Norquist somewhat upbeat on Gingrich’s candidacy

Will Rahn Senior Editor
Font Size:

If you think anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist wouldn’t be the kind of guy to criticize a Republican presidential candidate, you’d be right.

Publications such as The Washington Post have been calling up prominent conservatives this week in the hope that some would criticize former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s history of ideologically erratic comments and personal baggage.

In an attempt to cash in on this emerging narrative, The Daily Caller reached out to Norquist to see if he was up for slamming Gingrich in an on-the-record interview.

He was not.

“I think he would be a good president,” Norquist rather disappointingly told TheDC.

While not exactly effusive in his praise, Norquist was unwilling to dismiss Gingrich as a career Washington insider quick to distance himself from his own stated opinions, political allies and wives.

“Well, you never quite know how someone will govern. But I think he’s thought about it enough, and he’s done a great deal of different kinds of political managing,” Norquist said.

When asked about Gingrich’s deviations from conservative orthodoxy, Norquist, who was recently accused by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of single-handedly preventing congressional Republicans from agreeing to new tax revenues, demurred.

“There’s been flexibility there,” he said. “But the question there is whether it’s a question of growing or is it flip-flopping … and so I guess it’s a question of what principles you appear to be working your way towards. Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan would not have passed any tests on ideological consistency through their lives.”

“I think he’s a Ronald Reagan Republican,” Norquist said, sighing, when asked if he thought Gingrich to be a true believer in the conservative cause.

Turning to the GOP horse race, TheDC then asked if Norquist believed Gingrich could actually capture the Republican nomination.

“One out of three,” he replied.


Follow Will on Twitter