The Newt-Gingrich-Pile-On debate preview

posted at 2:00 pm on December 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I’m in Des Moines today and tonight, reporting live from Drake University, where the first Republican presidential debate with Newt Gingrich as a front-runner will take place at 9 pm ET tonight on ABC.  The debate will be moderated by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, but the real question will be whether and how hard each of the other candidates will go after Gingrich in an attempt to damage his momentum.  That pattern has repeated itself with the other boomlet candidates, but the other boomlet candidates didn’t have Gingrich’s talent for debate.  Will they shy away from direct attacks tonight, and if they do attack, how will Gingrich respond?  I’ll preview the stakes for each of the candidates tonight:

  • Newt Gingrich — Welcome to the top spot, Mr. Speaker.  Gingrich might not get attacked by every candidate on the stage, but he’s going to take some heat from at least some of them, with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum the most likely to go on offense. He needs to avoid responding too harshly to their criticisms and eroding the Newt 2.0 statesmanlike image he’s successfully created in the last few months.  His command of detail and policy will make him a formidable opponent, and he’s likely to come out the winner in most exchanges tonight.  If he can focus his own attacks on Barack Obama while parrying those from his competitors on stage, he’s going to sail through the debate tonight.
  • Mitt Romney — Romney needs to slow Gingrich’s momentum, but be careful about coming off second place in an exchange with Gingrich.  Remember that Romney has bested Gingrich in a debate exchange before — the only candidate to do so — but Romney has plenty of his own vulnerabilities that Gingrich can expose, too — especially the fact that the surrogate Romney tasked with attacking Gingrich’s conservative credentials played a big role in Bush 41′s “read my lips” reversal.  I’d expect any attacks from Romney to be more oblique, focusing on his own expertise and subtly making the comparison.  Besides, it’s almost certain that other candidates will do the attacking for Romney — just as they did when Rick Perry jumped into the race, which brings us to …
  • Rick Perry — Perry has just thrown a bunch of ad money into Iowa, with the idea that he could still rally social conservatives to his side and away from Gingrich.  Perry has been terrible at delivering debate attacks, though, and engaging Gingrich could be political suicide if Perry doesn’t have absolute command of the facts.  I’d expect Perry to focus on presenting himself in a completely positive light and hope that others will pick up the attacks instead, in a sense drafting behind Romney.
  • Ron Paul — Paul won’t be intimidated by Gingrich, and it’s a certainty that he will spend time going after Gingrich on a number of fronts.  His poll numbers in Iowa have also risen, and he could benefit from any Gingrich decline, but even more than that, it’s in Paul’s nature to attack the Republican establishment.  He’ll probably go after Romney too, and perhaps everyone else on stage.  If he comes off the worst in an exchange, it won’t really matter to Paul’s supporters, nor to Paul himself.
  • Michele Bachmann — Expect Bachmann to go after Gingrich on social-conservative issues.  She’s well-versed on those, and like Perry, sees social conservatives in Iowa as the path to winning the caucuses.  If she can do so without tipping over into hyperbole and personal attacks — no more Government Needle scaremongering — Bachmann could be very effective tonight in giving social conservatives a reason to rethink Gingrich.
  • Rick Santorum — Everything that I wrote about Bachmann applies to Santorum as well, although he doesn’t have the personal connection of Bachmann to Iowa social conservatives.  Santorum doesn’t have the credibility issues that Bachmann sometimes creates for herself, but he has to deliver his attacks in more measured tones, sounding more statesmanlike than annoyed or frustrated.

Two candidates won’t appear in tonight’s debate.  Herman Cain suspended his campaign and will likely announce an endorsement in the near future.  Jon Huntsman will conduct a townhall in New Hampshire, having not met the threshold of polling support in Iowa to participate tonight.

Before tonight’s debate, several of the candidates will attend a forum sponsored by Veterans for a Strong America.  I’ll also be there, and hope to have video and first-hand reporting from the event later this afternoon.  Stay tuned.

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Tonight could very well end the ‘Gingrich is the best debater in the group’ perception as it will really be the first time he’ll be fully pressed on his policy changes. Bachmann did it a couple debates back on healthcare and we saw a flustered Gingrich, albeit a briefly flustered one at that.

Attacking the moderators earned Newt a lot of street cred, but will he be able to take the same kind of heat from his fellow Republicans? Remember, this is a guy with practically no professional strategists (not like he’d listen to them if he had any) and an ego the size of one of the heads on Mt. Rushmore. Striking a professorial tone while Bachmann goes on the attack isn’t going to define him as a leader firm on principle.

