The problem with Mitt Romney is the inconsistencies in his record. The problem with Newt Gingrich is the consistency of his record.I will support either of these men against Barack Obama. Either would be better. (Quick: My new favorite website)I support Gingrich over Romney because Gingrich fights and I don’t ever have to doubt where he stands on an issue. I trust Gingrich even if I don’t agree with him.But I don’t know that I can support Gingrich. I really don’t. That is my confession. In Romney v. Newt, I support Newt. But in Newt vs. the rest?My problem is very basic.In all honesty and candor and recognizing we all fall short of the glory of God, I do not know that I can support a man who is on his third wife having cheated on his two prior wives. It is very much more the adultery than the marriages. Many of my friends have marriages that do not work out.But, if a man cannot be faithful to his vows made before God related to his marriage, how can he be faithful to the constitution he swears to God to uphold?Maybe Gingrich moving his letter from the Baptist Church to the Catholic Church made a real difference. I don’t view it as a conversion when one moves from one Christian denomination to another. But still . . . I just don’t know. Beyond his marriage, Gingrich supported Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, Harriet Miers, Dede Scozzafava, Bob Bennett, Freddie Mac, and on Glenn Beck just yesterday largely defended the individual mandate.But in all honesty, I am really hung up on the three marriages with the affairs in between. It goes directly to a man’s character in a way the others do not. Those are politics. This is something bigger. But it is, I think, reflected in his positions elsewhere on life issues, government expansion, etc.A buddy of mine on twitter, when I first raised this, noted that Obama and Carter have both had one wife, Reagan had two, and Jefferson and Franklin had mistresses. In all honesty, I don’t know what that has to do with my point. Mitt Romney is on his first wife and I’d take Gingrich over him. Sometimes marriages do not work out and we get remarried. I get it. Sometimes amoral people are good leaders. I get it.But when you’ve cheated on your first wife with your second and you’ve cheated on your second wife with your third, and your policy positions in the past decade have been all over the place, how do I first know you won’t cheat on me politically and how do I reconcile my desire for a President my kids can respect with your life?I feel guilty for feeling this way, but I just don’t know that I can support him in the primary. Over Romney? Sure. Newt won’t be nearly as devastating down ballot as Romney if things go wrong for the GOP. But over Bachmann, Huntsman, and Perry in alphabetical order?I hope for a Perry rebound. He’s on his first wife still and has the most consistent record of conservative policies. And we hate the same people and institutions. We have the same general world view.But if Perry is not ready, I have to say I may have to seriously reconsider saying I’d never, ever, never vote for Jon Huntsman. He is more consistently conservative than either Newt or Romney, more pro-life than either, and a far more competent executive than either. He and Perry also are very real and sincere family men. Jon Huntsman clearly adores his family and I have concluded, despite my own misgivings about him, that he would govern more consistently to the right of Mitt Romney than even his campaign team would have us believe.I’ll support the nominee. Any of the Republicans will be better than Obama, regardless of the number of wives.I’m just not yet at a position where I think I can look myself in the mirror and be comfortable knowing I voted for a guy on his third wife who cheated on the first two. Honestly, it is more the cheating than the number of marriages. And even after moving his letter from the Baptist to the Catholic church, it seems he may have settled down on the marital front, but he’s still cheating on conservatives.I’m having a very hard time this election trying to find a winner. I’m having a hard time trying to get used to the idea of Newt Gingrich as the guy with whom we will confront Barack Obama. The debates would be awesome. But the rest?At what point does winning so badly mean willing to risk one’s principles or one’s soul?
By Erick Erickson | 4:46 AM on December 07, 2011
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