Economist and conservative author Thomas Sowell says voters should disregard Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s “baggage” and support the former House speaker because defeating President Obama in 2012 is crucial to America’s future.

Sowell cites Gingrich’s solid record of “concrete accomplishments,” which he argues makes him a stronger candidate than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who pushed through one of the liberal healthcare programs in the nation.

Sowell, one of the nation’s most respected conservative columnists and a senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, writes in his nationally syndicated column: “What the media call Gingrich’s ‘baggage’ concerns largely his personal life and the fact that he made a lot of money running a consulting firm after he left Congress.