Skip to comments.Why Gingrich tanked (What happened to his surge?)
Posted on 01/07/2012 2:20:03 PM PST by SeekAndFind
NASHUA, NH -- Just as in Iowa, Newt Gingrich's popularity has plunged here in New Hampshire. The former House speaker, who hit 24 percent in a Rasmussen survey in late November, is languishing at eight percent in the latest Rasmussen Granite State poll.
In the next primary state, South Carolina, Gingrich hit 42 percent in an NBC News poll in early December. Now, he is at 18 percent in a new Rasmussen survey.
The conventional wisdom holds that Gingrich fell as a result of highly effective attack ads aired in Iowa by rival Ron Paul and a super PAC working on behalf of Mitt Romney. Certainly those ads, which focused on issues like Gingrich's paid work for Freddie Mac and his global-warming partnership with Nancy Pelosi, did some damage. But talks with voters here in New Hampshire and with politicos in South Carolina suggest the ads are not what killed Gingrich. It was Gingrich's reaction to the ads.
Voters who once supported Gingrich but have now turned away from him say that his hot-tempered response to the ads, rather than the ads themselves, simply turned them off. "He's got a temper," said one Tea Party member at a Nashua coffeehouse Saturday morning. "I don't want a guy with a temper with his finger on the button." Other voters said Gingrich's ill-tempered complaints about the ads distracted them from the former speaker's message about jobs, the economy, and American renewal.
In South Carolina, Gingrich's decision to call Romney a liar did not sit well with many Republicans, including those who don't support Romney. "I think people saw him calling Romney a liar as just un-presidential," says one well-connected South Carolina political figure. "It just looked unpresidential."
As a political tactic, the brilliance of the Paul and Romney ads was that they provoked Gingrich to anger -- and into hurting himself. That allowed Romney supporters to follow up by accusing Gingrich of being in a state of perpetual anger, and therefore unfit for the presidency. "He's always angry," former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney supporter, said Friday. "There's nothing new about that This is the old Gingrich. There was a new Gingrich for about 11 microseconds, and now you're back to the old Gingrich."
Gingrich has also been hurt by a long gap between Republican debates. Gingrich rose to prominence in the GOP race because of his consistently impressive performances in debates -- and by his decision to focus his attacks on Barack Obama and not on his fellow candidates. But until Saturday night's face-off in Manchester, there has not been a debate since the Fox News session in Sioux City, Iowa on December 15. That's a long time for a candidate to go without being able to showcase his strength. During that time, Gingrich has fallen steadily in the polls.
Voters here and in South Carolina still have great respect for Gingrich and what he has accomplished in his career; no rival can match him. And voters wish some other candidate had Gingrich's debating talent; one Tea Party member said he would like to see a candidate with Romney's business acumen, Gingrich's debating skills, and Rick Santorum's integrity. But for many voters, in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and across the country, temperament is a threshold issue. If a voter determines that a candidate is too hot-headed, or in some way does not possess the proper temperament to be president, it ultimately doesn't matter what else that candidate does; he won't win the voter's support. And that is what has happened to Gingrich in the aftermath of the Iowa attack ads.
And as soon as Romney is alone at the top, then the long knives will come out for him.
He’d be a great running mate, smart, experienced, older (like Cheney).
Have a great rest of the weekend, all!
The media pushed Gingrich as the only alternative to Romney, and people rejected that. In reality, Gingrich wasn’t the conservative he was portrayed to be. Earlier this year, people he acknowledged his numerous drawbacks.
Yep. Exactly. And I’ve been saying it for months... Conservatives have a problem with EVERY candidate in the field. The most consistantly conservative was Bachmann (and Palin but she never dove in).
We couldnt nominate Perry because he has poor debate skills and is soft on immigration. We can’t nominate Newt because he’s too liberal on global warming. We can’t nominate Ron Paul because he’s a kook with foreign policy. We can’t nominate Cain because he cheats on his wife and is inexperienced. We can’t nominate Santorum because he voted constantly for earmarks and bigger government. We can’t vote for Romney because he flip flops on abortion and supports Romneycare/Obamacare.
