National Review, a leading conservative journal, issued a stinging critique of Newt Gingrich on Wednesday, saying his character flaws make him unfit to be president and asking Republicans to “reject a hasty marriage” to the front-running candidate.

“Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself,” the editorial says of Mr. Gingrich, who served as speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. “He should be an adviser to the Republican Party, but not again its head.”

The nearly 1,200-word editorial in the current issue comes as Mr. Gingrich has moved to the top of most polls of the Republican field after a string of impressive debate performances and after other conservative candidates, like Herman Cain and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, have either pulled out of the race or lost their luster among the right.

The editorial praises Mr. Gingrich’s unexpected comeback from afterthought to front-runner: “Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.”

Continue reading on thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com