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Colluding with the Clenis: Dick Armey and Evangelicals Have the Long Knives Out for Newt

I’ve always been stunned at the hubris of Newt Gingrich and his perpetual presidential runs. For someone who is always touted in the media as a wonkish intellectual, Newt seemed incapable of reading a poll. He’s always had incredibly high negatives, not just among Democrats, but across the board.  Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann may be out-of-step with main stream values and opinions, but people on the extreme right revere them.  And those are the people who populate campaign offices, lick stamps, get on the phones, canvas, donate and run GOTV operations.  That makes Palin and Bachmann potential players in 2012, regardless of their electability.  Not so Newt.

As Sarah Posner reports today, the long knives are out for Newt among evangelicals.  Marvin Olasky, publisher of the evangelical World magazine, writes a long article about Newt’s infidelities, accusing him of the ultimate heresy — colluding with the Clenis:

In the course of a long interview last fall, he [Armey] told me that President Bill Clinton “found out about the Gingrich affair and called Newt over to the White House for a private meeting between the two of them.” Armey argued that Clinton pressured Gingrich to go easy on that year’s impeachment drive “or I’ll start telling your story.” He claimed the two leaders “had many meetings that we didn’t know about where they’d drink wine and smoke cigars and talk about their girlfriends.”

When Gingrich’s press secretary complained about Armey’s statement, I told him WORLD would be glad to print a rebuttal. The Gingrich aide didn’t pursue it, and at the time it didn’t seem important to probe any further the character of Newt Gingrich, private citizen. All that changed when Gingrich announced his campaign for the presidency on May 11.

So Dick Armey, the House Majority Leader during Newt’s tenure as Speaker, plants one right between Newt’s shoulder blades.  Ouch.

Well, Newt was at the White House for a private meeting with Clinton on October 28, 1997, ostensibly to discuss collaborating on Erskine Bowles’ plan to “save” Social Security, as the photo above documents. News of the Lewinsky affair didn’t break until January of 1998.

Sarah says, “I can’t believe they’re blaming Callista and not Dick Armey.”  I agree.  The Good Ship Newt was doomed to sink. Ironic that they blame the wife.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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