Sympathy for Newt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 3 2012 10:59 AM

Sympathy for Newt

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- I veered toward solidarity with Newt Gingrich in my piece from Sunday/Monday, about how he was suddenly discovering the unfairness of post-Citizens United TV ads. I am veering even closer after reading coverage of his CBS News appears, in which he called Mitt Romney a liar.

“Well, you seem shocked by it!” Gingrich exclaimed. “Which part of what I just said to you is false? Why is it that if I’m candid in person and I wanted to be honest in person, that’s shocking ... In the traditional Washington pattern it’s better to be sweet and honest and have this face of saying, ‘Oh, gee, we want to be nice to each other no matter what happens to the American people.’”
Advertisement

This is supposed to be further proof of an off-message Gingrich meltdown. Sure, it doesn't broadcast tact or confidence. But on substance... Gingrich is right. The ad that claims he "supports amnesty" plays loose with his fanciful, but not-amnesty, immigration position. Romney is escaping any criticism for going negative because his Super PAC, Restore Our Future, is running these ads. Gingrich is universally mocked for going negative because he previously promised that he wouldn't. Which of these is a bigger problem? Gingrich's pretentiousness or the new campaign finance laws that allow you to fire shots at someone without anyone spotting you?

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nobody Knows How Many Gay Married Couples Live in America—Not Even the Census Bureau

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 7:46 PM Azealia Banks’ New Single Is Her Best in Years
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.