Conservatives must have thought they died and went to heaven when the Roundtable segment of ABC’s This Week began Sunday.
There were syndicated columnist George Will and talk radio’s Laura Ingraham facing off on the state of the Republican presidential race (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GEORGE WILL: Time is not Newt Gingrich's friend because the more time he has, the more he talks, and the more he talks, the more he says things as he just did here this morning. He said, “I’d love to be civil, but I'm running against a maniacal liar.” Now that's pretty strong language. I don't know if you have ever told Longfellow’s nursery rhyme to your 4-year-old daughter Alice.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST: No, not yet.
WILL: “There is a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very good indeed. And when she was bad, she was horrid.” And we're at the horrid stage with Newt Gingrich. […]
LAURA INGRAHAM: Newt defined himself in South Carolina. He framed the debate as, “I'm the real conservative. Mitt Romney is the faux conservative. He’s late to this game of conservative politics.” What happened is he became the figure in “The Godfather” trapped in the revolving door, okay? The bullets were coming everywhere, and that revolving door was stuck. He couldn't get out of it. And, today on the show, he spent a lot of the time complaining about the tone of the campaign. Negative ads, they're lying, they’re not true. Some of it may be true, but there’s a rule of thumb in politics: if you’re at a point where you're complaining about the other guy being mean and unfair and uncivil, that's probably a sign that you're losing. And that’s what he’s facing right now. […]
WILL: I think Mitt Romney is still learning the great lesson which is it's very risky to be cautious in presidential politics. This is the man who had gone all the way back to last fall couldn't get ethanol right. I mean, life’s full of complicated questions - that's not one of them. I mean, Al Gore’s given up on it, and he’s still splitting the difference, and he’s going to have to stop that.
INGRAHAM: But George, I think we also have to remember, though, the pig pile on Newt, never seen anything like it. I mean he said it was carpet bombing. That's pretty much what it was. I can tell you there are a lot of us here in Washington today who wouldn’t be here probably if it weren’t for two people, or three people: Bill Buckley, Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich. So, for all of these people who are, and George I know you're one of them, Newt Gingrich isn't a real conservative, and he has some ideas that truly are not conservative. But, he was the face of conservatism in the 1990s. He was vilified by the left, and he was hailed by the right. And right now, he is still connecting among independents.
Mitt Romney, in the last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is shown to be plummeting among independent voters. Gingrich I think still has some strength there. We'll see what happens. I don't think he can withstand this fusillade that he's getting against Romney.
WILL: The most recent poll I have seen of his support among independents is 22 percent.
INGRAHAM: I'm talking about Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama. The metric of Romney versus Obama. The invincibility aura of Mitt Romney I don’t think is there.
And this is why there should always be two real conservative pundits on every political talk show panel so that viewers get all sides of the right-leaning argument.
Of course, we'd like there to always be at least one in such settings, but we can feel a little greedy after what we witnessed Sunday.
ABC and the other networks should take notice: two conservatives and two liberals make for a far more informative and entertaining discussion than what viewers are normally treated to.
Bravo and brava.
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