With Newt performing so well in the debates, which has translated into a primary victory in South Carolina, many of Glenn’s casual fans have wondered why he has been so thorough in his criticism of the former Speaker of the House. After all, if he can win debates in the primary then surely he can beat Obama in debates in the general election. After that, it’s smooth sailing to the White House, right? Wrong. Glenn isn’t looking for a progressive that will only be Obama-lite, he’s looking for a true conservative to actually save the country.
Early in the show, a fan who claimed to have been a long time listener wondered, “Why are your attacks on (Gingrich) so vicious and personal?” – but were they?
“Have you heard my attacks on Barack Obama and Woodrow Wilson? My attacks on Newt Gingrich are light compared to that. He's a progressive,” Glenn said.
“My problem with Newt Gingrich is he is a progressive, and I will say exactly the same thing that I say about Barack Obama. Barack Obama is a liar. And I believe Newt Gingrich is a liar,” Glenn said.
Glenn brought up Newt’s love for FDR, which is on the record, and how Gingrich has been quick to downplay that affection for progressivism in order to appeal to the conservative audience.
“We have 90 seconds of very short five second clips of him for two decades extolling FDR and the New Deal. And how it fundamentally changed America for the better,” Glenn explained.
Later in the show, Glenn went on to further explain his differences with Newt Gingrich.
“I don't have a personal vendetta against Newt Gingrich. I've never had a problem with Newt Gingrich. I've had dinner with Newt Gingrich I think a couple of times, you know, at a big, you know, reception kind of thing. I think we've had him on the show a couple of times. I've read his books. I have some of his autographed books.”
However, Glenn said he did not want to downplay his comments earlier when he said that Gingrich was a liar on his admiration for progressivism.
“I invited him on the show to show me where we went wrong. I'll give him a half hour,” Glenn said.
Stu did counter that during their interview with Newt Gingrich that the former Speaker was very clear in his belief and support of progressivism and big government.
“He told the truth about his beliefs on how to run government,” Stu said. “A bigger role than I think, that I believe in, that you believe in, that many Tea Party people believe in.”
“Why do people who are members of the Tea Party all unite and say John McCain is a nightmare? John McCain is no bigger of a progressive than Newt Gingrich is,” Glenn said.
“You can't listen to a good speech or a guy who is really, really slick at saying things,” Glenn said.
“Did we not learn from Barack Obama?”
“You've got Fannie and Freddie, you have, ‘I like Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR,’ all of them on tape for 20 years, you have healthcare, mandated healthcare for 20 years on record,” Glenn said.
“I don't have to go to his personal life. Why would I go to his personal life?” Glenn added.
Stu and Glenn both said the reason they go after Newt more than Mitt Romney is that the Glenn Beck audience understands that Romney is a big government guy, but doesn’t seem to get that with Gingrich.
“You are right on Mitt Romney. You're right. He has big government tendencies. You seem to understand that with him. Why don't you understand it with Newt Gingrich who supports many of the same policies,” Stu said.
“Mitt Romney hasn't gained any ground in four years. You would think that Mitt Romney might have some self reflection and say, why haven't I gained ground? Because the American people get it. They get it,” Glenn said.
“So there's a possibility that you were just against Barack Obama because it's their guy that is establishing the power and you don't want their guy to have that kind of power,” Glenn said.
“And it's a fine position. It's just not my position. I don't want any of them. It's not our founders' positions,” he said.
Glenn said one of the reasons the media hasn’t been talking about Newt’s progressive policies is that they can’t wait to unleash those attacks in the general election.
“You've seen it from Romney, you've seen it from Rick Santorum, you've seen it from Michele Bachmann, you've seen it from Ron Paul. They all say it, but the media hasn't. Why? Because they can't wait. It hasn't gained any traction yet.”
“Do you need to see the Republicans, the conservatives and the arguments against him when he left in shame on ethics charges? You think that's going to go over well? If you want to go in the personal life, don't even go to the personal life. Go to what was happening in the public life while he was doing it.”
“I've told you, I will go to the day I die as standing against progressivism wherever I find it. If I find it in the Republican Party, I will expose it. If you don't like that, that's fine. If you want me to excuse it from somebody, I won't do that.”
“I believe the enemy is not the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party. But progressivism. And it's not personal when I do it to Barack Obama. It's not personal when I did it to Van Jones, it's not personal when I say it about George Soros.”
“ It's not personal when I said it about John McCain or Mitt Romney or Lindsey Graham.”
“It's just the truth.”