In the GOP race for president, is Gingrich the tortoise and Romney the hare?
November 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

In the GOP race for president, is Gingrich the tortoise and Romney the hare?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich says he's the tortoise - and Mitt Romney is the hare.

The former House Speaker is comparing the Republican presidential horse-race to Aesop's Fable:

"The bunny rabbit runs by and falls asleep. The tortoise just keeps coming. So hopefully in this game, Mitt Romney will be the bunny rabbit and I'll be the tortoise. That would all work out perfectly."

And Gingrich has reason to be hopeful:

He's seen a jump in the polls - along with a spike in his fund-raising - in recent weeks.

Gingrich is now polling in the double digits, which puts him in third place behind Romney and Herman Cain in several national polls. He's also in fourth place in Iowa.

Gingrich believes there's a "big opportunity for an alternative candidate" since Romney seems stuck at about 25% in the national polls. And Cain risks fizzling out with recent sexual harassment allegations. Gingrich thinks there's more room in the race for him.

He has performed well at the eight GOP debates so far, acting the role of the elder statesmen while some of his rivals bickered with each other. He will have another chance when the Republicans again debate tonight.

Gingrich's campaign was left for dead by many in the Spring. Several of his advisers quit after he took two weeks off to go on a Mediterranean cruise.

Meanwhile, this Republican race has been a volatile one - with many conservatives hoping for "anyone but Mitt."

Several candidates have seen temporary jumps in popularity - from Rick Perry to Michele Bachmann and now maybe Herman Cain.

All the while other Republicans held out hope for a candidate like Chris Christie to run.

Here’s my question to you: In the Republican race for president, is Newt Gingrich the tortoise and Mitt Romney the hare?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

A very good analogy. Gingrich is only being held back by the circumstances surrounding his resignation as speaker, in the past, as well as an occasional silly remark. He has won or tied for the lead, in every debate, his ideas are mostly sound, and his knowledge and experience are unmatched by any other candidate. So, the question is, will the voters recognize that people can change, and will they embrace an older candidate, who still outshines the younger competition?

Rex in Oregon:
My old friend Aesop would be irritated with you, Jack. You overestimate the staying power, the speed, the intelligence, and the talent of both Gingrich and Romney. My old friend Perry will be irritated with you, too, for referring to anyone but him as "The Hair."

Brenda on Facebook:
Romney is only the hare because the media has made him that. He doesn't impress me one bit.

Gary in Arizona:
Jack, My boy, you've just hit a home run. They'd make a very good ticket indeed. Romney's business background and Gingrich's political skills could very well clear the mess in Washington as President and VP respectively. I'm signing you up for another season.

I think Newt Gingrich has way too much "baggage" in his personal life to ever be the Republican nominee. In the end, Republicans will "hold their nose" and nominate Romney. The Republicans keep looking for Ronald Reagan BUT can only find Ronald McDonald.

Doug in Massachusetts:
No. There is no way the Republican Establishment, is going to let anyone get in the way of Romney losing the election.

Terry in Virginia:
Jack, How dare you insult tortoises and hares by comparing them to politicians? Politicians are snakes, at best, with my apologies to the snakes.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republicans
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Larry -Denver

    Actually while both can be described as a kind of animal tortoise and hare are not exactly the fit. Newt is more of a sly fox, makes you want to count your fingers after you shake hands. Mitt on the other hand is more like a turtle on his back, flip him upright and he is likely to fall on his back again. Just cant get his balance of yes or now, up or down, etc. If the republicans keep at it at this pace, no one is chasing anyone, they are all running for cover.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  2. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    I would say it is the other way around, since Romney has been holding steady among GOP voters with a fairly unshakeable 23%. Most polls at this stage only sample partisans, not cross-over voters. When you include them (which Romney does not want you to do), Romney is so far ahead that this race is over.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  3. Lori - PA


    Only time will tell, but I believe that Johns Huntsman is the tortise, and Mitt Romney is the hare.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I wouldn't say that Jack but neither Romney or Gingrich are great uninters either. Gingrich is more of the same when it comes to republicans so he is straight out. Romney is more of the unknown. He is a Mormon and that will cost him votes and he is a wealthy businessman and that too will cost him votes. The only hope the republicans have is if unemployment remains high and the economy does not grow above 2 percent in the next 6 months. Obama has a hard road ahead but with no direct threat from the republican party he is still on fairly solid ground. After George Bush a republican is a hard sell to voters.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  5. Sharon

    Pls!!! I hope not. If I remember correctly that darn turtle won the race.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  6. David, MS

    I see it more like Nit-Wit

    November 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  7. Ed Hansen, Atlanta

    Jack, it's rare you're so wrong.
    It's clear that Romney is the tortoise: consistent manner, consistent fundraising and consistent poll numbers. Gingrich is just another wannabe riding for his 15 minutes lead in the polls, with the inevitable discussions about his personal peccadilloes and unviability of his "ideas" driving him back down.
    Please remember Gingrich left his first wife while she was undergoing chemotherapy in a hospital. That while married to his second wife and simultaneous to his prosecution of President Clinton's Lewinsky affair, Gingrich abruptly quit his job as U.S. Congressman from Cobb County, Georgia and position as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives when he was threatened with exposure of his affair with his then-staffer-now-third-wife. He gave no reason, he just ran away and hid.
    Those were no better behaviors for a U.S. President to display than Cain has displayed this past week.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Jenna Roseville CA

    In the Republican race for president, is Newt Gingrich the tortoise and Mitt Romney the hare?

    Seriously Jack, Newt has no chance. We didn't forget that he divorced his first wife as she lay dying from cancer so he could marry wife two. Who he cheated on to get wife three. Who has an adiction for the finer things at Tiffany's. Least we forget that Newt left office in disgrace.

    Newt is staying in long enough to earn retirement funds and pay off his $500K Tiffany's bill.

    Roseville CA

    November 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: Newt the Whot from Georgia is slow, but Romney from flip-flopper land is no faster. Both men are just plain dull.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Pete in Georgia

    It's actually irrelevant what the candidates or voters themselves label one another. In the end the mainstream media will do it's best to demonize and destroy any or all candidates they choose.
    THEY will decide the next election, not the people.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Ed from California

    Could be, they're both Eagle food. And Obama's an Eagle.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  12. JD in NH

    How about Newt is the walnut and Mitt is the pecan?

    November 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  13. Dennis in Florida


    In the Aesop fable the tortoise won.


    November 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  14. Jesse

    It seems now that Cain is crashing and burning, Gingrich will be the next artificially propped up media darling. Let's see, first we had Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain, now Gingrich... and when Newt's checkered past rears it's head, will the media really scrape the bottom of the barrel for Santorum? Could Huntsman be given a "meteoric rise"? I could have sworn there was someone else in this race with consistent double digit polling numbers. In the end, Newt's just another unethical bought and paid for politician, and scrutiny will reveal that if the media so desires. However, the 24 hour news cycle could milk him for ratings for a few weeks before discarding him. Anyway, always appreciate your insights Jack. If opinion is going to be presented as news to me, then I at least enjoy the news I get from you.

    Dodge City, KS

    November 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  15. Steve

    I'm thinking more Romney is the Dole (it's his turn) as Gingrich is the Buchanan (long windy answers that show thought at least) from 1996...hummm..who ended up coasting to re-election that year?


    November 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  16. Carl


    They are both worthless, or, I'am sorry, you said Tortoise.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  17. Jk from Minnesota

    Yes -if you're referring to what we are watching as the "Slim Pickins" race to who knows where. And what a choice it is; one had had past extra-marital affairs and piled up a huge bill at a jewelry store that was slow to be paid, and the other one believes corporations are people too and will say he stands for anything that will garner him votes even if it means he stands on both sides of an issue. All this while there are other candidates the voters do not get much chance to hear where they stand on issues like Buddy Roemer and Ron Paul because the media is trying to do the vetting the electorate should be doing. What a fouled up process we have for choosing that candidates best qualified to be President.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I think Newt Gingrich has WAY too much "baggage" in his personal life to EVER be the Republican nominee. in the end, Republicans will "hold their nose" and nominate Romney.

    the Republicans keep looking for Ronald Reagan BUT can only find Ronald McDonald.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Ken Victoria BC

    No. At most, the leader has only a 25% vote total hardly a commanding run away lead. Mitt is the one constantly at the same pace. The others vary week by week but generally remain the same. Of course, there was the fall from grace by Mrs Backman and Mr. Perry. Newt just might be the sleeper and win as did Mr. McCain in 2008. The friendly womanizer is toast and burnt to a crisp.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  20. Canute J Chiverton from Texas

    That would depend on what day it is!

    November 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  21. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    I hope so. I think America at large, judging from yesterday's election results, is more secular than evangelical. I think a more secualr candidate like Romney, despite the flip flopping, is more appealing to a secular populous than a Gingrich who tells us he has found Christ and therefore is not the philanderer he once was. Strong appeal to a small segment of society is not as winning as a somewhat lesser appeal to a broader segemtn of society.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  22. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Newt is the clown running around in circles, trying to get into the clown car that Mitt is driving, which is already filled with clowns.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  23. Ros.....Illinois

    Newt is the Turd and Romney is the Flip Flopper. If I was a Teapublican I'm not sure which one I would pick. From all that are running, and the ones that decided not to, there isn't a decent one in the bunch. It sounds like they all need to go back to school, learn good manners, then study good government classes. They all have such big egos, and are not at all concerned about the people they are suppose to represent.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Mel - Houston

    I don't see Mitt Romney as a sprinting type. His metaphorical character would be more like the monkey whose quick to go in one direction and then another. As for the Newt he is more like the moray eel that stays in his cover and only come out for a deadly attack.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  25. Terry in Virginia

    Jack, how dare you insult tortoises and hares by comparing them to politicians!!!! Politicians are snakes in the grass, at best, with my apologies to snakes.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

    tampa, fl newts, tortoises, hares? to me they are all just dogs.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  27. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    My old friend Aesop would be irritated with you, Jack. You overestimate the staying power, the speed, the intelligence, and the talent of both Gingrich and Romney.

    My old friend Perry will be irritated with you, too, for referring to anyone but him as The Hair.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  28. Barbara Leavitt

    It's well known the Republicans are not wild about Mitt.....Everyday a new Cain accuser shows up Newt has to be doing his happy dance....in secret of course. He's going up in the polls. Even though his 'Family Values' has been shown to be lacking......Republican voters may very well vote Newt in over Mitt~the non Christian. Wow, what a mess they are!
    Henderson Nevada

    November 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  29. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack, I believe that is a clever assessment. The only thing is, the hare is slowed considerably by a lot of party members who just can't bring themselves to support him, but the tortoise's gain is excruciatingly slow because he's pulling several trunks of heavy baggage. It could be like the OJ Simpson "slow' chase.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  30. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    As much as the Republican electorate lacks enthusiasm for Governor Romney, does anyone really believe that a Tiffany's coalition will lead Gingrich to victory ?

    November 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  31. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The republicans seem to have very short memories when it comes to candidates. Gingrich is gaining in the polls but if they were to revisit his past it would make Cain look like a saint. He might even have been the one that leaked the story about Cain's pass. I would not put anything past Mr. Gingrich. So far Mr. Gingrich has been lucky no one has mentioned his past about cheating on and leaving his wife with cancer when she was in a hospital. This is the same man that called and to impeach Clinton for cheating on his wife. When I hear Mr. Gingrich talk about moral values it makes me sick to my stomach.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  32. David from Herndon, VA

    i think it's the other way around. romney has hung at 23% or so forever. bachman, perry, cain, even christie - they're all a flash in the pan.

    as a democrat, i'd love to see one of the others win the nomination - that would all but guarantee an easy re-election for obama. those guys are just too nutty to win the whole thing.

    romney's spineless, but is probably the only electable one of the bunch. well, except for huntsman, but he has no chance of winning the primaries.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  33. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack my boy you've just hit a home run. They'd make a very good ticket indeed. Rommney's business background and Gingrich's political skills could very well clear the mess in Washington as President and VP respectively. I'm signing you up for another season.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    November 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  34. James in Springfield, VA

    Neither. One is dumb and the other dumber (But Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels are a lot more intelligent)

    November 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  35. Rick, Medina, OH


    When I think of these two, I visualize the 'donkey' costume ... that takes two to pull off. I'm still undecided about who wears the front-half and who the back-half.


    November 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  36. Rick McDaniel

    A very good analogy.

    Gingrich is only being held back by the circumstances surrounding his resignation as speaker, in the past, as well as an occasional silly remark. He has won or tied for the lead, in every debate, his ideas are mostly sound, and his knowledge and experience are unmatched by any other candidate.

    So, the real question is, will the voters recognize that people can change, and will they embrace an older candidate, who still outshines the younger competition?

    November 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  37. Brad, Portland, OR

    No, it just means that the perpetually dissatisfied Tea Partiers, who wandered from Sarah Palin to Michelle Bachmann to Rick Perry to Herman Cain have just wandered on once more, this time to Newt.

    They'll never support Romney in the Republican primary, though, because they're too uncomfortable with his Mormon faith.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  38. Doug Ericson

    No. There is no way the Republican Establishment, is going to let anyone get in the way of Romney losing the election. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  39. jeff in hawaii

    Jack, I'm not sure Mitten is the hare but he certainly is "The Hair" That stuff is hurricane proof

    November 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  40. Kathy Hayes

    They are indeed the Tortoise and The HAIR...only you misspelled the last of the two. Gingrich is slimy and slow, and Romney is all appearance and no substance, subject to falling asleep at the most crucial times! Let's hope neither one of them takes the oath of the highest office in 14 months!

    Kathy Hayes
    Quincy, MA

    November 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  41. Paulette in Dallas

    No. Newt has been involved in scandal and stepped down as Speaker of the house years ago. He's been divorced and quite franlky his wife is an incumberance. Women especially do not like her.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  42. Dave, Orlando, FL

    The aptly named Newt is the lizard and Romney is the turkey. All the other snakes, monkeys and hyenas are toast, or soon will be.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  43. Susan NJ

    I hate election time. Perfectly intelligent men say the stupidest things. The world wide economy is on the verge of collapse and these two are talking about fables. They are a nightmare we can't wake up from. Eventually they are going to get down to business I hope.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  44. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    Both are insults to tortoise and hare, everywhere. Newt is more like the creepy old sleaze next door, and Mitt is more like the used car salesman that will say anything to get you to buy.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  45. Michael

    These two candidates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are the two most viable candidates left in the campaign. For those abandoning Cain, Perry, Santorum, some will go to either candidate, and Mitt will break through while Gingrich will gain but not enough. Mitt Romney is the smarter candidate with a more comprehensive plan to make America competitive and great. He is wicked smart as they say in Mass.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  46. Jerry - Toronto

    The whole Republican party is a fable Jack, its a lovely story on how great they think they are and how wonderful the things they think they've done. But in the end, when it comes right down to it, its still just a story. As for Newt and Mitt, I'll go with Newts analogy. Why? Well everyone loves a good fairy tale don't they?

    November 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  47. Buddy


    Don't you mean the frumpy, serial philanderer and the hair don't you?

    November 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  48. Sylvia from San Diego

    Gingrich is the ONLY candidate, including both parties, who is qualified to be the next president of the US. He definitely gets my vote!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  49. Mr. D

    I don't know about Newt or Mitt, but it looks like Cain is the wolf in sheep's clothing.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  50. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No Jack, Mr. Gingrich is the old fuddy duddy and Mr. Romney is the slick CEO type. Neither are the answer to our problems and the GOP, AKA Goughing Ordinary People party is grasping for staws and making wishes on a falling star.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  51. Bill of New Mexico

    A) Newt helped to begin this war on the Hill and with the White House.

    B) The voters claim that they hate this DC infighting–as the voters claim to hate pork-barrel.

    C) Will the voters remember how negative Newt was in the late 90s?

    D) Independents may remember, but not Republicans.

    E) Newt has a good chance of being the Republican nomination, but Newt will face much more difficulty in the general election.

    F) I think Newt's comparing Mitt Romney to the hare is insulting.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  52. Larry in Houston

    Jack – When You see & hear the CNBC Debate tonite – Take a listen to 'the Newt's' responses. He will tell you how he can "profoundly" make this country proud again, and "fundamentally" change it, according to his perspective.

    I'm a Democrat – and as far as I can remember – I have voted for 1 (one) Republican that I thought was a 1/2 way decent President, in my opinion. That was Reagan.

    If someone put a gun to my head, and told me that I had to vote for 'the Newt' – – I would tell them that they would have to go ahead & pull the trigger.

    At least Romney is a Little Bit towards the middle – or even a flip flopper, would be a heck of a lot better than ANY of the others. (Too bad Ron Paul isn't going to make it – I would Vote for him in a heart beat. I honestly HATE to Vote for Obama again, for re-election, believe me)

    If we get "Perry" all I can say is : "God help us"

    November 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  53. Virginia - Atlanta, GA

    Jon Huntsman is more like the Hare.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  54. andyz Lynn, MA

    Interesting question, Jack. Have you run out of good questions? Nothing on yesterday's election results? Ho-hum.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  55. Leroy

    Romney is the tortoise. Ol Newt is one of the hares riding the wave of the anti moderate, anti Mormon far right. Romney is just waiting for all the hares to snuggle up and take their nap.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  56. Karl in Flint

    Newt is more like the 20 ton elephant in the room. As hard as you try, he won’t let you ignore him. Mitt seems to be the tortoise in the race staying in or near the front as the circus clown hares run back to front and back again in a constant parade of either their outrageous governing concepts or what is wrong with the current president and nothing else.

    Being old enough to remember Mitts dad being governor here in Michigan, I don’t recall his being Mormon as a real issue back then but that was before the conservative Christians hijacked the GOP and made their bible the party platform.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  57. BrotherCC

    One thing for sure, Newt is the smartest guy in the GOP race. His Contract with America in the 90s was a great success and he knows this country's history and government better than anyone. He knows how to fix this broken country and would make a great leader. Anybody is better than the current President in the White House.$15 Trillion in debt? Scandals? Unemployment? It's out of control. There are 15 job bills that passed through the House and sitting on the Senate floor waiting to be discussed. Meanwhile, our President is out campaigning around the country raising money for his war chest. I voted for Obama but I already made that mistake. I am a Independent voter and I am voting that loser out.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  58. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Wrong analogy, Jack. President Obama is the tortoise, and the eventual GOP candidate is the hare.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  59. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The show is called Republican Biggest Loser. Bachman and Perry had thier 15 minutes and Cain has been put out for Stud. Ron Paul has a sound economic policy but wants to sell the US Military at public auction. Huntsman is the smartest kid in class but, unable to carry the ball. Gingrich has not done anything stupid in months. Romney flip flops like a fish in a boat. Looks like more Obama Care to me. Where's Teddy Roosevelt or Harry Truman?

    November 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  60. Tom Bulger

    Gingrich isn't going anywhere, but on a book tour. If the spot light ever shines on him, we'll hear from victims like The Lodge about his money making scam awards.

    Huntsman is the only competition that can stand up to scrutiny, but he's not whacked out enough for the Tea Party.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  61. s in fl

    From what I know about Gingrich's history with women, I'd say he's definitely the rabbit.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know about that whole tortoise and hare thing. My comparison would be closer to a clown act in the circus, involvingi all the GOP contenders; not just Romney and Gingrich. Apparently Palin knocked away the bar, and now they're trying to out-low each other.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  63. Preco

    Gingrich is neither the tortoise nor anything but a loser!!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    Maybe. Look at Gingrich's neck. I see a roll of ski (of fat) that sort of looks like a tortoise's neck!!

    But picturing Romney as a buny? That's a stretch.

    I hope neither wins the race!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  65. Bob T - Southfield, MI

    Newt may think he's a tortise but he's really a skunk in a shell.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  66. Pat - Hampstead, Maryland

    Newt is dumb and Romney is dumber. They are the proverbial hapless Dumb and Dumber. Republicans please find some real candidates. Its embarrassing to the American People.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  67. Paul - North Carolina

    Does it really matter which is which? They're all running a race to nowhere. None of the Republican candidates can poll above 25% in their own party which translates to about 10% of all voters. Granted, when and if one of them is nominated, most other Republicans will jump aboard the Koch Brothers Express. But the Democrats still have an edge in registration and hopefully there are still enough intelligent independents who know this train is headed for oblivion. In any normal election cycle 9% unemployment and perceived weak leadership would make Obama a sitting duck; but this gang that can't shoot straight is no threat to anyone.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  68. Bob in Kansas City

    I don't know about the tortoise and hare comparison, but I do know that Newt is the smartest one of the bunch in the circus that is the GOP nominating process....too bad he most likely won't win, he'd get my vote.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  69. Mark from New Jersey

