Ahead of Nevada’s exciting caucuses today, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and two Nevada Congressmen, Mark Amodei and Joe Heck, held a press conference call yesterday for Mitt Romney. The topic? Newt Gingrich Is An Unreliable Leader For Nevada.
To listen to audio of the entire call click here.
Gov John Sununu
“Good afternoon. I guess it’s just about afternoon there too. So thank you all for joining us. I’m strongly supporting Governor Mitt Romney for president. I have a slight bias toward governors and former governors because they, I think, bring some experience of managing bureaucracies to the table and I think dealing with the legislative bodies in order to get what is often necessary, bipartisanship that is necessary to get legislation. I call it the ‘Ronald Reagan formula.’ I think Ronald Reagan was a great president because he had tremendous experience as Governor of California.
But beyond that, I am extremely concerned that Newt Gingrich, who is now the likely competitor in this primary process to Mitt Romney, is absolutely unreliable and frankly, from my direct experience, is untrustworthy. I’ve had to deal with the former Speaker Gingrich when I was chief of staff for the first President Bush and I found out that what Newt Gingrich would tell you in the morning he would probably change in the evening. Al Simpson put it very clearly in an interview with the Boston Globe; Newt Gingrich lied to the President of the United States. Peter King, current Congressman King, has made it clear that he doesn’t trust anything Newt Gingrich says. Senator Coburn from Oklahoma, former Congressman Susan Molinari, former Congressman Mickey Edwards, former Congressman Vin Weber, all these folks were part of his leadership team. And each one of them has, in their own way, has explained why they feel he is unreliable, both in terms of being erratic, both in terms of changing his mind on issues, both in terms of coming up with a contradictory idea the next day and finding him very incapable for staying focused on issues. Gingrich likes to talk about his big ideas. When Newt Gingrich talks about big ideas, I take ‘big’ as being a synonym for cockamamie because half the stuff he comes up with is unrealistic and undoable at a time when we’re dealing with huge budget deficits, when we are expressing concerns about $15 trillion, $16 trillion debt. He is talking about a trillion dollar program to go to the moon. There are appropriate times to have ideas that are new and different. This is not a time to spend a billion dollars going to the moon. Most of the ideas he has are designed to be self-aggrandizing. This is a man who cares more about his ego than he does about anything worthwhile for the country. And I am absolutely scared to death if someone says to me that this is a man who might win the nomination to run against Barack Obama.
I do want to touch on one item that former Speaker Gingrich raised at one of his meetings today. He played a video attacking Mitt Romney on the basis of a chance comment that Soros made in an interview. Soros was talking about people running for president and Soros suggested the similarity between Mitt Romney and the current incumbent in the White House. If I were Newt Gingrich, I would be self-sensitive to doing something affiliated to that because it would remind people that Newt Gingrich sat cheek-to-cheek with Nancy Pelosi in an ad that was funded by a group that Soros paid for. So in that sense, it was Soros’ money that put Gingrich on TV. And I think that is a clear definition and an underscoring of the fact that on issues like cap-and-trade, Newt Gingrich is not a conservative, certainly in throwing Paul Ryan under the bus as he did on the entitlement reform package that Paul Ryan talked about, Newt Gingrich is not a conservative, and frankly, Newt Gingrich’s principle philosophy is enhancing himself. I’ll stop there and let Joe and Mark have a few words here.”
Congressman Joe Heck
“Thanks Governor Sununu, this is Joe Heck. You know, I never worked directly with Speaker Gingrich, but I’ve heard a lot of things from former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich, who remains a very respected conservative leader in Nevada. And Congresswoman Vucanovich described the Speaker as too arrogant and cocky to be our nominee. And to me that says a lot. I’ve been a supporter of Governor Romney for a long time and, in fact, I may have been the first elected official to endorse this election cycle. Why am I endorsing Governor Romney? Simple, on the economy and jobs, there’s just no other candidate with Governor Romney’s economic know-how and experience in the private sector for proven leadership. And in Nevada, which has suffered more than any other state under President Obama’s failed economic policies, Nevadans are looking for a leader with a plan to grow the economy and in my opinion, that leader is Governor Mitt Romney. Mark?”
Congressman Mark Amodei
“Thanks Joe. I’m not going to repeat anything the Governor or Joe said, but I’m going to give you two more pieces of the puzzle that I think are important, specifically in Nevada. Nevadans have been treated to the politics of division for the last three years under the Obama administration. Heck and I can tell you whether it’s in this primary, there’s a lot of people expressing a lot of respect for the Governor on how he has used a lot of restraint until recent when he basically had to come out and point out some things. But Mitt Romney has demonstrated he understands governing is a team sport, and that means bringing people together, not slicing them up for sport. That’s number one. Number two, that’s of particular importance to Nevada, especially when you’re talking about comparisons. Mitt Romney went through the presidential process four years ago and continuing from then until present, he’s got a deep team in Nevada. What that translates to, when you talk about the problems that Joe talked about, economy, jobs, resources, all those sorts of things, he’s got a deep bench in Nevada so he’s well-informed and he’s taken the time to get himself well-informed and build those networks: both north, south and rural in the state of Nevada and that makes him unique in this race.”
The American Spectator’s R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. provides a perfect follow-up to yesterday’s conference call – specifically to Sununu’s comments:
WASHINGTON — Ah, yes, Newt Gingrich did in the last days of the Florida primary precisely what I predicted he would do. He hurled wild charges at Mitt Romney that suggested Newt was losing his grip. He charged Romney with lying and falling into the hands of George Soros and Goldman Sachs, and he did this while seeking theRepublican presidential nomination!
Newt quoted Soros as saying, “We think either Obama or Romney’s fine, but Gingrich, he would change things.” Citing Goldman Sachs’ profiting from the bailout, he linked the Wall Street firm to anti-Gingrich ads, filling in the dots: “Those ads,” he averred, “are your money recycled to attack me.” On Sunday, he suggested that Rick Santorum drop out of the race and support him. Santorum had left the campaign trail to be with his desperately ill daughter. That is the kind of grace we have come to expect from Gingrich, who, by the way, supplied no evidence of Goldman Sachs’ or of Soros’s aiding Romney.
Newt lost support in his last week in Florida because conservatives gave him a closer look. Sure we loved his one-liners singeing the tail feathers of the Liberal media and politicians. Yet, we have to put someone up against President Barack Obama who can win. Moreover, we have to put someone in the White House who can govern. With Newt we would be explaining his gyrations every few days during the campaign. And in the unlikely event that he should win we would be spending the next four years apologizing for his extravagance. I did it once before in the 1990s, and I can tell you it was a thankless task.
Continue reading here.
► Jayde Wyatt