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“That clip was so satisfying that I need a cigarette!”

“That clip was so satisfying that I need a cigarette!”

That’s what commenter and blogger Joan of Argghh said last night after watching the clip of Newt taking on Scott Pelley over killing enemy combatants.

So what do you say about this one?

Update:  Ann Althouse enjoyed Newt’s performance also:

He listens to the precise question asked and examines it, then works out, before our eyes, what is wrong with that question and what the real issue is. He has a depth of understanding and flexibility of mind that allows him to do that, he cares about doing that accurately and well, and he has the style to want to perform reasoning for us. I like that. I try to do that all the time in class, and I know how hard it is, what presence of mind and grasp of the material it takes.


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Newt has an amazing ability to step out of the box, put everything in context from on high, and calmly stiletto the press. What’s not to love? Almost enough to let me forgive and forget “the couch.” Almost.

Newt’s smart. He’s seen how the earlier sniping between candidates has turned off the electorate (and was a dumb move by the Perry campaign) and is enacting his own version of Reagan’s XIth commandment — not just not attacking other Republicans, but actively praising them and turning the focus back toward the Democrats. Very smart.

And it helps that the audience loves seeing the moderators put in their places, especially that ass Scott Pelley. (Major Garrett, the questioner in the clip, was generally okay.)

Joan of Argghh’s line made me laugh and Newt’s response made me feel good all over.

LukeHandCool (who thinks Newt’s smackdowns of the media moderators defy the “too much of a good thing” axiom).

Judging by the response of the inquisitor that wasn’t the answer they were looking for.He parried that thrust with panache and aplomb. He praised Romney’s ability in such a way as not to knock anyone else except the person who needs to be knocked the malfeasant narcissist in the White House

mflash says:

“Almost enough to let me forgive and forget “the couch.” Almost.”

Listened to him the other day on one show or another and Gingrich said that is one of his most regretful moments in politics. Of course he now disavows the “mandate” as well. At least he learns from mistakes as Romneycare crashes and burns and takes all of Massachusetts with it; Romneycare had such a mandate and has not solved the problem of emergency room visits of free riders as it just changes who pays for those free riders from users of the system to those who actually pay insurance premiums and the taxpayer at large.

I’m not a Gingrich man but boy is he ever useful to the cause.

The more I see and hear Newt, the more I like him. He will devour Obama’s lunch. He needs to explain to the voters that he did not serve his 2nd wife with divorce papers while she was hospitalized for cancer treatments, because the msm will blast this lie over and over. If he is not the nominee, then he would make a great VP.

Oh, yeah. Keep “Fast and Furious”, Solyndra and the Israel/Iran nuclear issue on the front burner. These are winning issues when contrasted to Obama’s phony claim about his administration being transparent.

All of this highlights that these are not “debates”. The media has framed them that way, but manipulated the programs and sought to control a gotcha dialogue in the hope that these would be farcical infotainment shows, with Republicans chewing each other up. It is clear that the candidates are getting the message: that they instead must turn these events into the equivalent of a united voter education panel versus Obama. Gingrich gets high leadership credits here.

One needs a cigarette after that?

I don’t get it. This is basically the same premise to the question Pawlenty got after Pawlenty used the phrase, ObamneyCare on a Sunday talk show. When Pawlenty balked, Pawlenty lost any and all momentum and credibility; ultimately, he dropped out. Now Newt balks, and we are to praise him for basically ducking the question?

GOP lovefest aside, why should we trust Romney to change the DC culture? Why should we take anything Newt says seriously especially when he now has two standards, what he says in interviews vs what he says on the debate stage? Why does Newt not deserve a fate similar to Pawlenty?

If Newt taking down Major Garrett is supposed to be cool, then one should try to familiarize themselves with the work of Major Garrett. He used to be on FNC and left that to work for the National Journal. He is a damn fine journalist who plays it down the middle. He wrote a very good book, The Enduring Revolution: How the Contract with America Continues to Shape the Nation. He may not be all conservative but he is a sympathetic to our cause.
Once again, Newt gets caught in the sound bite of his own making and tries to blame others for his act. This is “right wing social engineering” redux.

Even if Newt were the guy in the bar at 2am, I don’t think having a cigarette would be satisfying.

    spartan in reply to spartan. | November 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Edit–to show that what Newt did to Scott Pelley is far different than this answer to Major Garrett. Newt actually answered Pelley’s question but added facts to the question Pelley tried to omit.
    Now watch Pelley and his cronies complain about the audience cheering the execution of a US citizen.

    In the Garrett question, Newt went to the well once too often. Garrett asked a fair question and it deserved a better response.

      gasper in reply to spartan. | November 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      It was not a fair question. It was a question meant to create dissention and Newt wasn’t having it. I like Garrett too, but it was a bad question and it was right not to be answered. Judging from the reaction most people think he did the right thing. And yes, he does get to pick and choose what he will answer and how he will answer it. In this case his answer was, “No”.

    Anon Y. Mous in reply to spartan. | November 14, 2011 at 1:26 am

    The difference was that Pawlenty was evasive and defensive. Gingrich took the issue on directly. Gingrich owned his moment while Pawlenty was owned by his.

      Perhaps, Newt was more nuanced?
      That does not make me feel any better. Newt was caught in a statement of his own making. Because folks are giving a pass to Newt where they did not give one to Pawlenty is not a reason to believe Newt’s response was stellar.

      Perhaps, I should just let this dog and pony show not get to me.

Newt is winning me back. I was onboard back in the 90s with the Contract with America and then jumped ship when the Republicans abandoned the Contract. Maybe age has done its work on Newt. Maybe, just maybe, that big brain is ready for prime time! We’ll see. Unlike Luke, I think the more Newt skewers the moderators for stupid questions, the better.

    LukeHandCool in reply to JoAnne. | November 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    JoAnne, I love Newt’s smackdowns. Can’t get enough of them! Republicans standing up to the MSM’s false premises in the guise of questions is long overdue, as I see it.

The MSM is so loathed by most on the Right that these “corrections” by Newt could get him elected.

I agree with Spartan.
Major Garrett asked a fair question. It was initally endearing when Newt took on the moderators, but debate after debate it is becoming the here-we-go-again moment that makes him look petty, condescending and sometimes even angry. Newt gets more unlikeable when he takes on the mods. I agree with this assessment by Nate Silver (I know big lib) at Hot Air:
“there is a lot of love out there for Newt’s ritual attacks on the debate moderators. It plays well with conservatives, but one wonders how it plays with swing voters. After all, the casual voter avoids politics most of the time in part because it’s confrontational. And the casual voter may not share the right’s view of media bias (they likely have no opinion on the subject). Thus, Gingrich’s fencing with the press will remind them why they don’t like politics and reinforce the negative image the Dems and media will be pushing if Newt becomes the front-runner.”
Newt needs to stop engaging the moderators,”If you roll in the mud with the pigs, you’ll just get dirty and the pigs will like it”.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to damocles. | November 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    The MSM started planting the meme that Newt’s sparring with moderators is getting old because they’re sick of being poked at. Look at Rick Klein’s tweet in yesterday’s LI post. Predictably, now the staunch supporters of other GOP candidates are parroting that meme developed by the MSM.

    It’s not getting old to those of us who have not yet made up our minds and are sick of conservative being kicked around by the left wing media. It’s refreshing. But I understand why the MSM and staunch supporters of other candidates want to shut Newt down from employing this tactic. Because the MSM doesn’t want their bias exposed and the other candidates want him to stop because none of them have the wit and mental agility to repeatedly pull it off as effectively as Newt. It’s a great tool in his toolbox that none of the other candidates have demonstrated they possess.