    No, Jack. Mitch McConnell is the tortoise. Can't you see the resemblance? Seriously, though, Gingrich may be the tortoise compared to Romney, but in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. With three marriages, having to resign due to scandal once in his career, his Tiffany scandal, his macabre Stepford third wife, and his incipient nastiness, if his tortoise pace were any slower, he would be going backwards, which is where the Republicans are trying to take us anyway

    November 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  70. bud rupert

    Forget the analogs Jack. There is one person on the GOP side that is really qualified to be president. The "Newtster".
    If you listen to him when he's not trying to perform in this rediculous nominating process it's clear. The guy knows his stuff. However no matter whose elected President when they get into the White House they start to realize that the job is a lot harder then they could ever imagine and the power they have is limited.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  71. Ray in Knoxville

    Tortoise, Jack? Well, I new that Newt had his head stuck somewhere, I just didn't think it was in a shell.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  72. Paul P.

    If you look at poll numbers over the course of this race, Romney has been almost frustratingly consistent in his popularity. I would call him the tortoise to be honest, Gingrich still has alot of ground to cover, so he better get in Rabbit mode quick if wants a shot at the nomination.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  73. Pete/Ark

    Obama supporters hope so Jack.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  74. Gigi Oregon

    With Gingrich's history, I can hear Mitt Romney singing "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" and saying, "Do anything but throw me in that Briar patch" . A quote from Br'er rabbit himself, from the movie "The song of the South"... Jack, don't counting any chickens till they hatch.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  75. AB

    Jack, don't bet on it!! Gingrich is no alternative to Romney nor to any of the other candidates. This guy has alot of baggage and ethical problems. His ideas nearly bankrupted the country. The Republicans are better off with either Romney or Huntsman than with Gingrich.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  76. Jackie-Monrovia Ca

    Newt GIngrich is definately the tortoise. He always has been- Newt is the only candidate that has a remote chance of beating Obama; if Romney is our candidate, we as Republicans are doomed for 4 more years . I shudder to think what four more years under Obama can bring to this country. I only hope that it is not too late to turn it around from the Socialist dream of our President back to free market, capitalism and less government. I would concentrate on the State elections to get back the Senate- I think we have a much better chance at that, then getting the presidency. That is where I am putting my campaign donations towards. If we have the House and Senate then anything Obama tries to introduce will be shot down.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  77. Denny from Tacoma

    They are both like a two-engined plane with only one engine running; they will only get you as far as the scene of the crash.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  78. Joe in Florida

    Newt is a salamander. Just look up "newt" in any dictionary, Jack.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  79. calaurore9

    I was betting on a Cain-Gingrich or Gingrich-Cain ticket until Cain imploded last night. If you ask me they are both tortoises, in the literal sense, turtle-dum and turtle-dee. Obama wins.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    November 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Sandstone.

    "You have to remembert in that little diddle, the Tortois won. I don't see Gingrich as the winner, even if it goes to a run-off. I must go back to the first part of this blog, and how religion plays it's part. I don't believe in any religion myself, only
    how much a person lives his life through interacting within the world past (confusing?)! Well now you know how I think? It's anyones race this time, as there was an elephant in the last.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  81. John

    Newt Gingrich might be reptilian but more like a snake than a tortoise.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  82. Archie

    Gingrich has too many negatives that he can't control. He'll lose because of his marital history. I believe many women will stay home rather than vote for him.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  83. Jeff

    Gingrich doesn't seem to have what it takes. Taking a cruise after announcing he is running for President? Come on. I think we might be surprised by Jon Huntsman actually. He might prove himself the candidate who will appeal to the majority of Americans and he seems much more authentic than Romney.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  84. OBD --Ohio

    A race between two tortoises – how boring?

    November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  85. Steve

    In this field on crazies. They are sumply Dumb & Dumber,

    November 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  86. Nick Gallias

    With their ideals and so called moral convictions, it's more like "Roadkill".

