Federal Politics

Published — January 23, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Four reasons GOP lawmakers aren’t backing Gingrich

The controversial ex-speaker of the House and presidential hopeful has struggled to win over his former colleagues

Introduction

Mitt Romney lost the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich by a double digit margin. But in the race for congressional endorsements, the former Massachusetts governor is way ahead of the ex-Speaker of the House.

Romney, who has never held a seat on Capitol Hill, has nevertheless racked 72 endorsements to Gingrich’s nine.

Why are GOP lawmakers so reluctant to support their former colleague? Here are a few of the likely reasons.

Personal problems

Gingrich has been married three times, a fact that rankles some of his more traditional colleagues.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma spoke for many conservative Republicans in August 2010 when he said Gingrich is “the last person I’d vote for for president of the United States.”

He won’t back his former colleague because “his life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president.” Coburn was first elected to the House in 1994 as Gingrich became speaker.

Lacking leadership

Coburn is also one of many former House GOP lawmakers who has criticized Gingrich’s management skills.

“I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich’s having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership,” the Oklahoma Republican told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace in December of last year. “I found it lacking often times.”

“It was leadership by chaos,” said Rep. Susan Molinari last week during a conference call in support of Romney. Molinari was one of 20 Republican House members who staged an unsuccessful coup against Gingrich in 1997. The following year, under the cloud of an ethics investigation, the Georgia congressman gave up his leadership position and decided not to run for reelection.

“Newt Gingrich was a disaster as speaker,” said New York Rep. Peter King last month. “Everything was self-centered. There was a lack of intellectual discipline.” King has already thrown his support behind Romney.

Lobbying questions

Since leaving the House, Gingrich has made millions as an advisor to companies. Although he vehemently denies that this constituted lobbying, Gingrich’s explanation has been called into doubt by conservative commentators, politicians supporting Romney, and even disgraced Republican uberlobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Gingrich was “engaged in the exact kind of corruption that America disdains,” Abramoff said in a November interview to promote his new book. “This is exactly what I’m talking about: people who came to Washington, who had public service, and they cash in on it. They use their public service and access to make money, and unfortunately Newt Gingrich is one of those who’s done it.”

Some GOP lawmakers may not want to be seen cozying up to a candidate who for some embodies Washington influence peddling.

Mitt’s money

Politicians’ personal opinions of Gingrich only matter so much. Many lawmakers have gotten campaign contributions from groups supporting Romney and these politicians want to show them — and other potential donors — that they appreciate the support.

Ambitious, methodical candidates like Romney often give thousands of dollars to other lawmakers in the hopes that they will return the favor. Take, for example, Rick Santorum’s endorsement of Romney in 2008 — a favor that he no doubt now wishes he could take back. Two years earlier, when Santorum was in the midst of a hard-fought reelection campaign, Romney’s leadership political action committee donated $10,000 to the Pennsylvania senator.

Gingrich is at a disadvantage in this regard because he has less money to work with. He has raised far less than Romney and the outside groups supporting him have spent significantly less.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.