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?

Terry in Virginia:
My favorite uncle was a con artist. That describes Newt's current incarnation, especially since I remember the Old Newt from the 1990s. As to Romney as a missing father figure? No. I'd describe him as a wet noodle or jelly fish. He should've stood up to Trump but instead he wimps out. I wasn't going to vote for Obama again but the GOP is leaving me no other choice except to stay home on Election Day.

We are talking about electing the president of the United States, not who is going to dress up as Santa Claus at Christmas dinner. Does anyone in the Republican electorate understand or care about the issues? Or are they only concerned about who is the most huggable?

Gingrich speaks as if he's a relative and isn't responsible for your behavior. Romney acts as if he's aware that he's responsible for you, but doesn't want to have anything to do with you. You can also say Romney is remote and aloof, doing what he’s doing only because he believes he has to, having no real passion or understanding of it. Looks like Uncle Newt is solidifying his base.

It sounds like your average, Christian conservative, church-going Republican family with lying and cheating uncles and grandfathers, absentee fathers and loonie second cousins. I can't agree more.

Michael in Alexandria, Virginia:
Romney reminds most people of the boss who fired them. In many cases, he was. It actually does not matter what Republicans think. The margin of victory will be provided by independent crossover voters, none of whom will vote for Newt. Most will go for Mitt. Ron Paul reminds them of their crazy grandfather. He will also get some crossovers.

I can see their point. Romney stands before you, talks, and you ask yourself: who is this guy? He reminds me of someone in the family that we haven't heard from in years. Soon you forget what he looks like and what he said. Newt appears at Christmas just like an elf, tells stories, throws in a little history lesson, then returns to his world of make-believe: money, mirror-gazing, and multiple wives.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Larry -Denver

    Its more like the Adams family, with a redheaded step child. The entire Republican party is like a disfunctional family at Thankgiving. Uncle Newt just talks and talks has opinions on everything, but at the end of the meal the family says "whew, dont have to see him for another year". Cousin Mitt a jack of all trades master of none, just tells all how wonderful he is, how great the year was and how he can change the world single handedly , but keeps changing his story. Can't wait for this meal to end on Nov 2012 (ask cousin Rick when we are supposed to vote)

    December 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Ken from California

    It means Gingrich with three wives has had more relatives.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Jayne in NH

    Favorite uncle? Really? It must be in the context of the favorite uncle who takes you to Tiffany's on your birthday for an expensive trinket. Romney, on the other hand, is definitely the relative who shows up once a year for dinner because he has to and doesn't bother to bring a bottle of wine.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  4. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Romney reminds most people of the boss who fired them. In many cases, he was. I actually does not matter what GOP members think, the margin of victory will be provided by independent crossover voters, none of whom will vote for Newt. Most will go for Mitt. Ron Paul reminds them of their crazy grandfather. He will also get some crossovers.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    Wait, does this sound like Addams Family Values, except without Raul Julia and Angelica Huston?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    December 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  6. Katty Oregon

    I hope all the hoopla suggesting Newt will win the primaries is just that "hoopla" as has been the case with the others.
    The only true and sensible candidate is Mitt Romney – when all is said and done I pray he will be President. We desperately need some sanity back in the WH.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Donna Scudder

    I'll call him Uncle Badger, when he grins he looks just like one. If Newtie wins the nomination, the GOP will have to admit they didn't really want a change in government, because Gingrich puts the G in Government corruption.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Karl in Flint

    It sounds like your average, Christian conservative, church going Republican family with lying and cheating uncles and grandfathers, absentee fathers and loonie second cousins. I can't agree more.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    When someone as slimy as Gingrich is seen as good, and someone like Romney is not, it tells me one side has lost every all honor, dignity, and common decency. Of course, this is the same crowd that booed a soldier in Iraq and applauded a fictional 30 year old dying because of lack insurance, so it's not surprising. What is, is how badly we've lost our way. It's as though their hate is like an infectious disease, eating them up from the inside out. Just hope it's not contageous.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  10. John from Alabama

