Thursday, 26 Jan 2012 02:00 PM
By: Henry J. Reske
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s contention that Newt Gingrich isn’t really a Reaganite is “preposterous,” historian Craig Shirley writes in an Op-Ed in South Florida’s Sun Sentinel.
Shirley, author of three books about President Ronald Reagan, noted that, when Romney was asked about his conservative credentials during his run for the Senate in 1994, he replied: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”
“From the beginning of his political career, Gingrich was always at the ramparts as a staunch ally of the Reagan White House, from tax cuts to anti-communism to Federalism to pro-life and in all manner of great fights in that decade of Great Debates,” the Reagan Scholar at Eureka College wrote.
“Petulantly, Romney is running commercials in Florida childishly saying that Reagan only mentioned Gingrich in his diaries once. But that’s one more time than Mitt was mentioned,” wrote Shirley, whose books include “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America.”
Romney’s newest ad is in character, while denying Reagan and the ideals of the conservative movement; he seeks to falsely accuse someone who has been a leader in that movement for 30 years. While Reaganites are about ideas and the expansion of freedom, Romniacs are about the destruction of opponents and the contraction of ideas.”
Shirley argues that Romney is a descendant of “a long line of conservative bashers.” Romney’s father, George, who also ran for the presidency, walked away from conservatives in 1964 and his mother ran on a pro-abortion platform in a campaign for the Senate, Shirley observed.
“The simple fact is Romney is from the establishment-Rockefeller-Gerald Ford-Bush Dynasty side of the GOP, more interested in great access than great ideas. Gingrich is from the anti-establishment Goldwater-Bill Buckley-Jack Kemp-Reagan-side of the GOP, more interested in questioning the establishment than joining it. These are Americans who have grand ideas about the greatness of the country and the future as a brighter one.
“In short, Romney is on the losing side of the party and he doesn’t like it one bit, yet rather than apologize for being wrong his whole life, Romney chooses to attacks conservatives.”