In the growing ranks of candidates who have soared to the top of the polls as the not–Mitt Romney contender, long-time Washington insider Newt Gingrich appears at first glance to be one of the least likely tea-party crusaders yet. As Mark Meckler, co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, puts it, “He’s not a great not-Romney candidate, because he has flipflopped on a lot of the major issues.”
Chris Chocola, president of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, describes Gingrich’s record as a mix of “hiccups” and impressive accomplishments. “Newt Gingrich is an advocate of limited government and free-market solutions, except when he’s not,” Chocola says. “He has overall a very good record, but he has some blemishes. He was a big advocate of [Medicare] Part D. He flirted with climate change when he appeared in a commercial with Nancy Pelosi.”
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