Dr. Sowell: pick Newt over Mitt

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Economist and conservative author Thomas Sowell says voters should disregard Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's "baggage" and support the former House speaker because defeating President Obama in 2012 is crucial to America's future.

Sowell cites Gingrich's solid record of "concrete accomplishments," which he argues makes him a stronger candidate than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who pushed through one of the liberal healthcare programs in the nation.

Sowell, one of the nation's most respected conservative columnists and a senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, writes in his nationally syndicated column: "What the media call Gingrich's 'baggage' concerns largely his personal life and the fact that he made a lot of money running a consulting firm after he left Congress.

"But how much weight should we give to this stuff when we are talking about the future of the nation?"

Sowell points to Obama's economic policies, which have taken the country down a path that has "led Western European nations to the brink of financial disaster."

He also cites a foreign policy that has "pulled the rug" out from under America's allies while seeking to "cozy up" to our enemies, and says the failure to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons development could have consequences "beyond our worst imagining."

"Against this background, how much does Newt Gingrich's personal life matter?" Sowell asks.

Voters should recognize Gingrich's "concrete accomplishments" when he was House speaker - the first Republican takeover of the House in 40 years, welfare reform, and the first balanced budget in 40 years, Sowell says.

The real question, he observes, is whether Gingrich is better than Obama - and better than "smooth talker" Mitt Romney.

He concludes: "Those who want to concentrate on the baggage in Newt Gingrich's past, rather than on the nation's future, should remember what Winston Churchill said: 'If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.' If that means a second term for Barack Obama, then it means we've lost, big time."

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