COMMENTARY | Newt Gingrich is a slippery character (no pun intended). Despite his extramarital affairs and sometimes offbeat ideas, he has remained a political force over time. In the 1990s he was the Republican Speaker of the House and recently returned from relative obscurity to become, at one point, the leading 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Despite losing the GOP presidential nomination to Mitt Romney, Gingrich has remained a political force as co-host of CNN’s Crossfire, no doubt buoyed there by his controversial, but often praised, ideas. From proposing a lunar colony to suggesting that kids be required to clean their school classrooms, Newt thinks outside the box.
Now, however, Newt may have gotten himself into a cauldron. According to CNN, the Crossfire co-host has angrily tweeted that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry should resign after telling college students in Jakarta, Indonesia that global warming was one of the world’s most serious problems. This is ironic given Newt’s proposed moon colony: Why is a pro-science, pro-technology innovator trashing established science? It’s hard to reconcile that the same man who thought science, technology, and economic production could be boosted by an ambitious moon mission disbelieves the widely-accepted science behind global warming.
And to call on a Secretary of State to resign after insisting that the man is delusional? That’s pretty strong. To call a man espousing established science as delusional mars all of Newt’s previous offbeat suggestions, making the former Speaker of the House appear more of an agitator and less of an innovator. I used to like Newt because he was an outside-the-box Republican…but now I think he’s outside of too many boxes.
What remains to be seen is whether or not Newt will press the issue, truly believes what he suggests in his tweets, or is simply stirring the pot to bolster his own ratings. Coming from a shrewd operator like Newt, I would not discount the latter option. Could Newt be gunning for future office, hoping for a last gasp in the spotlight? He did, after all, propose that lunar colony for his second term in office, which would have begun on January 20, 2017. Is Newt Gingrich stirring the pot to test for a dark horse 2016 candidacy?
According to the Huffington Post, he hasn’t said no.