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."
Newts appearence is not the issue, the issue is this union is endorsing a Candidate whos politicle parties very policy is to eliminate (Unions) if I were a member of that Union I would question the real motives behind such an endrsment
No newts is good newts.
bilk7, great answer to are you Better OFF NOW!!!
Wait until his wife starts getting air time, she is a hybred of a Stepford wife and the bride of Frankenstein.
Looking at these comments, most of which are idiotic, its no wonder we are so far off course as a country.
chickenhawk cowards love power
Right. You couldn't beat Obama with a war hero so you send in a clown?
What a sad time for this country when an honorable, truly family-values man like President Obama is derided daily and a man like Gingrich is even considered for the office.
NH people, WAKE UP!
Newt – I don't even have enough respect for you to call you "Mister." What did your second (or was it third wife, I can't remember which) say to you from her hospital bed when you served her with divorce papers so that you could marry your next wife? What was it she said again? Can you remind us, huh? You self-serving egomaniac.
Obama has been an utter failure. Unemployement is still over 9% when he promised no higher than 8%....... 3 years ago. Promised to have us out of Iraq 2 years ago, escalated the war in Afghanistan to no avail. SolyndraGate, Fast and FuriousGate, HellCareGate, StimulusGate. Newt would be so much better than this complete failure we have now.
Do your research people! 84 ethics violstions were brought against Gingrich by the Democrats(duh) and 83 were dropped for lack of evidence! It was just a political smear attempt by the Democrats. And number 84 was dismissed by the IRS. So quit bringing up this worn out old argument.
As the right wing little tin god once said, "Bring em on!"
One endorsement for the poster child for moral hypocrisy.
someone please explain to me why this is the top news. A couple of guys from some newspaper I've never heard of like Gingrich and CNN makes a parade for them?
So the Republican base hates Romney so much they'll actually endorse this morally bankrupt, criminal mess instead? Why are we wasting money and time with a presidential election? Just give it to Obama.
When the debates first began Newt Gingrich wasn't given a chance. As things progressed it became clear that Gingrich was far ahead of the other candidates on the issues. One thing that stands out is that he worked with Bill Clinton in 1996 to bring in a balanced budget as speaker of the House. A real accomplishment. Forget his past, the man is a formidable candidate and would make a great President.
good call , hoffa
36 years later NH Union Leaders gets it right again.
With Newt in the White House we get his third wife for first lady but with Mitt, being Mormon there is potential to have a first second and third first lady.
I think Newt is the best of the lot. (though that is a relatively easy feat to accomplish)
No worries, no one reads the "Useless Leader" in New Hampshire anyway. Most of their stories are half baked attempts to cover a story they lifted from WMUR.
Finally an INTELLIGENT, experienced, patriotic candidate, rather than an Obama "emperor without clothes" dummy. But if you liberals prefer another 4 disastrous years with an "athletic black man," as some idiot wrote here would be "preferred," then you people deserve all the misery you're gonna get!
David Bonior (a jealous liberal Democrat) brought 75 charges against Newt – and 74 of them were found to have NO MERIT WHATSOEVER. The last charge, whether Newt funded his college class "Renewing American Civilization" properly, was too complicated a tax issue for the committee to investigate on its own, so they brought in an outside tax expert to investigate. Two charges arose out of this investigation.
The first 'charge' from the ethics committee is that he "may have" violated tax law by using tax-deductible contributions from nonprofit organizations to teach an allegedly partisan college course. Wow, is that thew best you Democrats can do? really?
Mr. Gingrich is, as this endorser writes, the most qualified of the media-appointed candidates. Unfortunately, Gary Johnson was not allowed a place at the table of corrupt media largesse, unlike the incompetents at the debates. Roemer, Huntsman, even Santorum or Daniels had a chance to take back the country from tyranny of the commercial elites as well, although Johnson is my guy; Gingrich has none. Perhaps that's the point?