    Jack: Republicans are looking at Newt Gingrich has their favorite uncle or grandfather need to talk to the 70 or so Republicans, who were in the House of Representative, when Newt was the Speaker of the House. Tranny reined in the House under Newt. Newt's, my way or the highway mentality, caused the government to such down. The Republicans ought to remember that a leopard can not change its spots. Mitt Romney needs to get into the fight or go home. No one is going to give him the nomination, Romney's going to have to fight for it.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    It means nothing. Only one in five of us identify as Republican (ABC/WP poll.) Newt is the after taste of the moment and even he is only managing 31% support. That is one in fifteen of us. It's much more likely he'll be devoured by a tiffany's escalator than become the head of the most powerful nation in the world.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Mr. D

    I can see their point: Romney stands before you, talks, and you ask yourself: who is this guy? He reminds me of someone in the family that we haven't heard from in years. Soon you forget what he looks like and what he said. Newt appears at Christmas just like an elf, tells stories, throws in a little history lesson, then returns to his world of make believe: money, mirror gazing, and multiple wives.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  13. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Ha ha, now that's a funny one Jack ! I'm wondering if these are same Republicans that said, that Bush was the kind of guy they'd like to have a beer with or maybe the same people, faux news anchors are always referring to when they say "some people say", this or that. In actuality, Republicans have discovered in this eleventh hour before their Primaries, that even after vetting several prospects this past year, they still don't have a single decent Candidate that has a realistic chance of beating President Obama next year and are just trying anything to sell these losers to voters even if it means comparing them to kin. What Republicans should realize is the 99%ers are growing world wide and catering to the 1%, isn't a very good strategy to win any election. Regardless of Grampa Newt and Uncle Mitt pitch, just being that far out of touch, will destroy the GOP. Jobs isn't the issue anymore, say hello to the FAIRNESS issue, it's going to be around for a long time. You Gotta Love the 99%, it's looking good !

    December 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Favorite uncles and grandfahers are usually favorites because of the largess they hand out. Is that what Republicans admire?

    If we could transfuse a little of Newt's personality into Mitt and a little of Mitt's honesty and demeanor into Newt the Republicans might have two viable candidates capable of beating Obama.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  15. Arelis Collado

    I am appalled to think that Newt is the front runner for the GOP’s. His statements clearly demonstrate his deep rooted shameful racism towards the poor and minorities. It appears this way of thinking is embedded in the GOP. Their unwillingness to accept a more viable candidate such as Mitt Romney further demonstrates their ignorance. I just hope the American people are smart enough to put a stop to this way of thinking by voting against those who feel, think and act in such an ignorant way.
    Former Republican

    December 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    For me it means Republicans have a really weird and creepy way of identifying with their Presidential candidates...

    December 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Richard Texas

    Well I suppose it is because Gingrich has been around for so long he seems like a favorite uncle with man boobs. He seems to come into your life and toots his own horn when he wants something and leaves once he has it.
    In Romney's case I think they see him as a missing father simply because few people would claim him. He has been on the political scene but does not support those he wants to love him. The man is in love with himself, not the American people. The American people are just a means to an end for both of these candidates. .

    December 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    It means Romney is not someone that voters relate to, well. He continues to seem plastic, and not real.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  19. s in fl

    Apparently, a major prerequisite to becoming a modern day Republican is having horrifically dysfunctional childhood.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    It means that the Republicans honestly want Obama re-elected.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Terry in Virginia

    My favorite uncle was a con artist. That describes Newt's current incarnation, especially since I remember the Old Newt from the 1990s. As to Romney as a missing father figure? No. I'd describe him as a wet noodle or jelly fish. He should've stood up to Trump (or anyone) but instead he wimps out. I wasn't going to vote for Obama again but the GOP is leaving me no other choice except to stay home on election day. I can't. I've got to throw my current GOP representative out of office; he's too devisive for the country. He's the shady cousin I wouldn't trust to hold my purse.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Brad, Portland, OR

