On Tuesday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl used the phrase "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to label the tendency of Republicans presidential candidates to restrain negative attacks from their own campaigns, while independent groups that support the candidates are running more negative ads. While showing negative ads by supporters of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, Karl declared:
On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, during an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, substitute host Elizabeth Vargas singled out GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as she asked if the former House Speaker is "fit to be President." Vargas:
ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."
Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman - also of MSNBC and formerly of Newsweek - hyperbolically referred to "megalomania" in GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in response to Gingrich's over the top comparison of Virginia's restrictive ballot access laws being like a Pearl Harbor attack on his campaign.
In light of the development this weekend that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only two presidential candidates who had enough valid signatures to appear on the Virginia Republican primary ballot on March 6, the American Spectator's John Fund appeared on Sunday's Fox and Friends on FNC and suggested that Newt Gingrich may yet find a way to secure a spot on the Virginia ballot. (Video below)
During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family.
During a fawning interview with Bill Clinton on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry asked for the former President's thoughts on Newt Gingrich running for president: "You also, having worked with him, I'm wanting to know, putting aside politics, do you see Newt Gingrich as a man who has the temperament, the leadership qualities, to be President of the United States?"
Clinton took the opportunity to relish GOP infighting during the primary season: "That's what the presidential election is for....you find out a lot about people in the crucible of battle and they're all turning on him now and running all these negative ads. And basically, It's funny, they're basically doing to each other now, in a serial way, what they did to the Democrats in 2010."
CBS's Bob Schieffer displayed his liberal leanings on Sunday's Face the Nation when he raised the issue of illegal immigration. Schieffer claimed during an interview of Newt Gingrich that "Mitt Romney has taken such a hard line, it seems to me, on immigration that some within the Republican Party are saying he is simply running off Hispanic voters."
The journalist asked Gingrich for his take on this claim about halfway through the half-hour long interview. Gingrich replied, "I'm not going on comment on Governor Romney," and simply recited his policy recommendations on illegal immigration. When the candidate stated near the end of his answer that "I do not believe the American people are going to send police out to round up folks who have been here 25 years," Schieffer followed up and asked, "There are 11 million of these people. I mean, what are you going to do with them? I mean, you can't build that many prisons to put them in jail....and you can't get that many buses to haul them back."
Just how much do the media want to prevent Newt Gingrich from becoming the Republican presidential nominee?
So much that despite their total disdain for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), they'll even defend her from supposed sexist attacks by the former Speaker of the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Christopher Hitchens, RIP, would likely have loved the rough-and-tumble of today's Morning Joe. The first half-hour was a jolting fix for political junkies.
If the goring of Newt Gingrich was predictable, there was much that was not. Michelle Bachmann's debate performance was roundly praised. Lefty Jeff Sachs put himself to Ron Paul's right on the Iranian threat. Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch reported that normally-Dem New York CEOs have deserted Obama en masse. Video after the jump.
The cover story of Tuesday's USA Today blared "Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states." Susan Page reported a new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states found "the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by five points." GOP voters were also found to be more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election, and more convinced the outcome matters. ABC, CBS, NBC coverage? None.
Gallup also found "Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession." Network coverage? None. On Wednesday morning's Early Show CBS reporter Jan Crawford found only the Gallup result that would discourage Republicans:
Philosophically, you'd think Rudy Giuliani might align more closely with Mitt Romney than with Newt Gingrich. So what's behind Rudy's recent statement that Gingrich could be the stronger candidate? And why did Giuliani go on Morning Joe today to trash Romney as "elitist" and "a man without a core, a man without a substance"?
Well, Rudy also reminded viewers that "I ran against him in '07, '08." And as Rich Lowry has observed, "in 2008, the other Republican candidates hated Romney." Just this morning, John Podhoretz tweeted: "Re: Rudy's attacks on Romney today. Remember: SOMETHING kept Rudy out of NH in '08 when it could have been a strong state for him." So Rudy's remarks could reflect the triumph of personal animus over political ideology. Video after the jump.
If you had any question who the folks at MSNBC would prefer President Obama run against next November, what happened on Wednesday's Hardball should make it crystal clear.
About thirty minutes after host Chris Matthews apologized for his network's pathetic Ku Klux Klan smear of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he disgustingly attacked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich saying, "You don't give WMD to someone known even by his old former allies to be in a crunch, or even whenever things get edgy, to be himself a weapon of mass destruction" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fellow right-wingers: Is our objective to taunt Obama by accusing him of "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior," of being "authentically dishonest" and a "wonderful con" -- and then lose the election -- or is it to defeat Obama, repeal Obamacare, secure the borders, enforce e-verify, reform entitlement programs, reduce the size of government and save the country?
If all you want is to lob rhetorical bombs at Obama and then lose, Newt Gingrich -- like recent favorite Donald Trump -- is your candidate. But if you want to save the country, Newt's not your guy.
Chris Matthews all but thinks Newt Gingrich is Satan. His MSNBC colleague Martin Bashir is a little more restrained, but not by much, comparing the former House Speaker to huckster and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Bashir made the comparison in the "Clear the Air" closing commentary for his December 14 program. "Ever since he shot to the top of the Republican race for the White House, I've been trying to figure out which historical figure Newt Gingrich most resembles," noted in opening his monologue, before making a gross historical gaffe of his own (update: Bashir's twitter feed corrected the gaffe later with a h/t to yours truly):
Anderson Cooper found yet another way to scrutinize Republicans, as on Tuesday he spotlighted GOP candidates attacking each other's record after each promised to run positive campaigns – even though verbal spars happen during every single election.
The segment's title of "Keeping Them Honest" insinuated that the subject is being deceitful or dishonest, and Cooper decided to call the candidates out for backtracking on their promises of positive campaigns – even though an overall positive campaign doesn't necessarily rule out attacks on opponents' records. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, after complaining about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's proposal to provide school children with work experience and the chance to earn money in their schools, Whoopi Goldberg joined host Behar in asserting that it was "racist" for Gingrich to speak of preventing children from becoming "pimps and prostitutes and drug dealers."
Goldberg began by ranting about the absence of people who "want to see the country do better." Goldberg:
The media elite and the Republican Ruling Class are remarkably similar in their political projection for the coming year. Journalists spent the entire year savaging every fast-rising challenger to Mitt Romney. The GOP’s power pundits became equally agitated at the sniff of a conservative anywhere near the top of the GOP pack. It’s the odor of extremism that both the elites in the media and the GOP have detested – always.
So here we are, on the cusp of the election year, and both these groups have one primary target: Newt Gingrich. Both are using the same ammo: Newt is too unstable, immature, flawed, and arrogant. Or as power pundit Peggy Noonan put it, Newt is “a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!’” The Washington Post’s political cartoonist drew him as a suicide bomber.
CNN touted a study from the liberal Tax Policy Center claiming that Newt Gingrich's tax plan would increase the deficit. On Tuesday afternoon's The Situation Room, business correspondent Poppy Harlow simply labeled the Tax Policy Center "non-partisan" even though it is a joint venture of two liberal think tanks, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute.
CNN even reported the Gingrich campaign's claim that the study did not include "many details" of the plan because the campaign "does not recognize them as an independent arbiter of tax policy information." That bit of information was buried at the end of CNN's report, however. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
All three morning shows on Tuesday hyped the fight between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but it was snarky John Berman who offered the most hyperbolic take, exclaiming on "Good Morning America," "Boom! Boom!"
The opinionated journalist offered inflamed rhetoric to describe the nomination battle, saying that the attacks follow "24 hours of political shivs and sharp elbows." Berman narrated the fight between Romney and Gingrich with glee: "Boom! Gingrich responded...Boom! The Romney camp responded...Boom! Boom!" Was this really necessary?"
MSNBC's supposedly conservative host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday continued his months-long attack on the Republican presidential candidates.
After telling his Morning Joe viewers that he would consider voting for potential third party candidate Ron Paul if Newt Gingrich won the nomination, Scarborough said he could "in five minutes write a list of 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives" more qualified than "the presidential candidates that are running right now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today's Morning Joe has been one long festival of Gingrich gouging.
Joe Scarborough set the tone early. During the opening segment Scarborough announced that, like Glenn Beck, if the choice comes down to Obama vs. Gingrich, and Ron Paul is running as a third-party candidate, "I'm going to give him a long look." Video after the jump.
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel, covering the Gingrich campaign, inflated conventional pro-Israel, anti-"peace process" opinions delivered by Newt Gingrich into a diplomatic drama about Gingrich scrapping the two-state solution worthy of "damage control," in Saturday’s “Gingrich Suggests a Reversal of Mideast Policy.”
Hardball's Chris Matthews on Monday spewed hatred for Newt Gingrich, excoriating him as voicing "deadly" contempt for Barack Obama. Matthews trashed, "He's a political killer, a gun for hire."
The unhinged Matthews compared Republicans who support the former Speaker to those who would make a deal with the devil. Using violent rhetoric, the MSNBC anchor constructed reasons why conservatives embrace Gingrich: "Because he voices in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt, because he's an opportunist ready to seek any route to his opponent's heart and thereby kill it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The New York Times devoted a front-page story Monday to casting doubt on a theoretical nuclear threat publicized (among his many, many other ideas) by Newt Gingrich -- what scientists call electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a burst of electromagnetic radiation released by a nuclear explosion that could damage or destroy electrical service. Science reporter William Broad filed “Among Gingrich’s Passions, a Doomsday Vision.”
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked new NBC special correspondent Ted Koppel about the success of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign: "He has said some very controversial things over the last month....Is being outspoken – and some would even say a little bit reckless – necessarily a bad thing in this election cycle?"
Koppel lamented how Gingrich had not been damaged by scandal: "For some reason or another, the three marriages don't seem to have hurt Newt Gingrich. For some reason or another, taking 1.6 million from Freddie Mac [don't seem to have hurt]." He later observed that Gingrich was like the class clown of the GOP 2012 field: "There's the sort of kid that has everybody laughing in class all the time. At the moment, that's Newt."
Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, Koppel told moderator David Gregory that the idea that Gingrich could be overcoming past political baggage, "leaves me absolutely breathless."