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Newt Gingrich's fiction [Most commented]

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich's victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary gave the Republican candidate the opportunity to stand at the podium and spin a little fiction about how he's a Washington outsider.

"There's nothing new or particularly original about a candidate seeking to distance himself from the East Coast establishment," writes the editorial board in "Gingrich's 'outsider' gambit." "But it's particularly rich to have Gingrich attempt to position himself as an outsider." They continue:

Gingrich served 10 terms in Congress and was speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. In that post, he was two heartbeats from the presidency, and he was the galvanizing force of the GOP's return to power. In other words, he was near the pinnacle of the rarefied Washington elite. As for the "New York" half of his sneering denunciation — a reference to the media he's been lambasting for weeks — it is worth recalling that Gingrich is a prolific book writer who once received a $4.5-million advance, which he was forced to return after ethics questions were raised about it. And need one even mention that he has made his fortune in Washington (he earned $1.6 million, for instance, giving "strategic advice" to Freddie Mac, the quasi-governmental mortgage giant) or that he and his wife maintained a credit line at Tiffany? Surely that qualifies as admission to some sort of elite.

Here's what readers are saying on our discussion board.

What do Gingrich and Bristol Palin have in common?

Listening to Gingrich rebrand himself as the authentic outsider is like listening to advice on teenage abstinence from Bristol Palin -- as she holds her baby.

--Archibald

What's wrong with Gingrich? Here's a list:

The right-wing nuts' talent for self-deception is astonishing. The Newt is one of the most deeply dishonest and immoral major candidates this country has seen, not to mention his hypocrisy and radical extremism.

--Navydad

Is Gingrich all that different from other politicians?

Gingrich can say anything he wants, all U.S. politicians have established that the truth is optional.

--michael14

The rest of America is smarter than South Carolina, right?

If it weren't for the frightening possibility that Gingrich might actually become president, his astonishing hubris and hypocrisy would merely be entertaining.

Alas, his "I'm an outsider" shape-shifting is an old and tried Gingrich trick that's working once again.

Before he was an "elite" and then an "anti-elite," Gingrich successfully used deferments to avoid the Vietnam War era draft -- at 19 he married his 26-year-old high school teacher no less.

Then with no military street cred whatsoever, Gingrich went on to teach an officer war fighting course for the U.S. Air Force. He also served as an informal advisor to then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Talk about big ego, no shame.

So pretending to be what he isn't, dodging, weaving, obfuscating and attacking are standard operating procedures for this hypocrite.

Please, somebody tell me the American electorate is smart enough to see through this guy.

-- CarolineR2

If Gingrich is the nominee…

If Gingrich is the nominee, Romney and Paul should run as a third party ticket ... or maybe both as separate tickets.  I have been a Republican since 1976 and under no circumstances will I vote for that hypocrite Gingrich or the nut-case Santorum.  Romney should be the nominee. Period.

--bill1745

*For clarity purposes, spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.

RELATED:

McManus: Is Romney a true conservative?

A Newt seduced South Carolina's Christian electorate

Gingrich's best value among 'values voters'? Beating Obama

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Newt Gingrich speaks to supporters at the Hilton Hotel in Columbia, S.C., following his victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Jan. 21. Credit: Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer/MCT

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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