    It means that Republicans have truly dysfunctional families.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Dan5404

    I'd say beware of a wolf in sheep's clothing, he is not what he seems.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  24. Loren

    Gingrich speaks as if he's a relative and isn't responsible for your behavior, Romney acts as if he's aware that he's responsible for you, but doesn't want to have anything to do with you. You can also say Romney is remote and aloof, doing what's he doing only because he believes he has to, having no real passion or understanding of it. Looks like Uncle Newt is solidifying his base.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  25. Ed from California

    What do you expect out of the GOPers....... Family Values....Patriotism??

    December 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    That's about right, the dead beat dad, and the molesting uncle no one wants to really speak about.

    Ain't America great!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  27. Nobama

    A missing father? What is that even supposed to mean? Mitt Romney is very supportive of families and has a wonderful families of his own that he spends much of his time with. Gingrich is more like the missing father (or nasty grandfather) off with his mistresses. Seriously Gingrich is a nasty and whiney "grandfather." He would have no love as my grandfather thats for sure!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  28. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The only thing Gingrich reminds me of is a fat little weasel or a sleazy used car salesman. But then again I am not a republican and cannot understand how anyone like Gingrich with his past can be looked upon a favorite uncle. I do understand how Romney is thought of as a missing father. Romney comes across as a man you could never get close to. A man that doesn't show much feelings towards the voters.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  29. Doug Ericson

    Its hard to answer the question right now, because I am watching a dozen protestors lying on their backs on k street in Washington DC, about to be squished by cops on Clydsdale horses, ( on livestream occupy tv now), but i will try. Newt reminds me of a dirty old man more than a favorite Uncle. I don't get the one about Romney being a missing father, unless he has a lot of kids, we don't know about, out there somewhere. Anyways, it wont be long before Newt is back on the book tour. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  30. Ann from Charleston SC

    I think Republicans mean that they do not feel close to Romney or feel like he is someone with whom they could have a close relationship – he is distant, remote. They feel they can relate to Gingrich, he has a quality they like. You didn't ask, but I agree with them on Romney, but would consider Gingrich the black sheep in the family.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  31. Peg from NY

    Hmmmm. Newt reminds me of an unwelcome "Uncle" and Mitt reminds me of a good family friend. Clearly, I am not a GOPer. If this is what GOPers "see" with these two, it seems to me that they are way off base and out of touch.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  32. Rich in Gainesville FL

    It means we imagine these people are far far closer to us than they are. Face it, people, these guys wouldn't know you from Adam. Hire (i.e., vote) the guy you trust to do the best job, even if you couldn't stand him at your house at the holidays.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  33. Mack from Michigan

    The favorite uncle is a lot of fun at christmas parties and weddings but if ya relly get to know him away from the festivities he's a pig! The missing father is someone you've created a mythical ideal of in your imagination that doesnt match the reality you see in person. But it probably isnt that deep. I think their saying that cause fox news told them too.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  34. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It is obvious that when the Republicans look at the other republicans candidates in the field of presidential contenders, Newt could not qualify as a Father figure but an uncle who molested the practice of civility in national politics back during the 1990's.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  35. Bill of New Mexico

    It means that the Republicans are to close to see objectively.

    From a distance it appears that:

    Romney is an uncle that won't take a hint and leave.

    Gingrich is a blacksheep cousin that has just gotten out of the pen
    after a 14 year stretch for those crimes in '98.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  36. Michael

    They're Republicans. They think they have been called by God to get rid of the "socialist" Obama and the "tyrannical" left and are using they're campaigns now to hurt his image to pave the way for the nominee.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  37. Michael

    They're egos are too big for them to see the writing. Paul, Bachmann, Santourm and Huntsman are finished. Enough said.


