Tom Coburn: Gingrich’s Leadership Was “Lacking” As Speaker
Senator Tom Coburn, who came into the House as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, isn’t exactly a fan of the guy who is credited with bringing that revolution about:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that he cannot support GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich because the former House speaker lacks leadership skills.
“I am not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich’s having served under him for four years and experienced his leadership. Because I found it lacking often times,” Coburn said on Fox News Sunday. The Oklahoma senator served in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001.
“There’s all kind of leaders, leaders that instill confidence and leaders that are somewhat abrupt, leaders that have one standard for the people that they are leading and a different standard for themselves,” he said. “I will have difficulty supporting him for president of the United States.”
Coburn in March said that he was looking for a president that would unite the country and raised questions about Gingrich’s confrontational style
Coburn’s comments are mild, though, compared to what another member of the Class of 1994, former Florida Congressman and now MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough has been saying about his former leader recently. Take a look at this clip from last Monday, for example:
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When the people who should know Gingrich’s governing style best are saying this, one wonders why he’s become such a darling of the right.
Update: Alex Kauffman also takes note of Coburn’s comments today, as well as the often forgotten circumstances that ultimately led to Gingrich’s downfall, which didn’t have to do just with the fact that he was having an affair while leading the call for Bill Clinton’s impeachment
“Coburn in March said that he was looking for a president that would unite the country”
Shouldn’t stuff like that render everything else Coburn says suspect? I mean, given his behavior, Coburn is either lying to himself or to the public when he says that.
As for Scarborough, I’ll say it again. The uncontrolled personal loathing our political elites feel for Newt is the single greatest advantage he has in this environment.
Perhaps. If that type of loathing were found only amongst the elites, then you might have a point. He might be able to leverage that, as he often tries to do with his attacks against “the media”.
But unfortunately for Newt, the loathing is far more widespread than just amongst “the elites”.
There are probably very few people who really like Newt – and the ones that do are just not paying attention. Listen again to Scarborough going through the list of heretical positions that Newt has taken on issues that are the core concerns of the real people in the GOP base, not just the elites. I have seen the GOP base turn on candidates and crucify them for holding any one of those positions – he has too many to count.
Coburn’s not alone in his disdain: Pete King: Gingrich is condescending, undisciplined, and bad for the G.O.P.
On Newt’s lack of focus and discipline:
And the most stinging (for Newt, anyway)
He got run out of town on a friggin’ rail…Coburn is pulling punches when he says his leadership was lacking at times.
Well, banging congressional aides is hard work, you know.
On the other hand, who cares about what a bunch of Eastern establishment RINOs say about Newt?
See how easy that is? Negation by faith–works every time!
““And I would say Ryan has real intellectual substance”
Rep. King does realize that he’s talking about the guy who says that Atlas Shrugged is the most important book that he’s ever read, right?
Hey, when I was 22 I felt exactly the same way.
“And I would say Ryan has real intellectual substance, unlike Newt”
There’s judgment you can trust.
@Tano: “There are probably very few people who really like Newt – and the ones that do are just not paying attention.”
I’m sorry, but isn’t that just a dressed up version of “Which candidate do I want to have a beer with?”