    Did you hear silence after that jab? I did not. Did you hear boos? I heard none. I only heard loud applause and expressions of approval. Which is a strange response from people who are getting tired of his sparring with the moderators as you and the MSM pundits assert.

      Ergo, Newt gets to answer what and when he wants to answer questions?
      The point is, how is this different than Pawlenty’s response to a similar question? How does Newt differentiate himself from Romney?
      Folks may look at this as a ‘gotcha’ question by the MSM and believe me, the MSM deserves a lot of scorn, but not every question asked is an unfair question; especially, when it is premised on a Gingrich quote. Where Newt looked strong against Pelley, I believed he failed with Garrett. When Newt should have used bold colors, he was waving the banner of pale pastels. in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | November 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Not only was there sustained applause for Gingrich’s response to Pelley, at the end of that clip you can hear Mitt Romney endorsing it with, “Well said, well said.”

      This is one election that the Rebublicans should remember Ronald Reagan’s 11 Commandment.

I think Newt would be a great VP. That said, his problem has never been debates, but going from praising the idea to implementing it. For those who value debate above all else, Newt was always going to be the clear choice. Right now, he’s my number two (behind Perry who has the best governing record of any of the candidates and had a very good debate last night (which he desperately needed)).

Newt refuses to play the liberal media game. That means he’s repeating performances. So what? Overall, he’s putting the media on notice that he (and by association, the rest of the GOP) are not going to be pigeonholed and judged by the media on the media’s terms. Plus, he’s providing epic sound bites that the MSM can’t bury.

Newt has made some stupid political decisions in the past, so I’m not entirely confident he’d make a good president. I wouldn’t want him to be VP because his influence would be limited, esp. if the prez doesn’t like/trust him. (See: JFK and LBJ.) But he would totally rock as a member of the Cabinet.

Some folks dislike Newt’s moderator disembowelments and worry about how independents might be viewing this. I suspect they view it the same as conservatives. Newt doesn’t do it every debate nor every question, and when he has stood up to moderator manipulations through presumptive, loaded questions, he has been fully justified. At the Michigan debate, Romney took a question wherein Obama’s Porkulus bill was credited with creating 2.7 million jobs, an absolute lie. Romney said nothing and answered the question as framed, thereby endorsing the wild, agenda-driven exaggeration by the moderator. That’s one Gingrich would have jammed back down the moderator’s throat.

Newt Gingrich has identified the two main targets: Obama and the mainstream media. This is wholly accurate and appropriate, and he attacks either whenever possible. No Democrat/liberal would be eager to face Gingrich in adversarial debate (the GOP ‘debates’ are more like group press conferences). And you can bet that mainstream media members will be more likely to have done their homework, lest they get schooled as have their compatriots before them, before they engage Newt Gingrich. That is a welcome and needed change. That is Newt Gingrich changing how the media approaches GOP/conservative candidates, and I support it big time.

The only question I need to ask about Newt is this one … WILL NEWT BE BETTER THAN OBAMA ….. * SHRUG * if your answer is yes then there are no other issues they can dig up which matter …if your answer is no then you probably did’nt hear the question

I agree with MaggotAtBroadAndWall.

There is always the danger that something like this could become a tedious shtick. I think it likely would in most cases given a mediocre speaker. But Newt is not a mediocre speaker.

The audience is eating it up. I’m still eating it up. Newt is articulate enough whereby I don’t see him falling into that comfortable trap. I don’t see any anger. I see him doing it with a smile.

If a question is absurd or misleading or embedded with a false premise … I expect a candidate to say so!

I’m tired of sitting watching Republicans on TV answering questions and thinking to myself, “I could answer that question better, and I can be the most tongue-tied, mind-blanking person in the world!!”

Go Newt Go!!

Joan Of Argghh | November 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

“A word in due season is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver.”

That Newt has found the correct target in this battle for the soul and culture of our nation is plenty of reason to rejoice.

