It’s hard to find an establishment Republican not cowering under the bed in fear of a Newt Gingrich nomination these days. Newspapers and magazines have once again turned on the former House Speaker they first turned in the late 1990s when they drummed him out of Congress, and pundits on TV are starting to sound the alarm.
All except one man: Rudy Giuliani. The ex-America’s Mayor and 9/11 name-dropper made the rounds on Gingrich’s behalf once again this morning, part of a week-long campaign to build up Gingrich against Mitt Romney. But, really, Romney seems to be Guiliani’s actual goal. He’s still smarting from the 2008 campaign, which collapsed spectacularly under attacks from guys like Romney.
On Fox and Friends Thursday, Giuliani pointed to his past run-in with Romney as one of the reasons he’s saying such nice things about Gingrich now. Romney’s negative attacks against Gingrich, Giuliani said, are causing some flashbacks to the frozen Iowa tundra of 2007.
“It reminds me of what Mitt did in ‘08. He attacked me, he attacked McCain, he attacked Huckabee. Whoever was out front, Mitt would attack — sometimes personal attacks, sometimes these ads about family and all this other stuff. So I think this could be hurting him. This is a Republican primary, they don’t want to see a Republican savaging another Republican.”
Indeed, in the Fox and Friends appearance, Giuliani was basically arguing for anybody but Romney, rather than just saying something nice about Gingrich. “I don’t see why Newt can’t get elected,” he told the hosts, as transcribed by Mediaite. “[But] I wish Perry and Santorum would have more of a chance.”
Anti-Mitt is probably just as helpful to Gingrich as pro-Newt is. There’s really no Republican pundit on TV lately save for Giuliani who’s attacking the idea that Romney’s more electable than Gingrich, which is the key message of Romney’s campaign lately and the main reason all the establishment types are lining up behind him.
On Morning Joe Thursday, Giuliani pushed back on the idea yet again.
“I think Newt has his set of vulnerabilities, but I think Newt has a much more consistent position as a conservative with some real exceptions like Ronald Reagan had,” Guiliani said.
Then he tried to calm down the terrified conservative establishment.
“Maybe I’m also reacting to everybody coming after Newt,” Guiliani said. “I mean, it’s like getting ridiculous now. Like the guy’s some kind of monster. He’s not. I worked with him.”
Here’s some video, posted by Christian Heinze: