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Posted by on Feb 5, 2012 in Politics | 3 comments

Dick Armey: Gingrich Taking “Second Rate Campaign and Turning it Into a First Rate Vendetta”

Armey and Gingrich in not necessarily happier times..

How much work does former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have to win over conservatives and Tea Party members as a viable Anti-Romney option? I’d say a ton of work:

Freedom Works chairman and former Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) blasted Newt Gingrich for his continued tough attacks on Mitt Romney saying Gingrich was carrying out a vendetta against the Republican frontrunner.

Armey said that Gingrich’s criticisms of Romney were not helpful for either the GOP in November or Gingrich’s own campaign during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “I feel bad for him. I think he’s digressed into a state of taking a second-rate campaign and turning it into a first-rate vendetta,” said Armey

And there’s more:

“He’s putting himself out of the game, because he can’t get over his obsession over his own hurt feelings over the campaign in Iowa,” Armey added. “He needs to get beyond that and get to the nation’s people’s business if he expects to have any chance whatsoever.”

Gingrich has harshly attacked Romney, claiming his GOP rival is a “Massachusetts moderate” and is running a “dishonest” campaign.

Armey, who reportedly didn’t have the happiest relationship with Gingrich when he was in Congress, then about summed up with man of both parties now feel about Gingrich — who went from the old Gingrich, to successfully rebranding himself as the New Gingrich, which he then obliterated so he is back to the Old Gingrich:

“I thought that last night was really said for him,” said Armey about Gingrich’s Saturday speech. “Quite frankly again so much of Newt’s whole life is overstated, he overstates the case in such a hyperbolic fashion, it just looks vindictive.”

Gingrich apparently likes to apply the word “Churchillean” to himself.

But since when does anyone associate teenage angst in an full adult (grandfather) or melodramatic behavior with the name “Churchill?” Some of Gingrich’s charges about Romney do have merit — but has now rebranded himself in an exceedingly self-destructive way.

UPDATE: Some thoughts from Doug Mataconis:

I doubt that anyone is really surprised that things have taken this turn with Gingrich, least of all a guy like Armey who worked close to him for years and saw everything up close. After all, this is the same guy who got into a budget fight with Bill Clinton in 1995 partly because he was pissed off over being asked to sit in the back of Air Force One on the way back from Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral. Is anyone really all that surprised that he’s acting out like this now? Personally, I’ve been waiting for the Gingrich meltdown ever since he started rising in the polls back in December. Former Congressman Joe Scarbough but it best on his MSNBC show one morning that month when he said that Gingrich is one of those people who, as soon as they start making it to the top, inevitably find a way to destroy themselves. Now, with two major losses in a row and the prospective of two more chances to come in third place on Tuesday, combined with fundraising issues and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum hitting him from both sides, it’s not at all surprised to see Gingrich returning to old form. Perhaps the only good news for Gingrich at this point is that here aren’t any debates scheduled until February 22nd because right now he’d be just as likely to embarrass himself even more as he would to redeem whatever is left of his campaign.

I’m not sure how much longer Gingrich will continue this charade. Probably has long as Shelly Adelson (or is that Mrs. Adelson) lets him. If it goes all the way to Texas on April 3rd, though, we’re in for yet more of this kind of nonsense, because it’s quite clear that this is how Gingrich reacts to losing. Thanks to an aggressive campaign in Iowa, and again in Florida, and last night’s victory in Nevada, Mitt Romney is now living rent free inside Newt Gingrich’s head, and it’s causing him to self-destruct right before our eyes. We’re already seeing signs in Colorado and Minnesota that conservatives are getting turned off by Newt, especially when compared to Rick Santorum who, whatever you might say about him at least comes across as a likeable human being. If Gingrich continues with this meltdown, then there might not be much left of him by the time the campaign gets to Texas.