Charles Krauthammer Schools Jeanne Cummings: Gingrich Won in SC Because of Debates Not Money

January 28th, 2012 10:51 AM

Bloomberg's Jeanne Cummings got a much-needed lesson Friday about money not being everything in politics.

After she claimed on PBS's Inside Washington that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's revival in the race was all due to multimillion dollar donations from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer correctly replied that the former Speaker's ascendancy resulted from his debate performances in South Carolina not money (video follows with transcript and commentary):

GORDON PETERSON, HOST: Sheldon Adelson, let me give you that name, Jeanne. There’s money involved here, is that what has been keeping Newt Gingrich going?

JEANNE CUMMINGS, BLOOMBERG: Definitely. The change in the campaign finance laws we’ve talked about with these outside Super PACS that can take an unlimited amount of money have really changed this presidential campaign. Newt Gingrich was broke in September. He was in fourth place in Iowa. He was in fourth place in New Hampshire. He walked into South Carolina with no money and no momentum. And then a casino mogul billionaire, Mr. Adelson, comes in with $5 million that he drops into Gingrich’s PAC, and all of a sudden we have a campaign revived. Then after he won, after Gingrich did win South Carolina, Adelson’s wife dropped another $5 million into the friendly political committee that’s backing Gingrich. So they are basically floating a presidential candidate. We have never seen this before. Under any other cycle, Gingrich would have been forced out of the field after Iowa or certainly after New Hampshire because of a lack of funds.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: With all due respect, I disagree entirely. In fact, the two drops of $5 million produced a controlled experiment. There was a drop into him early in South Carolina, but the reason there was a 30 point swing in South Carolina was not the money he bought with the ads. It was the incredible moments he had in the two debates, the Juan Williams and the John King moment. That was the entire explanation for why he went up 30 points. And wait, I'm only halfway through.

PETERSON: It’s only a half-hour show.


KRAUTHAMMER: A controlled experiment has two parts. Alright, so he has the money in South Carolina, and he wins. He had the same amount dropped in in this other state, and he is going to lose it because he had terrible performances in the debates. The money was irrelevant. It was what he did in the debates.

Krauthammer of course was correct, but this raises a larger point.

The liberal media are going to whenever possible credit a Republican candidate's success with money regardless of it being true or not.

Unfortunately, unless there is someone around like Krauthammer to counter the falsehood if campaign finances weren't responsible, the viewer will be misinformed.

Get used to it.

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