    December 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  38. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Gingrich reminds me of the relative that was shunned by the family because of his past "sins" and one that they didn't trust at all. Romney is a CEO type, aloof and a wheeler dealer who would sell his Mother to gain a vote or two. One of them will probably win and the least of the evil side is Romney to me.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  39. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    I guess it means that Republican voters have a lot of crazy old gasbag uncles and pretty-boy absentee fathers, Jack. Bless their hearts...this explains a lot.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  40. Terry

    It's kinda like a sleepover Jack....and your not asked to attend!!!

    Terry....Belleville Michigan

    December 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  41. Mark from New Jersey

    It means as usual, people have real short memories, or don't pay a lot of attention. As for Gingrich,my grandfather didn't have three wives, especially a strange Stepford looking one, he didn't get thrown out of Congress or fined $300K for malfeasance, and he was not nasty, except after he reached the age of 85. He didn't have a $500K charge account at Tiffany's either. As for Romney, anyone who cannot see naked ambition from the 1%, or confuse it with a distant member of the family deserves what they get, but the rest of us do not.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  42. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Gingrich a favorite uncle to who? Josef Goebbels

    December 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  43. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    It means the vast majority of Republicans must have come from homes where your grandfather is a womanizing sleaze bag with a penchant for double dealing, and your father is your second cousin. The longer this goes on, the more America will see that the Republican Party operates in an alternate reality.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  44. David Gerstenfeld

    IJack, it's to bad that neither candidtate reminds them of someone to lead our country. JFK didn't remind us of a relative. He looked & sounded like the leader we elected.
    David, Las Vegas

    December 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  45. Paulette Bent

    People will change their minds-and fast. Soon Gingrich will be seen as a Pest. I just received my fourth call from Newt 2012 trying to solicit donations. Four calls already and our Primary nisn't even until May. Every day I get a call and I'm sick and tired of it. Romney hasn't bothered me once. Tactics like this will make Newt self destruct.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  46. Pete in Georgia

    Jack, this election is far too important to reduce it to a "parlor" game. That kind of mindset is what got us into this pathetic mess. Not everything has to keep us entertained. Once in a while we should take a good look at who we are and have the guts.................and common sense to get back to reality and real issues, like trying to save this country from a lunatic and get back to our values.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  47. Jerry Singleton, Fayetteville, Tennessee

    A sample size of 12 Republicans really isn't large enough from which to draw any meaningful conclusions.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  48. Tina Tx

    He can be everyone else's favorite uncle but I cannot get past him promising term limits when he wanted to become Speaker of the House. I will always hold that against him and now look what a right mess we are in. Mitt is just too stiff in his mannerisms. He reminds me of Bush and they all act like they are going to put on their holsters and go out in the middle of the street and play bad guy/good guy shoot em up.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  49. Carla

    Reading these remarks, Jack, the term inbreeding springs to mind. This also gives me pause concerning my own reaction to the buffoonery we've witnessed from the GOP in recent years. Could it be the result of this intricate and confusing kinship amongst them? Is something amiss in their DNA? Something over which they have no control? Perhaps, we should be showing pity iand perhaps funding a foundation to do research instead of laughing our progressive butts off when they "have stuff twirling around in their heads", haven't a clue about basic geography, or are given to blatant – and sometimes hilarious – sexual misconduct.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  50. Gigi Oregon

    If they are anything like most favorite Uncles I know, I'll take Mitt Romney. A loving missing dad is better than...a sponging of the family favorite uncle. By the way...what type of dad is Newt? But my vote would be for Ron Paul who is looking better every day.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  51. Pete from Florida

    It means that ignorance and gullibility will once again rule the day in the Republican selection of a candidate. But then what else could one expect from the party that put Georga W. Bush in the White House?

    December 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  52. Lori - PA


    It means the the Republicans trust, in my opionion, is misplaced. I just can't understand how the Republicans can support someone who earned over a million dollars as a historian for Fannie Mae. I know there's no perfect candidate out there, but Gringrich? Really?

    December 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  53. Charles - San Antonio

    I believe that it means there is missing linkage between the voters and the two canidates. I would prefer to have the canidates be though of as a brother, son, or full time father. A grandfather is not bad, but it is still a little distant. A missing father or second cousin is bad news for Romney. I wonder what they would think of Obama. I think of him as brother (the cibling type).

    December 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  54. Paul - North Carolina

    I guess it doesn't say much for Romney's chances. I had only a few uncles and only one grandfather but I thank my lucky stars Newt is neither. I learned early on that one has to tolerate relatives, even the obnoxious ones. Newt is overbearing, pompous, self aggrandizing and annoying; in short, intolerable. If I had to pick one of the GOP pretenders to be my uncle I'd take Ron Paul. At least the family would keep him locked in the attick when company came to the house.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  55. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    The Newt reminbds me of an uncle. The wierd uncle who gives you candy to sit on his lap. Romney does remind me of my own father, who worked long hours to support our family, but concerned and protective of his brood. Not wearing one's heart on one's sleeve is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm a Republican and wouldn't vote for Uncle Newt even if he invites Uncle The Donald along.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  56. curtis in philadelphia

    Gingrich as a favorite uncle? That sounds about right here; my favorite uncle used to let me drink beer when I was underage and would tell me about his getting drunk and laid, he's dead now.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  57. Susan from Idaho

    It means Newtie needs to use just for men hair color and ditch those jowls.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  58. Rex in Portland, OR

    I am insulted with your comparison of Gingrich and Romney to family members. Maybe it is because I have a good family.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Randy

    It says that America has come a long way despite itself. Look, politicians or celebrities or rich people in general have no connections or feelings toward you whatsoever. Was your uncle married three times while preaching the sanctity of marriage? Was your uncle on the government dole to the tune of 1.6 million dollars at the same time telling poor people they need a better work ethic? Has your uncle collected a government check most of his adult life while extolling the virtues of private enterprise and corporations? It puts me in the mind of Chris rock when he said "it's like an uncle who paid your way through college, but molested you".

    December 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Carl in San Diego

    It means they have dysfunctional 'family values'.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  61. Kim

    Yes, Newt reminds me of an uncle, but I'm not saying what kind of uncle...that would be really cruel. If Newt gets the nomination and is elected POTUS, be prepared for a huge surge of buyers remorse.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  62. Jaynportland

    Gingrich is to uncle as Romney is to alzheimer's

    December 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Jon from Tempe

    It means that Gingrich has sucessfully been able to develop a close bond with the Republican voters. Mitt Romney seems very far and distant to them. Mitt has an image problem with Republican voters. He comes off as a professional politician (which he is). Newt seems to have bridged the gap and comes off as more genuine.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  64. John Barry

    What does it mean? It means that the Republicans are once again resorting to their political games.They don't care who wins, they just care that whoever it is that wins will the same common interests in mind as them and not the common interest of the American people!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Corey Bowen

    Jack, while the results of that poll do in fact prove that Gingrich is ahead of Romney in the polls, you cannot possibly liken a political candidate to a family member; politics is not nearly that personal. Also, taking a look back at Herman Cain, people may have described him kindly in this manner, but look what happened to him. We the people do not kknow the candidates nearly enough to equate them to family and so, as a whole, I feel that this poll is essentially useless and petty.
    -Corey Bowen of Harrisburg

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  66. James, Leominster, MA.

    It means nothing Jack, in fact i feel this question is ridiculous in nature. This election comes down to who you trust more to handle this nation's problems. The man who has done nothing but play golf for 3 years, Obama. The man who flip flops and will say ANYTHING to get elected, Romney. Or the smartest man in the room...just ask him he'll tell you...who has questionable character at best, Gingrich. On second thought maybe I'll vote for my favorite uncle Charlie!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Mark in Eugene, Or.

    Gingrich reminds me of a Keebler elf.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  68. Alan Rutkowski

    What does it mean that Republicans see Newt Gingrich as a grandfather or favorite uncle? It means that widespread inbreeding among Republicans may explain the Tea Party.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  69. donald

    they both remind me of a couple used car salesmen. Either one will tell you whatever you want to hear with fingers crossedbehind their back. Gingrich wants to sell you a pinto and Rommney a Hummer. What they don't tell you is they are bothe lemons

    December 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  70. Bob from Bellmore, New York

    It means they have a very dysfunctional family.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  71. Jack in Phoenix

    Gingrich is considered the favorite uncle or the Grandfather because people trust what he is saying..... Romney, not so much.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Jamar - New Jersey

    I think the answer is right there in the question... Newt's better off as an uncle or grandfather while Romney is better at being an out of sight family member. NEITHER FIT TO BE PRESIDENT!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Don

    It means he doesn't get an invitation to the family reunion.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  74. Valerie

    Newt reminds me of my favorite Uncle. Always told us what we wanted to hear. Gave us money and acted like a big shot. Learned later in life that his own family did without so he could impress everyone. Newt is so him.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  75. Laverne E Brison

    The republicans are in trouble. They have to choose between a Newt and a Mitt? Give me a break!! If this is all they have to offer President Obama has nothing to worry about.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Dale in Iowa

    I vote for my Doctor. Dr. Ron Paul because myuncle is a crook...!!!!!!!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  77. DeDe of Connecticut

    Mitt Romney has been a devoted husband for 42 years to one woman, a devoted father to 5 sons, and devoted now to many granchildren. I, for one see his warmth, now displayed to the American people., Those who don't see it, should look further, before nominating nominating this so called favorite uncle, or grandfather candidate. Open your minds to Mitt Romney, before it is too late !!!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  78. jean2009

    Well it probably means they have an uncle who has cheated on several wives, robs neighbors blind, and thinks he is presidential material. On the other hand the other uncle is uptight and can't decided what he wants to do in life.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  79. Name*barry scott

    Way off on ROMNEY. They must be from Mars

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  80. Adam Boise,ID

    Newt seems like the family member you see for advise. Romney seems like the one you see at the reunions. One is connecting much deeper and more passionately.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  81. Don

    It means Romney doesn't get an invitation to the family reunion.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  82. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    What does it mean?....so much for family values ! Next !

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  83. Petro in Los Angeles

    Jack, it obviously means Gingrich makes them feel safe whereas Romney makes them feel uneasy. Republicans need to grow up and stop making comparisons to family members with their candidates. They need to look at the candidates' policies, history, and intellect. This is the problem with choosing our public representatives in America. People don't look at policies, history, and intellect, rather they just look at party lines and physical appearance. Fix it people.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  84. janet ratzlaff

    one word: disfunctional!!!!!!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Lamar

    It means that Republicans are dumb! Dumb, dumb dumb! Republican Party, how about looking at these guys records and wake to smell the coffee. Neither of these guys are conservative, Romney has more flip flops than IHOP and Gingrich has more baggage than American Airlines carries in a decade! Nominate anyone but a REAL conservative and true statesman in the form of one Ron Paul, and doom America, with or without Obama, to forever lose it's liberty, treasure, and it's already ignore Constitution. Note, these two uncles and long lost fathers have already expressed their willingness to ignore the constitution! God Help Us!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  86. John M

    What it tells me is republicans spend too much time chatting about who newt reminds them of, rather than worrying about extending payroll tax cut extensions to millions of hurting Americans! I guess this is why they're called the "good OLD party", worry about who newt reminds them of to create a good old diversion. Republicans including good old newt salivate at extending bush era tax breaks for the wealthy while leaving the rest of us to fight for the scraps!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  87. Jaynportland

    Gingrich is to drunk uncle as Romney is to alzheimer's

    December 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  88. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, It means the republicans can't find a new bone they can gag down so they went to the back yard and dug up an old one. Jack from Nice, Ca.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  89. Jerrie Wilson

    Gingrich as a Grandfarther reminds me of a famiy trying to get use to three Grandmothers.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  90. Wayne from Franklin Park, NJ

    What does it mean when Republicans say Newt Gingrich reminds them of a favorite uncle or grandfather?
    It means that those Republicans responding have short memories. Newt Gingrich reminds me of a creepy rich uncle who who is always invited to family functions, but no one would leave in a room alone with their young children.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  91. Susan - Laguna Hills

    This means GOP is in the state of surprises of the long lost relatives with reservation. Neither one is in close relationship with GOP family, and GOP may just put them out for adoption if these two fail to behave to guard GOP's best interest of corruption.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  92. Ethan From Boise

    I think its a testament to how much of a politician newt is... he is very good at shaking hands and kissing babies but any one who knew him in his capacity as speaker of the house knows that hes good at getting people fired up but not so good at actually moveing policy and values.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  93. Michael in Kansas


    Romney Leads then down, Perry Leads then down, Cain Leads now Out...Now Gingrich leads...Lets face it Jack all of them are like my Inlaws...After a few days I am ready for them to go home!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  94. Patrick Ogun

    GOP primary voters regard Romney as a missing father or uncle is a testimony to the fact that Romney goes with the wind. He tells different groups different things based on what each group wants to hear. Need not say more. The voter in the primary seem to trust Newt more than Romney.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  95. klslpol

    Newt is sweet and love-able, just like Elmer FUD. Mitt has the stuff to get the Nation going again. Sweet ol"Newt makes money (for himself)

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  96. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    It means that Herman Cain for the Republicans must have been their "Unfortunate Big Daddy".

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  97. Gerry S.

    I believe the "missing father" classification, is most accurate. I have lived in MA for 30 years. Mr. Romney spent more time outside of our state promoting himself and his presidential bid, rather than sitting at his desk signing crucial legislation. Oh yeah, that's right.....he fathered Mandatory Healthcare in our state. Thanks Dad.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  98. Rosa Meltroso


    A grandfather is not necesarily the type of figure one may want as president. This is Mccain 08 all over again. America's a young country; people find it harder to identify with old candidates . Besides, how do you know the people interviewed didn't have hateful grandfathers?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  99. Ron from NEBR.

    It means that their uncle &/or grandfather are arrogant, lying, deceiving, greedy thugs!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  100. Shadi from Chapel Hill, NC

    Fantastic! Romney a "missing father" and Gingrich a "favorite uncle". With Obama being like a brother who's turned his back on us all with his unfulfilled promises, we have quite the disfunctional family!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  101. David

    Gingrich seems more like the spectre of Richard Nixon - smart but scary - and Romney's just an empty suit.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  102. Peggy Howard

    I believe Gingrich is ok as a grandfather or uncle. That is just what the US needs now. We need a level headed person in the oval office. Gingrich or Perry are my choice because they have the most sense and are in my family!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  103. Adam

    From Eugene, OR

    Newt has the confidence and likeability that equates him to a relative. His experience in office and comfortability with public speaking and the debates gives him the grandpa feel. Mitt on the other hand, has been staying out of the lime light and laying low. What's he hiding?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  104. Sandstone.

    "Missing fathers? That's why we have facebook and twitter today! I found my daughter again just five years ago because of face book and the internet. Uncles are are just relative to father and mother's. I still believe in Romney, though not as much as Hillary. I wish would rune for the GOP!"

