Dr. Savage, host of "The Savage Nation" radio program, wrote on his website that the Republican presidential contest has boiled down to two contenders, Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — and only one of them has a fighting chance at capturing the White House.
"Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a chance of defeating Barack Obama," wrote Savage, "and there is nothing more important than that for future health, safety and security of the United States of America. Therefore, I am offering Newt Gingrich one million dollars to drop out of the presidential race for the sake of the nation."
Asserting that the "most pressing issue before America today" is the defeat of Barack Obama, Savage contended that Gingrich is unelectable, and that Romney — although not "as strong a conservative as many would like him to be" — is the only candidate capable of defeating Obama. Honing in on Gingrich’s personal ethics and his questionable record in public office, the San Francisco radio host laid out his case on his website (writing in all caps):
- When he was Speaker of the House, Gingrich failed to deliver on his so-called Contract with America
- He made ads with Nancy Pelosi promoting the false theory of global warming.
- He’s in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens.
- He’s taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the most corrupt financial institutions in history.
- He’s cheated on two wives and left both of them while they were both seriously ill, which will destroy his chances among female voters.
- He called the Republican plan to reform Medicare "right wing social engineering."
- In a presidential debate against Obama, regardless of how well he does, on television, he will come off badly compared to Obama and look like nothing more than what he is: "A fat, old, white man."
Savage has given the former Speaker 72 hours to accept his offer. "If Newt Gingrich really loves this country as much as he says he does, if he really wants what is best for America, he will set his ego aside, call me, and accept my offer," Savage averred. "His continued candidacy spells nothing but ruin for conservatives, Republicans, and all true American patriots. One million dollars in exchange for preserving the nation, Newt. I say take the money… and don’t run."
Considering the onslaught of heated criticism from many influential right-wing pundits, one might question why so many so-called Republicans are siding with Mr. Gingrich, as much of his political record and personal life stand diametrically opposed to general conservative principles.
Conservative columnist and commentator Ann Coulter railed against Gingrich in a December 7 column:
Gingrich has spent his years since [his first year as Speaker of the House] having an affair, divorcing his second wife and making money by being the consummate Washington insider — trading on access, taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac and palling around with Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Al Sharpton….
Newt Gingrich is the "anti-Establishment" candidate only if "the Establishment" is defined as "anyone who remembers what happened the day before yesterday."
Conservative columnist George Will scrutinized the former Speaker’s shameless dabbling in political cronyism, writing in a December 2 Washington Post column, "There is almost artistic vulgarity in Gingrich’s unrepented role as a hired larynx for interests profiting from such government follies as ethanol and cheap mortgages." And in another Post column, Charles Krauthammer asserted that "Gingrich has a self-regard so immense that it rivals Obama’s — but, unlike Obama’s, is untamed by self-discipline."
All in all, GOP presidential polls seem to be in stark contrast with popular opinion among prominent conservative voices.
Although the mere possibility of Gingrich actually accepting Savage’s $1-million offer is beyond enigmatic — and, arguably, is more a publicity stunt than anything — the offer in itself has posed a seemingly toxic political statement that relays a vibrant message to the conservative base: Newt Gingrich is not the conservative he may have you think he is.