Conservative National Review singles out Gingrich for 'anti-endorsement'
December 14th, 2011
10:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Conservative National Review singles out Gingrich for 'anti-endorsement'

(CNN) – An influential conservative magazine announced its “anti-endorsement” on Wednesday, urging voters to exclude a handful of Republican presidential candidates from their consideration.

The editorial board of National Review most strongly came out against former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who’s quickly seized the top spot in the GOP presidential horserace.

While the editors admitted Gingrich has made an “amazing comeback,” given his uncommon marriage history and near-death campaign experience earlier this year, they insisted his narrative as a nominee would be more damaging than productive for the Republican Party.

“If he is the nominee, a campaign that should be about whether the country will continue on the path to social democracy would inevitably become to a large extent a referendum on Gingrich instead,” the article states.

The editors cited what they considered a number of character flaws for Gingrich while he was speaker - “his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas” - and argued they have little reason to believe he has changed.

“Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican party, but not again its head,” they wrote.

The editors also discouraged voters from choosing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who they say seems “persistently unable to bring gravity to the national stage.” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul also made the list of unwanted candidates.

Instead, National Review suggested voters take a second look at Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who’s struggled to make big gains in national polls. The magazine rates him as someone with a “solid record” despite his “apparent inability, so far, to forge a connection with conservative voters outside Utah.”

In the last election cycle, the magazine endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and again offered support for the candidate this time around, saying “he would make a fine president.” But it ceded that “time and ceaseless effort have not yet overcome conservative voters’ skepticism about the liberal aspects of his record.”

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also won the magazine’s support. The editors praised his experience as a legislator, serving two terms in the Senate in addition to two terms in the House of Representatives.

But in the end, the magazine pushed readers to ask themselves which candidate would most likely defeat Obama and concluded with one final swing at Gingrich.

“At the moment we think it important to urge Republicans to have the good sense to reject a hasty marriage to Gingrich, which would risk dissolving in acrimony,” the editors wrote.

- CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Thinker

    While I like Huntsman, I think they made a mistake discounting Paul.

    December 14, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. TimZ

    You're a mean one, Newt the Grinch!

    December 14, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. Always Skeptical

    The GOP is runnin' skeeerd.....Newt 2012!

    December 14, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Conservative National Review singles out Gingrich for 'anti-endorsement'◄

    FACT CHECK – Misleading!!

    Okay – the title is misleading – the group is not only against the GRINCH – they're against EVERY candidate except Huntsman. I was ready to gang up on the GRINCH before reading the entire article and it's a "Huntsman" endorsement. CNN has a way of "misleading" the readers – well then again, those readers who do not READ!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 14, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. Jariv

    Romney is the real solution. We need him to lead this country to success.

    December 14, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    The Review needs to stop trying to tell the voters who they should vote for.

    I heartily reject their comments, as pure BS.

    December 14, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Wow, this is a surprise. They are using some rational thinking there. That is a surprise to me. I am sure that Gingrich is going to cancel his subscription if he every had one.

    December 14, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. Thomas

    “anti-endorsement” Those are hard to get !

    Newt is Special !

    December 14, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Larry L

    The Conservative Review = another right-wing rag sponsored by the Koch brothers. Gingrich is a dishonest piece of dung. But what do the other members of the Republican circus have to offer besides ridiculous solutions to distorted problems. We now have a one-party option for 2012.

    December 14, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Steven Evans

    Shame on the neocons at National Review for not endorsing a "real conservitive" RON PAUL. Newt has no place even being an adviser. Who wants or needs bad advice from a flip flop jackass like Newt. He would get us right into another war. Id vote for Obama first, and would rather run a toothpick under all of my fingernails than that.

    December 14, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    I agree 100% its either romney or Huntsman.

    December 14, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. bp

    I believed until recently that Obama was toast when it came to winning re-election in 2012. Then came Gingrinch's recent rise. If he gets the GOP nomination, then it's a Democratic landslide next year and I will have lost my capacity to be amazed to the dysfunction of the GOP.

    December 15, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. Nobody special

    Jon Huntsman is the only person on the GOP side I'd entertain voting for. Otherwise, I'm perfectly OK with 4 more years.

    December 15, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. Dan J

    The Conservative Review wants people to take a second look at Jon Huntsman. Proof that all republicans aren't crazy.

    December 15, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  15. it is sad

    If this group was honest with its members, it would have to ask people to take a good look at Obama because of his family values, his defense of the nation. Despite wanting to paint the president as a baby killing machine, you see that his supported the Sec of HHS in not allowing girls under the age of 17 having access to the morning after pill without a perscription. His ethics are by far better then Newt could ever hope for and Mitt;s are at the very best questionalbe.

    December 15, 2011 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  16. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Pass the popcorn.

    December 15, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  17. Bill in Florida

    So the Conservative National Review also dismisses Ron Paul! Do you hear that RP supporters? This isn't the "liberal media" (which is anything but liberal) dissing your guy; it's his own party.

    December 15, 2011 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  18. Max

    Can't govern himself

    It is so obvious that Gingrich has no self control, no self govern and a very poor value system. Simply take a good look at his attitude towards the institution of marriage. He kicks marriage around like a kid kicking around a football ball. He has been in and out of marriages as if it's a game.

    How on earth can republicans chose this infidel as it's model and leader. Are we that blind as to recognize that Gingrich can't even lead himself, more or less to lead this great country of ours?

    “Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself" The National Review's board is right on. We need to consciously decide if we want someone as out-of-control as Newt to be our nominee. He is just not disciplined and controlled enough. He can't even govern his own behavior.

    December 15, 2011 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So the National Review is "supporting" a candidate who got kicked out of office in his home state for being too out of touch with the voters (Santorum) but is favoring Huntsman? I am sorry, but ever since William F. Buckley passed away, the editorial staff of this magazine has plummeted in their intellectual acumen.

    December 15, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  20. sick of republican phonies

    Got that, republican stooges? Your "leaders" are giving you your orders...

    December 15, 2011 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  21. HenryB

    Eating their own, I tell you, eating their own. Exposing each other for what they really are. Endorsing Mitt Romney? Please! The Republican Party better get its ideological act together and become sane again.

    December 15, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  22. Cfrench

    My god, there are intelligent republicans after all. National Review has stated what has been obvious to democrats and independants since the whole republican circus began, maybe that's what the teatards and bible bangers need. Hopefully they'll pay no attention and keep Gingrich as their man.

    December 15, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. Keith in Austin

    Funny how Liberal CNN being the polar opposite of The National Review, singles out this particular article to derail the GOP front-runner, Newt Gingrich! Why not quote one of the litany of articles written over the last 3 years calling attention to the host of Obama's failed policies and miserable record just once? NOT going to happen, right! Almost comical but then again, America knows where your true colors are and they're always shades of BLUE!

    December 15, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Marie MD

    @libslie i hope you are reading this story and stepping away from the faux news brainwashing you receive every day.
    The newterman cheated on two wives. Who is the lying scum now? Even the $250m flip flopping Mormon has been married for over 40 years.
    I will help the President again in 2012 just as I did in 2008 to make sure your teapublikan party stays the heck out of my backyard.
    I don't know which city or state you are from but you sound very southern and clueless. Chicago is a great city!!!

    December 15, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. Clwyd

    Wow, there are actually smart conservatives? To me they all sound absolutely stupid!

    December 15, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |