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What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success?
January 23rd, 2012
03:40 PM ET

What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich has risen from the dead for a second time in this roller-coaster that is the Republican nomination battle.

With his decisive double-digit win in South Carolina, Gingrich now heads into Florida with a head full of steam.

South Carolina has the distinction of picking every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan in 1980, and what Gingrich did there is nothing short of amazing. It's also a bit puzzling.

A piece in Politico suggests that the surging Gingrich has mastered the art of both debates and disguise.

There's no question Gingrich's debate performances – and the free media he gets from them – have been a key to his success. Last week, his answer about food stamps and his beating up on the media helped him win over South Carolina conservatives.

As for the disguise part, Gingrich uses his master debate skills to camouflage his weaknesses as a candidate: the three wives, leaving the first two while they were ill, his erratic leadership, etc.

One ex-wife's claim that Gingrich wanted an open marriage might have done him in. But in the end, she didn't lay a glove on him. The voters yawned.

Mitt Romney must be tearing his hair out; it wasn't supposed to be this way.

With much less money and a smaller organization, Gingrich is once again threatening to take away his crown.

It’s a stunning comeback for a candidate who was sent off to the political graveyard for the first time last summer. His staff quit after he went on a Mediterranean cruise and reports surfaced of his million-dollar line of credit at Tiffany's. But Gingrich roared back to life in December, shooting to the top of the polls before collapsing again ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

He just won't go away.

Here’s my question to you: What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. JD in NH

    It can only be one thing: uninformed voters.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    He's the king of toxic divisive politics. He just tapped into the hate rightwing radio and tv has been inciting since the election of President Obama, and found kindred souls.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  3. Karl in Flint

    A lot of stupid people voting for him? Am I close???

    January 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Jenna Roseville CA

    What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success?

    Newt played the to racists of South Carolina – I don't call that sucess. Newt's baggage is going to haunt him and I don't see him going much further.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. roseann cherasaro

    He is nasty and that is what the right wants..Nasty Newt!

    January 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  6. George G

    We are getting sick and tired of Romney's ATTACK, ATTACK on the other canidates. Tell us what you are going to do to heal our country, tell us small business owners what you have planned to help them out of a rut, tell us what you have planned to feed 49% of our USA children who go to school each day hungry. Stop the mille-mouth negative bull.
    We are tired of it!

    January 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  7. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Success Jack? What are you defining ? Newt is winning against a lame group who have old ideas oops! NO IDEAS and they belong to old Washington. I hear smearing but not a single solid idea. THAT SAID JACK !!! Newt has had
    zero success and no new ideas............oops!! again I meant Newt ideas
    David

    January 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  8. Herman Portland OR

    There is no secret but Mr Gingrich tells it like is. Her is what I think his qualities are:
    1) Conservative principals
    2) Speaks about what the American people want and need to hear
    3) Has had some difficult times and is willing to discuss them and move on
    4) A vision for America and odds are he can follow thru with the vision with leadership

    January 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  9. Mel - Houston

    It's not so much Gingrich's success, It's more about the clowns that are running against him. He didn't get to be Speaker of the House by accident. Just like all politicians he knows how to punch the right buttons at the right time. It's just his enormous ego that get in the way most of the time. When the ego starts to control him the nastiness comes out. And that happens a lot.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Jk from Minnesota

    It's no secret – His success is within the Republican base; you know, that 20% or so of the population that still doesn't think the President is a US Citizen. I'd say it is proving to ther rest of the country just how far out on the extreme fringe the Republican base is (I hope if people are paying attention). I don't ever hear muchcomparison of the vote counts in these primaries held so far as compared with past primaries. That probably tells more of a story.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    The secret to his success is "stupid is as stupid does". Meaning there are a lot of stupid people who are voting for him. They are swallowing his rhetoric hook line and sinker.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  12. Bud Simpson

    Newt's secret is American Political Amnesia. Anyone who drops off of the political radar for a few years can be reborn without the burden of the past. No one remembers the erratic, abrasive and wholly unlikeable previous iteration of Newt. The Democrats will have a field day batting at that piñata. If Gingrich has to compete outside of the now hermetically sealed Republican Party, he will combust, and if he wins the party's nomination, the GOP is finished.

    Bud Simpson, Kansas City, MO

    January 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  13. Emmett Smith

    Jack,
    the "secret" of Mr. Gingrich's success is simple: unlike the other Republican presidential candidates, he has bothered to learn something about history and about science. His campaign is not based on mindless slogans but on facts. If he is not the GOP's nominee, this independent shall hold my nose and vote for Obama.
    Emmett Smith
    Mobile, AL

    January 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  14. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Gingrich knows how to stir up the tea party and right wing extremist of the Republican Party. But that is all he knows how to do. In a general election according to the polls he would lose easily to Obama. He might be able to attack the press and dismiss statements made by his ex-wife that he was a swinger. But in a general election his record and his past will matter and that is what the right wing and tea party members seem to forget. Out of four bad choices Gingrich seems the best choice to these people. Romney cannot relate to the average worker. Santorum seems like he is on a crusade for the Pope. Ron Paul will never be allowed to win the Republican nomination no matter how hard he tries. So this leaves Gingrich bad baggage and all, which doesn't seem much of a choice.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  15. Richard Texas

    In one word I can explain Gingrich's success story. Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  16. Ralph-Corpus Christi, Texas

    It's no secret Jack, just an apparent growing tolerance for hypocritical candidates with character flaws.
    Ralph, Corpus Christi, Texas

    January 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  17. Peg from NY

    Newt succeeds because he is a bully.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  18. Bob Gray, Ft. Myers, FL

    Newt is intellegent and he addresses questions directly. He is probably the best person to look at national and international situations with an ability to see the whole picture, make a decision and get attention, and use history and advisors to bring in the correct solution.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Gary H. Boyd

    Most recently it's the way he dumped all over the moderator of the last debate for asking about his ex-wife's "open marriage" allegation. The public is sick and tired of slanted and liberal media types and the fact Gingrich put the guy in his place with gusto hit home big-time. Beyond that, his background suggests he can defeat Obama in debates when it comes to the general election. Republicans are increasingly tired of candidates beating up on one another and see Newt Gingrich as the one to back.

    Gary H. Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  20. A Glover

    Success? I find it disguesting. If one cannot be true and honest to his wife who he is supposed to love, how can he be true and honest to a country which he would represent? Did he not take the lead to condem Pres.Clinton? Yes morals and values do matter and Newt does not prosess neither.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  21. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Newt's secret to success is sincerity. Being able to fake that wins the same suckers suckered by Rove, suckered by Rollins, suckered by Atwater. Lee repented his sins and God willing is up in Heaven, but no one he left behind is in any hurry to do likewise.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  22. MYSTEROIUS

    Making stuff up to an electorate who will buy just about anything to get President Obama out of office, including racially charged language. The same electorate either doesn't know about his past, or just doesn't care, as long as they THINK he can be President Obama.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Ed from California

    Because, Newton......really believes that, "D' nial".....is.... just a river in Egypt.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  24. Bill of New Mexico

    Strong negative campaigning that is sticking to Romney.

    Home state area.

    Quick thinking, responses that touch his audience.

    Plus the media's dozen, fishy reasons for Romney's refusal to release his tax returns.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  25. James

    Newt Gingrich's success is the stupidity of the GOP and the news media. Quite talking about him and he will go away!

    January 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  26. Dave - Phx

    Moronic, racist people who hate the fact that the president's skin color isn't the same as their's.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  27. Larry -Denver

    Pssst, dont tell anyone, but the secret to Newts success- tell enough lies people start to beleive you. He has hit his stride with lies, denials and threats. You can fool some of the ................. but when it comes to crunch time the truth rises to the top and Newt sinks.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  28. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    His competition. The guy offers nothing that will help the country. These guys are still running on the "low taxes for millionaires creates jobs" campaign. Oh no we can't innovate because our personal income is being taxed..... huh? The recession was a warning. You can't practice foolish finances forever. It catches up to you. If we didn't have any interest payments on the debt to pay, we'd have a far better situation already. Why doesn't anyone ever mention that? The debt costs us more than the wars. Where is the outrage about it?

    January 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  29. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    He knows how to tap into people's hates and fears. He is probably one of the most devisive politicians to come down the pike in recent years. It works especially well in the south. Let's see what happens when he moves into more diverse and tolerant areas of the country.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  30. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    It is the fertilizer that cultivates the success of Dictators, Kings, Emperors, Presidents, all the way down to your local town Mayor. It is the last stage of the hay eaten, and passed by the Bull.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  31. David of Alexandria VA

    An innovative concept: Amoral Certitude. It lets you slide past any soft patch with ease.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  32. Chris

    Newt is unafraid to speak about unpopular positions. That's no secret, its a deliberate method of messaging. He tells voters what he stands-for or what he disagrees-with in blunt, plain language, not political mush. Recall what Senator Alan Simpson said to Fareed Zakaria about this same plain-spoken rhetoric. He applauded it loudly. He and Ron Paul are very much alike in that they tell you what they stand-for instead of pandering like Romney. Some people may not like Newt, but his political courage is to be applauded. Witnesseth the results in South Carolina.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  33. Loren

    Gingrich is likely successful because he talks big, about restoring America's sense of self in the world. A good part of America see the last several Presidents as frittering away the United States global standing through ill-thought out wars, economic shenanigans, a sell-out of American economic strength to the Chinese, so someone who talks big appeals. The problem with Gingrich is that for all the talk, there is the reality which they don't care to see or hear, that he just basically a blowhard and a bully who for all his love of history fails to see the mistakes that he made and learn from them. The shame of it all is that the leading candidates for the nomination and our sitting President seem to following his path and have failed to learn from our recent history and continue to seek to spend us into oblivion.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  34. Jan K. in Asotin,Wa.

    The secret to his success is that his party doesn't trust Romney to be radical enough and Newt has shown he is as radical as they come. He knows all the right buzz words to use. He also attacks the media at every debate which the crowd loves and then the next day shows up on every news channel he can get on.The Republicans hate, hate, hate. President Obama so much that they are rabid about getting power back & don't care how they do it. It is sad.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  35. Brad, Portland, OR

    Newt's secret is the ability to press all the right buttons to control the hearts and minds of conservative voters.

    Veiled racial taunts by calling President Obama a "food stamp President," and fighting back against moderators of the debates who represent the "Librul Media" set Republican hearts a-fluttering. Those were indeed the keys to his success.

    Newt understands how conservatives think and what gets them revved up far better than Romney does.

    Ron Paul also has this gift, but his beliefs confine him to a smaller group of conservatives that he can also play like a drum.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  36. Don from Florida

    Newt's success is due to an unaware electorate, and a media that keeps them that way.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  37. LA Belle

    This guy should be hiding out somewhere after all the damage he has caused to others; but he's so full of himself, he has no shame.

    My guess is egotism; and that's no secret nor is it success.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  38. Dale Martens, Fairmont, MN

    Gingrich led the charge against Bill Clinton, even while he was doing the same things, even worse, and because of that should he not be held accountable for his actions. He is a 2-time adulter, a congressional ethics violator. Why don't the reporters hold him accountable for his behavior? Why don't the other candidates seriously question his behavior?

    January 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  39. Paul From Austin Texas

    I don't know if I would say with a head full of steam I think it is full of something else. His sucess is that America is split 50/50. Half conservitive and half middle to liberal. If Newt gets his way a clean sweep with the top office and both houses and he goes out to arrest Judges and others that do not like his ways in control we will all be in real trouble.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  40. Miguel Morris

    He is the most knowable, articulate, and forceful candidate in the race including our President. He will out think, out debate, and destroy our President with his knowledge. The trait that worries me at this point is his willingness to overreact.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  41. Kirk

    The key is that Gingrich is the master of the Rove strategy, going after the opponent's strength rather than their weakness. When asked about the wife issue by Mr. King, he didn't answer, he threw asking the question back in King's face. Instead of justifying linking African Americans with food stamps and kids working as janitors in schools, he unleashed verbal jabs at the president. He didn't answer either question at al, he just lit a fuse and tossed it back at the questioner.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  42. Libby23

    The secret to Newt's second coming is that he can count on support from people who are either Ignorant, as big of hypocrites as Gingrich is, or have uber wealth and power – or all of the above. What they all definitately have in common is that they are anti-American – they'd have to to support raper of the Constitution. It's disgusting.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  43. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    Newt is a smart and devious politician who knows how to play to the fears and anger of people, but I wouldn’t be so quick to call him a success. He was beaten badly in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and won one primary in a very conservative state full of angry Evangelical Christian voters. Ultimately, any success he might have is due to the fact that this field of Republican Candidates is so weak and has little to offer the country as a whole. Let’s give Newt a little more time to self destruct. I don’t think it will be a long wait. Newt Gingrich for President? Give me a break!

    January 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  44. Pete from Georgia

    Secret ??
    Well for starters you can start with FACTUAL TRUTH in dealing with run-away Big Government and how little this current administration knows or understands free enterprise................the life-blood of jobs and prosperity.
    He understands how taxes and regulations are POISON to the free entrprise system. To jobs.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  45. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    It means is a lot of people who do not like Darconian measures worldwide, believe Newt is the one to be Draconian but with compassion. What a dichotomy.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  46. Frances

    Newt is the same old mean, lying hypocrite he has always been. The more people learn about his past, a very long past. His own fellow Republicans in the Congress didn't like him. They fined him over three hundred thousand dollars for ethics violations. Now he goes into a rage throwing a tantrum against a sole moderator who asked a legitimate question about all his marriages, and affairs. Rather than answer a question that he has no good answer for, he resorts to bombast. Newt Had no problem trashing others for marital infidelity in the past. He is Hypocrite.

    Frances
    Escondido

    January 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  47. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    It's simple, Jack. The man actually SAYS what he thinks. We have had our fill of politicians who give us nothing but "non-answers" every time a question is thrown at them. Gingrich is actually a breath of fresh air....even if you do have to hold your nose.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  48. Lou, Fayetteville, NC

    He is a person who appears at every party: he knows all the answers, he has been everywhere and done everything according to him, you can't find a better deal and he is the best thing since sliced bread and NONE OF IT IS TRUE. In one word, he is a saleman.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  49. Conor, Chicago

    Anger. Irrational anger. That is the trick to his success. The right wing of the Republican Party is expereincing a mass delusion of misplaced anger that is now manifesting itself in a candidate who speaks with a commanding voice and a confindence that appeals to the weak minded. Conservative policies brought this country to the brink of disaster and, instead of admitting that and considering other visions or trying to draw from what worked and what didn't, the Right has simply buried its collective head in the sand and insists that the problem is that we didn't enact their vision with enough vigor for it to work properly. In their mind, subconsciouly, it Obama and the Dems succeed in moving this country in a positive direction their entire world view collapses right before their eyes. Of all the candidates that speak with reverence of their positions, Gingrich has the most fire and can even claim to be an intellectuall.

    That's what's going on here...

    January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  50. Julie Ilacqua

    Attacking the media – the far right eats that up because that's what has been drummed into their heads by their news sources of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. And lying – he's good at that, too. Basically both of these things come down to the fact that he is a big bag of hot air in an ill fitting suit. (I hope Callista got him a new suit before tonight's debate, because he looked pretty bad in the last debate.)

    January 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  51. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Newt perfectly embodies today's Republican party, Jack: Angry, mean, grandiose and irrational. Once this fight leaves the right-wing echo chamber and Newt has to run against the actual President Obama and not a paranoid fantasy, the GOP will receive the sound thumping it deserves.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  52. calaurore9

    Grinch's third wife is the key. Under her never-moving hair are mind-bending lasers, brain-washing innocent voters into voting for hubby.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    January 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  53. Pat in Michigan

    His secret is he is the family values candidate. When he says family he means "white" family.When he says "values", he means rich white business owners.Am I the only one that doesn't notice minorities beating the drum for this jerk?

    January 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  54. Mr D

    Newt reminds me of the cockroach you step on in the garage-he just keeps going. He continues to crawl out from under things and remains a pest. Too bad he can't fine a hole and stay in it. Talk about a lack of choice for the Republicans!

    January 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  55. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Secret? It's the incredible stupidity and total lack of analytical thinking on the part of the Republican voters. But then, that's never been a secret, has it?

    January 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  56. lou.nj

    Easy.....throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.Also when you're standing in the middle of a red state how can you missed.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  57. Ed Reed

    Newt has been a mean, nasty politician and the republican base wants their candidate to be mean and nasty towards President Obama. This isn't about policy, it's visceral anger towards President Obama becasue he is a Democrat or an African American.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  58. Gail, Plano TX.

    Easy question Jack, and so here's the very simple answer. His success is because the Republican base & tea party, think he can take it to Obama! And win! The GOP does not like having a black President! It's all about race! End of discussion.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  59. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    Tampa, Fl Florida is well know for republican hanky panky and election fixes, so i guess they sent their computer hackers to s.c. but i'm sure they will be back in Florida in time to fix ours like last time. you'd think they would make it at least look like it wasn't fixed to throw off suspicion.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  60. lou

    He has learned from the master: Sarah, flame thrower, Palin. She could whip those Obama haters up into a real frenzy by talking smack about liberals and the lamestream media. I think it's hilarious that both she and Newt have gotten away with ripping on the east coast media elite when they both worked for Fox News...which is also broadcast out of New York City.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  61. james in greenville nc

    Newt's success comes from taking the Washington establishment head on! Well, to be honest his success comes from convincing people that he is not a paid up member of the Washington establishment. Newt's campaign motto should be: We have met the enemy and he is me. See you at Tiffanys.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  62. Toni

    What is his secret Jack? Racist rhetoric and bashing the "liberal" media. And, lets not forget a bunch of not so bright people!

    South Carolina

    January 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  63. Ruth from Indianapolis

    The secret of his success? He's not Mitt Romney.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  64. JONIQUE

    Newt's success is all about nasty people like nasty people. That's SC for you. hey love the mud slinging, talk down, disrespect Juan williams. put him in his place candiddate. If America wants Newt over President Obama, or slick Romney, then America will live with this nut for four years. My money is under my mattress because I have one vote-
    WE WILL ALL SUFFER! White, Asian, Hispanic, African-American etc. I am buying homes for my children, I, this African American well to do professional woman, is ready for the crazies. Bring it on!

    January 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  65. Curtis in Philadelphia

    You asked what was the secret to Newts' success; I'm confused Jack, with women or in politics?

    January 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  66. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    He's good at playing the angry white male dog whistle. That will work to get the GOP nomination, but will play right into Obama's hands in November.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  67. rex in portland, oregon

    Some people think that the key to Gingrich's success is the Lazarus syndrome: rising from the dead.

    I was beginning to think that Newt IS supernatural, but the ressurected Newt keeps yakking such nonsense that I am now convinced that Newt is neither supernatural nor natural. It that respect he closely resembles all of the declared republican candidates. Did you listen? Newt is now claiming that he invented supply-side, voodoo, trickle-down economics right alongside his god RR. He single-handledly balanced the budget in the 90s. He never lobbyed. Wow. Those claims are right up there on the ridiculous list with McCain's claim that he 'knows how to win wars'.

    Oh, well, Jack. Politics is politics, as they say, and we just have to accept it. Right? We have to accept . . . . . . .

    January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  68. Josh from New Orleans

    Newt is white, Christian, and likes big business. Just like the rest of the Republican party and the people that vote for them.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  69. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, he speaks the language of the evangelical southerner; white fear, white hate and white contempt. Not only that, but this is the perfect storm for him to ride the wave on, a black man was elected President, an event that my fellow white southerners have feared since the civil rights revolution of the 1960's.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Chris from Mississippi

    The secret to his success is not being afraid to be aggressive. Romney is a bit too passive. Romney is like the boss that will fire you through email, or he someone else to let you know you are fired. Newt on the other hand will walk up to you and tell you to pack up and leave without an explanation.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  71. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    Gingrich has concentrated on attacking Obama and that feeds the GOP base in states like South Carolina which is still one of the most racist in America. he will probably do well in northern Florida, which is really "Baja Alabama" BUT it will be interesting to see IF he can connect in the central and southern parts of that state.

    as a democrate I sure hope he wins the GOP nomination because I don't think even so called "consevative" blacks or hispanics will vote for him after what he did to Juan Williams in the Fox News debate.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  72. Jim

    Jack, PT Barnum said, "There is a sucker born every minute", and then followed up with, "Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American Public. You think Newt Ginrich is not an avid student of PT Barnum?
    Jim Los Angeles

    January 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  73. Larry

    His success is not a secret. He is pandering to a foolish segment to of our nation. A segment that is disrespectful and racist.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  74. TomInRochNY

    Voters who don't believe in what they say they do, like family values, integrity, honesty and morals.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    January 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  75. Paul - North Carolina

    Well, for one thing Newt is a strong debater. But let's not get carried away. A former congressman from Georgia wins in South Carolina. What a surprise! And look at the competition. Mister phony smile practically gave the election away every time he stuttered, stammered and flinched whenever someone mentioned tax returns. The guy from Texas has a dedicated following but will never be a serious candidate. And then there's Santorum who is. . . well. . . Rick Santorum. No secret there at all, Jack. Newt just looks better, in the south, by contrast.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  76. lefty avenger

    The secret to Newt's success is his racism, xenophobia, homophobia, christian intolerance and sheer hatred of all progressive liberal people. When Newt goes down south and promises to cancel all african americans welfare and food stamps and put them back out in the fields, it strikes a chord deep in the heart of his confederacy. All Newt has to do now is say he'll deport all immigrants and ban gay people and he will win the hearts of all republicans. Republicans=Hate and corporate exploitation of the population at large. Newt knows his audience and what they want.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  77. Jane in CA

    Newt is aggressive, and is really good at creating an emotional response in his audience. He knows every dirty trick, and has no qualms about using them. Racist, sexist, religious dog whistles – Newt knows them all, and uses them faithfully. I would like to see a question about why the Republican party members respond favorably to all this. They should know his history better than anyone. Newt is amoral, and a megalomaniac. He has already said he will defy any court that tries to make him obey the law. Andrew Jackson also did this, nearly committing genocide of Native Americans as a result. What does Newt have in mind?

    January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  78. MR S

    Secret is Easy Jack. Religion! We plays to the Christian base. Unfortunely for MItt most Christians see Mormonism as a cult and so they are not going to vote for Mitt. I for one hope Mitt wins the nomination because if the choice is Obama or Mitt I think we will be in good hands either way.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  79. Mike

    No surprise Gingrich wins in the South. It's just the 'southern mentality'!

    January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  80. jeff ruben

    Don't know what his secret its but I think Obama will trounce him in the election! The general public will never vote for a mean bigot who has no morals. Leadership–his record speaks for itself when even people he served with in office with won't endorse him.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  81. Ronald

    The secret is ignorance. Those who are too stupid or lazy to check the message that the GOP/Tea Party puts out there. Blind followers that either don't care or "think" that they have a bone to pick with the left because of what they believe to be the "truth" but in point of fact is either misleading or a bald faced lie. That is Newt's secret.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  82. dubyaluver

    No secret here Jack,and no resurrection either. Its' South Carolina, where rebel flags still hang from the courthouse and the 'Right Wing, Born Again' crowd would rather support a censored while in office, have an affair on your ill wife career politician, than a NUT CASE MORMON !! oh the irony.....

    January 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  83. Dennis Grubham

    I think this guy is as sneaky as they come. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could through him. Any body who votes for this guy are crazy

    January 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  84. Dan

    The secret is republican voter stupidity.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  85. b in fl

    answer, he lies and his sheep follow,what kind of promises is he making to his backers

    January 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    He has a massive foundation built on massive lies and he has learned how to blame everyone else for his short comings. He also learned how to run to the "Forgivness Room" every time he is caught in a screw up.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  87. Mike Galvin

    He is like the Guy in the White House, great speaker but nothing else.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  88. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    He's a professional politician. In other words he knows how to convince people that he'll put two chickens in everyones pot but when he has power the real Newt will surface and that is about as frightful as the atomic bomb. This man is more dangerous than Lyndon Johnson.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  89. John B

    Did I read this correctly: "...Gingrich now heads into Florida with a head full of steam."

    Head full of steam? or Full steam ahead?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Basil taha

    Jack: Call it any thing you want. Obama will win the second term. Take my word to the bank.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  91. Dave, Orlando, FL

    His secret is a completely insane and disorganized, spazzed out Republican party that chases after any shiny object as it appears. It is not the conservative Republican Party to which I belong, the one that would nominate Ron Paul or Jon Huntsman. That one was hijacked by fools.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  92. Chris, Bx.,NY

    Good or bad, he means what he says. Mitt not so much.....He also shows strengh.......I'm glad for him, though I would never vote for him. He showed that the people always have the last say, regardless how much money is thrown around to win. Mitt not so much.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  93. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    He really doesn't have a secret. The people in South Carolina who voted for him just figure he stands a better chance of defeating Obama in November then the other three candidates. It doesn't matter to the voters if he would really be a better president than Obama, only that they think Gingrich can beat him. Remember that the GOP's sole purpose the past 3 years (and for the next 10 months) is to make sure that Obama is only a one term president. All other factors are null and void.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  94. Robby Barbarian

    Come on Jack! He's playing the Dog whistle card. It always works down here in the South in Republican primaries.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  95. Olu- Washington, DC

    Newt's success secrets are found in his ability to cater to his audience-of-the-moment. He shows an uncanny ability to adjust the rhetoric to suit the needs of the electorate who are looking for a flawed "brawler" whom they can relate to more than the polished persona purported by Romney. With Newt you can tell that he strongly believes in whatever he is peddling at the moment and for some people, that "conviction" is enough.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  96. Pete from Florida

    Simple – about 10% of our citizens are nuts, and Gingrich's outrageous oratory, incorrect and dishonest or not, thrills the wackos. OTH, I'm voting for him in the Florida primary, for the same reason I watch fireworks every July 4th.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  97. Carl Shepard

    Dumb extremist voters. So we get Gringrich, Boehner, and Tea Party wackos on one side, and Obama, Pelosi, Boxer on the other. Is it any wonder the middle class is being squeezed?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  98. ArtInChicago

    No secret, minor success Jack. American life is now a reality show and the hot contestant on "Who wants to be POTUS" happens to be Gingrich. He is "red meat" for the conservative Republican diet. Tastes good in the moment, but you can't live off of it alone.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  99. John Regan

    Nixon on speed. It took Dick twenty years to collapse, rise collapse, rise. Newt read the Nixon book "How to game the system and profit at the same time".

    January 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  100. Ann from Charleston SC

    Newt Gingrich knows how to play his audience and he is a master a bluffing.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  101. JN

    Newt was in the South and played to racially divisive southern politics; no big achievement there and no surprise, if you ask me. He will always do well when he can play to the fears of poor and uniformed whites. Disgusting, but true.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  102. Gigi Oregon

    His success comes from the fact that the religious right can't or do not read the Bible. Or the food stamp statement wouldn't have gotten him the Christian vote. The one with the most money doesn't win in my Bible. It's the one that takes care of "the very least of those living in God's world" who wins.

    Matt 6:24

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  103. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Success? The man has only won a single state primary where he used subtle racism rhetoric as described by President Jimmy Carter, a fellow Georgian. Gingrich has mastered the skill of hiding his chronic hypocrisies during debates and turning attention from his failures and lies and blaming the media. I pray that the media will bring light to the truth and not let him get away with his repeated insults to the intelligence of the American people.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  104. BL08

    There are really no viable Republican candidates, and people are afraid of a Mormon. Plus maybe perceive that he lies less than the other potentials. (They all lie a lot.)

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  105. Ann from Charleston SC

    Newt Gingrich knows how to play his audience and he is a master at bluffing.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  106. AL in West Palm Beach

    If that is SUCCESS in that party....

    NO wonder they gave us GWB.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  107. Charles - San Antonio

    His secret is his disgust with the current political system and his refusal to be politically correct. I consider myself a democrat, but Newt's answer to John King's opening question at the South Carolina debate made me stand up and say "Hell Yea!". It's about time that America elects that angry old white man who will not accept the status quo and who has the courage to stand up say what needs to be said without worrying about being politically correct.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  108. Michael Schanz

    Gingrich is authentic and has shown himself to be honest in his personal life. That is the true character issue here. He is not in it to win at all costs which shows that he exhibits leadership for the position at hand. Romney is also a leader but not at this particular point in time nor for a presidency. Gingrich can be "dishonest" when politics call for it but that is the game and because he is honest with himself and does what he thinks is right (regardless of how others judge him). Romney is not authentic, otherwise he would waffle less. And don't let his expected offensive fool you. he just doesn't have it, never will, if he finally gets elected ot not.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  109. Jeff from Atlanta

    Newt is the 'John Edwards' of conservatives...

    January 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  110. sayer

    Newt is only winning now because he is in his own backyard. The people of Iowa and New Hampshire didn't buy it. Neither will a lot of other states.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  111. Jason

    Newt is by far the smarted person running for presidnet and WAY smarter than the current president. Also, what most peolple ignore is that most Republicans don't want Romney as our candidate. If Santorum and Paul weren't running and it was Newt against Romney Newt would win almost every state. The problem is that Newt and Santorum are splitting the conservative vote. If Paul was out those votes would go to Newt. The only situation Romney wins is if Santorum stays in till the bitter end. It is just like the last election. McCain was the Republican candidate because there were too many conservatives and split the vote. There hasn't been a great Republican candidate since Regan.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  112. PJersey

    People are mad and Newt is maddening.
    Sounds like a match made in anger.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  113. R E McCray

    Newt's secret is that he is using Reagan's playbook: Fear, Hate and Corruption ... with lots of flexibility and interpretive skills.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  114. John B

    2nd paragraph: "...Gingrich now heads into Florida with a head full of steam." I think Cafferty meant "...full steam ahead" although Gingrich's head might very well be full of steam!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  115. beevee

    What secret? the guy is foul-mouthed and indecent. He did not show any decency in blasting John King and did not give a proper answer. If i were John King and moderating the next debate i will ask the same question again and answer him back if he scoffs at it.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  116. mike farmer

    Like him or not (I do not) he is a good political hack!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  117. nick

    A master of political theater; but eventually the curtain will come down, the lights will dim and the performance will end.
    I don't think he really wants the job, just the applause. But then again, I don't think that Newt even knows that yet.
    It is passion that drives Newt – both spelled with a capital 'V'. Vindication and vindictiveness,

    January 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  118. andy Lynn, MA

    Rampant Alzheimers among republican voters. How many Speakers of the House had to resign in disgrace and pay a $300k fine? And they want him to be president? Please!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  119. Harry Wortz

    Newt has a knack for picking hot button issues that make little difference in the whole scheme of things but gets the base stirred up. He reminds me of my fraternity's president: never the smartest guy in the room but thinks he is, not the real power just a figure head but he can take a whipping everyday and never stops smiling. I can't believe he is even in the race considering his past. If Newt becomes president it will be the second time in my life that I will be ashamed to be an American. The first was the day we invaded Iraq on lies and deception.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  120. Bob

    Jack, P.T. Barnum summed it up perfectly: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

    January 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  121. Cee.Louisiana

    Newt appeals to the racist, snarky, scared amongst us, he always uses inciteful rhetoric. that whips up these folks into a lynch mob mentality....maybe they think he is the best of a bad bunch.....

    January 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  122. Mike in Minneapolis

    Lying, cheating and adultery seems to have worked well for him. He also knows when to exit, and it's usually when his spouse gets ill.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  123. coker

    I believe most of the comments here are written by Democrats who are scared that Newt will be the candidate. I think of myself as a conservative, but certainly not tea party or right winger. I believe people like Newt can improve with age. He certainly has the knowledge and poise to lead our country and is moderate enough for me to get my vote. Obama is a good speaker and showman, but as a leader, he has failed. Wish we had a Washington or Jefferson, but Newt is the only one who has a hint of leadership ability.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  124. Bob123

    "Herman Portland OR There is no secret but Mr Gingrich tells it like is"

    BWAH HA HA HA HA that's the funniest thing I've heard all week!

    The Newtster has no morals, no character, and absolutely no integrity. Scummiest member of Congress, highest fine for his lawless actions... yeah, RUN THAT PUTZ.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  125. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    The question should have been what is the secret of Romney's failure in SC ? Simple ! too much negative campaigning and over-confidence !

    January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  126. David in Tampa

    First of all Gingrich is an intelligent man and practiced politician that knows which buttons to push in conservative states. He has some pretty good sound bite ideas that the Republican Party has translated into one legislative disaster after another. His trademark when he has nothing constructive to offer is to attack the press, attack liberals, attack anyone that disagrees with his singular world view. Of course it helps when your chief rival helps you by shooting himself in the "tax return" foot. I am ready for the next round of Comedy Capers in my home state. Sure will be glad when this is all over and done with. I can't vote in the primary because I'm an independent and can't stand either major political party.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  127. Andy - Cincinnati, OH

    The choices are Obama, Romney or Newt. That's not good. Obama spends to much money and pushes an agenda we don't want and can't afford. Mitt is has an aura of I am better than you and richer than you about him. He can't connect with us commoners because he's so engrained in the Martha's Vineyard elitist world. Newt is the choice by default. Better to be lucky than good. He does speak his mind and at times seems likable. He knows the way Washington works and will try to reduce our debt and stop the ridiculous spending. It
    s too bad he's got the most baggage.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  128. see through the illusion

    I say it's rigged!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  129. Layne Alleman

    Jack, The one base issue, more than anything else, seems to be that he speaks to "core" Republicans better than the others. Then, there's this often repeated "beat Obama at all costs" philosophy. Personally, I can't see how his winning the Presidency, even if the Republicans win both houses, will change much as to the ruinous path our government is on. The current corruption isn't going to simply go away with rearranging the deck chairs of a sinking ship. Layne A. – Antioch,Il.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  130. NCSTEVE

    Nice one, Jack: "HEAD FULL OF STEAM". I believe the expression is "A Full Head of Steam". Since you're old enough to remember steam trains, I think you know the difference.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  131. A.D. DiSorda

    Romney's history in Massachusetts. Hell hath no wrath like a Southerner's disdain for Massachusetts, the heart of the Yankee ingenuity whose machinery and Springfield rifles brought down the rebel insurrection.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  132. Larry in Houston

    Jack – I had to re-read your article 3 times. and laughed. I've been following politics since november 23rd 1963, Jack. No big secret, Jack – none at all. (Yes, I'm A Democrat ) "risen from the dead" you say ? "a bit puzzling" ? lol "the voters yawned" ?? lol – – well Jack – i've said this almost a year ago, obama will end up getting defeated, but I didn't know who it would be, and to be perfectly honest, I still actually don't know who will defeat obama,as of yet. It looks like the newter, but think about it this way – Sanitarium wins green acres – Romney wins petticoat junction – and the newter carries mayberry r f d. But Florida is where you have to start running with the big dogs, otherwise you better stay on the porch. The republicans want obama defeated So Bad, they can taste it Jack. All the crap about family values thing,& religion, is all out the window. Tell you what Jack – If the newter had done the same thing anthony weiner had done, they Still wouldn't care. They want someone to actually take the Fight to obama, all the way up to the election, I mean, They Really Don't Care, Jack. Your other quote : "he just won't go away" ?? Ya know something else ? kinda remids me of the "Thrilla in Manilla" 1974 – I swear, I thought it would've been over in 6 or 8 rounds, Jack. Ali kept hitting Frazier with blows to the head & face, he ended up showing a little blood at the side of his mouth. I mean it was constant. round after round – guess what ? That Frazier Just Would Not Go Down !! It ended up going for 15 rounds, with the decision going to Ali. I'll never forget it, as long as I live. This is how I see the newter, I mean this guy just won't go down ! ( never heard of hbo at the time) If you wanted to watch it, you had to go somewhere and pay for "closed circuit" t.v)
    Larry in Houston

    January 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  133. SherrieGG

    Back from the dead. Twice. Rasputin Gingrich? "Pewt."

    January 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Clifton

    Great public speakers can be mesmerizing, even if they are evil. Just look at Hitler.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  135. Paul

    Jack...its easy...ignorance about who he really is...and religious bigotry

    January 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  136. Mac

    I think many of the comment posters here will be surprised when they learn that they in fact are the fringe. Check back in November and see how in touch you really are with mainstream american thought thought. Maybe you all will move to California after that and secede.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  137. Daniel, Lexington KY

    Name recognition, plain and simple.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  138. Matt

    His grand ideas that he relates to when he was Speaker of the House will not work in this global economy. Stop saying what you did before and how much chaos you caused while doing it and actually start saying what you can do for the economy. Old ideas just won't fly in this economy and the global positioning of the financial markets.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  139. David from Webster, NY

    Newt Gingrich is like the bully in school who wants to fight with everyone to show just how tough he is.
    Americans want someone who is a fighter.
    Obama is going to be a tough fight and we know there is only one GOP candidate who could fight him and win.
    That person is Newt Gingrich!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  140. Charles

    It's simply the ineptness of his competition.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  141. Jamie White, Tacoma WA

    The gullibility of the ardent right wing Republican that will accept anything said forcibly as long as it reinforces their already held prejudices. Facts need not apply when knee jerk slogans are forcibly uttered.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  142. Pat, Chicago, IL

    THE LACK OF TRUE ENERGY FOR THE ELECTORATE....No one really seems to care.... thats why there has been so many different "front runners"

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  143. Bo

    I am lost on why he is still doing well. I now think he may be the anti-christ to oppose the pious Mitt. Not sure how he is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes and now even Palin and her sheep are jumping aboard. My vote is definitely going to Obama if the Newt is head of the Republican pond.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  144. s in coloraod

    One word: E X T R E M I S M. Another word: S T U P I D I T Y -- oh, and just one more .. C R A Z Y!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  145. Tina Texas

    Cats do have nine lives but his record of ethics violations will catch up to him and all the lies he told because if you remember he promised term limits. People be careful who you vote for cause he will come back and bite you in the bum.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  146. Mjhankla

    Simple: Newt says what he feels and it's usually the truth.
    He's the only one the Republicans have that has a chance against Obama.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  147. Aaron In St.Louis Missouri

    Two words Jack, Pocket Racism.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  148. Larry from NY

    His deal with Satan?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  149. Barry Verona

    Duplicity.

    And the inability of Americans to recognise it.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  150. Gary, Louisville, KY

    The same secret to the success of McDonald's Big Mac. You know it is unhealthy, you know you should never consume one, you know there are much better choices...but nevertheless, sometimes you just have to indulge the urge to eat one. In short, irresistible, but short-lived.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  151. Steve

    The reason for his recent success is from the religious zealots who hate the idea of a Morman yet know Santorum is even more of a religious crackpot than themselves, and he would have no chance to win against Obama.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  152. Rev. Brian Kopke

    Newt surges because his simgle minded arrogance and name calling speaks to all those people who feel they have been left behind both culturally and economically. They are the self proclaimed downtrodden whose poor self image has been waiting for soemone to cater to them. Gingrich panders. Do we really want a pandering President?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  153. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I think the dumbing down of the U.S.A. via our failing, corrupt, and unaffordable educational system and government management of it is the secret.... national ignorance.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  154. Bob D. Morristown NJ

    Unbridled Chutzpah and mastery of the BIG LIE!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  155. Sandstone.

    "I think he needs a Pace-Maker. He gets so red in the face, he's heading for a heart-attack. Getting as angry as he looks sometimes, can only shorten his life, even if he looks like he's winning this Race, he will be dead on his feet in the last two furlongs.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  156. Dennis Goughary

    Ignorant voters more interested in sound bites rather than substance.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  157. Terrie Downs

    The truth is that people just DON'T like Mitt Romney. I don't understand why people won't go with Ron Paul. He's been stable and honest. I guess it's juyst my opinion.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  158. John

    It is so easy. Republicans hate Romany and need to find something. The Newt as bad as he is, he not hated by the far right and the rest of republicans will just fall in line if he looks like a winner.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  159. Mike in TX

    The Republicans have been taught only to consider possible things that will allow them to meet the only priority - Beat Obama. Skills that would allow one to actually be a President, the leader of our men and women in uniform, our ultimate diplomat and the most powerful man in the world no longer matter. Bottom line Jack is someone stuck all their heads in the sand.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  160. Wanda

    Nobopdy tells the tuth better than a lier !!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  161. Mike Goldfield

    This is the simplest question to answer that you've ever asked Jack.
    There is just nobody else in that party to vote for.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  162. Gene

    He succeeds due to the pathetic level of choices available.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  163. gregg heffren

    I guess family values and morals are not important anymore. What happened til death due us part Newt? Not one of these candidates are good for our country.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  164. Linda

    There are three secrets to Newt's success: 1) the American people's short memory 2) Newt's well honed skill at using dogwhistle political rhetoric to signal his true agenda and, 3) his raw naked ambition which allows him to tolerate the public airing of his dirty laundry.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  165. Jason Oregon

    Newt's success is due solely to the ignorance of his audience. He's the most disgusting excuse for family values, ever. The epitome of elite. This race is a joke.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  166. Observer974

    Well, after eight years of, each, Clinton and Bush, thee years of Obama, massive job outsourcing, Wall Street bailouts, white collar criminals free and unchallenged and running amuck, taking down Europe's economy, the government spying on us, TSA, Homeland Security, SOPA, etc. no one trusts ANY of our institutions. Gingrich encapsulates that anger. He's a phony, but a brilliant one.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  167. RandyFromColorado

    Simple Jack, the republican canidate pool is simply that weak.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  168. Tom

    I think it is simple. The main stream republicans have never been comfrotable with the fact that Romney is a Morman. So, this leaves the door slightly ajar for any and all comers. Even someone as controversial as Newt.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  169. S

    Romney is a fake phony foolish liar. Why would anyone want to stick with that canard

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  170. David W.

    The Speaker of Truth is made of Teflon – People are flocking to him because with an irresponsible government trapped in the partisan gridlock of divided government, hemmoraging deficits and runaway entitlements, Gingrich is the only one (including Pres. Obama) who's already "been there, done that", in overcoming these problems to balance the budget and reform welfare. We've had three years of "Amateur Hour" in Washington, and Obama had eight years more experience in government – four more at the federal level – than Mitt Romney does right now. Everyone knows Newt is NOT part of the establishment (they're trying to stop him), but he DOES have the expertise to get us out of this mess. Romney is just a stuffed shirt by comparison....

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  171. bill rogers, cape cod

    short memories and a crappy g o p

    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  172. John from Oklahoma

    It's simple Jack. Newt is a ARTICULATE showman. I am not a Republican; but, I will be as disappointed at the end of the Newt show as I was at the end of Seinfeld. When I was in college, we used to refer to things like the current Republican nomination as Kafkaesque. Now, the best term is probably Seindfeldesque. Thanks Jack, you do a good job.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  173. Todd in Raleigh

    Jack, Newt's secret is quite simple....he's the best debater in the republican landscape and the only one capable of debating the President.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  174. Steve Reasoner

    Newt's success (and allegiance) is tied directly to billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  175. Dr. James R. Pannozzi D.O.M., LAc

    Poor little obsequious "news" people can't figure out Newt's secret. It's easy and its right in front of you ! Just like OWS ! Come to think of it, the "news" folks could not figure that one out either.

    There is a unifying core dissatisfaction, outrage, anger and disgust with Wall Street, Washington, AND the media that keeps missing the pervasive sabotage of their influence. 1%ers such as, obviously, the "businessman" "leader" (sic) Romney who formerly would have had an express red carpet direct to the nomination have run into this too.

    Here, let me spell this out for the "news" folks who don't get it. It only takes one word.

    REBELLION.

    Dr. James R. Pannozzi D.O.M., LAc.
    Sarasota, Florida

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  176. Patricia/Georgia

    He did not have much luck appealling to normal folks who read things and know what is going on and remember his failures. Now he appeals to the radicals with his Kenyan references, his food stamp references, his everyone is on the take we we all pay for it, this so called christian cannot stand anyone who needs a hand. His comments about black children having no roll models was insulting as many Moms and Dads are working two jobs to get the education they need to help their children succeed. Apparently, he has not noticed on t.v. and in hospitals and all over, there are many educated black successful people who were helped by their roll models...Mom and Dad ..sometimes only Mom but none the less someone giving them the right values. Where are his values, I ask??

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  177. George: Ashdod, Israel

    The secret of Newt's success. Brilliance, passion, and CNN. John King served up a softball that Newt hit out of the park. Americans apparently distrust the media more than they distrust politicians.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  178. Ed from Edmonton Canada

    The reason he keeps surging is because of the pitiful slate of losers the splintered Republicans have put forth for the electorate to choose from.! Seriously???

    January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  179. Mark Olenick

    Newt Gingrich appears to have been wearing a Freemasonry pin on his lapel the past 2 debates, and his numbers have gone up. With the backing of such a far reaching organization is it any wonder? I refuse to believe that uninformed voters is the primary cause, if it was Ron Paul, who the news does not cover with such fervor then maybe, but everything has been all over the news when it comes to Gingrich. Romney has the ear of the Corporate raiders, but the so called secret societies have selected the most easily controlled candidate and they want Gingrich. Think not? investigate the past several presidents. Masons in the oval office almost throughout american History with only a rare exceptioon or two. You decide if that is coincidence for yourself, i don't believe in coincidence

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  180. Roy - Dayton, Tennessee

    I don't think we should look at Newt Gingrich as having some sort of secret to success. The true reason is this nation as a whole has failed. America is like a giant puppet on a string and it's puppeteers are the Mitt Romneys and Newt Gingrichs of the world. It is almost like we all live inside of one of those bubbles that always have a way of bursting. Ron Paul told us how it really is...WE BETTER WAKE UP". Newt's success is our collective failure as a society.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  181. Margot

    Easy-the Republican base is composed of those who are both irrationally angry and mentally dim...........In order to get the nomination, you must appease this base of morons-with the full knowledge that in the general election, you will be dead meat. The Republicans made a deal with the devil when they adopted the Tea Party-this crowd is now the noose around their necks......so much for "family values"! Born again Newt is just toooo funny.....Get yourself some microwave popcorn and enjoy this drama-or comedy.....Depends on your point of view! Margot from the "other" Washington

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  182. Sam Gallen

    The secret to Newt Gingrich's success is his debating. Conservatives can relate to his bitterness in the Washington elite. But in reality, his success comes from his hair. What style and volume!
    Wyomissing, PA

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  183. Molly

    SMART, BOLD, AGGRESSIVE – 3 words to sum up Newt – and it seems people like those qualities!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  184. Dr Mark Burtman from Columbus Ms

    Mitt Romney comes across as a whiner. Newt Gingrich comes across as a winner!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  185. patricia, Detroit

    Mendacity, Deception, and Bullying anyone in his way. I wonder how this will work on powerful world leaders.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  186. Stephen Fordice

    The secret to his success? Romney, Paul, Santorum. It is much more a comment on the lack of depth in the race than on the robustness of Gingrich. He has become the lesser of several evils.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  187. Nan Socolow

    The secret of Newt Gingrich's success is the short attention span of Republicans, Tea Party Conservatives and red state iggerodies. Their memories don't go further back than yesterday's fast food dinners. Anyone who heeds and knows Newt's history knows what a snake-oil and scam artist and Wizard of Oz this bloviator really is!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  188. Thomas J Patison

    Newt is a fighter... Like it or not... That's what the Republicans need if they are to beat Obama. The South Carolina debates were like job interviews. The GOP is not hiring a President... They are hiring an attack dog.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  189. Shane

    Newt sucess comes straight from the under-educated voters that vote for him. Newt has the moral backbone of a jellyfish, countless flip-flops on his record, and just looks downright evil. Jack, you should tell these people to be careful who they vote for. If Newt were our president this country will be up for sale to the highest bidder.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  190. Seth

    You too can succeed in life by employing equal parts out-sized ego, shameless self-promotion, the infinite ability to self-delude and obfuscate. What's the surprise?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  191. Jason Oregon

    President Obama will shred any nominee the right throws at him. Too bad they don't have a voice to choose a good one.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  192. Merk

    So what is the secret of Newt's success? Simple answer, the devil takes care of his own!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  193. Jeffrey Lauffer

    The secret to Newt's success is simple Jack, its the stupidity of the electorate. It is the rabid validation of his sound bites, his grand factless statements, and his radical ill thought out social comments. Since when do we elect our leaders based on hateful, demeaning, devisive rhetoric such as this? P.T. Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute. He would have a field day today when there are thousands born every second.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  194. Frank; Truckee, CA

    Why is Gingrich having success? Charitable answer: Uninformed Americans. Truthful answer: Stupid Americans.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  195. Harb

    Secret to his success?

    An unbounded discernment void!

    Bradenton, FL

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  196. Martie

    Jack, his secret is that he knows how to pander to the blood sucking meat eaters. He will say anything to rowl up those who just want Obama out, its no longer about the issues with him, no, he prefers to be divisive and demeaning in his rhetoric and those who want that kind of talk love him.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  197. Gary

    Newt knows how to snarl and throw red meat to the conservative base that is angry about everything.
    The gods aren't benevolent enought to deliver him to the Democrats in the general election.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  198. Gus

    If I had the answer to that question, I wouldn't have to watch you're show. I'd be The New Grinch (same as the old Grinch) political advisor and we'd both be richer than Mitt!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  199. Len Smith

    He appeals to hate, anger, racist, although, I am not sure he is one, but he will use anything to get a vote from people who just don't think. He has been the worst person for government in my lifetime and has done, nothing, nothing positive for the country.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  200. Roswell

    It just shows us how shallow these social conservatives are. Do as I say not as I do. By all means elect a hippocrit so congress can spend the next 4 years impeaching and convicting him just as they did the last time when they threw him out as speaker.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  201. Taylor

    Jack,

    As a young independent I find Newt Gingrich to be an exciting candidate. Sure he has had some drama in the past but that was a long time ago. His success comes from his message. His message is clear and well articulated. Lower taxes to create capital investment, reduce the size of the federal government, balance the budget and provide an optimistic view of America. Romney does not have a bold tax plan, no detailed cuts and a history of increasing the size of government. Obama has been in office 3 years and has not tackled any of these issues. I can see how the American people believe it is the right-wing congress but the Senate has yet to pass budget, it's been 1000 days, and the President refuses to take the advice of his own Simpson-Bowles committee. Now do you see why Newt is having such great success?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  202. Susan - Laguna Hills

    No Success yet...Newh is good at fooling the mobs by his intellectual skills but lacking of substances is going to weed him out eventually. For now, it's just pure entertaining. Remember, if he didn't do anything wrong how could media report anything or going after him nothing but shameful history?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  203. Rick Freedman

    GIngrich taps perfectly into the sense of grievance that drives the emotions of the know-nothing voters he appeals to. Because they can't accept the fact that they don't understand the complex issues of economics and foreign policy, they fall back on the conspiracy theories that Gingrich plays upon. In their fantasy world, it's not that supply-side economics is a dismal failure that brought us to the brink of global disaster; it's government bureaucrats that are stopping them from achiving the greatness they have within. It's not that American war and adventurism failed in Iraq and Afghanistan; it's that the media is misleading the American public. It's not that America is unequal and tilted towards the rich; it's that those damned minorities and 'illegals' are sponging on good Americans. Gingrich is a fool at managing his own impulses, but he's a genius at playing the emotions of the rubes.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  204. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Because he believes and is capable of inspiring others to believe. He owns up to his mistakes and is going forward. He will be a super candidate.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  205. Randy Maatta

    It isn't so much that Newt is a great candidate. The GOP has tried on practically every candidate and nothing seems to fit. So, they put on their old suit from the back of the closet. They know the suit is dirty and wrinkled, but its all they have to wear.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  206. Tanya Barnes

    There's bad then there's worse ,I still believe President Obama will win by a landslide,but the lesser of two evils between Willard and Newt is Newt He's the devil we know Rommney is the Devil we don't know.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  207. Jane - GA

    Jack – the secret is – the media doesn't get it!! Newt says what voters are thinking and all you and the media thinks about is promoting your own agenda. I gave my sons "NEWT 2012" baseball hats for Christmas which I purchased back in November. That's how much faith I've had in him all along. It's true he has a lot of personal baggage but that didn't stop us from supporting for FDR, JFK and many others. I think he's what this country needs to get back on it's feet. If Obama is re-elected you can kiss it goodbye.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  208. Laverne E Brison

    We have three contests so far and three different winners that's all. The media is getting carried away. Mr. Gingrich will not be the nominee in the end. He does not have the money, the organization or the discipline to go far. Let him enjoy his time in the sun. It will soon be over. It is fun to see Mr. Romney get all flustered and scared. He does not have the staying power either. I don't think he will get very far with President Obama..

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  209. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Jack

    Newt's new found success has more to do with Romney's bad luck and people poor opinion of him as a viable candidate than it does with Newt's success or luck. This is clearly a referendum and sad commentary on Romney.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  210. Bonnie

    Secret?? None. The American people love to be angry. At the moment Gingrich is giving the most and the " best" hate-filled rhetoric – so he's getting the votes. This hateful and divisive direction will, of course, be the end of our society as we know, unless it can be turned around – and that looks doubtful...

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  211. Brett

    Gingrich simply struck the right tone at the right moment – appealing to annoyed voters he has become the flavor of the week. The truth is, educated voters do and should be informed about candidates even if their past baggage contains some tawdry scandal. If your're running for President, you should be prepared for transparency.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  212. R. J. Seaby

    Gingrich thrives on the indulgence of American's understanding.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  213. Ed

    Gingrich taps into anger and blame. The high points of his debate performances and the audience reaction confirm this. And the fact that he score votes across the spectrum in SC suggests that it isn't any of his positions that drew people to him, but he voicing of anger, blame, and the perceived ability as a result to be a fighter. Evangelicals and conservatives are able to overlook his personal failings and applaud his anger at being asked about them even though they consider morals such an important issue; not to mention the fact that Gingrich had no problem decrying Clinton's personal behavior. The problem is that you can't win nationally just on anger. He's got to also appeal positively to people and Gingrich just has too many negatives with the general electorate. He is DOA in the general.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  214. Michael Scott Karpovich

    The ANGRY Republicans (not all of them) who want a fight and HATE the president don't want a kind nominee. They want someone who will take the gloves off. Gingrich has never been nice... he has a record of playing rough. He is most apt to say the way the Obama Haters think and feel and act in kind. Romeny and Paul and Santorum will never be cruel enough. The rest of them are more apt to be "political" or "nice" or "measured" ... not Newt!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  215. Rajiv Shaw, Mt. Pleasant, UT

    The high testosterone effect appeals to his public.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  216. Laura from Little Silver, NJ

    Republicans are looking for strength, substance and the guts to bring American back from the brink. Obama is Nice. Romney is Nice. But Nice won't cut it. We'll take flawed and strong over nice and mushy this time around. Give me Gingrich or Santorum, and we'll see things start to turn around.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  217. James Jolly

    Newt's key to success is the moron in the White House, Obama.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  218. S. Turner Pa.

    They voted for Bush because they felt he was someone they could sit around the kitchen table and have a beer with. I imagine with Gingrich it's because they feel he'd be someone they could watch in a good bar room brawl!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  219. Leo in NC

    The secrest to Newt Gingrich's success can be summed up in two words...Republican desperation. He's almost becoming a GOP Hail Mary pass.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  220. David

    Simple, he is using a page from Carl Rove's book. Say it loud, often, and like you know what your talking about. Why answer when you can attack. Worked for Bush and looks like a lot of people have not learned from that.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  221. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    The secret to Newt's success is the same used by Professor Harold Hill (the Music Man). The only difference is Hill duped the citizens of River City while Gingrich is trying to dupe an entire nation. Make them believe what you want people to see and hear are what they believe you are dishing out. It's relly more like the Buddy Hackett number, "Shapoopie!" (Heavy on the poop.)

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  222. Darrell W

    Sounds to me like the Socialists are frightened of Newt. They should be. He is a threat to their way of life. And by the way.........how about those college transcripts Resident Obama?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  223. Wanda

    Nobody tells the truth better than a lier !

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  224. Charlie

    There seem to be five reasons for the Gingrich success... 1. He displays a rosy cheeked Santa Claus personna 2. He has a full head of white hair. 3. He has name recognition. 4. He is a skilled orator 5. He appeals to an uninformed electorate.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  225. Tony C - Puerto Rico

    The secret to Newt's success? Two words: Mitt Romney. The GOP seems more interested in someone who will give Obama a verbal thrashing in the general election debates, even if it means alienating moderates and independents and losing the general election. Gingrich just happens to be that guy.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  226. GeorgeGray

    The secret to Mr. Gingrich's success is that there is poverty, misery, despair, and a striking lack of leadership in the United States, and worldwide. In such an environment, you may expect people's preferences to swing wildly from one individual offering a false promise of hope and change to the next, and then again to the next.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  227. Bebiboy65

    any success attributed to Newt is due to the fact that the other candidates are so terrible,an audience who are as bottom of the barrel as the candidates,and the national inquirer mentality that encompasses the GOP.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  228. Seth, California

    Simple jack. The people are not ready or willing to say okay to Romney, Santorum and Paul messages just don't resonate with the population as a whole. Gingrich isn't perfect by any means. But his message has displayed more emotion then Romney ever has in his entire six years of chasing his dream. Never mind the fact the Romney is more of a liberal then he lets on or the fact that he is a flip flopper when it suits him.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  229. Jim In Pittsburgh

    There is no secret. The years of pushing "idealogical purity" as reduced the GOP to little more than Right Wing radicals - and Newt is pandering to them.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  230. Tony in New York

    It seems to me, jJck, that his appeal is that he's a reflection the conflicted electorate he's appealing to – he preaches family values, but his personal life is a sordid tale of broken promises and desertion. He has, time and time again, been exposed for both personal and professional transgressions, yet always seems to reappear like the proverbial bad penny. He has never truly suffered for his mistakes and has no shame when it comes to his his hypocrisy (see Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), and this is what appeals to a voting group that wants to have its social security and medicare on one hand, and wants to cut the deficit on the other (without, of course, ever raising taxes). He is the poster child for having his cake and eating it too.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  231. Ken in Ontario

    Charisma, Newt has it and the other candidates don't. Newt possesses the same characteristics when it comes to speaking as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton . Newt is authentic and Romney seems to be fake to the point that he appears to be robotic. Lastly a Newt Gingrich versus President Obama debate would be must see TV.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  232. mario

    Jack, Newt is liked because he's like a pitbull. He is always pissed off.When asked a question from the media at these debates he is pissed at the question, the person who asked the question, he's even pissed off giving the answer and usually his answer is correct and easy for people to understand. Someone has to get mad at something the country is run by Mr.Magoo. right now.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  233. NHG CC TX

    Newt is the Bull in the China shop right now. You can't help paying attention . Lets be honest you can park a car in his big mouth, but he is not a good candidate, not electable!! Let him enjoy his big hurrah, someone will take the hot air out of him, sooner than later. Remember Jack, in this case it will not be over till the fat man sings!! Newt, sing us a farewell song.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  234. Kent Quincy, Illinois

    Hey Jack,
    It's no big secret. Without John King and Jaun Williams , Newt finishes second in South Carolina. Both asked stupid questions of Newt in the debates andhis replies propelled him to victory.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  235. Don C

    The guy is obviously very intelligent and of course he has a big ego but all Presidents & Prez candidates do. The most puzzling aspect is he isn't nearly as conservative as he is painted. In fact, liberals are out of touch saying the guy is a traditional social conservative. This is a guy that can appeal to moderate & independent voters because he focuses on the issues and actions. He's a guy non-radicals will listen to even when you don't agree with him because he has a civility. I'm still probably not going to vote for him but he has been somewhat refreshing to me. He's imperfect, but he's not hiding from the imperfections.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  236. Gautam Shah from Simpsonville, SC

    George Orwell said it all: "Ignorance is strength"

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  237. Tom from Guam

    The ability to lie to the voters that back him, the ability to manipulate the minds of Americans, the ability to succeed in million/ billion dollar campaigns when the national debt continues to climb. This is the formula for any presidential candidates success, not just Newts.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  238. tom raleigh nc

    I don't know where to start. the hypocrisy of newt, standing there and being offended by the invasion into his personal life is truly breath taking. Here is the man, who helped launch 25 investigations into President Clinton personal life, all the while, having numerous affairs himself .An investigation where the prosecution wanted to have Paula Jones identify the Presidental junk! Offended indeed!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  239. Jim -Port Saint Lucie, Florida

    Two words Jack. Voter stupidity.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  240. david bidlack

    dave from michigan republicans are all holding their nose on the choices for their field of presidentual hopefuls and they know it. newt has no secrets he is the winner of the last primary by making himself appear to be less of a loser than the rest of the field. what a big joke! is this the best that the republicans can come up with?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  241. Janie B.

    Simply put, Gingrich is a southern serial cheater who has "repented" and the evangelicals in the Carolinas, from where I am from, would rather have someone of his questionable ethics than a "Mormon" It has nothing to do with the issues, of which many of ignorant of.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  242. BIll in VA

    I guess people want someone who would clean Obama's clock in a debate... someone with some real intellect. Me, I prefer someone who can beat Obama in the general election and that isn't the necessarily the same person.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  243. Bernard

    Gingrich's so-called success boils down to this: scared and timid the media to their dead bones and they will dare not question your integrity no more. This has been his stock-in-trade ever since and it seems as if he is riding on top that "strategy" to the finish. May lord have mercy on our democracy!

    Bernard, Atlanta.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  244. Gina from WV

    His success is indirect. People hate to be told who is going to win by the establishment- i.e. Romney. Plus, let's face it, Romney has "choked" – no tax forms, "corporations are people", "I come from the street" (HA!) – This extravaganza is enjoyable but pitiful. Is this all the US has to offer?? !

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  245. Peggs, Owensboro,KY

    B-A-C-K-B-O-N-E !!!.............1st candidate in Y-E-A-R-S to have one !!! (Reagan)

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  246. Gary Hobbs

    Jack,
    Newt's success rests with the dimwitted southern white Republicans who think he is a smart man and are thrilled with his lies and anything else that he says to vilify those who are progressive. He toots the dog whistle as the ears of the racists perk up as they bark in utter joy to the old words of hatred that they celebrate.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  247. JC in SC

    Just imagine what it's like for me to live in SC as a democrat. OBTW, Mjhankla, he tells the altered truth, that's what we "yahoos" down here in SC love and may explain why "we" pick the Republican nominee. We are the true "heartbeat" of the Republican party, and we have arrhythmia!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  248. Joe harrison

    Gingrich has one thing the candidates lack is that he's not afraid of conflict which translates to the viewer as being direct and tough. Which I'm sure he is. However this is the typical cowboy southern politics style that got him ousted from congress. He will eventually self destruct. Dollars to doughnuts

    January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  249. Matthew in MS

    Jack, South Carolina is the state that allowed their governor spin a yarn about the Appalachian Trail and get away with it. His wife let him get away with it. Wives in South Carolina will vote as their husbands vote because the omnipresent conservative media in the South preaches that God is totally cool with anything that a Republican could possibly do as long as he or she gives the finger to the world outside after doing it.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  250. Jeff in San Diego

    Maybe the good people of South Carolina are more swinging than we thought?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  251. Larry R, Portland, OR

    Gingrich is the artful dodger and a master manipulator. He wrote a paper for the Republican party many years ago about buzz words that resonate with certain people. For those who feel victimized, fearful or oppressed his angry rhetoric touches a responsive chord. The answer to his detractors is a stinging offensive, filled with invective and denunciation of them, never addressing his own failings.

    We are a bitterly divided country, divided over the role and scope of government, social issues and divided over economic issues such as the role wealth should play in our economy. Gingrich seizes upon these wedge issues using passion over reason. Rather than appealing to our aspirations he appeals to our fears, prejudicies and insecurities. There are simply too many people for whom this is effective.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  252. Ruben A

    Mr. Cafferty, it surprises me you do not see this. I am a Democrat, and as a Democrat and like every American this is the time to choose a leader that is realistic and one we can recognize. It is very simple, under each mask worn by political candidates lies the real man...who are we electing?? Well, knowing none of us are perfect, what we do know is that Newt, 1) tells it like it is, and 2) we know what we are getting and 3) makes sense. In short He is one of US. If it is a Obama against Romney, I am voting Obama, if it is Obama against Gingrich I am voting Republican..shocked?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  253. miterko

    Let's see, it's the Tea Party ultra right wing that thinks Newt is the best thing since sliced bread. Yes, they are the party of family values, That's why they want Newt, after all he has had three families. Of course he had to dump two wives to do it. What a guy! What values!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  254. Mannington Phil, WV

    When you have a certain inclination, you go for the closest thing available that fullfills your desires, such as yearning "Extreme Vanila Chuck Full With Nuts" icecream. Even if he or she has ugly warts, an ugly disposition, and has someone else waiting in the shower and a third waiting in bed, if he or she is your flavor, they go for it. Atleast until tomorrow's extreme flavor comes along.
    Anyone remember Loudan Wainwright III's song "Newt"?
    Mannington Phil

