Newt made a very good point about his earlier support for an individual mandate when it came to health care: The Heritage Foundation, as reputable a conservative think tank as one can find, actually thought the idea was a good one. Then, as Newt did, it backed off when it realized the ramifications:
Scott Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma: “Mr. Speaker, you speak passionately about first principles and small government — smaller government, yet you supported individual mandates for health insurance….Why should limited government conservatives like me trust that a President Gingrich will not advance these sorts of big government approaches when you are president?”
Newt Gingrich: “Well…the original individual mandate originally was developed by [the] Heritage Foundation and others as a method to block Hillarycare in 1993, and virtually all of us who were conservatives came to the conclusion that, in fact, it was more dangerous and more difficult to implement, and guaranteed that politics and politicians would define health care. And that’s why virtually every conservative has, in fact, left that kind of a model.”
Speaking of Newt, was I the only one who was delighted with his response when Nancy Pelosi threatened to reveal secrets? Rather than cowering, he said (a) bring it on and (b) I’m going to ream you for violating ethics rules. And then she backed down. This is why conservatives like Newt. He’s not afraid of the establishment. He may be a fruitcake, but he’s our warrior fruitcake!