    December 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  105. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    It says the family is dysfunctional. Neither is ready to lead this nation let alone be President of the United States. It's the holiday season, so they both show up Christmas Day, each trying to out do the other. Newts and Mitts for Christmas. OMG!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  106. Josh from Winnipeg

    It tells me people are paying too much attention to who they'd want to have coffee with instead of who actually wants to get something done. Many of us wouldn't mind having coffee or talking with Bush, that doesn't make him a good president, I think we all found that out for ourselves. I think the only thing that makes sense to talk about in this election is Ron Paul and his incredible agenda. Time to actually get something done instead of kid ourselves.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  107. John Barry

    My uncle is not a crook. Nor is my father a flip-flopping liar. I refuse to support an individual who is willing to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants; whether they've been here for one year or twenty-five. I also refuse to support someone who has changed his stance on topics faster than you can say "Go". A true president of the peole will be conscitent from start to finish. Anyone else who isn't is not to be trusted.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  108. Greg, Ontario

    what does it mean? Who cares? Look at the picture. Who do you think they are laughing at? You Jack and all other Americans. Don't be surprised when Mitt picks Newt as his running mate against President Obama and the scariest thought of all they win.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  109. ron Denver, CO

    it tells you Granpa can afford to buy you a present from Tiffinany's because he is part of the "system" that took it all, and your missing father or 2nd cousin cant afford any gift cause Granpa stole it all!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  110. marybeth, massachusetts


    What a dreadful question. What an even more dreadful thought. I am hard-pressed to think of how anyone can think of Newt as a favorite uncle. When I hear the words "favorite uncle", it makes me think of the uncle that people like because he hands out money and gifts. If it said sarcastically enough, or with enough facial expression and eye gestures, it means he is the creepy uncle whose hands linger in the wrong places and who your cousins warn you never to let him get you alone in a room or anywhere. With Mitt being refered to as a deadbeat dad or second cousin twice removed, it means you don't see him, his influence, if any, is bad, when he turns up he causes problems, no one in the family really likes him and they all wish he'd just go away.

    I don't get republican voters–they have a good candidate (Huntsman), but they're going for the arrogant, it's all about me, I'm here to line my pockets with as much cash as possible while telling you tales and misdirecting you. Newt had so many ethics violations that HIS OWN PARTY threw him out of the Speakership. He's a hypocrite–he went after Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, all the while Uncle Newtie was having affairs left and right. Do as I say and not as I do must be Newt's MO. Newt has never met a bribe or an ethics violation that he didn't like. Elect him and he will rob every American blind and blame the voters and Democrats for it. Mitt is no better. He changes his values and opinions on matters such as healthcare, education, reproductive rights (for women), taxation, the role of government, immigration, gay marriage, Don't Ask Don't Tell more often than I change my underwear. He thinks corporations are people, and he prefers them to human beings. There's something creepy about Mitt too.

    I don't trust either one of them. But then again, the whole lot of those running, particularly Newt, Mitt, Michele, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain are corrupt and rotten to the core, nuttier than a fruitcake, mad as a hatter. I'm truly scared for this country.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  111. Scott Stodden

    I Have No Idea What That Means Jack But They Should Be Saying That Newt Gingrich Reminds Them Of A Lying Cheater Who Divorced His Wife While She Was Going Through Cancer Treatments Cuz That's What He Reminds Of-Just Saying!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    December 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  112. Mike S., New Orleans, LA

    It speaks volumes about the GOP's ethical values when they consider someone a favorite uncle who carried on an extramarital affair and served divorce papers on his wife while she lay dying of cancer. Favorite Uncle? More like Favorite Hypocrite.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  113. Magginkat

    I had to chuckle after reading several comments that Newt or Romney mean sanity back in the White House. Do people really believe this? Sanity from those two? Romney flip-flops so many times that he doesn't even know what he stands for. Newt stands for everything. (except perhaps staying married to one woman).

    December 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  114. Steve

    It means didley squat. Things are getting slow at CNN. You should have added Obama and Palin. You would got some better comments.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |