While much of the conservative movement has seemingly lined up to oppose former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s ascent in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, high-profile defenders of Gingrich have been few and far between.
But Gingrich does have one outspoken defender, conservative talker and author of “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America,” Mark Levin. At the top of his Thursday radio show, Levin spoke out against those in the conservative movement that had decided to go on the attack against the former Speaker of the House.
“If this is what the conservative movement has become then count me out,” Levin said. “All over the Internet today, a frenzy of brutal attacks, none of them serious or substantive for the most part against Gingrich.”
Levin argued that credit should be given where credit is due and referred to what Gingrich accomplished in leading the way to wrestle control of the House away from the Democratic Party.
“I’m going to tell you something. Newt Gingrich was the former Republican Speaker of the House, the first Republican Speaker of the House in almost half a century, and he was fighting the Democrats and to win the House of Representatives before most of the people writing on the Internet about him and trashing him and going with talking points from other campaigns were old enough to wipe themselves,” Levin said. “[W]e can certainly criticize Newt Gingrich, but do not count me among those who are going to destroy the man. I saw that attempt already by the hard-left Democrats led by [Michigan Rep.] David Bonior.”
Levin also had some tough words for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his ally New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But Levin, who served in the Reagan administration in the Justice, Education and Interior Departments, challenged the assertion that Gingrich was anti-Reagan.
“I’m supposed to sit here, read all this crap on the Internet, listen to purported Reaganites and others tell me that he didn’t do these things?” Levin said. “I was there. I lived it. I saw it. Or let me put it this way — Newt Gingrich, if he does nothing else, did more for the conservative movement and to stop the liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives than virtually everybody today who’s criticizing him.”
Although some things are fair game, Levin said, making him out to be a “Marxist, Reagan-hating mental case” was out of line.
“You can disagree with the man on substance,” he continued. “Challenge his positions. That’s what a primary is about. But don’t turn him into some Marxist, Reagan-hating mental case because he’s not.”
These attacks according to Levin were just par for the course apparently for Romney, based on how the 2008 Republican primary contest unfolded.
“So what’s going on here?” Levin said. “I’ll tell you what’s going on here. There’s an effort to clear the path right now for Romney. I guarantee you if Santorum was considered a threat, they’d be pulling out quotes from him and twisting them and turning them, and turning him into a pretzel, too. If they thought Ron Paul was a threat … they’d be turning him into a pretzel, too. Romney pulled the same thing with Fred Thompson. He pulled the same thing with Rudy Giuliani. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are conservative, if you are tea party activists, you’ve got to step back and say, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ All these commercials aimed at destroying opponents, not in communicating facts, not in advancing our principles, not focused on Obama, who’s the problem, but turning people into monsters.”