I should have known better.

Despite all I have witnessed in watching Newt Gingrich over the many years he has been in public life, I started softening to him – largely on the basis of his debate performances.

I began to think I could live with this guy as president – which is almost understandable given the current squatter in the White House.

I even said in a recent television appearance that Newt would be an acceptable nominee for the Republican Party.

Let me do a very public mea culpa here.

The news that the former speaker’s firm accepted between $1.6 million and $1.8 million from Freddie Mac suggests strongly that Gingrich is not the changed man he has claimed to be. You might recall hearing him say in a recent debate that he was paid $300,000 to be a “historian” for the government-controlled lender. That was, to put it mildly, a lie – a blatant falsehood he told the American people in an effort to deflect a tough question and make it appear to be an unwarranted attack from a hostile media.

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In fact, what former Freddie Mac officials say about the lucrative contract is that it was part of a full-court press by the company to develop an argument for the questionable public-private structure it enjoyed – one they could sell to Republicans as well as Democrats, conservatives as well as liberals. Gingrich’s job with Freddie Mac was to sell the monstrosity that was going broke making bad housing loans to conservatives – the one constituency that should have seen through the smoke and mirrors.

While Gingrich claims he wasn’t a “lobbyist” for Freddie Mac, two executives at the company said he provided written material that could be circulated among conservatives on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. They also dispute Gingrich’s contention that he ever warned the lender about the dangers of the housing bubble.

What Freddie Mac was doing when they bought Gingrich was part of an overall effort to buy Democrats and Republicans and all kinds of lobbyists to ensure there was no opposition to the company’s shenanigans – no oversight, no opposition, no calls for privatization, no change in policy.

Thus, Gingrich bears some personal responsibility for the financial disaster that resulted.

But that’s not all – not by a long shot.

Gingrich’s firm was also paid $312,500 in 2009 by an ethanol lobby. Does that commercial he did with Nancy Pelosi on “global warming” make a little more sense now?

But it gets worse still.

Let’s go back to May 11 and his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” where he said he supports requiring individual mandates requiring Americans to buy health insurance, post a bond to pay for health care “or in some way indicate you’re going to be held accountable” – a position even he recognized was just a “variation” on the most unconstitutional and objectionable component of Obamacare.

This is the fairly recent stuff.

Do you want a look back on Gingrich’s history?

  • One of the reasons Republicans didn’t have the stomach to convict Bill Clinton after impeaching him for lying under oath is because Gingrich decided to have an affair in the middle of the scandal;

  • He apologized to Jesse Jackson after Rep. J.C. Watts called him a “poverty pimp” – which is exactly what he is and was;
  • Anyone and everyone who has had any personal contact with Newt Gingrich knows what he is in real life – away from the TV cameras and around people he doesn’t think can help him much. He’s the illustration you see in the dictionary next to the word “arrogant.”

Having said all this, we all know the GOP candidates are wearing targets on their backs. As soon as a new top-tier candidate emerges, the media somehow discover something onerous about him.

All of them with one notable exception – Mitt Romney.

Why?

He’s the one the Democrat-dominated media want to get the nomination – because they know he is the closest thing to John McCain in the field, with the possible exception of nowhere man Jon Huntsman.

Whom does that leave as viable choices for us?

Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, self-destructive Rick Perry and Ron Paul.

The race has narrowed. It’s time for Republicans to get very serious about finding a replacement for Barack Obama.

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