I understand conservatives are angry at this field. But the reality is that none of these guys are perfect. We are not going to have a perfect candidate. We are going to have to punt on an issue somewhere.
It’s the continuing game of musical Republicans, up and down, and spin them all around while Romney plays with his media pals.
That coupled with his baggage - personal and political - plan for amnesty (that he claims isn't amnesty) and other things sunk Newt.
Yeah, Gingrich is a passionate guy...
“In South Carolina, Gingrich’s decision to call Romney a liar did not sit well with many Republicans, including those who don’t support Romney. “I think people saw him calling Romney a liar as just un-presidential,” says one well-connected South Carolina political figure. “It just looked unpresidential.””
Then South Carolinans are p*ssys.
So true, and they are right here on FR trying to paint a negative light, cause discord and disruption.
We need to pray then Keep speaking the truth and fight the fight.
Virginia: (Super-Tuesday/only Romney + Paul on ballot)
Gingrich 41%, Romney 15, Perry 8, Paul 6, Santorum 6
Georgia: (primary Super-Tuesday Mar 6)
Gingrich 65%, Romney 12, Perry 4, Santorum 1
California: (primary June 5)
Gingrich 33%, Romney 25, Paul 9, Perry 4, Santorum 4
Pennsylvania (Santorum's home state!):
Gingrich 32%, Romney 12, Santorum 12, Paul 9 (PPP)
Gingrich 31%, Romney 17, Santorum 9, (Quinnipac)
Florida: (primary Jan 31)
Romney 27%, Gingrich 26% (statistical dead-heat)
Colorado: (caucus Feb 7)
Gingrich 37%, Romney 12, Santorum 12, Paul 9
yep, they are mixing blatent falsehoods in with some truths to try and sink Gingrich.
It’s true that Gingrich shouldn’t have been so whiney about the attacks.
But it’s patently false to say Gingrich shouldn’t have fought back. Nothing could be further from the truth, Gingrich lost because he DIDN’T fight back, not because he did.
Fox News went negative on Newt the instant his numbers went ahead of Romney’s. Before Romney ads. I’ve never seen such hyperventillating by FNC against anyone on our side of the aisle.
I still want to know what “baggage” people keep talking about with NEWT?
Does he have any more baggage thn Romney...NO
Does he have more baggage then OBAMA....NO
Does he have a lot more “conservative accomplishments” than all of the field....almost certainly so..
Thats not what happened in South Carolina...
In fact, Romney is a liar so Newt being accurate about that did not turn SC people away. In fact, I believe Newt is still the preferred choice of people in SC.
Your say right.
They do have the least amount of charm and
Palin has it which makes The Dems scared
My brother’s right, for both the Republican and Democrat political elite this is just another Super Bowl. They just play the game and don’t give a thought to the danger this country is in. They’ll destroy anyone they don’t want and they’ll pull out all the stops for their guy.
I don’t know where you are getting your SC polling numbers but the only polls that were done there this year is CNN and Rasmussen yesterday and they read as follows”
Mittens 27 37
Santorum 24 19
Gingrich 18 18
Paul 11 12
Perry 5 5
Gingrich has been damaged here and it appears it wasn’t the ads that did it but rather his response to them.
Saw the hideous Debbie "Washerwoman" on Greta the other night and it was nothing but projectile regurgitating of the Dems line re: Romney. They're already after him ... and it's not going to be pretty. What was MOST disturbing was a lot of what she said was actually true (everything he has flip-flopped on, etc.)
It seems when there was a lull in debates the negative ads had a serious impact. When he debates everyone can see how effective he is. Newt/_______ -2012
Maybe we need someone who is angry.
I think you nailed it.
|RCP Average||1/4 - 1/5||--||32.0||21.5||18.0||11.5||5.0||1.5||Romney +10.5|
|Rasmussen Reports||1/5 - 1/5||750 LV||27||24||18||11||5||2||Romney +3|
|CNN/Time||1/4 - 1/5||485 LV||37||19||18||12||5||1||Romney +18|
|Insider Advantage||12/18 - 12/18||736 LV||19||4||31||7||5||4||Gingrich +12|
|Clemson||12/6 - 12/19||600 LV||21||2||38||10||5||3||Gingrich +17|
|NBC News/Marist||12/4 - 12/6||635 LV||23||2||42||9||7||3||Gingrich +19|
I do not know the words needed to describe my disgust for Fox news.
When the People realize, if they ever do, just how much FOX has helped to destroy our candidates and thus destroy our country, it is my fantasy to see Fox news go broke.
If FNC is successful at shoving Romney down our throats, thus giving Obama 4 more years to destroy our country, it should be time work on their advertisers to help to bring FNC down.
Here is a list of lies that Gingrich has clarified ...
Fact Check: Latest Ad by Pro-Romney Super PAC “Restore Our Future” Contains Numerous Lies and Falsehoods
Atlanta, GA - Newt 2012 released a fact sheet today responding to the latest dishonest attack ad aired by pro-Romney Super-Pac “Restore our Future”:
Falsehood: Freddie Mac paid Newt $30,000 an hour - $1.6 million.
I think less than maybe once a month, they [Freddie Mac] would drop by. We’d spend an hour [talking].
-Newt Gingrich, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 11/17/11
It is this remark which the Super-Pac uses to justify this gross distortion.
First, Freddie Mac was a client of the Gingrich Group, a firm with thirty employees and offices in three cities. The client fees were not paid directly to Newt, they were paid to the company, and the vast majority of it went to staff salaries, health insurance, rent and other overhead.
Second, like any consulting firm, a great deal of work and research goes into the recommendations given. Newt and his staff spent time preparing for these meetings, putting in hours of research to bring a well informed opinion. To report that a one hour meeting is the extent of their work is ignorant of standard business practice.
Falsehood: Gingrich teamed up with Nancy Pelosi on global warming.
The Truth: Newt absolutely opposes cap and trade, which Nancy Pelosi supports, as well as any system of taxing carbon emissions. He testified before Congress against the Nancy Pelosi-backed cap and trade effort in 2009 and led a grassroots effort while he was the Chairman of American Solutions to block its passage in the House and Senate. Newt repeatedly states there is no scientific evidence to justify a large government, centralized response.
Falsehood: Together [Gingrich & Pelosi] they co-sponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting Chinas brutal One Child policy.
The Truth: Newt never voted for this legislation and this never became law. Additionally, Ronald Reagans Mexico City Policy was in place in 1989, which would have prevented any money going toward abortions in support of Chinas One Child Policy:
As to US contributions to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, their continuation will be conditional on concrete assurances that no part of the US monies will be used for abortion and the Fund does not support abortion or coercive family planning programs.
-US Policy Statement for the International Conference on Population, 1984
This policy applied to any legislation passed through 1993, and implicitly prohibits any US funds from going to Chinas One Child policy.
Falsehood: As Speaker, Gingrich even supported taxpayer funding of some abortions.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday supported the availability of federally- financed abortions for poor women who are victims of rape or incest.
-Chicago Tribune, April 10, 1995
Newt supported Hyde amendment language, which prohibits federal funding for abortions. This language often makes exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, and is supported by conservative members of Congress. These clauses were found in the Republican supported Stupak Amendment to President Obamas healthcare bill. Newt recognized that an outright ban on federal funding of abortion would not be signed by Bill Clinton, and worked to remove federal abortion funding as much as possible in the existing political framework.
Falsehood: [Newt] was fined $300,000 for ethics violations by a Republican Congress.
The Truth: Eighty-four politically motivated ethics charges were filed against Newt when he was Speaker of the House regarding the use of tax exempt funds for a college course he taught titled Renewing American Civilization. Eighty-three of the eighty-four charges were found to be without merit and dropped.
The remaining charge had to do with contradictory documents prepared by Newts lawyer supplied during the course of the investigation. Newt took responsibility for the error and agreed to reimburse the committee the cost of the investigation into that discrepancy. The agreement specifically noted that the payment was not a fine, but instead a “cost assessment.” The House vote affirmed this agreement.
In 1999, after a 3 ½ year investigation, the Internal Revenue Service (under President Bill Clinton, nonetheless) concluded that Gingrich did not violate any tax laws, leading renowned CNN Investigative Reporter Brooks Jackson to remark on air it turns out [Gingrich] was right and those who accused him of tax fraud were wrong.
For more facts about Newt Gingrich’s record, please visit Newt.org/answers.
Yep. It’s been painfully obvious. F&F had an interview with Newt this morning and suddenly Karl (oh Karl we haven’t seen you in over a month) Rove shows up to bash Newt. He’s been acting like he’s OCD. Even Brit Hume’s voice went up 3 notches. They’ve been frantic to take Newt down.
Newt has done a lot of interviews and town halls, etc. in the last month that are just as interesting as what he says in debates, if not moreso. Problem is the media doesn’t seem to cover those at all. They instead pick the one sound bite that keeps the “horse race” going. Romney and Paul say awful lies in their ads, but don’t usually say it themselves out loud. Newt says what they’re doing is unfair and terrible out loud, that gets quoted while nothing else he has been saying gets quoted, and he looks like the bad guy.
There is a big reason the SuperPAC negative ads succeed and it’s because it takes that stuff out of the candidates’ mouth and puts it onto some amorphous non-entity. Without big money, Newt can’t do that type of thing. The idea that you’re supposed to smile and say vicious lies being spread about you by anonymous people doesn’t bother you is just ridiculous. Is it preferable to vote the liars into office instead of the people in the difficult position of defending themselves from the lies?
If voters want to continue to be ignorant about the spin game, not investigate the candidates’ platforms themselves, rely on the information they get from the media in cahoots with the big money candidates, they will get the candidate they deserve.
Rove would rather lose than have anyone who could throw a wrench in the GOP Establishment plans.
Sadly, those polls you cite are from December 19th.
It’s a lot worse now. They may have been his highwater mark.
The South Carolina and Virginia polls are from 12/19/11. In politics that’s a lifetime ago. Meaningless.
What happened to the Romneybot York’s credibility? He has none.
I have to say that I agree completely w/ you! There is just something about them that is like one long trip to creepytown. Call it shallow, but there is no getting around that observation!
Bought and paid for polling, gives you support 100 feet wide and 10,000 of an inch thick. In short hype, a fad, the bloom is now off the rose.
Newt’s comments about illegal aliens hurt him. Why support illegals?
“he underwent an anal exam with every little comment pulled out from the last 10 years”
Exactly. It is that simple and Newt at first did not have the resources to fight back. Those days are over and Newt is now fighting back. GO NEWT!
While I agree with you that Callista is “unlikeable,” I still think Gingrich has a shot. Callista is going to have to soften her image. When Michelle The Moocher started out, she was worse than she is today (if you can believe it). Callista has got to get rid of that blond-on-blond helmet hairdo and let down her guard a bit (as well as swearing off facelifts and botox treatments). She comes across as incredibly brittle. That being said, I can still support Newt if he can rise above the negative ads being run against him by wealthier candidates.
1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness : he is known to be a man of integrity.
2 the state of being whole and undivided : upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
The Man Who Couldnt Beat Obama Endorses the Man Who Couldnt Beat McCain
My fantasy too. I DESPISE Fox - seems like no matter when I do stop on that channel - someone is on there telling me Romney is the only one that can win. I watch MSNBC and CNN more than Fox (how many more bimbos can they pack into their shows?).
The left got their messiah in “The One” and now us on the the right demand our turn to have one. Since Romney and Huntsman are the only ones vying for the job of god, they have a head start, and every other candidate may have too many flaws for us. (Ron Paul appears to have been the victim of an alien abduction and some kind of mind altering extraterrestrial experience, which allows him to escape earthly reality. This is godlike enough for some. (RP call home.))
But when it’s all said and done, many Republicans just pick their candidate the same way they get a cold, it’s simply given to them. -sarcasm, sorta-
Newt expected to get a sympathy vote, after he was attacked in Iowa. It didn’t happen. He had a campaign war chest in Iowa, but chose not to use it.
