By Marylou Barry

Have you seen Newt Gingrich’s homepage lately? If not, do yourself a favor and visit his website. Gone are the distractions, the campaigny look, the wife’s supportive column in the lower right-hand corner. Now he stands alone, strong against a nondescript background, face tough with just a hint of a victorious smile. This is the image he should have been projecting all along, the one that says “Winner” in just one stunning photograph.

Newt’s supporters love him for the exact same reason his detractors hate him: because he is such a fighter. It drives them nuts that he doesn’t throw in the towel, doesn’t slither away from difficult situations and, like a bulldog with a bone, just chomps down harder when the going gets tough. Like a bulldog, he continues to hang on against a much better-financed rival, because he thinks content is more important than suavité, what you are today is more important than mistakes you made 20 years ago and being right is even more important than being president.

Rick Santorum had a lot to offer, too, and I would have been quite satisfied to see either man in the White House. For a while he and Newt made a great tag team, reinforcing each other during the debates, boldly explaining who the real enemy is – and making the two also-rans come off as ninnies for being so gutless. I had hoped they would have officially joined forces right then, but for some reason that didn’t happen, which resulted in a dangerous number of votes being thrown to Mitt Romney; and others dribbled away to Ron Paul. When the delegate count became critical, one of them obviously had to go, and that one turned out to be Rick. I hope he didn’t wait too long to take what to his credit was a courageous and self-sacrificing step.

But with Rick off the table now, GOP voters will soon have to decide between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, and on many critical issues their differences could not be more profound.

Mitt Romney still waffles like a bowl of mush on abortion. He calls himself pro-life but refuses to sign either the Susan B. Anthony List 2012 Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge or the Personhood USA Personhood Pledge, which most early GOP candidates signed gladly months ago. Does that make his pro-life bravado sound a little mushy around the edge?

Newt signed both pledges and states he believes that life begins at conception.

But it gets mushier: Mitt says he’ll repeal Obamacare. I say fat chance, since it’s virtually indistinguishable from the Romneycare on which it is based, including individual mandates and taxpayer-funded abortions.

Newt, who has said that nationalizing health care hurts everyone and the government does not belong in it at all, has vowed that if Congress will repeal it by Jan. 20 he will sign the repeal at his Inauguration.

What could be a clearer commitment to individual liberty? Even looking at it just from the perspective of self-preservation, why would any voter with ongoing health problems, or one middle-aged or older (unless he was nursing a secret desire to personally check out the death panels), even think of voting for a different candidate?

Clearly, neither contender is perfect, and neither is going to tell us that he’s going to deport all illegal aliens or bring the troops home from hopeless third-world hellholes, and neither contender – at least before he cements his nomination – is going to openly challenge Obama’s eligibility for office (although Newt has indirectly hinted that it isn’t beyond question).

Simply put, the Republican primary has come down to a choice between a bulldog and a bowl of mush. Despite warnings from the Republican “moderates,” I seriously doubt that a bowl of mush, even one with a bottomless bank account, is really more electable than the arrogant, corrupt regime we have now.

We haven’t had a real bulldog as a leader since Ronald Reagan, and with our security being threatened by everything from Iranian atomic saber-rattling to Shariah law, we could certainly use one now. The voyage our nation will be on for the next four years will be the most precarious we’ve ever undertaken, and it’s precisely a bulldog I’d feel most comfortable with steering our ship of state.

Marylou Barry is a blogger and the author of a series of children’s books. Visit her website at Marylou’s America and her bookstore at House with the Light Books.

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