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Romney: Gingrich Lacks "Sobriety and Temperance"

By Jed Bickman 12/15/11

There's no evidence that Newt's an alcoholic. But Romney's rhetoric hints it heavily.

A sober, temperate candidate Photo via

While members of Newt Gingrich's own staff are happy to describe him as a "sociopath," no known evidence has him down as an alcoholic. But politicians are rarely ready to let the truth stand in the way of a possible advantage, and hints about Newt Gingrich’s sobriety or lack of it are now dogging him on the campaign trail. Yesterday, Mitt Romney  repeated a line of attack used in Saturday's debate, contrasting his rival's "zany" personality with the idea that "A leader needs to be someone of sobriety and stability and patience and temperance." The attempt to tar Newt with the "alcoholic" brush is clear. Presumably he should be more like Mitt, with his ability to mobilize language most of America hasn’t used since the 1950s. The claim that Newt Gingrich lacks the “temperance” to be president seems to be linked to his embrace of AA-style rhetoric and spirituality.

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Jed Bickman is a journalist and copywriter living in the greater New York City area. He is the associate editor at The New Press. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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