Matt Lewis

Newt Gingrich’s ‘Lake’ Analogy Doesn’t Hold Water

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

In Iowa on Saturday, former Speaker Newt Gingrich sought to explain his apparent flip-flop on whether or not to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

(Before Obama intervened in Libya, Gingrich said if it were up to him, he would “exercise a no-fly zone this evening” — but then after Obama imposed the no-fly zone, Gingrich said he “would not have intervened”.)

Speaking at the Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, Gingrich sought to push back on the notion that he had changed positions. Sadly, he didn’t help his cause.

“The fact is that on each day I was on television I was responding to where the president was that day,” Gingrich said. “And so obviously there were contradictions.”

“It’s true, I was trying to follow Obama,” Gingrich added.

Unfortunately, this is still confusing.

Was Gingrich essentially admitting that his position on whether or not to exercise a no-fly zone was simply based on opposing whichever option Obama chose?

… But it didn’t stop there.

Gingrich went on to explain the contradictions, saying: “If you had asked, ‘should we jump in the lake?’ I would have said ‘no.’ Once we jumped in the lake I said, ‘swim as fast as you can.’”

Again, this makes no sense.

The lake analogy might make sense if Gingrich had originally opposed a no-fly zone.  In that scenario, Gingrich could have opposed intervention — but then (once Obama committed us to it) — Gingrich would have been within his rights to criticize Obama for not doing it swiftly enough, decisively enough, or effectively enough.

Instead — to overextend the lake analogy — Gingrich told Obama to take the plunge.  And once Obama did, Gingrich called him stupid for doing it.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Georgevich-Hellgeth/1120579547 Michelle Georgevich Hellgeth

    I have been VERY VERY positive about Newt during his political career and I too was very disenchanted by this recent “lake” comment. I, in fact, put him at the top of my list as the next contender for the WH. In support of Newt’s past infidelities, I’ve said “I want a president, not a husband”. I am also a life-long catholic and was pleased to hear about his conversion to catholicism. This faux pas, unfortunately, may have downgraded his position in my eyes to the point I will be looking for one of the other strong contenders. I’m truly very very disappointed. Flip-flopping is a huge no-no on my list at this time. I cannot express strongly enough how sad I feel that I may no longer be able to support him. I feel he is the most brillant mind in American politics today, he knows all the global players, and has insight and the ability to debate like no other man I’ve seen yet in the political theatre. Alas I’m looking for a President still, but I’ve also added “not a flip-flopper, not a husband”. Shame on you Newt. You knew better than to try and pull this~

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  • Matt Lewis

    I’ve been fairly positive toward Newt, over the years. He’s brilliant and can inject ideas into the debate. His accomplishments (taking back Congress in ’94, balancing the budget, etc.) are unequaled. But his excuse for the no-fly zone flip-flop seems to defy logic.

  • mikeshopro

    Mr. Gingrich is a great guy. He should not be president or any sort of leader now in the Republican party. He is also a thin skinned, self important, braggart. He has proven that time and time again. His books are very good and he is a smart man but he has proven that, as strong as his political skills are, at the end of the day he doesn’t have what it takes and his huge ego will always get in the way. Dede Scozzafava was a perfect example. Not that he wasn’t right, but because of his total in credulousness of even being questioned on the matter. We should question Lord Newt? Nay! A new Catholic by the way. I like that as I am a Catholic myself and my family has been for about a 1000 years. I like Speaker Gingrich and I think he is a good man. He should keep to writing books. He will onl;y hurt the cause if his ego insists on being president. If his ego subsides, Mr. Gingrich will be a huge beneficial friend. Only Newt’s ego stand’s in the way. God Save America. God Save Mr. Gingrich’s Ego! God Save Us All!