As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich scolded Meet the Press host David Gregory for beginning their interview with a question about the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy.
On Fox News's On the Record Monday, Karl Rove said of this exchange, "God bless Speaker Gingrich for taking David Gregory out behind the barn and giving him a whooping" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: On Sunday on Meet the Press, Speaker Gingrich was asked about it, and he did not seem happy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH: You know, David, I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the President's apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression, and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: So, is Speaker Gingrich right or are questions like these fair game? Back with Karl Rove. Karl, you know, I sort of, when you watch someone else do it, another member of the media, you sort of cringe a little bit. I’m sure I’m guilty myself of doing that, but Speaker Gingrich certainly didn’t think that was the most important question going into Super Tuesday. But is it a fair question of the Speaker?
KARL ROVE: Well, God bless Speaker Gingrich for taking David Gregory out behind the barn and giving him a whooping. Remember, it would be even worse if you showed David Gregory’s questioning which was I believe the first question in which he said, you know, like, “I know there are other important issues, but, let’s, what do you think about this Rush Limbaugh thing? Let’s play the footage. How big a problem is it?” says David Gregory with all earnestness. And Speaker Gingrich took him outside, you know, and did what he needed to do to him – tanned his hide. And good for him. We’ve seen the media attempt throughout this process to do this kind of stuff.
Now, imagine what would have happened if David Gregory had started off by talking about gas prices, and he had been asking tough questions about jobs and the economy, and, you know, things of substance, and then at some point had said, “Now, you know, I want to ask you a question about this issue.” Speaker Gingrich could not have given the answer that he gave, and might have answered and might have said is it a problem or isn’t it a problem. But Gregory had to lead with his chin and he got it dealt with pretty severely and deserved to be treated that way.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if nothing else, you would have thought that though he might have learned in sort of asking a question like thought of Speaker Gingrich because I remember one time Speaker Gingrich practically took the skin off John King at a CNN debate. I mean, it’s almost as though that we’re sort of handing the ball to Speaker Gingrich so that he can just shove it down our throats.
ROVE: Yeah, right. Well, you know, it’s sort of like Gingrich, you know, they’re both, John King, you’re right, John King and David Gregory both threw sort of, you know, reared back on the pitcher’s mound and threw the ball, and there’s Gingrich with the bat on his shoulder just sort of seeing the ball approach in slow motion then pounds it out of the park, and well he should. I’m glad that he did it.
So am I, Karl. So am I.