Newt Gingrich: Big Spender

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Gingrich's Conservative Problem

Gingrich's big spending track record is just one more thing in a long list of complaints about Gingrich from the right. As the former speaker is relentlessly attacked over the coming days and weeks, the most devastating line of attack in a Republican primary may be that he is insufficiently conservative and that GOP primary voters may want a conservative alternative to Romney.

Current House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who has been careful not to take sides in the Republican primary, was asked by Politico's Mike Allen about Gingrich.

"I'm not sure he's as conservative as some people think he is," Boehner responded.

Like many Republicans who have been around since the 1990s, Boehner has a long, tortured history with Gingrich. His response, however, is the latest indication that Gingrich has a big problem that goes beyond his personal life, his famous lack of discipline or what presidential rival Mitt Romney described as his "zany" ideas: Many conservatives just don't trust him.

Boehner did add that although Gingrich is not as conservative as most people think, he is a conservative. Then, asked if Gingrich would be a good president, Boehner ducked the question.

"Boehner's recalcitrance underscores the reason Gingrich was not the first card flipped, but the fourth, in conservatives' search for a better hand," said Gary Langer, President of Langer & Associates.

The list of conservatives aggressively opposed to the prospect of a President Gingrich goes on:

The National Review published a scathing editorial Wednesday against Gingrich because of his "impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not conservative) ideas."

"Each week we see the same traits that weakened Republicans from 1995 through 1998," the magazine's editors wrote. "Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican Party, but not again its head."

Glenn Beck has been ranting against Gingrich for days, suggesting that he is no better than Barack Obama. Another right wing personality, radio show host Michael Savage, went so far as to offer Gingrich $1 million to drop out of the race.

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