There’s simply no polite way to say this: Newt Gingrich is a liberal.

The new entry into the GOP presidential sweepstakes is a smart fellow.

He is an impressive orator.

He’s a good student of history.

He was a significant part of political history in 1994.

But Newt Gingrich is not Republican presidential timber for 2012.

Perhaps nothing better illustrates this point than his disagreement with Rep. Paul Ryan’s alternative Republican budget.

Gingrich thinks it’s too radical. He thinks it requires too much of a change from previous policy. He believes the federal government has some constitutional responsibility for the health care of individual Americans. And he believes Ryan’s budget is too much of a sudden shift away from Barack Obama’s tyrannical, top-down, illegal mandates.

This is crazy.

What’s wrong with Paul Ryan’s plan is that it is almost indistinguishable from Democratic spending and borrowing plans and does almost nothing to reduce indebtedness over the next decade.

But Gingrich thinks it’s too “right wing.”

Now more than ever: Get “Taking America Back,” Joseph Farah’s manifesto for moral renewal, sovereignty and self-reliance.

It’s astonishing that a Republican presidential candidate in the age of Obama could even talk this way. What is needed in 2012 is a president who is ready, willing and able to dismantle all that Obama and the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid Democrats have wrought on this nation over the last four years – as a starting point.

Gingrich has completely disqualified himself from consideration by any conservative Republican.

He’s a liberal.

And we don’t need a liberal Republican president in 2013. That’s the last thing we need.

A liberal Republican president in 2013 will only deepen America’s problems – ensuring that we cannot escape the path to socialism and tyranny on which we tread.

I’ve known this about Gingrich for some time.

When he made “public service” TV commercials with Pelosi denouncing the phantom crisis of global warming, he demonstrated that he had gone over to the politically correct dark side. That was a disqualifier for me.

Gingrich yearns to be part of the “establishment” – the elite. Note his long-standing membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. He yearns for acceptance and respectability with the media.

Sorry. That’s just not what America needs today.

We need leadership that is going to challenge the establishment, upset the apple cart, turn over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple and, most of all, veer 180 degrees from our current policies.

Newt Gingrich has signaled clearly he is not the person for that job.

This is what we should be looking for, at minimum, from a Republican presidential candidate in 2011-2012:

  • a promise to oppose any more borrowing in the future short of an all-out national security emergency;

  • a promise to scrap Obamacare entirely;
  • a promise to govern according to the strict limits of the Constitution;
  • a promise to scrap the Department of Education, Planned Parenthood funding, the Environmental Protection Agency and taxpayer funding for NPR and PBS.

That would be a start, but only a start.

Candidates should be judged by more than their words. They should be able to demonstrate their ability to get things done – in or out of government.

There is no question Newt Gingrich is not the man for that job.

I believe the overwhelming number of Republicans in primary and caucus states will agree with me. He will not last long in this contest. The winnowing process has already begun. Gingrich short-circuited within days of his announcement.

This is Gingrich’s political epitaph.

But it’s more than that.

Let it be a signal to any other Republican presidential candidate that America is looking for a real alternative to Obama-style socialism.

We don’t need or want Obama-lite.

It’s time for real hope and real change – not business as usual in Washington.

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