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.
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.
Now, I know among the politically correct, you're not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.
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?
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There's a saying in politics that goes "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."
And it looks like it's about time for the remaining Republican candidates to fall in line behind the dominant front-runner, Mitt Romney.
If Romney wins South Carolina's primary on Saturday - where he's ahead in the polls, he will have pulled off a trifecta - winning the first three nominating contests in a row.
At that point, the other candidates - Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Rick Perry - ought to think about packing their bags and heading home.
It would be a fine time for them to go the way of Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman before them.
In case they haven't noticed, Republican voters for the most part are backing Romney, as he's opened up a commanding 23 point lead in one national poll.
The new Gallup poll shows Romney with 37% support from Republicans - that's a 13 point jump in this poll since just before the Iowa caucuses.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are at 14%, Ron Paul is at 12%, Rick Perry is at a measly 5%.
Pollsters suggest that historically, the post-New Hampshire leader in national polls has gone on to win the Republican nomination. Romney is not only leading by more than 20 points, but his margin is growing.
If the other Republicans choose to stay in the race and keep beating up on Romney, they're only giving the Democrats and President Obama more material to use against Romney in the general election.
Here’s my question to you: If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?
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.