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  255. Larry Haun

    For decades, with the backing and encouragement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the GOP leadership has courted, and pandered to, members of society’s fringe groups: the intensely religious, the creationists, the racists, the anti-tax crusaders, the global warming deniers, the gun nuts and the homo- and islamophobes. Gingrich is succeeding because those fringe groups, who see Gingrich as one of their own, have wrested control of the party from the very plutocrats who recruited them.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  256. Junior, Portland ME

    Newt Gingrich and his overnight success in SC is like "Snookie" of the Jersey Shore reality show. It's all about entertaining the public with wild and salacious comedic performances. People can't wait until the next debate to watch Newt punch out the media and his rivals "Jerry Springer" style. Maybe tonight they'll pull each others hair! This has nothing to do with who's going to be president, the Republicans already lost that race. It has everything to do with tickling our need for entertainment.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  257. Rich in CO

    Gingrich's success is primarily that as nasty as the Left is (see other commenters), Newt can be nastier. He's smarter, tougher, and what you see is what you get – we all know his many flaws, and he works to overcome them. And, he's not Robo-Romney.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  258. GrogInOhio

    What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success? Selective amnesia and hypocrisy by Republican voters. The party of "family values" prefers Newt Gingrich? The Tea Party, with its disdain for Washington insiders, embraces Newt Gingrich? Pure hypocrisy. Add just a hint of racial sliminess and voila! Newt Gingrich!!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  259. Max, Atlanta, GA

    The answer to his success is simple; it’s the pure hatred of the media by Evangelicals and the Talk Radio/Fox News crowd. Newt could have cured two forms of Cancer this past week and not received near the amount of praise that he did by “putting the media in its place”.

    Expect more bullying of the media in the upcoming debates as well as the ones in 2016. I don’t want to see the debates become some Jerry Springer free for all, but it might be wise to start putting some “alpha males” in the moderator position.

    For the record, I'm conservative and an Evangelical.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  260. Christopher Keil

    What Newt Gingrich has managed to masterfully tap into is the entire conservative sense of victimization. Gingrich has convinced the conservative base that he and he more than any of the others is a targeted victim of a biased liberal media that is out with a secretly avowed purpose of destroying his political ambitions. He is outraged and defiant against the unfairness and duplicity of the mainstream media that misrepresents all conservative ideals and his adherents firmly do believe that is is these "lamestream" detractors that have been complicit in the removal and decimation of their own freedoms. Newt is a victim and they are all victims.

    The same scenario goes for those elites – who ever they may be. It those people with their fancy Washington and Ivy-league connections that are running this once great nation into the ground. Newt has suffered the brunt of this more any any other human being on the planet, so he knows that it is like to be a victim of these dangerous know-it-all self-serving elites. His followers are victims too. They can only fight back and reclaim what was once theirs by voting for him. As long ass they don't look behind the curtain, Newt is their partner is victimization and out-crying.

    His debate points are short on solutions, but long on cataloging the offenses lodged against him by shadowy groups of privileged destruction of America. His points are rarely based upon facts, they don't need to be. It feels like some great wrong has been done to Gingrich and by way of connection to all those conservative value voters now seeking to avenge their own victimization.

    Newt's new slogan should be: "To the Victimized belong the spoils!"

    January 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  261. Joan

    You and all the other media are so afraid that Newt will win that you are trying all you can to replay any dirt you can!! Do you really think all the people who are voting for him are just stupid? And I suppose all you were proud to be an American when your PRESIDENT remained in the white house even after "no, I didn't have sex with that woman"!!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  262. Patricia from Toronto Canada

    Gingrich is enjoying success because Americans are uninformed and don't care. Dumb would be a more accurate word. And to support my premise just look at all the other candidates...not a decent one among the bunch. Obama looks better and better every day!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  263. T in Kansas

    Newt Tells it like he sees it. That may be different than telling it like it is. But he doesn't back down. He can go toe-to-toe with anyone. And that would be refreshing rather than someone who seems to apologize for being an America.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  264. Will from south dakota

    The secret to his so called success is the stupidity of the people that voted for him or Romney for that matter. Neither one of them has a snowballs chance in hell of defeating Obama and that is a shame. Sooner or later the American people will wake up and realize that character does matter. Whether we like it or not the country will follow it's leaders and when we have leaders like Clinton, the Kennedys, Bush that are immoral, unethical and down right crooked the people will follow. Sooner or later we must elect a leader that is honest, moral and will be guided only by doing what is right for the country. Hopefully we will not be too late.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  265. Southern Lady

    Newt is everything that is wrong with the political system in America yet the far-right Republicans love him? He is a man without morals, has great difficulty with the truth and would be a disaster if ever elected.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  266. JC in SC

    Jason of Oregon. Wow. You hit the nail on the head. "Newt's success is due solely to the ignorance of his audience." That says it all.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  267. Barbara Hagen

    A sucker is born every minute and Newt has mastered finding his suckers. He's a racist and a bigot. Fast talker!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  268. Jessie Waclawski

    He likes fresh thought and clear ideas.He doesn't allow anything to get in his way, even sickly wives.You gotta get rid of those unhappy little problems in ones life, you know. So I hope his latest wife doen't get ill.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  269. brenda hutchison

    Newt has swagger; Romney is bland. The South likes the swagger. By Feburary the swagger will be repulsive and bland will blah...win again. Pipe Creek, Texas

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  270. Dennis Bell

    Newt's success in S.C. can be contained by two words: race-baiting. I've lived down there. Look at the results map–right around the only two decent sized cities in the state are the only two places he didn't dominate. You go ten miles outside those two cities and you'll find toothless people strumming banjoes.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  271. Dennis

    Remember Howard Beale? I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore...I'm amazed the way people will follow anybody.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  272. henry - georgia

    Newt is expressing the heartbeat of a lot of Americans and he's right – Obama is the "food stamp president". Just go into a shopping mall during the daytime and the only people shopping are those you can bet are getting government checks. People are sick and tired of supporting deadbeats and Newt is their only hope for change.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  273. Kelly Ontario, Canada

    Let's face it Jack, he appeals to the ignorant angry people who want the President to go down no matter what. The problem is the President Obama that he rails against is a made up character and not an actual real life person, simply put..this "dangerous, radical" Obama doesn't exist except for in thier minds.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  274. manyote

    Only the devil himself can be more vile than Grinch. Heck if the devil came out of his abode the Grinch would probably name him as his running mate and his followers would love it. Ah the blindness of the lambs...

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  275. shawn- - - -So Cal

    Newt's is playing the conservative base and the tea party like an "old fiddle." He is targeting their anger and fear that no one in Washington is paying attention. He will attach any group that can get him attention and potential votes. His marginal comments on race, the poor and the impoverished show a lack of respect and have reverted the countries dialog by 50 years.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  276. Ron Indialantic

    Jack,

    I am an agnotstic, moderate, republican that is about as far from the conservative right as they will let me without revoking my "R" card. That being said, what is appealing about newt is that he isn't afraid to say what he really thinks (right or wring, tasteful or not). Its a refreshing change from what we have seen as of late. He also speaks to all of us who are frustrated with the sense of entitlement that has run rampant in this country. I am unsure I can muster the strength to vote for him, but i do see and feel his appeal.

    -Frustrated

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  277. ka-ren lipchik

    When I hear Newt speak with such hatred, I wonder about the people who are voting for him. There is goodness in everything and yet Newt prefers fear. He is not successful, nor are the folks who give him a vote.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  278. Eric

    Newt is successful because he THINKS, something the majority of American's rely on media to do for them. How fast we forget about the 80+ Ethics violations as Speaker, Freddie Mac giving him millions for "advisement" that led the organization to insolvency, oh, and saying that Palestinians are made up people. But he is the historian and the great debater. He remembers history well. Do we?

    Eric
    Warner Robins, GA

    January 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  279. Norton Mezvinsky

    The "secret" to Newt's success is: Those of you in the media who attack him so extremely and unmercifully antagonize many people by the manner and tone of your attacks. You thus provide him with a platform to criticize the major media as being overly prejudicial. This actually results in garnering more support for him. What happened in South Carolina provides a good indication of what I have written

    Norton

    January 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  280. Kevin

    Is there a political party for me?

    Fiscally, I don't want the government taking my money and wasting it on non-essential services and programs. Sounds conservative, right?
    Socially, I don't want the government telling me who to marry, when I can die, or what to read. Sounds liberal, right?

    Please help.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  281. john

    Whether he's toxic or not, he's a very effective debater and he has the insider's view of Washington. I couldn't care less if he's had three wives or three hundred, can he effectively lead the nation? I suspect he probably can.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  282. thom richer

    What success? He hasn't accomplished a thing yet. Is he the Republican candidate? No. Is he president? No. Is he a member of Congress? No. Has he had a lasting marriage? No. So, I ask you again,
    "What success?"

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  283. Michael Harkins/ Bellevue, WA.

    There is absolutely no question that Newt will tie President Obama in one big knot in a debate. I believe most people are anxious to see that. After all, its pretty hard to debate if your backup is a telepromter....

    January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  284. Chadmharley@aol.com

    People believe his lies and more people should be talking about mittromney and bain captial saving the economy in the 80s which was printed in the wallstreet journal

    January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  285. Don_J

    "What's the secret to Newt Gingrich's success?"... SHIELDS UP MR. SULU! We've got incoming questions that I don't want to answer... could... crush... campaign... if answered truthfully... must deflect... blame elitist media for everything!

    January 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |