By Robert Schlesinger |
If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues in the Republican primaries, not only is he doing more good than harm, he may be the only candidate left who can save the Republican Party.
The Republican establishment is bound and determined that it is going to impose a Mitt Romney on us. Conservatives do not want former Gov. Mitt Romney.
You see, we have danced this dance before. We had Sen. John McCain shoved down our throats in 2008. How did that work out for us? We have George W. Bush, who barely won his races, and before that we had former Sen. Bob Dole, who blew it, and George H.W. Bush, who could not win re-election against an unknown governor from Arkansas!
We conservatives have had it.
The conservative and Tea Party bloc of the Republican Party supports Newt Gingrich.
We conservatives held our noses and voted for John McCain in 2008. That did it for us. We are not doing it in 2012. The Tea Party overwhelmingly supports Gingrich over Romney. One exit poll showed Gingrich getting 45 percent of the Tea Party vote versus 14 percent for Romney.
Gingrich is the only one in the race who has a chance of uniting the Republican Party. If Romney wins the nomination, a quarter and a half of the Tea Party voters say they will not vote him in the general election. That is a ticket to defeat.
By staying in the race, Newt holds out the possibility of saving the Republican Party. With a significant number of conservatives willing sit out the presidential race if our choice is between a liberal Republican and a liberal Democrat, that make the race unwinnable for Romney. More ominous for the GOP is talk in some conservative circles of a third party. Mitt Romney can make that happen. Newt Gingrich, by staying in, delays and possibly prevents the Republican Party from fracturing into two parties.
About Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation
Doug Heye Former Communications Director for the Republican National Committee
Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference
Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia