Not Newt!

Recently, I received word from a friend named Jack who let me know in no uncertain terms why he was backing Newt Gingrich and turning his back on Mitt Romney. Mainly, he seemed to like Newt because of his rousing attacks on the media and Obama. When it came to Romney, he used such demeaning terms as “non-patriotic mute,” “phony” and that old reliable, “RINO.”

The truth is, if he was the only person I know who felt that way, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned. But I have received similar messages from a couple of other friends. And like Jack, these are people dedicated to the conviction that the only way to save America from four more years of Obama’s expansion of the federal government, war on capitalism, gutting of the military and putting his stamp on the Supreme Court for decades to come, is by electing a Republican president in November.


Although I initially regarded our views as honest differences of opinion that didn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things, I had to reverse gears after the primary voters in South Carolina gave 40% of their votes to Gingrich. I then realized that there was actually a chance that Newt would carry the GOP flag in the general election.

It was with that grave concern in mind that I responded:

“Dear Jack: I get it that you don’t like Romney’s calm and rational demeanor. To me, it seems presidential. It is what I want in a commander-in-chief. You apparently want a president, or at least a candidate, who gets angry and nasty.

“But please tell me why you think that Newt’s insulting the moderators at every debate, garnering easy applause from the folks in the audience, and then being sweet to the media in the spin room afterwards doesn’t strike you as hypocritical and self-serving. Talk about phonies!

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

“Why do you ignore the fact that he was censured by House Republicans when he was Speaker for a financial shenanigan involving campaign funds, while keeping in mind they let him slide over the corrupt book deal he cut with media mogul Rupert Murdoch?

“Why, as a good conservative, don’t you hold it against him that he helped Nancy Pelosi promote the Al Gore-enriching global warming hoax?

“Why doesn’t it stick in your craw that he took $1.6 million of our tax dollars from the corrupt Freddie Mac?

“Even if you don’t seem bothered by Newt’s scuzzy personal history, why aren’t you at least a tad concerned that it will turn off a majority of independent voters, the very people who decide presidential elections?

“Why aren’t you angry that your guy referred to Paul Ryan’s brilliant economic plan as “right-wing social-engineering,” and that, motivated solely by personal pique and jealousy, blasted Mitt Romney for profiting from free market capitalism?

“Not only will the GOP stand a good chance of losing the presidency if Gingrich garners the nomination, but any number of Republican candidates for Congress are quaking in their boots, frightened that he could take them down with him, enabling vile Harry Reid to maintain control of the Senate.

“Frankly, I do not understand why any Republican who understands the very real danger that Obama represents to America and the free world would want to risk running Gingrich in November.

“The irony is that you and Obama are rooting for the very same guy. Sincerely, Burt”

©2012 Burt Prelutsky.Comments? Write!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • Sean

    I have to agree, it seems the followers of newt do not grasp his actual belief system, doesn’t matter what newt says or does, they like the school yard bully persona! It is a sad time to be republican when so many want to follow someone ( newt) that has mocked conservatism this election cycle! It’s hard to see where he really stands as he promises everyone everything just to get elected. Every one of his endorsements have followed up by saying newt has offered them a position in his administration, not to mention what you have pointed out! Talk about reminiscent to Obama’s 2008 campaign !! Newt is what makes politicians slimy!

  • Shirl

    Romney is a Massachusetts LIBERAL and we’ll only get more of the same; just flip side of coin. NEWT is the true conservative this Floridian has voted for. Romney’s values are a stone’s throw away from Obama’s, or was that before he flip-flopped last time?

  • Gena Taylor

    Mr. Burt, this is, I believe, the first time I have strongly differed from your opinion. After following Romney’s vicious attacks against the Newt, and others, and hearing his followers brag about plans to redistrict Rep West’s distict out of existence in retaliation for his support of Gingrich, I fear that if Romney has the power to retaliate against personal opponents the office of President would afford him, he would go after preceived enemies in a manner reminiscent of Nixon. I do think these attacks in the primary indicate Romney cannot be trusted or believed.

  • Brendan Horn

    To me, Romney is more likable. I do not generally vote for likability, but I do vote for the candidate I think can win and I think Romney can win. I do like some of Newt’s abrasiveness and his aggressive attacks against Obama but this is not stuff that will necessarily persuade the moderates. Moderates vote based on likability, and Romney is easily more likable.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Shirl: Romney’s vision is the same as mine. He sees a White House without Obama in it. If Newt wins the nomination, that will probably not be the case.


  • Shirl

    I’m for Newt because he can articulate conservative views; Romney cannot and everything bit of news I watch 24/7; the lame-stream media, progressive democrats and Obama supporters are all wanting Romney to be the nominee; not Newt. I don’t know about you, Burt but this stinks to me. I think you and O’Reilly are wrong about why Newt had a landslide in South Carolina. Newt expressed our anger alright but he also has a better vision for America’s future than Romney. Hey, what is Romney’s vision?

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Gary & Jim: We will have to agree to disagree. I suspect that you will wind up voting for Romney because he is likely to be the standard bearer for the GOP and the man standing between Obama and a second term, during which he would probably have the opportunity to replace Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


  • Gary MacGrumbley

    The folks energized by Newt’s occasional forcefulness do not see it negatively as you do (anger, nasty, insulting) they see it as a refreshing positive riposte to the namby-pamby disingenuous attacks of his detractors. Despite Newt’s baggage (much of it bogus although widely accepted) he has actual accomplishments and characteristics that demonstrate his ability to slam on the brakes and throw this country into reverse away from its current Marxist headings. Don’t know for certain that anyone can prevail against Obama, but I believe Newt has the best chance. Romney provides no believable or real contrast to Obama. I feel certain that if Romney is the nominee a second Obama term is assured.

    • Jim Laurie

      Well said, Gary. Contrast that is clearly defined is what Newt offers. An older wiser Newt, who’s actually accomplishments in goverment were fiscally conservative landmarks.

    • Shirl

      I agree with you, Gary; Obama will say they (him and Romney) are so much alike; why would anyone want to replace him???!!!

  • Burt Prelutsky

    cma: Thanks for the reassurance. I feel calmer already, Dr. Crider.

    Regards, Burt

  • cmacrider

    Burt: Soyez Calme! Newt is not going to win for reasons which were alluded to in the last Florida debate but not fully exploited by his opponents. In this climate of global economic uncertainty the days of the grand meta narrative,the great social programs, and the promises to special interest groups are gone. Foremost in people’s minds is economic security and history has proven that grand government welfare schemes do not produce economic security. Newt blew his wad when he promised a space station on the moon which could eventually become the 51st. state. Nobody in the Republican Party wants the next primary to hinge on how 13,000 people on the moon(1/2 of whom are democrats)vote, Furthermore, Wolfe Blitzer and John King have NO DESIRE to fly off to the moon to moderate that Primary Debate.

    I’m not enthralled with Romney (which is irrelevant since I don’t have a vote) but it must be admitted that he had a pretty good debate in Florida. I think you’ll also have to admit that Obama’s State of the Union Address was all hype and no substance. The tinsel is wearing off the Obama costume while it seems Mitt’s steel is beginning to sharpen (to use a mixed metaphor)