    November 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  87. Mike Allgaier

    Jack, Gingrich is the "hair" and Romney the "tortoise" (so tentative he stops, looks around and changes his "direction" (hint, hint) often.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  88. Colin Fleming

    As an independent, the circus that is the GOP nomination process is unfortunate. The Republicans seem to love Barack Obama, seeing as how the only candidate who has had solid support all the way along – Mitt Romney – only has about a quarter of GOP support. I wonder if the Republicans could tell me, a voter they need to take the White House, when they will finally, begrudgingly, support Mitt Romney, or if they will continue to throw majority support behind people who 1. can't win, and 2. have big skeletons in their closets.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  89. Michael from CA

    No, He reminds me of Baby Huie

    November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  90. Cyril Brown

    Jack, I didn't know that the tortoise from aesop's fables cheated on his wife!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  91. Pa

    Doesn't matter. Everything both of them say is a fable.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  92. Brian Jeanmaire

    Newt has been climbing in the polls, but don't neglect to mention Ron Paul. His base is strong, his online support is unsurpassed and he's starting to spend some money. He certainly has my support....as you know, his supporters are vast and growing as well. For the future of young people and our children I hold the hope that he will soon sit in the White House, but of course he needs to beat Romney first.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  93. Marv Hendrickson

    More appropriately it is a race between the hedgehog and the chameleon.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  94. Evan, Boston

    Cain is like the rabbit, Gingrich the turtle, but Romney is like the little old man that houses the rabbit and helps him out, but, in this case bring him down, along with being accused him of sexual harassment, Enough said

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  95. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    If Newt is the tortoise, I sure hope Romney doesn't take a nap along the way.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  96. Martha Campbell

    The entire Republican slate is a fairy tale. It is just one sad story after another. There are turtles, hares, ogres, wicked witches, and munchkins just to name a few. None of them can be taken seriously.

    Jamestown, PA

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  97. SherrieGG, Camarillo, CA

    They have a candidate groping to understand that China already HAS nuclear weapons, a candidate who believes that the shot heard round the world was fired in New Hampshire, a candidate who congratulated both sides on every issue yesterday, and those are the POPULAR ones. Newt is the turtle on a fence post. Nobody knows how he got there, they just know he doesn't belong. And Mittens is more hare-brained than hare. This is the Democratic field of dreams.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  98. Amber

    I don't actually see an electable Republican candidate among the people who have been "debating". Between their contempt for the common man and their disdain for constitutional protections, particularly the 14th amendment and the 1st amendment when it suits their agenda, they are unsuitable for the office of President. I would have trouble sleeping at night knowing that any of them were at the wheel.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  99. James

    It isn't relevant which is a tortoise and which is a hare because both are running the race in the wrong direction – toward the past. The sad fact is that neither of these candidates have any new ideas to excite mainstreet America to vote for them next year. The GOP establishment needs to wake up and realize there's only one candidate who could draw votes from both sides of the aisle and could defeat Pres. Obama, and that's Ron Paul.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  100. Ken from Los Angeles

    Believe it or not, Republican voters can be a diverse group of people. As each candidate comes to the spotlight, the enthusiasm for what voters *thought* they were supporting, fizzles out as the truth of policies and records comes to light. Even as the tortoise, Gingrich will have his time, then it too shall pass.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  101. Pete Veslocki

    Neuther. Both are loosers.

    Gingrich was reprimanded fur stealing postage aramid? And Romney didn't make the grade last time.

    Cain isn't Oresudential material,
    And Bschmann's out to lunch,

    Time to send in the second strung iskyers and see what they are about.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  102. Sam

    Since both are sell-outs to pro-Isreali lobby groups, that makes them neither tortoise no hare. I think ass is a more apt description.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  103. dave in nashville

    Gingrich does seem to have a grip on many issues the others do not and he is gaining on a stalled rabbit, but I see Huntsman emerging finally when he answers tonights questions in Chinese.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  104. Matt from Belleville, MI

    So far the republicans are just helping to ensure Obama's reelection. The fact that Newt is even still in this race proves my point.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  105. Gail in Columbia City OR

    The tortoise and the hare? More like Snow White (Bachman) and the Seven Dwarves - Happy (Romney), Grumpy (Gingrich), Doc (Ron Paul), Sleepy (Rick Perry), Bashful (Huntsman), Dopey (Cain), and Sneezy (Santorum.) The entire group should go live in the woods, work in a mine, and raise their own food for a while.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  106. Bud Pratt of Punta Gorda, Florida

    Both are fat Wylie Coyotes, getting their policy ideas from Acme.

    Obama is the Roadrunner, watching these clowns.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  107. Ted

    Jack I am not sure but this may be an insult to animals the world over. To be proud that you may be the chosen candidate not by proposals or performance but by default is nothing to be proud of. That being said a "newt" like all members of the order Caudata, is characterized by a frog-like body with four equal sized limbs and a distinct tail. Sounds accurate!!!!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  108. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    Jack, I think it's more like Newt is 'Alice' down a fox hole, and Mitt is living in 'Wonderland' without a plan. And Obama is that crazy invisible cat with a BIG smile on his face.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  109. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Switch from Aesop to Dr. Suess to find a better analogy: is Romney the 'Green Eggs' and Gingrich the Ham? Yes.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  110. Brian Owen

    Gingrich is a tortoise, Romney is a hare, but Ron Paul is a Cheetah. Why does CNN seem to only focus on everyone BUT Ron Paul. Do you guys over at CNN, and at the Newsroom realize that the collapse of the dollar will hurt you too? Ron Paul's Predictions about the economic crisis, and housing bubble have came true. You are doing the exact same thing that happened the first time Ron Paul made predictions, NOT LISTEN! Give Ron Paul More TIME, and stop presenting him as a low contestant. He has won straw polls and 2nd in others. DO YOUR JOB AND REPORT SOME REAL NEWS.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  111. Linda in Arizona

    I wouldn't insult tortoises or hares by comparing them to either one of these sleazeballs, or any of the others running for the party of the rich.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  112. Nikki/san diego

    Don't know if Newt is the tortoise Jack! but what we say in the "hood" is "he is workin em!" Here is how "workin em" works, once he's acted like the "elder statesman", give good ole Herman conflicting advice along with all of the other deceitful nice gestures.........Newty will end up being the GOP candidate! You go on and work em Newty! However Newt won't work all of us!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  113. Mike, Calgary

    The tortoise and hare analogy is too mainstream. It has to be creatures that evolved in an isolated ecosystem for from the primary evolutionary trend- Gingrich is the koala bear, Romney the blue footed booby.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  114. Enzo Mungu

    The race for the nomination has gotten to the point of animal imagery. Gingrich the tortoise and Romney the hare...really. I hosnestly donot care much about politics but honestly guys just focus on trying to get the nomination. First, Gingrich is no tortoise for he aint patient;(was quick to declare his run for president, took serious hits due to that quick move). And secondly, Romney aint no hare,(runs fast but only due to no real competition).

    November 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  115. Conor in Chicago

    There is no rabbit. There is no tortoise. Gingrich is on a massive book tour and uping his popularity so he can cash in on speaking fees after the election. Romney is taking it easy and waiting to be coronated as the next President by Wall Street since Obama tried to pull a fast one on them after taking all their money.

    This is not a democracy. Your vote is meaningless.

    Stop pretending.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  116. Charles Woods

    This is not about a fable its about opportunity. These ppl are not worried about nomination or even election. Because of our campaign laws and the lack of term limits the money is in just throwing your hat in the ring and running for office. You get you name out there and the 24 hour cable news stations will call you up for your opinion. Follow the money Jack. Always follow the money

    November 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  117. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    When you were a child Jack what would you rather have had, an amphibian salamander (newt) or a baseball glove (mitt).

    Some choices should remain with children, even the tortoise and the hare.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  118. carlastar

    Newt is TOO old for the presidency – he'd be turning 70 his first year in office & I'm sorry, but one's mind is not shooting all pistons at 70, much less at the age of 74 at the end of that term.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  119. Steven Wheeler

    Mitt Romney is a flip flopper hare. Newt is
    very slow tortoise. But Ron Paul is the
    Winner. I do believe when everybody
    Wakes up and listens to what he is
    Saying. Bring all the troops home.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  120. diridi

    now all accept these are Animals....GOP, I pity...

    November 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  121. Neil Johnson, (Carson, California)

    Gingrich is more like a dead, decomposing tortise. Yes there was a bump up in his poll numbers, but at this rate, he will not make team Romney break a sweat.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  122. Nina Fox

    Add Rick Perry to the mix and I see this more in terms of Moe, Curly and Larry!!! Maybe they can star on TV?

    November 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  123. mycroft lake travis texas

    Idiotic Question ! Neither are of any value to American Voters ,because neither of them tell the truth and neither of them have a chance beating Obama.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  124. Joe

    His Lordship, Gingrich, is whistling dixie. If I were a betting man ( I do not think either one of them is good enough to go against Obama ), I would bet on Romney. They are both useless, do not even suggest to bring our economy back or propose to stop wars.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |