Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - New Hampshire's largest newspaper has endorsed Newt Gingrich for the Republican presidential nomination.
The New Hampshire Union Leader's Sunday editorial says the former House speaker "is by no means the perfect candidate" but calls him "the best candidate who is actually running."
"Republican voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running," writes the paper's publisher, Joe McQuaid. "In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times."
The Union Leader is the state's largest paper and its endorsement carries heft both locally and on a national scale, where it is seen as a bellwether for the nation's first primary. New Hampshire voters head to the polls Jan. 10.
The paper's backing of Gingrich could help the former House speaker position himself as an alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a state where Romney has long been considered the front-runner. He hovers around 40% in recent polls, while Gingrich surged to 14% in a Suffolk University poll conducted November 16-20.
In an interview on CNN, Union Leader editor page editor Andrew Cline said the paper narrowed down the candidates to a choice between Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Cline said the paper picked Gingrich because he had the political experience to enact much of his platform.
Cline said the board gave "a fresh start" to its consideration of Romney, who has long been a favorite to win New Hampshire’s primary, but who has been repeatedly challenged by the Union Leader's editorial page.
“Romney's a guy who wants to be liked,” Cline said. “He's a politician who wants to be liked. Gingrich is a politician who wants to be respected, who wants to actually accomplish - he has an agenda that he wants to set in place.
"I'm really not sure precisely what we get out of a President Romney who might very well be a good president, but we don't really know," Cline added. "So given the choice between the candidate who wants to be liked and the candidate who wants to be respected, we would rather have the guy who wants to be respected.”
In the editorial, McQuaid praises Gingrich's "forward-thinking strategy" and the "positive leadership" he showed as House speaker.
"A lot of candidates say they're going to improve Washington," he writes. "Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again."
The conservative Union Leader editorial page has a history of passing over the front-runner in its selections. The paper endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980, Deleware Gov. Pete DuPont in 1988, Reagan aide Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996, businessman Steve Forbes in 2000, and Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008.
On CNN's "State of the Union," Cline said electability wasn't the only factor in selecting a candidate to endorse.
"We consider the candidate overall," Cline said. "I mean we don't just look at the poll numbers. This isn't a game where we're trying to win the primary so we can have a record of X-number of wins. We don't look at it that way. We are not trying to attach our name to a winner. That's not really leading. That would do our readers a very big disservice. We're looking at who we would like to see as president."
Newt's physical appearance reminds me of the cartoon characters of the rich that were printed back in the 1930s. I wonder how voters will choose between this pudgy old white man debating an athletic looking black man. Back during the first televised presidential debate in 1960 Kennedy's charisma against Nixon's sour look won over voters. There isn't a single GOP candidate that would be able to beat Obama. Unless it's Huntsman and he's too liberal for the out of control rabid right.
Sorry, but no one named Newt is credible to lead the US. What's next, a Skeeter or T-bone? Not happening.
They still have newspapers? It's amusing how the "time heals all wounds" theory comes into play here. Newt is just like his name... a slimy little creature slithering on the ground. http://www.realchange.org/gingrich.htm
You mean he is the best candidate in a pittiful field of GOP idiots, none of which stand a prayer of a chance in the general election.
That's what the paper really means.
As good a reason as any to cancel a subscription.
Gingrich just gave Romney,Perry and Bachmann a lesson in politics in the last few weeks and proved that brains are a good asset to have when you run for POTUS. Gingrich also proves that hard right turns will take you off the the road to nomination. The hard right and ultra conservative is not wanted by the majority and will never win the Republican nomination, but Romney,Perry and Bachmann will not learn the lesson, they would rather attack the President and front running Republican
Well, next we will hear he will be running on family values and unity! The man is a has been and not very good at that. I would vote for a dog catcher before voting for this dude!
Yes, Gingrich is the best candidate. Not for the reasons cited by the Union Leader, but because his candidacy will virtually guarantee an Obama victory.
Will all his wives be first lady?
Total BS!! lying lobbist, immoral, money grubbing crapola!!
Sounds like the kiss of death.
Oh H _ _ _ _ Sh_ _! Joe McQuaid and Newt Gingrich have been in bed together for decades and every time he has ran, McQuaid endorsed him to one extent or another. All you have to do is go look up the previous campaign records.
Gingrich will never ascend to the presidency because of his well-known patterns while in Congress for decades now. It's just not going to happen.
It doesn't matter what or who backs this baffoon as he is a cheater and will not win the support of the conservatives in the "Party of Nothing and No One" because of his immigration stance!
IIt's getting interesting. GOP voters may have to choose between a serial philanderer and a Mormon! LOL
Have you all gone mad ? GINGRICH ! well i will have to do my part and never ever get the UNION LEADER ! RON PAUL is the FLAG ! THE PEOPLE of New Hampshire know that black and White of the Union Leader is for Big Government but the People know there Pride is with RON PAUL 2012
Just read about a group that's going to shadow Newt with a bus to expose his hypocrisy! Visit Facebook and search for Scarlet Letter Express.
No this is bullcrap how can you claim a candidate "isn't running" when they clearly are?
If a candidate is an official candidate YOU OWE THEM FAIRNESS.
If a candidate keeps winning straw polls (Ron Paul) YOU OWE THEM AND THEIR SUPPORTERS proper coverage.
One of these days, CNN, one of these days...
How about a report on media bias?
Finally someone is talking sense. Newt is not perfect but God knows "Waffle-House-Romey" is the last headhead this contry need at this very difficult time.
They for got to say that Newt Gingrich Is the biggest Crook out of all that Running. Just How many time does this man have to rip the American People off be for you see this guy for what he Is a Crook. He was Force to resign when he was speaker of the House Of Congress on 84 Ethics charges.
Are You Better Off NOW or were you Better OFF 4 years ago, Ask 14 million unemployed people who had jobs before wefare obama. Ask 200,000 small bankrupt business before small business destroyer obama, Vote the black wanna be dictaor out and Save America for your kids.
this guy is the total detriment of this nation, just like Reagan. He does not know as to what he is saying on immigration. o.k, you want to fill all illegals????enough....of this nonsense. You want to go for jobs to India and China...no way...
I like Gingrich......when hes not lying thru his teeth !!
No illegals in this country! No adulterers as president!
Good thing this paper mostly endorses losers – I was getting afraid. I guess character issues don't matter any longer. What everyone should remember is that character is what everyone uses in making decisions, such as asking your wife for a divorce while she is in the hospital for cancer treatment. That might be a real tarnished character flaw right there. That is the reason my Repub husband said he would never vote for Newt.
This is all propaganda. CNN & this newspaper are puppets for the new world order. Gingrich is the ultimate insider. His ideas reflects the banksters, the military war machine and the corrupt leaders across the US that have been bought by the blood special interest. if he is elected we will continue to put our men in harm's way. The New World order is intent on declaring war on Syria and Iran for the purpose of benefiting the large defense contractors like Haliburton and the banks like GOldman Sachs who we have to borrow money from to fund these wars. We are more than 15 trillion dollars in debt, our nation is quicking becoming a third world nation with poverty escalating like never before, moree US soldiers are dying at record pace and are being replaced by illegals from Mexico that don't pay Social Security, get free healthcare, free education and much much more all while citizens of the US continue to sink further in debt.