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NUGENT: Tale of the GOP tape

It’s Newt or Mitt - take your pick

- - Monday, January 30, 2012

Here is how I see the GOP primary race shaping up: This is by no means an endorsement of any of the four GOP candidates. I am impressed with each of them for a variety of reasons and adamantly believe that any one of them would be monstrously superior to President Obama, who has charted a course for the destruction of America as we know it.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has excellent oratory skills and would give Mr. Obama fits in a debate. Mr. Gingrich is also a deep thinker who has proposed and continues to advance ideas that are not heard of or widely endorsed in the swamps of Washington. This is all very good. Newt and his ideas are exactly what the capital needs if we are going to turn America around. Newt is a polarizing figure who many moderate Americans and even some conservatives may be hesitant to support. There is, however, time to turn that perception around but it will be hard since many feel that Newt's die has already been cast.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has an impressive record in the private sector, something none of the other GOP candidates or the president can match. This alone makes him attractive to those of us who realize the engine of America is indeed the private sector, not Fedzilla. In addition to serving as a GOP governor in a heavily democratic state, he ran the Olympics and is not a Washington insider. The governor could also give the president fits as he would draw deep contrasts between the private sector and the president's addiction to expansive government. Mr. Romney's problem is that some conservatives do not believe he has been a tried-and-true conservative. He also seems to lack fire and often appears stiff and scripted.

Rick Santorum was elected to the House and the Senate in the heavily democratic state of Pennsylvania by beating Democrats. That rocks. He is a principled social and fiscal conservative with a resume that sings to many Americans who are suspicious of Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney. Mr. Santorum also has ideas that run counter to Mr. Obama's addiction to big government. The senator's problem is that he has little name recognition among the GOP or other Americans, is running a distant third in the GOP race, and will not get the GOP nomination.

Rep. Ron Paul is wonderfully addicted to freedom and liberty, believes Fedzilla has swollen to an unsustainable and unconstitutional size, is a strong advocate of the 10th Amendment and returning power to the states, and is the only candidate that routinely speaks about the national debt and other fiscal matters. That gets my attention. Mr. Paul appears to have the most passionate base of any of the four. Many Americans, however, are suspicious of his international policies and disagree with his stance on the legalization of dope. Hell would freeze over before he would win the GOP nomination.

It's down to either Newt or Mitt. Both are good men. What GOP primary voters need to decide is which one of these good men has the best chance of beating Mr. Obama in November. Due to the circumstances America finds itself in, defeating Mr. Obama is the first order of business. And then the really hard work begins.

Ted Nugent is an American rock 'n' roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of "Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" and "God, Guns & Rock 'N' Roll" (Regnery Publishing).