As the presidential primary draws near in Tennessee, some hard decisions face us. Newt Gingrich to me is the top candidate. Smart, experienced and a great debater with the history of solid results to get it done.
In his time as speaker he stood up to the media, balanced budgets, cut unemployment to half what it is now and did a wealth of other great things like reforming our welfare system.
He would make an outstanding president.
Unfortunately, politics is a cruel mistress. Things shift and momentum turns. After South Carolina 2 mediocre debates and some missteps (such as pushing moon colonies) in Florida, he left the door open to Rick Santorum. Rick took his opportunities and made the most of them by winning 3 states in a row. Dropping Newt to a distant third in almost all polling.
I was hoping Newt could re surge with a strong debate before Michigan. While he showed well, it was not to be. In Michigan and Arizona he stayed down at the bottom With Santorum and Romney battling it out up top. After the Santorum second place in Michigan and Arizona I know Newt was hoping for a momentum shift but that has not really happened either.
Now the moderate wing is trying to close it down saying the divided primary is hurting the party and we all need to get behind Romney and just hang it up. Romney keeps "winning" without gaining plurality and is racking up the delegates.
Nothing would make moderates happier then a continued split field to keep Romney in front until everyone just coalesce behind him. I have seen it too many times in the past here in Tennessee. Multiple conservatives divide the field and the moderate wins without ever getting over 50%. Polling shows Obama is nearly unelectable because of his unpopularity in key swing states. The only question is, who will win the primary. While I could support a moderate (Romney) over a liberal (Obama), I would much prefer a conservative over a moderate and a clear difference in policy will keep that split wide.
Here is where it gets hard. After super Tuesday without a coalition of the conservatives, voter fatigue and the moderate screams of "Just give it to Romney. He is inevitable!" will be overpowering. With no slew of debates to propel Newt back up to the top and too many states and not enough money to buy the media needed for a drastic sea change before super Tuesday it will stay close to where it is now. Divided, with one monied moderate and several conservatives ripping each other to pieces for second place.
Something has to change.
While I would personally prefer Newt and think he would make a great president, it is clearly getting too late for him to come back. As much as it pains me to say it, the conservative with the momentum and ability to still make it happen is Rick Santorum. Not that Rick is bad. In fact he is great in many ways, pro life, strong conservative credentials, pro family and a lot of the same ideas Newt has. It just hurts because my wishes for Newt to do well are so strong.
Unfortunately, while I am twisted inside because of my loyalty to Newt, my loyalty must first lie with my country and getting a country with a conservative leader must take precedence to my own personal whims of fancy.
Therefore, As of now, I am stepping down as the statewide co chairman for Newt Gingrich and throwing all of my support behind Rick Santorum. Going with me are the top 3 second congressional district delegates for Newt (Dr. Lenard Brown, Dr. Aaron Margulise and Scott Smith). We all now throw our support behind Rick Santorum and hope for his success. We encourage other people who are supporting other candidates (not just in Tennessee but across the nation) to follow suit and throw your support behind Rick Santorum so we can coalesce and have a conservative to lead our party, and our country back to victory and prosperity.