.
Does Newt Gingrich not have a clue when it comes to African Americans?
January 17th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Does Newt Gingrich not have a clue when it comes to African Americans?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich is clueless when in comes to African-Americans. So writes Peter Beinart in a pretty tough Daily Beast column using Gingrich's own words from last night's Republican debate as proof.

Before we start here, keep in mind this debate was held in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Juan Williams, who was one of the moderators and is black, asked Gingrich whether some poor and minority voters might be insulted by his comments, as when Gingrich said poor kids lack a work ethic and black people should be instructed to demand jobs, not food stamps.

Gingrich, a native Georgian, pretty much dismissed the question as the crowd applauded. So Williams tried again, asking if Gingrich's words aren't belittling to the poor and blacks.

Williams: You saw some of this reaction during your visit to a black church in South Carolina, where a woman asked you why you refer to President Obama as "the food stamp president." It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people.

[BOOING]

Gingrich: Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.

[APPLAUSE]

Now, I know among the politically correct, you're not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.

[LAUGHTER]

[APPLAUSE]

Gingrich finished this exchange with a standing ovation from the mostly white crowd.

Beinart writes what is fascinating here is that Gingrich is not a racist and he believes the former house speaker genuinely cares about black poor people. Beinart suggests Gingrich's problem is ignorance. Suggesting blacks and their leaders don't consider jobs important shows how out of touch Gingrich is with African-American politics and the priority black leaders have put on jobs.

What's more - and this is probably the worst part - Gingrich doesn't get why calling Obama the "food stamp" president is highly offensive to blacks, given the history of blacks in this country.

Beinart writes: "The most plausible explanation is that Gingrich inhabits a cultural and intellectual bubble. A bubble called the Republican Party."

That’s tough stuff - and not so encouraging for the Republican Party when it comes to getting black voters.


Here’s my question to you:
Does Newt Gingrich not have a clue when it comes to African Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Newt Gingrich • Race • Race Relations
Is the Republican race over?
January 11th, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Is the Republican race over?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If the Republican primary race was a movie, the director might be ready to yell "Cut, print. That's a wrap!"

Mitt Romney is plowing ahead into South Carolina with the wind at his back after becoming first non-incumbent Republican in modern history to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. He may now be all but unstoppable.

Not too bad considering the Republicans have spent the past year trying out a whole roster of other candidates as the anti-Romney.

They've kicked the tires of everyone from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich and, most recently, Rick Santorum. And despite brief spikes in the polls, none of these candidates has been able to present a serious challenge to Romney. And if they're going to, they better start. Time is running short.

John Avlon writes for The Daily Beast that Romney is "ready for prime time" after his double-digit New Hampshire victory.

Consider this: Romney won almost every major demographic in New Hampshire. He won Catholic voters - even though he is a Mormon and ran against two Catholics. He also won evangelical voters and tea party supporters - despite all the talk that he wasn't conservative enough for the right wing of the party.

And the rest of the crowd doesn't seem to get it. Despite weak performances in New Hampshire - especially by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry - the whole group will stumble on into South Carolina.

There's an old expression that goes, "When it's over, it's over."

Here’s my question to you: Is the Republican race over?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm 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 • GOP • GOP Ticket • Gov. Rick Perry • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
What happened to Newt Gingrich's promise to take the high road?
January 10th, 2012
03:49 PM ET

What happened to Newt Gingrich's promise to take the high road?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican."

That was President Reagan's 11th commandment and a mantra for the Republican Party. These days, not so much.

For a while there, Newt Gingrich was all about running a positive campaign. Back in Iowa, he called on his supporters to stay positive and avoid attacking fellow Republican candidates.

The former House speaker said he would refrain from such attacks so the eventual nominee could emerge from the primary to face President Obama "unbloodied." The plan was to devote his energies to "real issues," like the economy and unemployment.

That lofty rhetoric matched his onetime lofty standings in the polls. When his numbers started to drop, so did his civility. Eventually, Gingrich imploded in Iowa and finished a distant fourth in the caucuses.

Flash ahead to New Hampshire, and guess what? The old Newt is back, snarky and snarly as ever, spewing personal attacks on a near-daily basis.

Gingrich has called Romney a "liar" and full of "pious baloney."

He's also described Romney as unconservative and "a relatively timid Massachusetts moderate."

It's the same old story with these guys. They all say going negative is not their "first preference." Newt says he needs to defend himself.

But at what cost to the party? Pat Buchanan writes that the "bad blood" between several of the Republican candidates could wind up damaging the eventual nominee. He likens the Republican primary process to a circular firing squad.

Buchanan suggests that the candidates' attacking each others' character could play right into the Democrats' hands, saying, "such wounds take time to heal. Some never do, and some will not be closed before the Republican convention."

Here’s my question to you: What happened to Newt Gingrich’s promise to take the high road?

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
Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?
December 19th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the Democrats wait to see whether President Obama faces off against Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich come November, a lot of them think Gingrich would be easier to beat. They may be very wrong. The latest CNN-Opinion Research Corp. national poll has them tied at 28%.

But as one Democratic adviser tells Politico: "Romney is playing not to lose, and Newt thinks he has nothing to lose."

Sure, Gingrich has his weaknesses and his dirty laundry: like his lack of discipline, no campaign infrastructure, his infidelities and three marriages, and the $1.6 million he took from Freddie Mac.

But when you get past all that, what you have is a more dangerous, talented and unpredictable rival than Romney.

Politico points to several reasons why team Obama should not take Gingrich for granted:

- For starters, Gingrich is smart. Very smart.

While Romney is no dummy, Gingrich knows his stuff. Gingrich has risen to the top of the Republican pack mostly based on his dominant debate performances. He has even offered to debate Obama, saying the president could use a teleprompter.

- Next, Gingrich fires up the base. He leads Romney when it comes to support from self-described conservatives. And Gingrich can reach out to the GOP’s wealthy donors while still taking swipes at Washington.

- Then there's Newt's mouth. Republicans love the way he attacks Obama. True, there's always the chance he'll go too far, come off as arrogant or self-destruct.

- Finally, Gingrich would be harder to target on Medicare or immigration, since his policies are more moderate than Romney's.

Here's my question to you: Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
GOPers say Gingrich a favorite uncle, Romney a missing father?
December 7th, 2011
02:54 PM ET

GOPers say Gingrich a favorite uncle, Romney a missing father?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In a presidential election, a lot of things come into play when determining the outcome.

Our country is beset with countless serious problems. For starters, we're broke, we're not creating jobs the way we need to and congress and Washington are a divided, dysfunctional mess.

So every four years we get to listen to candidates who come forward with ideas about how to make our lives better. Like the candidates themselves, some of the ideas are good and others are not.

But at the end of the day, it's often the likeability or the power of a candidate to connect with voters that makes the difference.

On the Republican side, the choice increasingly looks like it's between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

And one study found some interesting differences between the two men. Democratic pollster Peter Hart has described a focus group of Republican primary voters done for the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

When asked what relative Gingrich reminded them of, several Republicans said a favorite uncle or a grandfather. They described Romney as a "missing father" or a second cousin. Not exactly warm and fuzzy feelings for Romney.

Just one more strike against the one-time presumed nominee.

Meanwhile, Politico reports on the many reasons why Gingrich might win this thing, including:

Romney being forced to play catch-up; Gingrich's message being perfect for the anti-Washington Times; Gingrich rocking the debates, which are drawing huge audiences; the Obama campaign doing much of the anti-Romney work; social conservatives distrusting Romney, and Gingrich has momentum on his side, with the first four states voting in January.

Here's my question to you: What does it mean when Republicans say Newt Gingrich reminds them of a favorite uncle or grandfather, while Mitt Romney reminds them of a missing father or second cousin?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans
What does it say about Romney that he won't debate Gingrich one-on-one?
December 5th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

What does it say about Romney that he won't debate Gingrich one-on-one?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney is refusing to debate Newt Gingrich one-on-one in a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate.

Real Clear Politics reports that the conservative publications "Human Events" and "Red State" had locked down a date, December 19th, and a place for the debate.

They say Gingrich was rearing to go, but Romney turned down the offer.

It would seem potential Republican voters would welcome the opportunity to see the two top candidates answer tough questions face-to-face. Romney could benefit from the two-person format with his toughest opponent instead of the debate format where candidates who have virtually no chance of winning the nomination are included.

Plus it could be good practice for debates against Pres. Obama if Romney winds up being the nominee, which is appearing less likely each day.

So why won't Romney agree to debate Gingrich? Critics say he's "trying to run out the clock."

Gingrich will have a debate partner on the 19th after all. Jon Huntsman has accepted the invitation, while taking a swipe at Romney. Huntsman's campaign says the substantive format makes it hard for Romney to "hide from his record."

Romney could be making a big mistake by refusing to talk to the media, debate Gingrich, etc. The coronation he was counting on appears to be slipping away.

Gingrich now sits atop the national polls, as well as those in key early voting states. In Iowa, a new poll now shows Romney in third place, behind Gingrich and Ron Paul. In New Hampshire, another poll shows Gingrich has climbed nearly 20 points since October.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Herman Cain is getting ready to endorse Gingrich. If that happens, it's more bad news for Romney, who stands to lose more potential voters.

Here's my question to you: What does it say about Mitt Romney that he won't debate Newt Gingrich one-on-one?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
Which GOP candidate – Romney or Gingrich – is more likely to beat Pres. Obama?
December 1st, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Which GOP candidate – Romney or Gingrich – is more likely to beat Pres. Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's a high stakes game the Republican nominees for president are playing. If the election was held today, President Obama would likely lose. At this moment he is vulnerable and then some.

A recent Gallup Poll puts President Obama's approval rating almost three years into his first term lower than any other president in modern history...including Jimmy Carter. That's being vulnerable and then some. Jimmy Carter?

Gallup has President Obama's approval at 43%. The only other president in modern times with an approval rating almost that low was Lyndon Johnson - 44%... and he didn't run for a second term.

Over on the Republican side, Newt Gingrich has to be scaring the hell out of long-time presumed nominee Mitt Romney.

Gingrich has jumped to the top of the pack in national polls - and he's leading in key early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina.

And check out these numbers in the critical swing state of Florida:

A new American Research Group poll shows Gingrich with 50% to Romney's 19%. That's a 39-point jump for Gingrich since last month. If numbers like these hold in a state like Florida, it may be difficult for any of the other candidates to touch Gingrich.

Actually at this point it's probably safe to say the Republican nomination boils down to a race between Romney and Gingrich.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 40% of Republicans think Romney has the best chance of beating President Obama. 21% say Gingrich. But maybe this particular poll didn't ask you... so we will.

Here’s my question to you: Which Republican candidate – Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich – is more likely to beat President Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm 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.

Is Newt Gingrich's momentum for real?
November 30th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Is Newt Gingrich's momentum for real?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The tea leaves are starting to suggest that Mitt Romney might lose yet again. After being the presumed nominee for the past four years and the front-runner among the Republican candidates for the past several months, suddenly he's breathing Newt Gingrich's exhaust fumes.

Take Florida, where Gingrich has shot to the top of the GOP pack. A new poll conducted for the Florida Times Union newspaper in Jacksonville shows Gingrich at 41% - that's as much support as the next four candidates combined. Romney places a distant second in this Florida poll at 17%.

And Gingrich is coming on strong in several of the early voting states as well. In Iowa, one poll shows Gingrich ahead of Romney by seven points. In South Carolina, Gingrich tops Romney by 11 points.

And in New Hampshire, where the former Massachusetts Gov. Romney is a favorite son - Gingrich is also picking up steam. Romney still leads there, but Gingrich is closing the gap.

Meanwhile Gallup polling shows Gingrich's positive intensity score is the highest of any Republican candidate right now, while Romney's is his lowest of the year.

Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt writes that getting Republicans to line up behind Romney is "like trying to stuff a cat into a trash can ... at least one claw always manages to reach out at the last second and cling desperately to the rim."

Hurt suggests the only thing Republicans can agree upon is that they don't want Romney. But it's too soon to know if Hurt is right or wrong.

Here’s my question to you: Is Newt Gingrich's momentum for real?

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
Will Bill Clinton's praise help Newt Gingrich win the nomination?
November 28th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Will Bill Clinton's praise help Newt Gingrich win the nomination?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In politics, timing is everything - and Newt Gingrich might have it. Just as the former U.S. House speaker surges in the polls, he's also nabbing some key endorsements.

For starters, the influential New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board is backing Gingrich. They say he's improved Washington before and in this race, he has the best shot of doing it again.

This conservative stamp of approval could go a long way in helping Gingrich, especially at a time when many conservatives are taking aim at his views on immigration. Meanwhile, another influential conservative, Sarah Palin, could throw her support behind Gingrich as well. One report suggests aides to Palin say Gingrich is the most likely to score her endorsement.

And it's not just conservatives who have nice things to say about Newt Gingrich.

Former president Bill Clinton praises him in an interview with the website Newsmax. Clinton calls Gingrich "articulate" and says he tries to think of a "conservative version of an idea that will solve a legitimate problem."

Clinton suggests that Gingrich's approach will make independent voters take a hard look at him.

All of this has got to be keeping Mitt Romney up at night. However it's yet to be seen if Gingrich will peak in the polls only to fade away like other Republican candidates before him have done, but so far he seems to have some momentum the others lacked.

As for Gingrich, he may have his eyes set on another opponent, the one in the White House. As the nominee, Gingrich says he would challenge Obama to Lincoln-Douglas style debates. And he says Obama can use a teleprompter.

Here’s my question to you: Will Bill Clinton's praise help Newt Gingrich win the nomination?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Bill Clinton • Newt Gingrich
How much will Newt Gingrich's personal baggage affect his run for the White House?
November 16th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

How much will Newt Gingrich's personal baggage affect his run for the White House?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was only a matter of time. It always is.

With Newt Gingrich suddenly rising big time in the polls, his opponents are starting to make an issue of his personal baggage. The tabloid stuff - like the fact that the former house speaker is on his third marriage and is an adulterer.

Politico reports that there's a flyer circulating in Iowa from a group called Christian Leaders in Government.

Among other things, it asks: If Newt Gingrich can't be faithful to his wife, how can we trust him to be faithful to conservative voters?"

Airing a candidate's dirty laundry is nothing new... especially in the primaries in early voting states.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that while there have been several presidents unfaithful to their wives, Ronald Reagan has been the only divorced president. Gingrich has both strikes against him.

Experts say Gingrich will have to address his personal past, but some believe voters won't dwell on it. Like him or not, Gingrich is a smart guy who might be the most capable of the current GOP batch of dealing with the critical issues we face. The bar isn't exactly high.

Plus half of Americans get divorced these days. And if every politician who has been unfaithful left office, Washington would be a ghost town.

But not everyone thinks it's not that big a deal. A columnist at Salon.com writes that Gingrich "committed so many political and ethical transgressions that his baggage has baggage."

Gingrich is twice divorced. He left his first wife after her cancer treatment and he left his second wife for a staffer.

UPDATE: We heard from Newt Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman. She says that Newt Gingrich and her mother (his first wife) were in the process of dissolving their marriage weeks before her mom went into the hospital to have a tumor removed. She says the tumor was benign; there was no cancer. Gingrich Cushman suggests that time and the media have created an inaccurate impression of what really happened.

Gingrich says he expects questions about his three marriages and infidelity. But he insists he's happily married and has reconciled all this with God.

Here’s my question to you: How much will Newt Gingrich's personal baggage affect his run for the White House?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Newt Gingrich • White House
« older posts
newer posts »