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TheRootDC
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Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 01/23/2012

Newt Gingrich is no challenge to President Obama


Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. (STAFF - REUTERS)
Two heads are better than one, except when they are on the same body, like that of GOP presidential superstar Newt Gingrich.

His public face is the family values puritan, running around the country giving speeches on religion, virtue, and ethical conduct as the highest standard of American politics. Then there is the private face of a swinger, who reportedly had the gall to ask wife number two for an “open marriage,” so he could openly commit adultery with the woman who eventually became wife number three.

Those bombshell disclosures made by Marianne Gingrich, wife number two, were the talk of the town, when CNN reporter John King asked him to respond to them during the South Carolina primary debate. Yet, the former House Speaker exploded that it was not his ethics nor family values that were despicable but those of the media.

In other words, the prying, pesky, trash-talking media should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the pain of a mere woman to mar the public persona of a powerful man. If elected president, he would be expected to swear an oath to uphold the highest standards of our country after he failed to respect the vows he made to his former wives.

What do you say about a man whose first wife Jackie helped him through graduate school and he repaid her by his visiting her in the hospital after uterine cancer surgery to tell her that he wanted a divorce to marry someone else. After Marianne Gingrich, wife number two, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he dumped her for wife number three, Callista Gingrich, who at the time was his congressional aide.

Reports also say that before marrying Marianne, Gingrich didn’t pay child support or alimony, resulting in a church taking up a collection for the family he deserted. If all this is true, the Republican Party is considering Deadbeat Dad for President.

So should the press kowtow to the former Speaker and cover up his past in the hopes that Newt would be a better husband for the public than he has for his wives? I hope the press keeps the heat on, moves boldly, and takes serious note of Newt’s racial hatefulness, especially toward President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president.

Gingrich with a Janus-faced body, top-heavy with arrogance, disdain for the poor, and Washington wheeler-dealer ethics, somehow thinks those values qualify him to be president. He shamelessly calls President Barack Obama, “the food-stamp president,” because the president is trying not to let the women and children go hungry as a result of the ill-fated policies of the Bush administration that destroyed their income.

That, of course, is a throw- back to the negative welfare queen image—created by Gingrich’s icon Ronald Reagan in the 1980s—of unmarried black women with lots of kids on the public dole to ensure whites would have an enemy in mind when they went to the polls.


President Barack Obama. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)
What bothers me most, however, is that in the South Carolina debate Gingrich called President Obama “the most dangerous American president in our lifetime.” This invective comes at a time when it has been reported that President Obama receives more death threats than any other modern president. In my mind, Gingrich issues a more harmful declaration than even Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, and other Republican party loyalists, who have said their main objective is to see President Obama fail.

Who is President Obama a danger to? Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney all argue that programs for the elderly and the middle-class are unworthy “entitlements,” while tax breaks, perks (corporate welfare) for the rich are honorable and justifiable.

In other words, the 99 percent should happily roll ourselves out like door mats and allow that one percent to walk on us on their way to their private parties, yachts and gated homes. Does an American president become dangerous by having compassion for the elderly, the poor, and middle-class families? What, then, do you call those who are the saviors of the corporate welfare cheaters, disgraced hedge-funds managers and dishonest Wall Street scam artists?

Gingrich versus Obama, America’s First Dad. Hate speech versus help. Looking down on people versus lifting up. Gingrich versus Obama. We have one great choice.

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By Barbara A. Reynolds  |  01:01 PM ET, 01/23/2012

Categories:  The Root DC Live

 
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