Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are two politicians chasing Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election. They have some things in common, and of course, some differences. One is a very well-known Republican on the national stage as a former Speaker of the House. Santorum is a lawyer and has represented Pennsylvania in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Gingrich is always considered as potential runner when election time comes around, but up until this year, Rick Santorum was mostly under the national radar. However, favorable performances in straw polls put him on the map, and now he is a viable contestant in the Republican’s house of horrors.
While they are eager to throw dirt on each other, like politicians do, and both have unleashed a barrage of attack ads, that oh-so-effective form of campaigning that gives Americans that nasty taste in their mouth, they do have some real common ground on the issues. And not just the same common ground that most members of the Republican party share. No, within just a couple of days, both men were able to draw the wrath of both the NAACP and many black people in the country with comments that even the most un-political-savvy person would probably say…”Um, yeah, you probably shouldn’t have said that.”
Newt Gingrich was first up. Now, it’s no big secret that the African-American community tends to lean towards the Democractic side in the political continuum. This has been proven time and time again. And the NAACP is not viewed as a good sandbox for Republicans to play in. For this reason, many sitting presidents and nominees alike have turned down the opportunity extended to speak to the NAACP. However, wining and dining potential supporters in New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich wanted to make it abundantly clear that he is not afraid of the NAACP and will gladly take the stage if given the chance. He even enlightened them with a brief preview of what he just might say if such a proposition were ever put before him:
“If the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”
Not offensive at all, right. As the internet exploded over the controversial comment, Newt Gingrich was quick to speak up in his own defense. After a few days to mull things over, he launched this eloquent rebuttal to those attacking his comments.
“I think you would have to be nuts to read those two paragraphs and conclude anything except that I was saying that every young American deserves the right to pursue happiness.”
I’m not sure, but I think Newt just called most of the American populations “nuts.” Apparently, the whole debacle was such a powerful strategic move that fellow nominee Rick Santorum just had to get some of the action. With a golden opportunity to throw some actual worthwhile mud on his opponent, Santorum responded with his own interesting viewpoints.
“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”
Masterful. That’s a lot better than Uncle Newt, right. No need for attack ads on this subject…they would cancel each other out. Santorum had another well thought out response to his own predicament. Perhaps the same speechwriters work for both of these guys.
“I’ve seen that quote and I haven’t seen the context in which that was made.”
So, your defense is that the quote that you made yourself while campaigning was taken out of context. Even though you haven’t “seen” it. Great job, Rick.
These comments weren’t made on the golf course, on a hunting trip with buddies, or at the local KKK get-together. They were made on the campaign trail and at a public event. The worst thing about the comments is the simple fact that it just doesn’t make sense why anyone would say something like that if they had any prayer for winning the nomination, or given that, the election. If the Republicans ever want to see the White House again, silly instances like this have to be eliminated. These were not accidents or stumbles. Both men were proud of what they had to say.
No wonder the “birth certificate” debate is still kicking. It may be the only thing the Republicans have left.
Enjoy a live video of Rick Santorum’s moment: