I am on record as no Newt fan, but I must say that the events of the last few days, ABC news, and I have been a little unfair to him.
Let’s start with ABC News. Newt is on record acknowledging his previous infidelities and has stated that he repents of his actions and he asked God to forgive him. There is no news in this. I heard reporter Brian Ross acknowledging in an interview that the comments of an [angry] ex-wife must be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, so why air them? She makes the comments that break no news other than to add salaciousness and supposed newness to old facts. She says it. Newt denies it. Now we have a he said/she said situation and there is no way any one of can ever know the truth. To air such a thing from a grieved source when it contains no new information for which to judge Newt the candidate is the very definition of a hit piece. No light, and not very much heat either. It is unprofessional and rather despicable for ABC to air it.
Let me clear that I think that Newt’s acknowledged past personal life is fair game for consideration. He may have asked God to forgive him and that is well and good, but it is relevant for determining trustworthiness and judgement. The fact is that like me, Newt is a sinner. Thing is, I have asked God to forgive me certain sins but it doesn’t mean I am not still tempted and might be able to resist some time in the future. Sin is like that. Anyway, I think it is fair to weight this in judgement for/against Newt. That said, this story did not give me one piece of usable information that can help me further analyze the candidate. It was a smear, pure and simple.
Since this seems to be the only piece of ‘news’ to come out of the interview, I think I was unfair to call for him to drop out over this. I assumed there would be more (perhaps because I don’t like Newt the candidate) and I jumped the gun. I was wrong to do so.
All that said, I think that Newt’s temperament, judgement, and intellectual flightiness make him a very risky proposition as a candidate and as a president. Would he be a million times better than Obama, you betcha. Do I think he the best we can choose from now? No.
But it is up to Newt to make the case and he should not drop out because of this interview. It is still a hard sell for me.