Debate thoughts: Was this Newt Gingrich’s Rick Perry moment?
When Newt Gingrich announced that he was going to announce his intention to seek the presidency I wrote a scathing post on why I had no intention of voting for him. This was based solely on his personal past and failings for I feel that we must have a strong moral person in the White House to lead us into the future, and I felt that Newt Gingrich’s past moral failings were so egregious that it disqualified him from the position he is seeking.
I understand fully that many people do not think a person’s personal history is any business of anyone else besides the people involved but for me I think a person can be judged on how he leads his life. I also understand that morals are subjective and what I might find objectionable others may feel is not. Every person has to decide for themselves whether a person’s private life is of concern or what is morally acceptable or even if it is an issue, but for me I had ruled him out.
Having said that; as the debates unfolded I found myself looking more and more closely at Newt Gingrich because it is clear that he is an intelligent person and could have what it takes to lead a nation. I would love to see Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama in a debate; I think that Newt would destroy Obama, so I decided to give Newt Gingrich a second chance but I still had concerns about his past positions on several issues: Climate change, healthcare mandates, NAFTA, his opposition to Paul Ryan’s budget, TARP, and last but not least the issue which is now back on center stage–amnesty for illegal aliens.
During last night’s debate the issue of illegal immigration came up and we now know how Newt Gingrich stands on the issue today; he is in favor of a guest worker program and granting “legality” to certain people who came to this country illegally. While trying to make a distinction between “legality” and amnesty I am not sure there is enough of a distinction to sufficiently satisfy my concerns with his position on this issue.
By granting illegal aliens “legality” he will grant them an amnesty of sorts which gives them all the rights of legal aliens and natural born American citizens with the obvious exception that these illegals will not be given the right to vote, for only citizens of the United States have that right. But this begins us down the path to giving one time illegal aliens the right to vote. How long will it be before a president even more sympathetic toward the plight of illegal aliens is elected who decides it isn’t fair for a now legal alien who came here illegally to be denied the right to vote? Once we begin to travel down this path I think we can all agree upon where this road will take us.
Rick Perry all but killed his candidacy when in defense of his signing Texas’ version of the DREAM Act he proclaimed that anyone who opposes the Texas Dream act is “heartless,” and Newt Gingrich came pretty close to saying the same when he said we must approach illegal immigration in a “humane” manner; in other words if you believe in the law of the land in regards to illegal immigration and upholding immigration laws you are in favor of inhuman immigration enforcement. This does not sit well with me to say the least.
Newt Gingrich used the example of an illegal immigrant who came to the country 25 years ago and worked hard without breaking any laws as justification for this new “humane” policy saying it would be unfair to send this person back home where they belonged, while stating that if a person broke into the country only three years ago that person would not be eligible to stay here if caught. What this does is reward people who have been breaking the law longer; how does that make any sense?
But even if you subscribe to this theory there are only two ways that an illegal immigrant can be working in the United States for 25 years: either the person or company who hired the illegal is in violation of federal immigration law and should be punished along with the illegal alien, or the illegal alien acquired false documents and presented them to an employer. This is itself is another crime on top of breaking into the country. Shouldn’t that alone disqualify that person from being granted legal status under Newt Gingrich’s proposal? Additional laws had to have been broken for any illegal alien to be working and paying taxes in the country, but Mr. Gingrich seems willing to ignore this fact.
In this case an illegal alien will have been using another person’s Social Security number for 25 years and one has to wonder what will happen when the legitimate owner of that Social Security number retires and attempts to collect what is rightfully his only to find out that a person Newt Gingrich gave legal status to is either already collecting Social Security or has a claim on that number.
In my opinion this was Newt Gingrich’s Rick Perry moment and it will be interesting to see how it affects his candidacy moving forward but I feel as if this could be the beginning of the end of the Newt Gingrich surge. But this is only one issue, as I listed above there are several positions Newt Gingrich has taken in the past that are not aligned with the mainstream Republican voters and we need to know how he stands on these issues today.
Early on in the debates Newt Gingrich attacked the media for asking “gotcha questions” but the questions he was upset about had nothing to do with the candidates personal history, but rather about the issues and past positions the candidates had taken on these issues. Is it not legitimate for a candidate to be asked about how they once stood on an issue, if they still feel the same way, and if not why did they change their opinion?
If Newt Gingrich is asked about his prior stance on climate change, TARP, Paul Ryan’s budget, NAFTA, or healthcare mandates he will likely once again attack the media for asking “gotcha” questions while stating he will not play the media’s game, but I ask; who is the one really playing the games?
There is a reason(s) why so many conservatives feel that Newt Gingrich is a RINO and if he doesn’t answer the questions people will see him as another political insider who says whatever he feels it will take to win the nomination.