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GOP 2012: Perry dropping out; Newt’s scorched-earth karma; and a Final Four debate; Update: Perry endorses “visionary” Newt

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 19, 2012 09:43 AM


Photoshop: Reader Jimmy D.

Phew. So, it turns out:

Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucus.

Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife, Marianne, is getting her revenge. Live by scorched-earth. Die by scorched-earth, eh, Newt?

And Rick Perry is reportedly set to drop out today — removing another body from another GOP debate tonight in South Carolina and freeing up more time for more liberal media bashing, potential Romney gaffes, Ron Paul foreign policy screeds.

Looks like he is set to follow RedState founder Erick Erickson’s advice and endorse Newt:

While closer to Perry than Romney on some points, Perry campaigned on reducing the size and scope of Washington, privatizing social security, and fixing entitlements. Endorsing Santorum may leave Perry in good stead with his fellow evangelicals, but it would fly in the face of the limited government principles he outlines both on the campaign trail and in his national bestseller Fed Up!

Then there is the man who wrote the introduction to Fed Up!, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

I’m willing to bet that among activists in Texas, Newt Gingrich is more popular than Romney. His message has been rather consistent to Perry’s, including a man on a mission to gut Washington, D.C. While Gingrich lacks Perry’s limited government bona fides, he is the only other candidate in the race emphasizing that business as usual in Washington is not acceptable if the nation we love is going to survive – as Gingrich wrote in his introduction: “Devolving power out of Washington is critical to our long-term survival.” And that’s the truth.

But Erickson wrote the truth back in 2009, when he expressed deep-seated grass-roots conservative discontent and distrust of Newt:

Newt endorsing Scozzafava aligns him with Markos Moulitsas who declared Dede the most liberal candidate in the race.

That aligns Newt with ACORN, which has twice endorsed Dede.

That aligns Newt with Planned Parenthood and NARAL, active supporters of Dede.

That aligns Newt with the SEIU, the AFL-CIO, and a host of other left wing interest groups including the gay marriage lobby.

Today Newt Gingrich stands athwart history and pees on the legacy of 1994, where it is no longer about principles, ideas, ideals, and integrity, but the raw acquisition of power for the sake of power. He aligns with a candidate to the left of the Democrat.

The GOP will not take back power until it repents of its sins that caused it to lose power. And chief among those sins was the abandonment of principle for the sake of power. But when a political party stands for nothing, it fails to stand.

At least we can thank Newt today for declaring himself out of the 2012 race. Or, should he stay in, conservatives at least no longer have to feel under any obligation to stick with him, since he makes clear in NY-23 as he did in MD-01 that he feels under no obligation to stick with conservatives.

Here is the awful GOP conundrum. We have a liberal Northeastern Republican front-runner, Mitt Romney, who can’t articulate conservative principles. And we have a Beltway insider with massive moral baggage, Newt Gingrich, who believes he’s above living conservative principles. Via Hot Air:

[Ex-wife Marianne Gingrich] kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. “‘I can’t handle a Jaguar right now.’ He said that many times. ‘All I want is a Chevrolet.’”

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

“It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”

Noseplugs, anyone?

***

Perry post-mortem: I see that Team Perry is already blaming “fringe” pundits for exercising inordinate influence on voters.

Newsflash: Perry did himself in. All by himself.

***

Should be quite a Final Four debate tonight. Will the Non-Romneys focus more on each other? Or the lib CNN moderators? More SuperPAC-a-palooza whining? Submit your debate questions here.

***

Update 11am Eastern Rick Perry announces suspension of his campaign. Throws endorsement, as expected, to Newt Gingrich. Absolves him for not being “perfect” and preaches redemption ahead of Marianne Gingrich “open marriage” interview with ABC News.

Perry: Newt is a “visionary” who can “transform our country.”

How about less transformation and more restoration?

Perry’s last words: “I have just begun to fight” for conservatism.

Good to know.

And now…Rick Perry can now make Washington more inconsequential in Americans’ lives — by making it more inconsequential in his.

***

Flashback video via Drudge Report: Perry slams marital cheaters. “If you cheat on your wife, you’ll cheat on your business partner:”

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