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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Huckabee Out of the Race, Gingrich in Controversy

ABC's "The Note" reports:

Mike Huckabee is out, Newt Gingrich is in (and continuing to diss Paul Ryan's budget plan), Donald Trump has to decide soon if he’s going for another season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” or for the White House, Mitt Romney's dialing for dollars in Las Vegas and political activists in Iowa and New Hampshire are at odds over the importance of their respective nominating contests.

No sooner did Huckabee announce this weekend that he would be staying out of the fight for the Republican presidential nomination than the jockeying for his supporters began. His no-go decision takes out the frontrunner in Iowa and South Carolina making those already wide-open contests even more unpredictable.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made the first overtures to voters who might have backed Huckabee in a statement released just minutes after the former Arkansas governor’s dramatic Fox News announcement ("All the factors say go, but my heart says no”) Saturday night.


[Gingrich's] personal life is a problem for Evangelical and other social conservatives. But, his bigger problem is that his identity as the "big ideas" guy for the party has been eclipsed by a young House member named Paul Ryan. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, set the policy table for the GOP this year -- not Newt.

And, yesterday in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Newt batted down Ryan’s plan, calling it “right wing social engineering.”

“I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said when asked about the proposal, adding that it represented “radical change.”

Gingrich's departure from conventional conservatism is nothing new.