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Santorum, Gingrich and Perry all condemned Mitt Romney’s Bain Financial for putting people out of work. If anyone should be sidelined, it’s Santorum, Gingrich and Perry.

For one thing, as every conservative who isn’t running behind in the primaries knows, venture capitalists put their money where their mouths are. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the old adage goes. When it comes to picking winners, Bain has a far better record than the Obama administration. After all, Bain was gambling on turning around the fortunes of companies that were close to death or assisting in the birth of companies that would otherwise have been aborted. Obama, on the other hand, handed out billions of our tax dollars for no other reason than that company owners had contributed heavily to his presidential campaigns.

As Romney has admitted, there were times when Bain had no choice but to shut down companies and let the employees go, but in every case those employees kept drawing salaries for a far longer time than they would have done without Bain’s infusion of cash. Clearly, those factory workers confused themselves with public-sector union members. Those are the folks, let us never forget, who keep getting hired and having their salaries and pensions increased in spite of a failing economy. That’s the difference between Washington, D.C., and the real world.

Another irony of the campaigns Santorum, Perry and Gingrich are running is that each of them promises to shut down entire departments of the federal government if they’re elected president. Just how will they manage to keep that promise without handing out thousands of pink slips? While it’s true that the intended victims are nothing more than Washington bureaucrats, they are still more or less human beings with children to feed and mortgages to pay.

Some people defend Gingrich’s attacks on Romney, insisting that Romney has it coming because of the ads Romney’s supporters ran in Iowa attacking Mr. Gingrich. The obvious difference is that while Romney’s attacks could certainly be described as vicious, they also happened to be true. In fact, they could easily have been even more hurtful.

For instance, Gingrich was a serial adulterer. And while he has insisted he is a changed man and that he regrets his sins, the same holds true for every other rascal who has ever been found out. On one occasion, he even explained his adultery by stating, “Partially, I was driven by how passionate I felt about this country that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” It’s not every day, thank God, that America is basically cast as The Other Woman. Even Bill Clinton, who couldn’t quite define sex, but certainly knew it when he saw it, didn’t rationalize his boorish behavior as excessive patriotism.

Not only did Gingrich dump his first wife and their two kids, but, adding injury to insult, he refused to pay alimony or child support, thus forcing the local Baptist church to pass the hat. He eventually repaid the debt in full, though, by converting to Catholicism.

It’s true that Gingrich was the first House speaker who was ever censured and fined by his congressional colleagues. And although it was for financial shenanigans, it did not, for some reason, involve the multi-million-dollar book deal he had cut with Rupert Murdoch. The deal, it so happens, had far less to do with Gingrich’s writing ability than with the fact that mogul giant Murdoch had a vested interest in befriending, otherwise known as bribing, the speaker, who at the time chaired the committee that oversaw the granting of radio and TV licenses.

Lest we ever forget, Gingrich volunteered to sit on that dumb couch with Nancy Pelosi and help her perpetuate Al Gore’s hoax of global warming. He has since said that agreeing to make that TV spot was the single dumbest thing he ever did. But I think he was just being modest.

Gingrich pocketed $1.6 million of our tax dollars, thanks to the generosity of Freddie Mac, for allegedly giving them advice he claims they ignored for five years. I wonder if that gig is still available. It’s a job I was born to have. After all, I’m constantly giving people advice they ignore.

Gingrich derided Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan as “right-wing social engineering” and then, for good measure, insisted that when Romney said he would enjoy firing his health insurance provider if they failed to satisfy his needs, he really meant that he took pleasure in firing people who worked for him.

Now, in desperation, after finishing near the bottom in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich attacks Romney for profiting from being a free-market capitalist.

The good news for Newt is that once he finally drops out of the GOP race, he can sign on with David Axelrod and start getting paid to help re-elect Barack Obama.

In conclusion, a free piece of advice for Callista: Be on the alert if Newt claims he’s working late at the office. By now, I think we all know – and you, better than most – how patriotic this guy can get.

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