“The questions keep coming. ‘And who was in charge of the body that writes the budget the last time we had a balanced budget in this country?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘Who reformed welfare?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘Who brought the Clinton administration to heel?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘Who do we need in Washington?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘Who do we need making our case on that stage in a debate against President Obama in October and November?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘Who did you see last night was the only guy on the stage that was going to be able to go toe to toe with Chicago politics?’ ‘Newt!’ ‘And who’s the Pee Dee and South Carolina going to vote for come Saturday?’ ‘Newt!’

“Gingrich’s stellar debate performance Monday night in Myrtle Beach seems to have reinvigorated him. He reviews for the crowd his response in the debate to Juan Williams’s question on race and poverty, when Gingrich said that “every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor.’

“‘All of the sudden, the audience, spontaneously, started standing and applauding,’ Gingrich reminds today’s crowd. ‘The reason I think they were doing it is we have been fed so much baloney by our liberal elites and we are so sick of people who don’t get it that I think people are just grateful to have somebody who has the courage to tell the truth.'”

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“There were signs across the state that voters were giving Mr. Gingrich a second look. The Romney campaign had negative advertisements against Mr. Gingrich at the ready, aides said, and scheduled a call with reporters on Wednesday to discuss Mr. Gingrich’s record ‘as an unreliable leader.’…

“[Santorum] referred to himself as a bold and consistent candidate to draw a contrast with Mr. Gingrich, his chief rival, whom he referred to as ‘bold, but all over the place.’

“‘This is one of the concerns that people have about Newt,’ said Mr. Santorum, who served with Mr. Gingrich in Congress. ‘He has this disconnection with reality that is very disconcerting for someone who wants to lead our country.'”

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“What you really have, then, is something like this: about 25 percent of Republican voters are in Mr. Romney’s base (incidentally, about 22 percent of Republicans nationwide voted for Mr. Romney in their party’s primaries in 2008). And about 30 percent of the Republican primary electorate is truly opposed to him…

“That leaves a swing group of about 45 percent of the vote. These voters can certainly imagine candidates that they’d prefer to Mr. Romney — but they also consider him an acceptable choice, more or less.

“What seems to have become clear is that the hypothetical candidate these voters might have preferred to Mr. Romney has not materialized.”

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“‘If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going, I would vote for Newt and I would want this to continue – more debates, more vetting of candidates, because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate who was not vetted to the degree he should have been,’ she told Hannity from her home in Alaska…

“‘I want to see this [race] continue because iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel,’ she said.”


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Via Ben Domenech. September 2, 2008:

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Click the image to watch.