Gingrich ad: Only I can win debates with media, Obama, and beat Obama in general election

posted at 1:30 pm on January 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This isn’t a terribly new ad for Newt Gingrich; in fact, its title is “Decision Time in South Carolina,” but it’s only four days old and contains the Gingrich argument in a nutshell for Florida and the rest of the primary.  The Corner calls it a good ad even if one doesn’t agree with the argument, but perhaps that’s, er, debatable too:

There is only one candidate who can debate Barack Obama and win, stand up to the news media and win, and run against Barack Obama and win. His name is Newt.

Let’s take these premises one at a time. First, despite Gingrich’s optimism on this point, Obama will not agree to seven 3-hour “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates with Gingrich, or anyone else, either.  It’s fascinating to contemplate, but Obama will probably only accept two 2-hour debates, three at the most, in the general election, and only in the traditional media-moderated format.  Why would he agree to do anything different than George Bush did in 2004 and 2000, or Bill Clinton in 1996 and 1992?  And while Gingrich would still out-debate Obama in those formats, so too would Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney.  Obama’s not really that good at debates; John McCain was just worse at them.

On “winning” debates with the media, that’s even more of a fantasy.  Gingrich certainly would win with conservatives, but the media will take those kinds of attacks and turn them into either (a) pandering or (b) paranoia.  It will be fun to watch for conservatives, and it might produce a few surprises, but it’s more likely to add to Gingrich’s negatives among the general electorate than improve them.  And his negatives are pronounced even among Republicans, as today’s Rasmussen poll in Florida shows even while he leads.

I agree with his final argument, though.  With the economy in as bad a shape as it is — and with perceptions of it still driving the election — Gingrich has a good chance of beating Obama.  However, so does Mitt Romney, and current polling (taken well before South Carolina, though) shows Romney more likely to do so than Gingrich, and even Rick Santorum could probably beat Obama.  That actually argues against the debates having much of an impact on the election in this cycle.  This election will be a referendum on Obama much more than a love affair with a Republican alternative, so a couple of debates probably won’t have much impact at all.  If the economy stays poor this year, voters will want to give Obama the heave-ho.  The best chance for victory would probably come with a candidate who can keep their negatives from overwhelming the Obama-referendum focus, and Gingrich might be the least likely of the three to accomplish that.


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I still think Willard will win FL for some reason

liberal4life on January 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Is it a touchy feely thing? lobotomy4life
I really have to show you to my friends! No one will believe me!
(Show ‘n tell- Adult edition)

KOOLAID2 on January 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that if Newt is the nominee, then it’s quite certain that Ron Paul – to whom Newt has been a political nemesis for decades – will decide to run as a 3rd party candidate? Making Obama’s re-election a certainty?

Newt being in the race was the only reason why Paul has never ruled out a 3rd party run so far.

Obama will mop the floor with Newt on the debates anyway. Newt’s confrontational style will be adored by conservatives and horrify anyone else.

The idea that angry, nasty and confrontational is the way to beat Obama is laughable. It’s quite telling that it’s so prominent amongst conservatives these days. Talk-show radio ruined the conservatives collective IQ.

joana on January 23, 2012 at 1:44 PM

First of all, Mark Levin has threatened to destroy Rand Paul’s political career (will actively recruit and primary Rand Paul) if Ron Paul runs 3rd party this year. I think Ron Paul will heed that threat.

Secondly, have you heard Obama off teleprompter? He mutters and stutters and says foolish things. He could dazzle and amaze people with pretty talk in 2008 because he didn’t have a record. He has a record now. Are you so out of touch that you don’t know the average American LOATHES this guy? I think they are lying to the pollsters in the favorable/unfavorable polling. They don’t want to appear to be “racists”. In the privacy of the voting booth, Americans can’t wait to vote this guy out of office.

We are at 1980 all over again. A baffoon in the oval office about to be runover by something called an election.

karenhasfreedom on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The only reason Newt has had a chance in this election is anti-Mormon bigotry within the Republican base.

If Mitt Romney were a Catholic/Baptist/Evangelical – this election would be sown up already as he would have won the first 3 contests running away.

joncoltonis on January 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Nonsense. If Romney would show some spirit and some sense that he recognizes that the house is on fire and the foundation is crumbling, he’d be doing a lot better. He reminds too many of why Dole and McCain lost to inferior candidates.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Reagan had the fundamentals on his side both times.

He used debates to refute the two arguments Democrats used against him: that he was crazy in 1980, and that he was too old in 1984.

Gingrich hasn’t shown that he can be that charming.

Mister Mets on January 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

..and Reagan did not have to face an MSM so much in the tank for a POTUS before like they are for Obama. They will rip Newter to shreds.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

karenhasfreedom on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Richard Epstein has the best description:

Obama’s not an intellectual. He’s simply adept at affecting the mannerisms of an intellectual.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM

They will rip Newter to shreds.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

And Newt is the only one who has what it takes to make that an issue – a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE.

It’s about time someone ran against the major media.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Richard Epstein has the best description:

Obama’s not an intellectual. He’s simply adept at affecting the mannerisms of an intellectual.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM

+1000

Just Sayin on January 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Gingrich hasn’t shown that he can be that charming.

Mister Mets on January 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

The time for charm has been over for some time now.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

..and Reagan did not have to face an MSM so much in the tank for a POTUS before like they are for Obama. They will rip Newter to shreds.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

You are living in fantasyland if you think the press doesn’t plan to excoriate and viciously attack our eventual nominee, whoever it is. The difference is Romney hides under his desk, Newt puts them in their place.

karenhasfreedom on January 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM

And Newt is the only one who has what it takes to make that an issue – a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE.

It’s about time someone ran against the major media.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

..do not misconstrue the nature of my previous comment. I have terminal ODS and would love nothing better than to see that lying-sack-of-festering-goat-turds-of-a-POTUS left humiliated, bleeding, and gasping for air on a debate forum floor (figuratively speaking, of course) by whomever the GOP nominee will be.

I agree with most who think Romney would be too nice, but I also recognize that the debate process will be minimized by The Pantload POTUS and that there are many other factors in this race that will count for more.

Dunno; I am perplexed.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Newt = snake oil salesman. Do not buy.

Rick Santorum for President. He is the only trustworthy choice remaining (except for Ron Paul who is simply wrong about important issues).

exdeadhead on January 23, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Independents and swing voters have hated Newt since 1995′s government shutdown and he has never shown any sign of recovery amongst them, even after years out of the news cycles.

If the economy gets no better or turns worse, we could beat Obama with a stick like “Mr. Hat” on South Park but if it turns the least bit positive you can bet the media will play nothing but “Happy Days Are Here Again” 24/7 through the campaign. A guy with no appeal outside the GOP base won’t win that, and that’s Newt.

Adjoran on January 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

You are living in fantasyland if you think the press doesn’t plan to excoriate and viciously attack our eventual nominee, whoever it is. The difference is Romney hides under his desk, Newt puts them in their place.

karenhasfreedom on January 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM

..do not disagree therefore do not dwell in Fantasyland. And would love to see the candidate we choose be something like the guide on The Jungle Cruise or Davey Crockett or — best yet — Mike Fink.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Gingrich hasn’t shown that he can be that charming.

Mister Mets on January 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

The time for charm has been over for some time now.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Bears repeating.

Just Sayin on January 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

If you bothered to understand what Abby Adams was referring to, you would understand my answer. Apparently you didn’t bother to read Abby’s post. Abby merely supplied a link to a picture of Newt’s wife. There was no argument. It was just a gutter sniping personal outburst on Abby’s part, probably because of her low self esteem.

Do you feel stupid yet?
timberline on January 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

lolwut.

Abby Adams on January 23, 2012 at 3:31 PM

and that there are many other factors in this race that will count for more.

Dunno; I am perplexed.

The War Planner on January 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I hear you. There ARE many other factors involved but deciding which one weighs more than the other is tricky. But of one thing I am certain.

Obama won the last election because of a complicit media mis-informing an ignorant electorate.

If that isn’t addressed and made a serious issue so that people become aware of it, it will just continue to happen and we can kiss this country good-bye.

You can get rid of Obama, electively; that’s gonna be relatively easy. But the machine hat put him in office is alive and well and feeding on the country’s seed corn. That must be addressed.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

wishful thinking, much? :-)…

jimver on January 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Two polls have Newt up by 9. No wishing at all.

Bill C on January 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM

First of all, Mark Levin has threatened to destroy Rand Paul’s political career (will actively recruit and primary Rand Paul) if Ron Paul runs 3rd party this year. I think Ron Paul will heed that threat.

No body gives a rat’s @ss about what Mark Levin has to say.

rubberneck on January 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Newt = snake oil salesman. Do not buy.

Rick Santorum for President. He is the only trustworthy choice remaining (except for Ron Paul who is simply wrong about important issues).

Gingrich is same as Barack Obama? He gives a good speech. BFD.

exdeadhead on January 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Gingrich hasn’t shown that he can be that charming.

Mister Mets on January 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

The time for charm has been over for some time now.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Charisma is a big part of being president. Look at Clinton’s back ground, and he easily won two terms.

rubberneck on January 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Gingrich is same as Barack Obama? He gives a good speech. BFD.

exdeadhead on January 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM

If you believe that, the amount of things you need to UNLEARN before you can be properly educated is staggering.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Charisma is a big part of being president. Look at Clinton’s back ground, and he easily won two terms.

rubberneck on January 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Time to change that. Charisma = president is an American Idol way of looking at the world. It’s what got us where we are in the first place.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Charisma is a big part of being president. Look at Clinton’s back ground, and he easily won two terms.

rubberneck on January 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The major media bears a lot of the responsibility for that development. They’ve corrupted their profession to the point of no return.

And we bear the consequences.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM

And Newt is the only one who has what it takes to make that an issue – a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE.

It’s about time someone ran against the major media.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Newt will run for President, not against the Media, he will just show the American people how the media prevents them from making informed choices as he runs. It will be an education our nation sorely needs.

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Newt will run for President, not against the Media, he will just show the American people how the media prevents them from making informed choices as he runs. It will be an education our nation sorely needs.

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Yes, that’s what they’ll care about with high unemployment/gas prices. / He’ll make the campaign about himself.

changer1701 on January 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

I still think Willard will win FL for some reason

liberal4life on January 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I read this and could not believe it after you’ve been clobbering Mitt all this time.

then i realized what it means to you liberals.

if Romney gets the nomination-he might beat Obama but your not afraid of a President Romney

If Newt gets the nomination it will be easier for Obama to win but he might get beat by Gingrich also-and a President Gingrich terrifies you.

LOL

gerrym51 on January 23, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Newt will run for President, not against the Media, he will just show the American people how the media prevents them from making informed choices as he runs. It will be an education our nation sorely needs.

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Yes, that’s what they’ll care about with high unemployment/gas prices. / He’ll make the campaign about himself.

changer1701 on January 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Do you read anything you reply to? Anything at all?

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Bill Whittle on Newt Gingrich and “The Working Class”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A30D9zoViCU&feature=player_embedded

BRILLIANT

Czar of Defenestration on January 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Gingrich is the worst possible candidate, and would guarantee another 4 years of Obama. I will not vote for this slug! The GOP cannot claim to be the party of Family Values if Gingrich wins.

lhuffman34 on January 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Do you read anything you reply to? Anything at all?

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Yes, you said he’d educate them about the media. I don’t think they’re interested. Better?

Gingrich is the worst possible candidate, and would guarantee another 4 years of Obama. I will not vote for this slug! The GOP cannot claim to be the party of Family Values if Gingrich wins.

lhuffman34 on January 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

No kidding, that’s the meme that is already out there. The party of family values is gonna nominate Newt f’n Gingrich? Sounds like something you’d read in the Onion.

changer1701 on January 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM

It’s about time someone ran against the major media.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

only lil detail that escaped you is that he’s running against Obama, nobody gives a shite about the media, this whole kabuki with his faux rage directed at King only to compliment him an hour later can only work with the pro snooki crowd, most others are unimpressed with his cheap demagoguery…

jimver on January 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Gingrich is the worst possible candidate, and would guarantee another 4 years of Obama. I will not vote for this slug! The GOP cannot claim to be the party of Family Values if Gingrich wins.

lhuffman34 on January 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Haha (Nelson/simpsons)

astonerii on January 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

And Newt’s announced that if that is the case then the White House will be his scheduler and that he’ll show up in the same place 4 hours after each Obama campaign appearance to rebut whatever Obama said and present his own case. Obama will wish he’d just agreed to debate him.

haha I have to admit that’s pretty awesome and would be hilarious. The thought of Gingrich trolling Obama like that and following him around the country to **** on his parade would probably get my vote.
Gingrich is definitely drawing a sharp contrast between himself and Obama, something i think Romney is struggling to do. Could you imagine Gingrich saying something like “A good, solid B+” about his performance ??

1984 in real life on January 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM

…. this whole kabuki with his faux rage directed at King only to compliment him an hour

jimver on January 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

what?!! You gotta be kidding me.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

nobody gives a shite about the media…

jimver on January 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

That’s why he got a standing ovation, ’cause nobody cares about the media.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM

The GOP cannot claim to be the party of Family Values if Gingrich wins.

lhuffman34 on January 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

In my family, the thing we value most is individual liberty.

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Again and again, Newt is running for a debater. Wrong office, dude.

galtani on January 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Correct. Nominate Newt and Obama would get to his Right on family values. God help us.

The article’s premise is fine but debates are a very small fraction of a general election campaign. To win the general, you need years of organization, infrastructure, planning, MONEY, message, discipline, consistency, and principles.

The only candidate that has these attributes is Romney. We are going up against a $1 BILLION Obama campaign.

matthew8787 on January 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Cleom: that is absolutely true. Newt gets along fine w the MSM and was only too thrilled to use the MSM with his fake and tawdry lies last Thursday in the debate. Newt indeed complimented John King after the debate.

That is why American Thinker labeled Newt’s performance as “cheap, manipulative indignation” re his x-wife’s allegations. Newt DUPED the well-meaning good people of SC. Newt gets along with the MSM just fine.

matthew8787 on January 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

The major media bears a lot of the responsibility for that development. They’ve corrupted their profession to the point of no return.

And we bear the consequences.

Cleombrotus

Uh…no. Human nature bears the responsibility for that. If people don’t like you, they aren’t going to vote for you. If they do like you, they’re likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you screw up.

We have no charismatic candidates this time around though, so it’s not like that’s only a problem for Newt. Folks aren’t exactly fainting for Mitt either.

xblade on January 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

In my family, the thing we value most is individual liberty.

Cleombrotus

I’m guessing hypocrisy is second, lol.

xblade on January 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM

JUST HOW MANY DEBATES DO YOU THINK OBAMAO WILL AGREE TO?
I say maybe 1 or 2. So for all of you who think he is going to cream him, get a clue. This guy is so compromised and there is so much baggage to his nomination that the white house is salivating. Nanci is going nuts ready to leak all the info about his being kicked out. Oh don’t tell me that it’s secret, obama is great at outing people who’s records ar supposed to be sealed.

Bambi on January 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Neither Mitt nor Newt are conservatives. Newt is a political opportunist con man, Mitt can’t even fake being conservative. You have to understand it to fake it, or make fun of it like Steven Colbert

borntoraisehogs on January 24, 2012 at 1:09 AM

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