The reaction to Gingrich's choice is all you need to know about why Pawlenty — known for his big-tent philosophy and preference for broadening the GOP — didn't want to be left out in the cold by bringing Scozzafava in.
Gingrich's troubles started when he answered a question at a book-signing last week, taped and posted on YouTube by a tea party activist. Gingrich said it is a mistake to support Hoffman when Scozzafava has a better chance of winning the general election and added, "If we give the seat to the Democrats, shame on us."
But the backlash has begun and now well-known voices in the GOP are openly bashing the Newt-ster, according to this story.
An early supporter of the tea party organizers, Gingrich even noted a few months back that a third party could soon break off from the GOP if Republicans didn't apologize for their big-spending ways. He said last week on C-SPAN that he and his wife Callista will consider the landscape in early 2011 and decide to launch a presidential campaign if his country calls on him.
"If there's a requirement as citizens that we run, I suspect we probably will. And if there's not a requirement, if other people have filled the vacuum, I suspect we won't," Gingrich said.
Now that those comments are being mocked by tea partiers and establishment figures alike, it's likely the vacuum will be filled. Watch for Newt's pivot from this very thorny corner.
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