Newt Gingrich Is No Reagan

Peggy Noonan says there's a 'wound' in the Republican party
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 8:46 AM CST
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the Florida Republican Presidential debate January 26, 2012 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.   (Getty Images/AFP)
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(Newser) – Republicans are in the midst of "the most volatile and tumultuous presidential primary race of our lifetimes," and it's exposed an "age-old split between the grassroots and the perceived GOP establishment," writes Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal. "Actually, it's more a wound." The only person to ever heal that wound was Ronald Reagan, and so naturally, Reagan has become an issue, with Newt Gingrich claiming to be the Gipper's successor. He's not, Noonan assures us.

"Reagan was a constructive figure, not destructive," she writes. "If Newt is the donkey who knocked down the barn, Reagan's the guy who'd build it." Gingrich's claims that he helped Reagan beat the Soviets are just wrong—he was in Congress, but not a leader, and spoke against Reagan as often as not. He became a Reagan acolyte only after Reagan was cemented as an icon. "He is an entrepreneur; it was where the business was." Click to read her entire column.

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