Saturday, December 17, 2011

Newt and Mitt in 1994

Writing for the National Journal Major Garrett draws an intriguing comparison between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

He turns the clock back to 1994 and compares what the two candidates were saying and doing then. That was the time when Gingrich was leading the Republicans to take over the House and when Mitt Romney was running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy.

Here’s how Garrett contrasts the two men:

“Whatever Republicans come to think of Gingrich's leadership style as speaker, they know Gingrich helped lead the GOP to its first House majority in 40 years and didn't tinker around the edges with his newly won power. An agenda that achieved spending cuts, sought and over time won  a balanced budget, welfare reform, tax cuts, telecommunications reform and congressional reform is not and was not timid.

“Gingrich led this effort, he said, on behalf of the legacy of President Ronald Reagan. Gingrich said at the time the "Contract With America" was the second stage of the Reagan revolution, an attempt to translate his unfinished policies by means of a GOP-led Congress.

“At the same time, Romney was running against Kennedy in Massachusetts, a liberal state where a successful Republican had to soften some of the harder edges of the GOP's anti-Clinton, anti-Democratic rhetoric. Romney softened them past the state of sponginess and came out on the hardened side of opposition.

“When asked about the Contract, Romney said: ‘It is not a good idea to go into a contract like what was organized by the Republican Party in Washington, laying out a whole series of things which the party said “These are the things were are going to do.” I think that's a mistake.’ 

 It's well worth a read.

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