CNN Panel Torches Gingrich's 'Self-Immolation' Campaign, 'Murder-Suicide'

On Tuesday morning's Starting Point, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein ripped candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign strategy as "murder-suicide." The harsh rhetoric was reflective of the network's attitude towards the candidate on Tuesday morning.

New Hampshire voters have not yet chosen their GOP candidate, but CNN's hand-picked political team apparently wanted to speed up the process of elimination of the field. For the second day in a row, CNN contributor and phony-conservative David Frum bashed the candidate, predicting he was "about to launch the most amazing self-immolation in American political history."

Brownstein used the term "murder-suicide" in reference to the negative attack ads against Mitt Romney from the Gingrich campaign and the super PAC which supports him. In the process of "self-immolation" – a term used by ABC's Jake Tapper about the GOP field – Gingrich would attempt to drag Romney down with him, Brownstein argued.

Later on in the 8 a.m. hour, host Soledad O'Brien scrutinized Gingrich's choice of words "unilateral disarmament" to describe a campaign free from negative ads. Gingrich had defended his attack ads on Mitt Romney noting that when faced with attack ads from his opponents, "if you unilaterally disarm, you might as well drop out of the race."

"When you hear a candidate talking about his fellow candidates and using the words unilateral disarmament, that's almost scary. I mean, how worried are you about the damage that Newt Gingrich could do to the front-runner?" O'Brien asked the former Republican governor of New Hampshire, Judd Gregg.

A transcript of the segments, which aired on January 10 at 7:06 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. respectively, is as follows:

[7:06]

DAVID FRUM, CNN contributor: And meanwhile, Gingrich, who is not in the top three again, is about to launch the most amazing self-immolation in American political history.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: As he brings down Mitt Romney, potentially.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN senior political analyst: Murder-suicide, not just immolation.

(...)

[8:35]

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: I want to play a little bit of what Newt Gingrich said to me this morning when I asked him if he was being hypocritical in talking about -- complaining about Mitt Romney's super PAC power, and also having his own super PAC supporting him. Here's what he said.

(Video Clip)

NEWT GINGRICH, Republican presidential candidate: I think if you're faced with the reality, if somebody decides that's what they're going to do, if you unilaterally disarm, you might as well drop out of the race. He's decided that he would pin his entire future on shrinking his competitors rather than offering positive ideas. We came back and offered a very clear choice here, talking about his impact, for example, raising the computer tax on folks from New Hampshire, raising $730 million in taxes as governor of Massachusetts. So I think it's fair to draw a contrast between my record of fighting for tax cuts and the tax increases that he set up in New Hampshire – in Massachusetts as governor.

(End Video Clip)

O'BRIEN: (to Judd Gregg (R), former New Hampshire governor)  So, governor, let's begin with you. When you hear a candidate talking about his fellow candidates and using the words unilateral disarmament, that's almost scary. I mean, how worried are you about the damage that Newt Gingrich could do to the front-runner?
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center