A funny thing happened to Newt Gingrich.
Just as he has been has been climbing in the polls and reintroducing himself as the brooding, partisan, mean guy that we remember from the 1990s, Democrats started saying nice things about him.
First, two Democratic members of the House branded his immigration plan–permitting long-time taxpaying undocumented families without criminal records to stay in the U.S.–“humane”
Then, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said Newt “is clearly a smart guy” and that his stand on immigration “showed real courage.”
Perhaps even worse, Newt’s old nemesis, former President Bill Clinton, piled on by calling the immigration plan “thoughtful.” Clinton even said it was a compromise approach because it “splits the difference between the immigration reforms proposed by President Bush and President Obama.”
Wait just a minute. Newt Gingrich is “humane”? He’s “courageous”? He’s trying to compromise? That’s not going to work. GOP primary voters want mean, not humane. They want dogma, not courage. They want unyielding, not compromise.
Some are suggesting that Clinton, in particular, is trying to sucker the GOP into nominating Gingrich for President. Maybe so. But Newt needs to get tough and regain his place as the resident mean guy in the GOP race. He already made clear that he does not really support immigrants and opposes “amnesty.” He needs to follow through and show that he is:
- As mean as Perry on Pakistan
- As mean as Cain on the unemployed
- As mean as Romney on the middle class
- As mean as Paul on comatose patients without health insurance
- As mean as Bachmann on the ACLU for taking over the CIA
- As mean as Santorum on the 20th and 21st centuries
Jon Huntsman is the resident nice guy in the race. Democrats like him. What is that getting him? 2%.
Newt, you need to go mean, and fast.