Listers, Newt Gingrich‘s rise in the Republican primary has brought a spotlight to the Catholic candidate. As always, Gingrich is a controversial figure, not only because of his droll wit, but also because his lengthy political experience is only match by his lengthy list of personal controversies.
Politics aside, many would love to watch a true debate between the rhetoric and flare of Obama and the calm caustic anecdotes of Newt.
Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States in April of 2008 was a turning point for me. The Holy Father presided over solemn vespers with the U.S. bishops in the Crypt Church at the basilica in Washington. Callista’s choir was asked to sing for Pope Benedict at vespers, and as a spouse, I had the unique opportunity to attend the papal visit and was deeply moved by the occasion.
For nine years, I watched Callista take Communion and could see the power of the Eucharist in her life.
Callista’s view had always been that she was glad that I came to church with her. She has a deep need to be at Mass every week and sing at the basilica. That’s part of her service. She would occasionally say to me that “the Church is available.” That’s as hard as she would push. She didn’t try to twist my arm.
In terms of substance, Newt far exceeds the monotonous droning of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 mantra, and the Texan “let’s shoot all the bureaucrats” solutions proposed by Rick Perry. He’s got a real grasp of all the issues, as opposed to Ron Paul’s tunnel-vision. And people view Newt as a cheerful warrior who can crack jokes and point out the absurdity of the left, in many of the ways that Rick Santorum does not or chooses not to. Michele Bachmann has had her day, Jon Hunstman will never have his because he’s done precisely nothing to earn it. Mitt Romney, as polished as he is, has managed to turn off more voters in running for the nomination than he has won. There’s more reasons to explain why Romney hasn’t caught on and why it’s still doubtful to me that he ever will.
Along the way, Gingrich has become a wealthy man, earning $2.5 million in personal income last year, according to his financial disclosure form. The tab for private chauffeurs, primarily to ferry Gingrich and his wife, reached $200,000 to $300,000 per year, the source said.
Is he a millionaire who grasps the problems of the ordinary voter and proposes viable solutions? This question is important. According to Pew, 57 percent of voters said that Obama is “in touch with people like them,” while 39 percent of voters said this of McCain.
CNN: Conservatives & Gingrich’s Immigration Plan
NYT: Gingrich the “conservative alternative” to Romney?
FOX VIDEO: Newt Gingrich Explains Global Warming, Immigration Reform, and More.
LA Times: Gingrich & Obama on Immigration and the Latino Vote
NPR: Gingrich & His History of Clashing with the RIGHT