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."
There is hope for America!
They must not be unionized janitors, but I can't see a belief that any republicant wants to protect unions right now.
That actually says more about the credibility of the news paper than about Gingrich. This newspaper is not worth the paper it has been written on since it cannot assess lies and truth.
Wow, the owners and editor of this paper must have a REALLY short me memory. How Can ANYONE forget what newt did congress and the ethics charges that forced him to resign.
Isn't it a sad state of affairs when we have to decide not among who will do the best job as president, but who will be the least damaging to the country and the Amercian citizens...
Dumb and dumber
The morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt Gingrich? Really??? "Positive leadership" and "forward-thinking"??? This has to be a joke...
Newt Gingrich is a 2-face,low-life, flip-flopping, lying, cheating sleaze-ball SOB who married the intern he was having an affair with while he was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair with an intern. Do you really want this woman he's married to to be first lady?
Backing what amounts to "the best of the worst" is no virtue. Girgrish does more harm than good, won't compromise, and acts the bully, so what this paper sees in him as "presidential" is beyond me.
Finally, a newspaper that calls it like it is – from a field of questionable candidates, Gingrich is the best chose. Attention GOP, can you see the trees in the forest yet?
Newt, if you listen to him speak, he speaks with confidence, knowledge, and a passion for America. I have not heard any other candidate project what we need to hear and learn.
Not surprising. Newt is THE most partisan of all the candidates. While speaker of the house he stopped allowing free discussion of issues and bipartisan research. Its his way or the highway. Talk about gridlock! Of course his family issues and fee for services history will upset a lot of people, but he just acts as if all is OK and that is the past. People keep saying he is so smart. There have been a lot of smart, ruthless leaders in our world's history. I really don't want to see him in power again. Maybe he can make Tom Delay Sec of the Interior!
Not that I needed another reason not to subscribe to the Union Leader....here it is.
Oh My....they are taking him seriously?
Just goes to show that even one of several Mitt Romney's home states doesn't want him as President. The good news for Romney, Huntsman, and the others is that the Union Leader very rarely ever picks a winning nominee.
This is a joke on so many levels. First, newspaper endorsements don't have the clout they used to. Case in point – the bill to overteurn SB5, the bill that would of stripped the public employees of union representation, was roundly defeated despite endorsements from the major papers. Also, if Gringich is someone who put his agenda in motion – and look where we are now – then we are in trouble! The GOP needs to get it through its head – a candidate that simply panders to the far right wing of the GOP isn't going to win against Obama. McCain may of won except for Palin.
"is by no means the perfect candidate" but calls him "the best candidate who is actually running."
If Gingrich is the best the Republican Party can find to run for the presidency, then I am going to have to cast my vote to Obama. Sadly but true, Gingrich is probably the only candidate with enough experience to qualify for the presidency. Equally as sad is the fact that Gingrich's only interest is in making himself more money! I believe he could care less what the American people need or want! Even more sad is the fact that the other candidates are such morons.
"Are You Better Off NOW or were you Better OFF 4 years ago?"
Well, since at the end of 2008 we were LOSING 750,000 jobs a month and heading towards a second depression, Osama bin Laden was still around planning on how to destroy America, the auto industry was in freefall, and most of our allies in the world despised us......I'd say we are much better off than we were! Still a long way to go but we are finally on the right track.
Newspaper endorsements no longer mean anything. Would anyone with a brain vote for someone because of a newspaper endorsement? I believe Romney will win in New Hampshire with Gigrinch probably second. The mainstream GOP wants Romney.
The tp wants Perry and that's why they are sending Arpaio to campain for Perry. Arpaio is nothing but a loud mouth and I can't see the people of New Hampshire being influenced by anything he might say since he will be campaigning for a candidate that is dumber than a box of rocks.
This should be interesting with the mainstream GOP wanting one candidate, and the tp wanting another.
Not the "perfect candidate?"
As horrible as ALL the GOP candidates are, and as ineffective as Obama has been, NO ONE will promote a complete take-over of the government by Wall Street more vigorously than Newt Gingrich, even as Gingrich fills his large pockets with tax payer money.
The Senate is set to vote on a bill next week that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial. What we Face is the New World Order run by big banks, International Corporations with roots deep inside our government, and the Church of Satan deep inside out government.
Why does anyone need to be "better off than they were four years ago?"
This philosphy, which Ed Abbey summed up so succintly with his "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell", is going to leave us on the trash heap of history...and sooner rather than later.
We're now a country of greedy, rich, obese diabetic people...and poor people who can't afford the basics...like food or medicine.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
The Republicans need to wake up and smell the coffee! They will never win the election with "Newt at the helm"! If the right wing weren't so caught up in their religious beliefs, they would realize that Jon Huntsman has what it takes to be President.
Amazing! this newspaper is supporting a cheater, a liar, a person who was ran out of congress for ethics issues and a money hungry pig? Truely amazing!!!