On Monday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, now with PBS and Random House, said that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s extreme brand of conservatism troubled him, citing Gingrich’s willingness to go as far as shutting the government down in the mid-1990s.
“He represents an extreme version of a kind of conservatism that the country doesn’t want any more than it wants an extreme version of liberalism,” Meacham said.
However, according to Scarborough that isn’t true. Scarborough cited a recent George Will column to argue that although Gingrich possesses “extreme” qualities, it isn’t conservatism. Instead, he said, it is extreme “Newtism.”
“I have to step in here as a consistent, small-government conservative and say Newt Gingrich is extreme, but just read a George Will column and find out he’s not an extreme conservative,” Scarborough said. “He is an extreme ‘Newtist.’ Whatever Newt is thinking that day, he will take to the extremes. The New York Times this morning talking about his extreme vision of a doomsday scenario involving nuclear weapons that experts say isn’t really going to happen. Newt is an extremist, but as George Will said, he would’ve made a marvelous Marxist.”
Scarborough is not along in his thoughts on the former speaker. National Review’s Mark Steyn recently said that Gingrich has the worst qualities of Republican candidate — “a progressive big government streak,” with “a right-wing extremist” branding.