And since Newt’s only real redeeming quality is his alleged debating ability (because really, if your argument is Contract for America, lets go back and see what happened in the ensuing years under Newt), should Newt falter, we’ll see chaos in Iowa by week’s end.

Let the games begin!

Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Glenn Beck: If the Tea Party supports Gingrich its racist, because the only difference between Gingrich and Obama is race.

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I’d rather back Perry, but his debates have been hard to watch. I’ve felt my own face turning bright red (in sympathy) during some of his snafus. He will be made to look like a buffoon against Obummer, unfortunately. He probably doesn’t have time (and it may be too late), but I wish Perry would go through extensive debate training/practice so that he thinks faster on his feet.

daddysgirl on December 10, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Once the media seizes on a meme, they never let go even if other incidents occur that deviate from that meme.

Since Perry declared his candidacy, the media leaked his college records and then unleashed an attack piece titled: “Is Perry dumb” (Politico).

His debate flubs – and note this was just a line or two – and misspeaks were all used to strengthen the meme that he was hopelessly dumb.

In essence, the media defined what “smartness” was and proceeded to use their definition to label Perry as dumb.

Let us assume “dumbness” was defined based on actions instead of rhetoric or the glibness of speech, who among Perry, Romney, and Gingrich would be considered dumb?

Gingrich – he of the serial adulterer, Pelosi couch, Ryan right-wing social engineering, etc… fame.

Romney – the flip-flopper and “smart” candidate that thought he could win a nomination by disregarding 70-80% of his party members.

Would Obama be considered “smart” if his record was matched to Perry’s?

Alas, conservative voters thinking they are so smart and sophisticated have been suckered into believing that meme – and now go parroting the same line (Perry is dumb) thinking they are so smart – while the media/GOP Establishment convinces them that they have a choice in Newt or Gingrich – all establishment lackeys that will probably end up on the same ticket.

And yet Perry is the one they call dumb?

TheRightMan on December 10, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Glenn Beck is a fool and I hope lots of people drop their subscription to his nonsense. You don’t have to be a Newt supporter, but calling Newt supporters racist is outrageous. I think he is on the booze again.

andy85719 on December 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

At this point in time I am supporting Newt. I will vote for anyone except Obama. That said I wish there was someone waiting in the wings to ride to the rescue but there isn’t. I know that Sawyer and Stepinalotofit will do their best to get the candidates to go at each other. I hope that Newt sets the tone by humiliating both of them and not falling for their tricks. I liked the Huckabee debate format and wish there were more of that kind. It was informative without the theatrics of personal assaults and insults. Talking about how one candidate will do over another is just as silly as talking about a football game BEFORE it is played. The results will speak for themselves. The only one I am truly afraid of is Paul. He has extreme isolationists policies and seems to think that if we would just ignore the evil in the world then all would be fine. I can agree with some of his cost and gov. cutting ideas but his plan for national security is nutty and dangerous. I don’t believe he has truly thought through how a society of suicidal religious fanatics who don’t mind dying in their pursuit of world domination can be ignored or appeased. As to the person who thinks Newt is a war monger it might help if the world actually thinks that the US will respond to threats to us or our allies instead of not fearing the wishy washy mama’s boy we have in the WH now.

inspectorudy on December 10, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Diane & George, seriously?

Double Face-palm!

Why on earth do R’s repeatedly set themselves up this way? Why not just let Wasserman-Schultz & Reid frame the issues to be covered instead of their DNC affiliates in the MSM do the job for them?

Tell you what, if “all is fair in love, war & politics“, why not have the presidential & vice-presidential debates “moderated” by…oh, let’s just say perhaps, Mark Steyn & Mark Levin.

Why not? The F&%$ing Dems would never agree to it! So why do the Reps? Yet they persist in handing the DNC/MSM the tatical advantage of letting the enemy be the referee, and still wonder why “the calls” never seem to go their way.

If the Republican cannot recognize their idiocy in falling into this same trap time after time, how can they possibly manage take effectively take the arrayed collectivist cabal of the MSM/Unions/DNC and assorted other Obots in the general?

Man we are soooooooo ssscreeeewwwwd!

Archimedes on December 10, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

There’s something really wrong with Glenn Beck.

salem on December 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I cant support Ron Paul. He is a thief who gets elected to do nothing in Congress while siphoning off loads of pork for his district. He also hates Jews.

Flapjackmaka on December 10, 2011 at 4:14 PM

lol..

And you guys wonder why you’re losing the argument against Paul?

He’s going to win in Iowa and possibly New Hampshire and it’s because he’s ALL SUBSTANCE while you guys just call him “nuts”and that he hates Israel.

He’ll keep destroying you with facts.

fatlibertarianinokc on December 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Remember, this is a guy with practically no professional strategists (not like he’d listen to them if he had any) and an ego the size of one of the heads on Mt. Rushmore. Striking a professorial tone while Bachmann goes on the attack isn’t going to define him as a leader firm on principle.

I dont understand this. I’m sure Gingrich is prepping for debate and knows what will come. Perry had strategists and it did not really seem to help at all in debates. Bachmann is an annoying ankle nipper, and the polls and reflect that. Plus since the moderators are lefties, that will help Gingrich.

Flapjackmaka on December 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

If we werent there meddling in there business they wouldnt have any need to meddle in ours.

Live and let live.

Politricks on December 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Denmark on line two sir. Something about cartoons?

sharrukin on December 10, 2011 at 4:26 PM

He’ll keep destroying you with facts.

fatlibertarianinokc on December 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

ha ha, alright then sweetie. As his child, I guess you’re inclined to support him.

Flapjackmaka on December 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

LOVE THE PUSHBACK FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT (ROVE – CHUCK – BECK) ON NEWT.. FACT REMAINS – HE CAN LEAD AND WIN.
IM IN – ALL IN

CARRY ON….

not-ur-avragejoe on December 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Flapjackmaka on December 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I don’t think Newt “preps” for a debate. I think he’s 24/7 ready to go.

Who is John Galt on December 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

CARRY ON….

not-ur-avragejoe on December 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Dude, the CAPSLOCK key is your friend.

Crap, we still have to say this in 2011?

Who is John Galt on December 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

ha ha, alright then sweetie. As his child, I guess you’re inclined to support him.

Flapjackmaka on December 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

:)

fatlibertarianinokc on December 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos?!?!?!?!?!?!

How about Helen Thomas and lawn gnome Lenin?

This is silly. And yet, we get mad when Donald Trump is the moderator?

Yes he’s a Democrat, but at least he’s willing to admit that Obama’s a moron.

Kakalak Pundit on December 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I don’t think Newt “preps” for a debate. I think he’s 24/7 ready to go.

Who is John Galt on December 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

I think you’re right. Years of dealing with smart-azzed college kids that think they know everything must have been good training for dealing with hostile media types.

Johnny Alamo on December 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Hoping Praying Perry stands aside while the blood splatters and comes across as presidential…with no flubs!

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Glenn Beck is a fool and I hope lots of people drop their subscription to his nonsense. You don’t have to be a Newt supporter, but calling Newt supporters racist is outrageous. I think he is on the booze again.

andy85719 on December 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Why is it hard for you to understand his point?

It’s amazing the sort of crap some conservatives are willing to overlook from Gingrich that they would never countenance from Obama.

I find it funny that some cannot recognize that Romney and Gingrich are actually the least electable candidates among the bunch.

Unfortunately, some want to get on the Gingrich train because of some fantasy that he will beat Obama in the debates. What if this does not happen as fantasized?

Are Gingrich supporters ready for the barrage of negative ads against him airing his substantial dirty laundry? And don’t be fooled – no debate will wipe away the stink.

TheRightMan on December 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Mr. legend-in-his-own-mind Newt Gingrich comes across condescending and pompous in the debates? I mean, sure, he is knowledgeable, but the ability to convey some knowledge is a pretty low bar to clear for a candidate for President of the US. Next to candidates like Perry and Cain (good people who, nonetheless, are OBVIOUSLY not ready for primetime), I guess Newt Gingrich looked like an intellectual giant. Having said all that, Romney has been the most steady, impressive and presidential throughout. He doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves, while others are applauded for merely making it through the debates without falling down. If Perry gets through a debate managing to avoid saying something totally moronic, then he is treated like a winner. When Cain would follow up his “I’ll ask my advisors” answers with a folksy, humorous line, everyone swooned. Why do we have such low standards for our candidates? Can we all agree that we should be able to expect our nomimee to speak in complete sentences and be well-versed in all the major issues? Santorum and Bachmann have also been impressive.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 4:38 PM

How is this Mr. Galt..

CAPSLOCK is/was just my preferred style…You should see my handwriting….

Be good and take care

not-ur-avragejoe on December 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Glenn Beck: If the Tea Party supports Gingrich its racist, because the only difference between Gingrich and Obama is race.

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Glenn is going to have to use google earth to see the shark.

Kataklysmic on December 10, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Mr. legend-in-his-own-mind Newt Gingrich comes across condescending and pompous in the debates?
bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 4:38 PM

I think you have a good point. I still like the guy but there is a fine line between knowledgeable and confident and condescending and pompous. Newt flirts with that line. But I still love watching him slay liberal reporters.

Johnny Alamo on December 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Glenn Beck: If the Tea Party supports Gingrich its racist, because the only difference between Gingrich and Obama is race.

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Beck is nuts and has been for a while now. Then again, Beck did line up behind Romney in ’08 and went on and on about how he heard in certain circles what a great guy Mitt is.

Punchenko on December 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

“Romney has been the most steady, impressive and presidential throughout. He doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves, while others are applauded for merely making it through the debates without falling down.”
bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Those attributes are in the eyes of the beholder. He’s never been pressed with followups from the moderators. His answers have been memorized to a fault imho. The only person to put a little heat on him was Bret Baier’s interview with him on FNC. We all know how he handled that.

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Impressive: Glenn Beck out and out called Newt Gringrich a Progressive (and of course that is true):

Glenn Beck To Tea Party
http://www.therightscoop.com/glenn-beck-to-tea-party-if-you-support-newt-but-not-obama-youre-racist/

Perry 2012

bzip on December 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I think you’re right. Years of dealing with smart-azzed college kids that think they know everything must have been good training for dealing with hostile media types.

Johnny Alamo on December 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I agree – which is why he’s been so successful in deflecting any kind of pushback from the moderators thus far. But making a liberal moderator look like a schmuck and taking punches from conservative colleagues are two different ballgames. The danger is Newt believes he can brush off attacks from Bachmann and Romney (unlike Ed, I don’t think Santorum will go for the jugular, if only due to the fact they were both in DC around the same time and worked together) in the same cavalier style. Moderators don’t get 30 seconds to savage his conservative credentials. Michelle Bachmann will.

Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Not exactly. Ron Paul is trying to get at the root causes of our problems and all of our problems stem from letting government destroy our liberties.

Hogwash. A bald assertion is not an argument or a proof, just an assertion. Is abortion, murder, terrorism, etc a problem because the government destroy some liberty? You guys get sucked into to Ron Paul simplistic answers and try to use it for an answer to everything when it makes no sense.

The sole job of government is to defend liberty. If government just defends our individual rights to live, liberty and property then that’s the most free and productive society. And, yes that includes defense but it includes defense from NATIONS, not criminals. Criminals are to be stopped by local law enforcement. However, a society that wishes to police the world abroad and tell other nations how to live (in particular Muslim nations) will gradually create more enemies abroad.

So many contradictions and errors in so few sentences. “Sole job of government is to defend liberty”? What about regulate commerce and print money to name a few? “If government just defends our individual rights to live, liberty and property then that’s the most free and productive society”, but don’t you know in order to defend some of your liberty and rights they must write laws that restrict others? For example, you have the right to life, and therefore there are laws that restrict me from murdering you, right? You have to right to property and therefore there are laws that restrict me from taking what is yours, right? There are laws that prevent my liberty to scream fire in a crowded public venue, right? So why if terrorists want to kill thousands you don’t want laws that restrict some rights to prevent it? Now I don’t think Ron Paul is that inconsistent, however his internet defenders don’t even understand his beliefs in totality, all they do is repeat some talking points(e.g. Ultimate Libertry!! ) as if they are the answer to every question

And as we create more enemies, more liberty-destroying measures will be called for at home in order to deal with that threat. Ron Paul has been right about this from the start and it’s a major reason he wants to change our foreign policy – so we can preserve liberty. I’m not blaming America, anymore than you’re blaming America when YOU complain about our welfare policies.

Oh yeah, we create our enemies. Just like the Jews created the Nazis and every nation on earth that terrorist has attacked were created by them. I guess even when a murderer here in the states kill someone they created him? Sheesh. Paul should know as country that there are evil people in the world and no one has to create them. There are people that act based on their beliefs and they are not created by the victims.

In fact there’s a 1998 video of Paul warning that if we did not change our foreign policy we risk more attacks by terrorists. Something Paul Wolfowitz talked about as well. The concept of blowback is no different than the concept of “unintended consequences” of big government.
Just thought I’d explain that for those who’re willing to listen, lol.
fatlibertarianinokc on December 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Paul is too simplistic and naïve to ever be given keys to the white house. He policies are a national threat .

RonDelDon on December 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I want a fighter bluegill. Willard is not up to it. Faults and all Newt will fight. You betcha!

jimfreedom on December 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Eight Supreme Court Justices and he can’t even name them?

Perry’s done before he even steps on stage.

Rovin on December 10, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Please don’t spread this falsehood, even if it’s unintentional. The reporter who wrote the story was too dumb to know that Abington School District vs Schempp was an 8-1 decision. Perry knew this, which is why he referred to the 8 judges who decided against school prayer. If he had said 9, he would’ve been incorrect.

juliesa on December 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM

But making a liberal moderator look like a schmuck and taking punches from conservative colleagues are two different ballgames.
Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

True for the most part, it really depends on the “conservative colleague” and the contest of the punch. They also must be careful about how they attack and on what subjects. If he slams a Ron Paul nobody is really gonna care.

Johnny Alamo on December 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Context=contest doh!

Johnny Alamo on December 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

just found out, hot air doesn’t like comments via kindle fire…

darn…have to stick to the laptop

cmsinaz on December 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM

just found out, hot air doesn’t like comments via kindle fire…

darn…have to stick to the laptop

cmsinaz on December 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Weird. I do all my commenting on my android phone without problems.

Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Please don’t spread this falsehood, even if it’s unintentional. The reporter who wrote the story was too dumb to know that Abington School District vs Schempp was an 8-1 decision. Perry knew this, which is why he referred to the 8 judges who decided against school prayer. If he had said 9, he would’ve been incorrect.

juliesa on December 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM

I think you are correct. Most reporters don’t bother to dig below the surface to get all the facts. I don’t hold it against Perry that he couldn’t exactly remember the pronunciation of Justice Soto…whatever it is. 99 9/10% of the country most likely can’t name the nine Justices.

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I want a fighter bluegill. Willard is not up to it. Faults and all Newt will fight. You betcha!

A fighter is great, but I want a winner above all else. We’ll see tonight how Romney handles Gingrich. I have a feeling that Gingrich will try to play his little “I don’t want to go negative against other Republicans” routine in order to make Romney look like a bad guy. Gingrich will probably try to say something high-minded and complimentary of his opponents in an attempt to appear magnanimous. I just don’t see why conservatives would prefer Gingrich to, say, Santorum or Bachmann. Are they not fighters? If you want someone arguably more conservative (and therefore maybe more of a risk in the general election) and feistier, then what’s wrong with Santorum? Why NEWT GINGRICH?! This is madness. Do many of you have short memories? When in power, Newt Gingrich, rightly or wrongly, became one of the country’s most divisive and unpopular national figures. Newt is no more conservative (and is arguably less consistent) than Romney, and Newt lends himself to easy attacks by Democrats. I only hope that Iowans correct their mistake from 2008 (where they went for the Huckabee clown show, wounded Romney, and led the way for a McCain disaster) and vote for the conservative candidate with the best chance of beating Obama: Mitt Romney.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM

RPaulites to drop off soon…
/RC(since the beginning)

Mitt comes out swinginn or it’s over….

“Invented people” woohoo that sure stirred the beehive!

CU @ 10p

Rea1ityCheck on December 10, 2011 at 5:19 PM

vote for the conservative candidate with the best chance of beating Obama: Mitt Romney.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Romney can’t beat Obama and any suggestion otherwise has been perception-building spin by the media.

Punchenko on December 10, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Ed: I’m glad you went to the Veterans forum today, and I look forward to your report on it. Maybe you could also include something about Perry’s new veterans crew, and his videos of endorsements from vets like Marcus Luttrell and Dakota Meyer.

juliesa on December 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Mike Castle 2012!

“We’ve already decided we don’t give a crap, so let’s have fun with it!”

Kakalak Pundit on December 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM

I only hope that Iowans correct their mistake from 2008 (where they went for the Huckabee clown show, wounded Romney, and led the way for a McCain disaster) and vote for the conservative candidate with the best chance of beating Obama: Mitt Romney.
bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Is Mitt really a conservative? What has he done to earn that designation? He’d be a good nominee but not as good as a real life-long conservative. From your other posts I know you don’t support Perry but he is the only candidate who has actually governed a red state for several terms. He may surprise in Iowa.

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Those attributes are in the eyes of the beholder. He’s never been pressed with followups from the moderators. His answers have been memorized to a fault imho. The only person to put a little heat on him was Bret Baier’s interview with him on FNC. We all know how he handled that.

On the contrary, Romney has been a target in nearly all the debates. Romney’s finesse in handling all those attacks has helped him maintain that aura of untouchability. In every debate and interview I’ve seen with him, Romney has been presidential, knowledgeable, calm, reassuring and very effective in strongly going after Obama. You are just repeating the same opinions of others on here when you say that Romney did poorly in the little Bret Baier interview, when the truth is that he performed well. I watched it live. Neverthless, that was a non-event. Obviously, people are holding Romney to a different standard. Cain, Perry and Gingrich make outlandish or embarrassing flubs, and are quickly excused. If the worst you can say about Romney is that he displays a flash of annoyance at being asked the same thing over and over in virtually every interview, then I don’t think Romney has a lot to worry about.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Yes, Gingrich is intelligent. However, as much as we all want to beat Obama, we have got to be honest with ourselves. Newt’s career is the very definition of what’s wrong with Washington. Problem is, Romney is also a progressive RINO whom answers yes or no questions with a 5 page essay that essentially doesn’t commit to a yes or a no. Typical slippery politician. And the GOP doesn’t help with it’s “We must be kind to the Mocha Messiah” meme. Just a bunch of squishes that want to lay down while liberals are attacking them. I used to be excited about 2012. Now? Not so much..

Ghostflames852 on December 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Glenn Beck: If the Tea Party supports Gingrich its racist, because the only difference between Gingrich and Obama is race.

Glenn’s point (delivered in unbelievably clunky fashion) seems to be that he thinks Gingrich is a stark raving liberal like Obama, and the only difference between the two is skin color. Why he then threw himself over the falls in a barrel by taunting Tea Partiers with the ‘R’ word undercuts whatever validity his argument might have had. Vacation time, maybe?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM

I’m not repeating what others said about the Baier interview. I watched it live too and he looked annoyed and flustered. Some of his replies were outright fabrications as Bret nicely pointed out. It’s obvious Romney is plenty worried now. The Newt rocket ship is passing him by. I hope Newt runs out of fuel very soon. As you pointed out earlier, he will make a very easy target for Obama and his surrogates.
Perry 2012

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

have no problems with my android phone as well….mr cmsinaz bought a kindle fire and I thought i would be able to comment through it, but alas not so

cmsinaz on December 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Is Mitt really a conservative? What has he done to earn that designation? He’d be a good nominee but not as good as a real life-long conservative. From your other posts I know you don’t support Perry but he is the only candidate who has actually governed a red state for several terms. He may surprise in Iowa.

Romney cut spending, turned a deficit into a surplus, vetoed stem cell bill, opposed sanctuary cities, appointed conservative judges, etc…. and did this all in a very blue state, something I find more impressive than Perry’s record in a very red state. Perry couldn’t even stand up to the illegal alien amnesty lobby in his own state, even though Republicans vastly outnumber Democrats in TX. I think it’s a plus to have a candidate with the ability to attract independents and some Democrats in a general election. What’s worse for Perry is that he has shown himself to be an utterly bumbling campaigner. I was rather pro-Perry when he first got in, but after hearing him in the debates and watching him flounder while trying to convey the most basic ideas, I had to conclude that the man simply wasn’t presidential quality.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Tim Zank on December 10, 2011 at 3:26 PM

I suscribe to his weekly Goldberg File. It was there.
But, please, it is just tooo good not to share.

bluealice on December 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Can anyone tell me what percentage of the GOP voting block is “Tea Party”??

coach1228 on December 10, 2011 at 5:51 PM

So far I think Newt’s commitment to taking the high road and not attacking his fellow candidates has worked. He can get away with it, because he has the lead. While they put their focus on him, he puts his focus on Obama. And this is about defeating Obama. The people watching are worried about an Obama second term.

rjcylon on December 10, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Glen Beck: If the Tea Party supports Gingrich its racist, because the only difference between Gingrich and Obama is race.

Glenn’s point (delivered in unbelievably clunky fashion) seems to be that he thinks Gingrich is a stark raving liberal like Obama, and the only difference between the two is skin color. Why he then threw himself over the falls in a barrel by taunting Tea Partiers with the ‘R’ word undercuts whatever validity his argument might have had. Vacation time, maybe?

AND WHY I HAVE CANCELLED MY BECK SUBSCRIPTION AND WILL NOT FOLLOW HIM ANYMORE. RACE BAITER!!! UNREAL…HE IS NO BETTER THAN ALINSKY HIMSELF!!!

coach1228 on December 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

appointed conservative judges

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:42 PM

36 judicial appointments 2003-2005

9 Republicans
13 Independents
14 Democrats

Nope, I guess not even all of the Republicans he appointed were conservatives. Id be curious to see how many of the Independents would qualify as conservative, considering we are talking about Massachusetts here. And I think we can ignore Dems in this regard.

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Romney is desperate and Newt will be pressured like a quarterback that is blitzed on every down. It will be one to watch. Bring on the popcorn and soda, we are in for a saturday night slugfest.

CoolChange80 on December 10, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Perry couldn’t even stand up to the illegal alien amnesty lobby in his own state, even though Republicans vastly outnumber Democrats in TX.

bluegill on December 10, 2011 at 5:42 PM

I’m a Texan and have no idea what you are talking about? The state has spent hundreds of millions of it’s own money trying to close the border. The Feds have been awol.

If you’re referring to Texas in-state tuition law there wasn’t anyone lobbying against it. Here is a short factoid:

Law Passed In 2001 With Barely Any Opposition

In 2001, Gov. Rick Perry Signed A Law That Allowed “Tuition Equity For Undocumented Students.” According to a Higher Education Access Alliance fact sheet: “Then in 2001, Texas became one of the first states to pass tuition equity for undocumented students. The original bill goes significantly farther than Colorado ASSET by conferring residency on any student who: graduated from a public or private Texas high school or received a GED and maintained a continuous residence in Texas for the three years preceding their graduation/receipt of a GED. … When the issue came before the legislature in 2001, the House (which at the time had a 78-72 Democratic majority) voted 142-1 in favor. The Senate, with a 16-15 Republican majority, voted 27-3 to pass it. Then, Republican Governor Rick Perry signed the bill into law.” [HEAAColorado.org, accessed 10/5/11]

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

when romney was the front runner, why not the pile on mitt headline?
is there an agenda not spoken at hot air?

rik on December 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Tomorrow’s ‘common wisdom’ will be that New Newt, under attack from Romney, exhibited flashes of the “temperament” problems of Old Newt. I doubt very much that Newt will, in fact, drop his Eleventh Commandment posture or exhibit any hint of anger or tetchiness; but having observed the fall-out from previous debates and the narratives that have gained traction, that fact will matter not one iota.

It is hard to imagine a scenario in which Mitt’s loyal legions in the faux-conservative commentariat will find ample substantive bases on which to declare victory; so the focus of the post-debate spin will be on perceptions of style instead – get ready for the Newt + questions-about-his-temperament narrative and conversely for the Mittens + safe/calm/steady and (God help us) “statesmanlike” narrative…Inev(M)it(t)able!

sinkingspring on December 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

have no problems with my android phone as well….mr cmsinaz bought a kindle fire and I thought i would be able to comment through it, but alas not so

cmsinaz on December 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM

How do you like your Kindle Fire btw?

Hostile Gospel on December 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Ed: Like you, I, too, was “in Des Moines” once.

But, hang in there! It really does end eventually.

You are in my prayers.

Horace on December 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Ellie is from MA, and she would like to know if anyone actually believes that Romney would actively support gutting ObamaCare? “RomneyCare” is his only claim to fame from his one term as governor in MA. His signature piece. If he runs against Obama and calls for major changes in ObamaCare, he’s admitting that he didn’t accomplish anything of value as governor.

elliesmom on December 10, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Ellie is from MA, and she would like to know if anyone actually believes that Romney would actively support gutting ObamaCare? “RomneyCare” is his only claim to fame from his one term as governor in MA. His signature piece. If he runs against Obama and calls for major changes in ObamaCare, he’s admitting that he didn’t accomplish anything of value as governor. elliesmom on December 10, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Romney inherited a deficit and ran surpluses each of his 4 years. And he significantly lowered the unemployment rate. Did someone pay you to come here and lie?

http://www.aboutmittromney.com/economic.htm

Basilsbest on December 10, 2011 at 6:32 PM

I hope Perry doesn’t attack Gingrich tonight.
If Gingrich gets the nod, he’d make the best VP pick of the bunch — for the same reason Susana Martinez would.

I simply do not trust Romney, and the other candidates tend to let us see them sweat.

fjb3795 on December 10, 2011 at 6:34 PM

GOP Debate sponsored by ABC “News,” local ABC affiliate WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register, Yahoo and the Republican Party of Iowa
TIME: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m Eastern time tonight
LOCATION: Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, Des Moines
CANDIDATES: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mittens Romney and Rick Santorum.
SPINMEISTERS: ABC “News” anchors Diane “Republicans are Nazis” Sawyer and George “Obamatron” Stephanopoulos
WATCH: ABC-TV (check your local listings)
LIVE STREAM: http://www.DesMoinesRegister.com/caucus

PREDICTIONS:

All questions will be “gotcha” questions along the lines of “When did you stop beating your wife?”

Read more http://hillbuzz.org/

Green eyed Lady on December 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM

when romney was the front runner, why not the pile on mitt headline?
is there an agenda not spoken at hot air? rik on December 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

The bias became obvious about 3 weeks ago. The folks who run Hot Air think the ultimate Washington insider, Freddie Mac Gingrich, can beat Obama

Basilsbest on December 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Green eyed Lady on December 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Mittens Romney? You forgot Freddie Mac Gingrich.

Basilsbest on December 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

More inside info on Freddie Mac Gingrich

Basilsbest on December 10, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Freddie Mac Gingrich

Now that is a moniker for the times!

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:02 PM

More inside info on Freddie Mac Gingrich

Basilsbest, how do you convert a url to the format you posted?

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Basilsbest, how do you convert a url to the format you posted?

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:07 PM

With the link button.

Type some words.
Highlight them.
Hit the link button.
Paste the URL into the box overwriting the http://.

Done.

sharrukin on December 10, 2011 at 7:10 PM

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Use the “link” button (Above the dialogue panel, b/t “emphasis” and “quote”.

Paste URL into box

Type text you would like to appear as link

Use “/link” button to close link.

JohnGalt23 on December 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Thanks!

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:14 PM

How did Newt get to the top of the polls anyhow? Let’s see, he didn’t spend his time attacking other potential Republican nominee’s, and even going so far to say any one of them would be better than Obama (a point I agree with, however I think Ronald McDonald would be better than Obama).

What did he spend his time doing? Oh yea, talking about what a failure Obama has been as President.

I’m just not a fan of Republicans making DNC commercials for the general election. Especially if that Republican has little chance of being our nominee. But the voters have yet to decide that yet.

Hog Wild on December 10, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Alas, conservative voters thinking they are so smart and sophisticated have been suckered into believing that meme – and now go parroting the same line (Perry is dumb) thinking they are so smart – while the media/GOP Establishment convinces them that they have a choice in Newt or Gingrich – all establishment lackeys that will probably end up on the same ticket.

And yet Perry is the one they call dumb?

TheRightMan on December 10, 2011 at 4:18 PM

On the contrary. I’m not calling Perry dumb, at all. I think he is the best in the field. Unfortunately, the perception is that people who cannot think fast on their feet (and I’m one of them) aren’t as smart as the glib talkers. I’m nervous enough this time around to put my conservative principles aside just to get the current admin out. I’d vote for Perry in a heartbeat if I thought he wouldn’t get completely creamed by Obummer and the LSM. That’s not saying he’s “dumb”, just that the majority of voters don’t pay much attention to the elections and don’t do their homework on the candidates before voting. All they will see is the debate and make their decision based on that. It’s sad but that’s the way it is…..hmmm, sounds like that’s what I’m doing…..must think about this. I may have just talked myself out of Newt…again.

I’M SO CONFUSED! :-(

daddysgirl on December 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

GOP Debate

Green eyed Lady on December 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Mitt Romney was so unpopular in MA that he declined to run for a second term. If he had created a Massachusetts utopia, why did he exit stage right without even trying to keep his corner office? The truth is that MA lagged behind the rest of the US in reducing unemployment and most other economic indicators. From the Boston Globe and Northeastern University. Do you live in MA, Basilsbest? Were you an adult in 2002? After Weld, Cellucci, and Swift, we were all hoping Romney was going to be a competent Republican. Instead he left the field wide open for Deval Patrick.

elliesmom on December 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM

An excellent debate moment that will not happen:
After some smart aleck comment by Stephanopoulos it would be great to see one of the Republicans remind Stephanopoulos of his campaign-saving interview of Obama during the 2008 election process in which he corrected Obama immediately after Obama said “my muslim religion.” Best would be for Newt to use that to come to the rescue of one of the other candidates. My guess is that no one will go there, not tonight or any time before next November’s election.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 10, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Stephanopoulos will make it clear tonight who the Dems want to run against based on who gets the most pertinent gotcha questions.

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 7:57 PM

PERRY 2012!!!

purgatory on December 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Hey Rocky III is on!

Daemonocracy on December 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM

PERRY 2012!!!

purgatory on December 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Second the motion!

PatrickHenry599 on December 10, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Gingrich throws a haymaker!

BKennedy on December 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Newt did just fine, even with that question about presidents being faithful to their wives. I know everything is on the table, but that is in rather poor taste even for ABC. Perry didn’t have any depth in his comments at all, and could only stare into the camera, forget his train of thought and link everything to what he’s done in Texas. Mitt did ok, until he solidly linked himself to Wall St, not ever having a ‘poor’ moment(what a stupid question), and creating a pretzel out of passing a mini Ocare in Mass. Bachmann did great and the other Rick was ok. RP is still the crazy uncle in the closet even tho he hits a few outta the park every now and then.

Kissmygrits on December 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

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