. Let’s take a stand against this.