There is a lot of talk in this GOP primary campaign about the candidates “baggage”. The GOP electorate is especially sensitive to the issue due to the standards we conservatives hold in comparison to the democrats. Values and character matter to us. Our candidates often get sliced and diced by the media when they do things that undermine those values. Democrats get away with character flaws because it is accepted that democratic candidates don’t value or espouse character as a campaign issue. Unless of course what they do is egregious enough and can’t be overlooked like the Weiner incident.
When we talk about electability we are mostly talking about character. The reason being is that there is a huge difference between Gingrich and Romney. Here is why I choose Romney over Gingrich.
Newt Gingrich has been less than admirable in his married life. His divorces are not what one can consider “normal”. Normal being two people finding out they have fallen out of love with each other, have different goals for the future, or simply not getting along. Newt’s marriage issues seem to be more about Newt’s selfishness and high regard for himself. He seems to disrespect the woman in his life and that is a major flaw for me.
Newt will say what people want to hear and because he is so skilled in debating, he seems to be able to justify every question around his past including his divorces. The more you listen to Newt and look at what he says, it doesn’t always line up to the past; you start to wonder about his ability to make stuff up. He seems to be conveniently dismissing any challenge to his past and acting as if he is above the truth. Righteous indignation seems to be his defense against any criticism. He beats down his opponents and is really good at defending and justifying questionable actions. This is also why he is attractive to conservatives because he fights back. But this will wear on the electorate and will eventually be too much to overcome.
Mitt has to be admired as a family man. Born with a silver spoon he chose to melt that spoon down and donate it to charity. He didn’t launch his successful career based on his financial inheritance. He used his solid upbringing and education to build on his future. How many people can say that? Did he get ahead because of his family? Yes he did but that is something he was lucky enough to be born into. There is nothing wrong with taking what you are blessed with and expanding on it to create more success. It is the American Dream after all.
Mitt has been with the same woman for his entire married life and they seem to be honestly in love. I have to say I like that about Mitt. I married my best friend and after 21 years I am still madly in love with her. Have there been hard times? You bet but when you are committed and believe in each other you work everything out. You don’t give up on each other. The Romney’s are an example that we can feel good about and would make an excellent First Family.
Mitt is seen as being a “flip flopper” mostly on abortion. The reality is personally he has always been prolife and as a MA Governor the reality is he signed life based bills. In order to be elected in MA you can’t make that an issue front and center or you don’t get elected. It was a political calculation and it is understandable. With Mitt’s family values I can’t believe he would ever nominate a judge that was radical left. The court is important and he will more likely nominate conservatives. Newt you just don’t know. He seems more likely to nominate “intellectuals”. Showing off his intellectual prowess and I don’t think that is a good strategy.
Mitt is supposedly “moderate”. I don’t believe that based on his record or his family background. People that live their life as Mitt has are more conservative, and I have no doubt that he will lean in the conservative direction. I am not sure about that with Newt who is totally ego driven and will want to be liked and seen as the smartest guy in the room. Newt does not know humble, Mitt lives it.
Character matters and even though Newt makes us feel good when he is beating up liberals, he does not live as a true conservative. Newt is also explosive and I believe it is because he uses it as a defensive mechanism to deflect truthful criticism. Mitt has a much more steady approach because he is comfortable in his character.
In the end we will all be more comfortable as voters supporting Mitt. Deep down we know it even though the fighting spirit of Newt can be so satisfying. This election is more than fighting the media and liberals. It is electing someone we can be proud of and will have the experience in turning us around in the right direction…