National Review says Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachman, Ron Paul,
and Rick Perry should be excluded from consideration for the 2012 Republican nomination.
The editors of National Review must be too embarrassed to endorse Mitt Romney, because instead of actually coming out and throwing their weight behind him, they are saying no to Newt
. Their case against Newt? That he cannot win next November:
We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. [...] We will render further judgments in the weeks to come as the candidates continue to make their cases and are, just perhaps, joined by new candidates. At the moment we think it important to urge Republicans to have the good sense to reject a hasty marriage to Gingrich, which would risk dissolving in acrimony.
The editorial goes on to tear apart Gingrich's character apart piece by piece, but they aren't stopping there. The entire issue of their next magazine will be dedicated to destroying him.
And, just as importantly, Newt isn't the only one they are ruling out:
Gingrich is not the only candidate whom we believe conservatives should, regretfully, exclude from consideration for the presidency.
Who else does National Review believe should be excluded? Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul. That leaves them with four options: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, or someone who isn't yet running.
To put it another way, the candidates they think Republicans should consider are Mitt Romney (who they endorsed in 2008 and say would "make a fine president"), a pair of one-percenters (when it comes to the polls), and a magic pony (who has yet to make an appearance). I can't imagine a weaker vote of confidence in Romney, but I guess he'll take whatever he can get. After all, it doesn't matter to Mitt Romney whether he wins or his opponents lose: the result is the same either way.