It does not mean that I trust him. I do not. I have questions for him. But for the sheer satisfaction of not having to yell at the television, unheard in my frustration with the premises and setups by the Nodding Head Media, I thank Newt from the bottom of my heart.

My mission has always been to beg, BEG the GOP to stop giving into the premise. I begged it of Michael Steele. I begged it of McCain, I’ve thrown my hands up in sheer disgust at the political correctness and pandering of the GOP Machine that presumes to dictate to ME what is important or worthy of attention.

My heartfelt desire is that every Tea Party chapter would stop protesting at the Capitols and start daily demonstrations at their local media stations.

Newt has found the correct target. All of our sighing about media unfairness and bias, accompanied by cries of “hypocrisy!” do nothing. Newt bearded the lion in his den in the last two debates and I find myself eager to see another round of same.

I thank the good Professor for the opportunity to revel in it yet again.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall said:

The MSM started planting the meme that Newt’s sparring with moderators is getting old because they’re sick of being poked at… Did you hear silence after that jab? I did not. Did you hear boos? I heard none. I only heard loud applause…

Exactly. Ditto the “Newt is angry”. Media-planted memes.

Someone on this thread mentioned that this highlights that these are not debates. Too true, they are a forum for the MSM to try to trick candidates into saying something that they can then use against them, all except Romney to date.

Thank you Newt. Zing and in your face. He has the adroitness and the smarts to say what he wants to say while keeping the hyenas at bay and protecting the dignity of everyone. The other candidates should learn from him. Attack (oh will I get Palinized?) the target and stay on message. There is only one enemy, Obama and the Dems. Trust that the people, who are much more vested in this election than ever before, will be able to decide who best reflects their interests, without having the candidates attack each other. Warming more and more to Newt.

Newt is yesterday’s garbage. The smear against Cain that put him in the lead are crystal clear and transparent as glass. With him being a CFR member, I would say they where planned. Hell, maybe this whole election is planned with scripted lines from both parties. With how fast America dropped the only viable candidate, I’ve lost faith in the process.

More conservative porn for the masses. One condescending know-it-all technocrat taking it to another condescending know-it-all technocrat.

Reminiscent of George H. W. Bush taking down Dan Rather, also of See BS fame.

While dishing the conservative porn, I must remind you that Newt left Congress with both Republicans and Democrats cheering his departure. Newt it the classic bright mind with sharp elbows.

He does run the risk of becoming the grouchy old man who shakes his cane at others.

Professor, I hope this web site doesn’t become a surrogate for the New Gingrich for President campaign. I know you try to be even handed but still….

    Joan Of Argghh in reply to mdw9661. | November 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Bill Clinton handed Newt his ass. Newt’s got a fine mind, but he’s no strategist in the trenches.

    I’ve said before that he’s the first victim of his own self-image and he never outgrew his boyish desire to be liked. It has kept him from becoming a true statesman.

    But I could, and have, listened to him talk history for hours on end.

    I still don’t see anyone up there I want to vote for more than Cain. But there’s plenty of people not up there that I’d vote for before any of them.

      Agree with you on all counts.

      Newt loves the sound of his own voice. He has never had an idea that he didn’t like. I’ve seen many executives with similar traits as Newt. They rise fast through the ranks because they have great ideas and excel at self-promotion, only to fall just as quickly because no one wants to follow their lead.

      People complain about Herman Cain answering questions with “I need to check with my generals,” etc, but that is the exemplar for executives. You don’t make a decision when it doesn’t need to be made right away and you take the time to process all available input to insure the best possible decision.

        Check with my Generals? Why? God told him to run. Sometimes it is better to shut up than say something stupid like that. Wait. God just told me to vote for Newt. She didn’t like it when Herman outed her.

I keep wondering how much of the negative impressions so many have of Gingrich are the result of incessant media shenanigans in cahoots with the Clinton machine 15 years ago, supported by certain ambitious Republicans who were sufficiently vested in their own interests that they found it handy to scapegoat Gingrich. Just saying… Gingrich was in those trenches very successfully for many years. I keep trying to dig the facts to revisit my own long-ago formed “feelings” and I’m just not finding evidence of anything that would convince me today. The Clinton years were very different times.

That smug ObamaSmirk on the ‘journalist’s’ face after his so pleased with himself ignorant comment says it all.

I want Newt to continue to smackdown the loathsome media. The more the better. I wish all the republican candidates would smack them down at every debate and interview. Goodness knows the deserve it. I like Newt for several reasons. He’s smart and has been around the block several times and will not fold before our domestic enemies…the media and the dims. I dislike him for several reasons too. I was very angry when he stepped down due to dim pressure on the ethics charges. Look at the dims who are still in congress who did worse theng than Newt did. Newt folded, that’s all there is to it. I disliked seeing him sitting on the couch with that hag supporting global warming. And I disliked him for cozying up to Hillary several years ago. That one I can’t forgive. As far as I am concerned that was betrayal of the worse kind. If he is nominated, I will vote for him. I will vote for any nominated republican. ABO all the way. I would truly like to support him for the nomination but I can’t for these reasons.

I am really puzzled as to why some of these cndidates are still running. Then again, Newt was low down on the list until lately so they may hope to rise to the top so there may be a method to their madness.

Newt’s habitual scolding and correcting the ‘moderators’ is entertaining.

Perfectly suited for Secretary of State or Press Secretary.

    mdw9661 in reply to Aucturian. | November 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I don’t know. I think Ari and Tony Snow were the exemplars for press secretary. Even tempered, disagree without being demeaning, etc.

I really hate to admit it, but Newt is impressing me more and more everyday. He knows the opponent is not just Barry Soetero but the media that protects him, and Newt so precisely goes after both.

I was a clinton supporter from the 90s. I remember all his garbage and baggage, and I literally hated Newt from back then. But I honestly can see voting for him in the primaries, he is so precise in his attacks and he knows who the real opponents are. Heck I’ll even campaign for him if he is the nominee.

If the Obama media army starts brings up all that baggage, we’ll know Barry and his media cronies are afraid of Newt, and note to the media cronies, I do not care about Newt’s past stuff, I do not care; especially when this same media lied massively about Obama, and now they want to act like they are vetting newt, or any other republican, what a load of bullcrock.

    alex in reply to alex. | November 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    i’ll caveat my statement, if Newt screws up, then no. I need to see who best in the polls can beat the media’s precious.
    If its romney, fine, I’m in the ABO camp.

rightontheleftcoast2 | November 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm


Some of us remember when Newt was speaker of the house, and Clinton ran triangles around him. I’ve always admired his intellect, and I really appreciate having him in these debates. He has been a model for the rest, and has been, I think, the main factor in converting these debates from circular-firing-squads to Obama critiques. That’s all good.

However, I don’t support him for president. I don’t agree with supporting a candidate based primarily on his perceived debating skills. Whoever we elect will be there for 4 or 8 years, and we have to look past the debates and consider what kind of president they will be. Others have noted Newt’s problems, so I don’t need to. I also wouldn’t support him as VP, as this is usually a stepping stone for a potential future president, and Newt is getting along in age.

I do enjoy his smackdown of petty members of the media as much as anyone else. But here’s a point I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone else make – the way he treats these people when he’s annoyed with them is exactly how he will treat us if he gets annoyed with us. I see this coming, and I don’t like it.

Yes. Newt threw it back in the liberal mouth-piece’s face.

I’m having a great deal of trouble being impressed by this. Since it is only seen by the choir it won’t have an impact.

Gotta love the simplicity, “you said this, and based on my liberal logic you have to believe / say this now!” “No, I don’t.”

Often times it really is that easy. We should all learn from it.

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I realize that the candidates are coming up with answers off the top of their heads. I didn’t realize that the moderators were making up the questions the same way.

The lib moderators are trying to make all the candidates except for Romney look stupidby asking asinine quetions.