Newt Gingrich – whose candidacy for president last year was helped enormously by a billionaire supporter – condemned a new effort to support more viable Republican candidates as “a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates.”
The former House speaker, who benefited as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate from the super PAC Winning Our Future, lashed out against Karl Rove, the former Bush political guru and founder of several Republican super PACs, on Wednesday for his effort to bounce GOP primary candidates who might fare poorly in a general election.
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Gingrich wrote in the conservative publication Human Events:
I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states. This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots small town conservatism.
No one person is smart enough nor do they have the moral right to buy nominations across the country.
That is the system of Tammany Hall and the Chicago machine. It should be repugnant to every conservative and every Republican.
Chris Keane / Reuters
Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks at a rally on the night of the New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware primaries in Concord, North Carolina April 24, 2012.
The former House speaker joined a series of conservatives to pile on Rove’s Conservative Victory Project, a new initiative associated with the super PAC American Crossroads to ensure more electable congressional candidates. Rove’s effort is meant to discourage GOP voters from nominating candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, the candidates for Senate in Missouri and Indiana, respectively, who lost races that many Republicans regarded as more easily winnable.
Of course, Gingrich was the beneficiary of billionaire largess, too. Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-based casino magnate, and his wife, Miriam, donated a total of $20 million to the pro-Newt super PAC Winning Our Future last year, according to Federal Election Commission records.