The editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader said Sunday that his paper endorsed Newt Gingrich for Republican presidential nominee because, "We need a candidate that is bold in his leadership, that has a vision for where he wants to take the country and knows how to get there."
In an interview with Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union, Cline contrasted this to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who his paper saw as "somebody who plays it very safe" (video follows with partial transcript):
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: I want you to read between the lines for me a little bit when you wrote, “We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear. Sounds to me like a slam on Mitt Romney.
ANDREW CLINE, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: Well, I don’t know that I’d call it a slam, and I don’t know that I would leave it just to Mitt Romney. But, you know, you have to look at all the candidates that are running, and examine them very closely, and listen very carefully to what they’re telling you. And, in our assessment, if you were to balance it between Romney and Gingrich, Romney is a very play it safe candidate. He doesn’t want to offend everybody or anybody. He wants to be liked, he wants to try to reach out and be very safe, reach out to everybody, bring everybody on board. And, that’s “A,” not very realistic. But imagine what that would be like as president, somebody who plays it very safe. I don’t think we’re in the kind of situation right now as a country that that’s necessarily the right kind of president at the moment. Perhaps in the late 19th century, perfect. Right now, we’re in a lot of trouble in this country. We need a candidate that is bold in his leadership, that has a vision for where he wants to take the country and knows how to get there. Those two things are very important.
When Crowley asked about electability, Cline responded, “I don’t think you can look at this particular moment, this little snapshot in polling and conclude therefore that a year from now Mitt Romney will be more electable than Newt Gingrich. I think that’s a very false assumption.”
In response to where Gingrich was in the polls a few months back, Cline said, “We consider the candidate overall. We don’t just look at the poll numbers, and I think this isn’t a game where we’re trying to win the primary so we can have a record of x number of wins. I mean, we don’t look at it that way. We’re not trying to attach our name to a winner. I mean, that’s not really leading. That would do our readers a very big disservice. I mean, we’re looking at who we would like to see as president."