Campaign 2012Campaign 2012

Op-Ed

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

Gingrich and Reagan

Author: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
January 25, 2012
National Review

Share

In the increasingly rough Republican campaign, no candidate has wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan more often than Newt Gingrich. "I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington," "we helped defeat the Soviet empire," and "I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress" are typical claims by the former speaker of the House.

The claims are misleading at best. As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years — and I was an assistant secretary of state — Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism. Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan's policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.

The fights over Reagan's efforts to stop Soviet expansionism in the Third World were exceptionally bitter. The battlegrounds ranged from Angola and Grenada to Afghanistan and Central America. Reagan's top team — William Casey at CIA, Cap Weinberger at DOD, and George Shultz at State — understood as he did that if Soviet expansionism could be dealt some tough blows, not only the Soviet empire but the USSR itself would face a political, technological, and financial challenge it could not meet. Few officials besides Ronald Reagan predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union entirely, but every one of us in positions of authority understood the importance of this struggle.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic

Article
Campaign 2012

Campaign 2012

The Obama Doctrine

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

Elliott Abrams argues that President Obama's recent State of the Union address settled the matter on the existence of an Obama Doctrine.

Article Author: Leslie H. Gelb
The National Interest

Leslie H. Gelb says Obama captured the political center at home on foreign policy – a feat for a Democrat – because he avoided costly...

Op-Ed

Obama and the Middle East

Author: Elliott Abrams
National Review

In the coming months after his reelection, President Obama faces a number of Middle East crises, the most pressing of which are Iran and...

Op-Ed

ĎThere You Go Againí

Author: Elliott Abrams
National Review

Jimmy Carter is at it again, says Elliott Abrams on the former president's latest vilification of Israel in a recent Al Ahram interview.