As far as I know, no concrete evidence exists that Cain ever cheated on his wife. A collection of well-timed hearsay might work well for much of the electorate, but not for those with their wits about them. I spoke with a good friend who happens to be black and he based his easy willingness to believe the Cain slanders entirely on his view of black culture, with no foundation in specific, objective facts about Cain, and his certainty crumbled to nothing when I challenged it.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying Cain was perfect. I am saying that as an electorate we have lost so much of our critical thinking apparatus in the last thirty years that we are now way too easily led. The media pulls the ring in our nose and we follow it, then they pull us another way and we follow it. Rush and many other conservative thought leaders have labored hard and prevented an all out collapse, but the damage is severe, and this election cycle, even more than 2008, is shining a bright light on just how bad it is.
The knives will never come out for Romney because he has no chance of winning the presidency. And even if he did, he’s an Obama clone, so nothing would change and the GOP would be effectively neutered, so the left is probably actually rooting for Romney to win.
I don’t care about Cain’s wife; the problem was exactly the same as it was with Clinton, he lied about the whole thing. He even denied the settlements until it was proved that they existed, even though he had been questioned about them in 2004 when he ran for office then (and lost). In his defense, I think he never expected his candidacy to be taken seriously, and thus he wasn’t sure how to handle these things.
The problem is that right now we are not focusing on issues and who would be best equipped to deal with them. I don’t care how many times a candidate has been married or if he’s somebody I’d like to go out to dinner with. The only thing I care about personally is that he is somebody who seems to have the brains, conservative principles and drive to do what is necessary.
Obama has done a lot of damage to this country that simply has to be undone by an aggressive person with a program. So that’s what we’ve got to be looking for. (But not a nutbag like Paul, who actually is very similar to Obama’s extreme left, since extremes always meet.)
Did Cain lie? I don’t acknowledge this. I can be persuaded, so feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong, or am missing some pertinent facts, but as an attorney, if I’m “prosecuting” Cain, I know I have to show by other than hearsay that he knew what he said was false when he said it (mens rea), if I want to prove a lie, and I can’t do that with the stipulated facts.
For example, if he says there was no settlement, but he was aware of the payout of a marginal severance package, is it a lie to say there was no settlement? If one is strict with the meaning of words, you don’t have a settlement unless you have a lawsuit ready for hearing. To my knowledge, that never happened. Therefore, no lie.
My theory on why he didn’t prepare for or respond to these things all that well? He is a computer/math guy, not a politician with years of experience being up to his elbows in other people’s dirty tricks. He never imagined his enemies willingness to use and the broader electorate’s willingness to believe a string of forcefully presented but unproven lies. He underestimated Axelrod and overestimated the rest of us.
Remember that the Alynski school of politics designs an attack at precisely that point where your opponent enjoys his greatest strength among his own supporters. People quote the “isolate” principle all the time but they fail to recognize it when it is used against them. Isolation comes when you take a target whose strength is integrity and “show” he has none, whose strength is family values and you show him to be a cheater, or not really prolife, who strength is intellect and you amplify some single mental error all out of proportion to reality. By this you separate, or isolate, the target from the one group that could give him strength. Now hes a sitting duck. Very effective. Evil, yes, but effective.
Bottom line, for me, is any of these front-runners (including the also rans and the almost rans), with the exceptions of Paul & Romney, would be infinitely better than what we have now, but because we are so willing to believe what we are told, and so haphazard in our analysis even when we do “question authority,” that we can be bamboozled into chasing ourselves into a cage from which we will not be able to escape.
When Newt announced his proposal in a debate, he said he was "ready 'to take the heat for saying, lets be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.'
The morning after the debate, Gingrich was already swamped with accusations from a wide variety of quarters that he was supporting amnesty, for example, HERE, which is a typical example describing Gingrich's plan as about amnesty ("The plan seeks to break the political deadlock over whether to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants by splitting them into two groups.")
Sorry, but Gingrich knew VERY WELL that when he said what he said, how he said it, when and where he said it, that he was going to have to fend off accusations that his plan amounted to amnesty. He specifically said he was "ready to take the heat for that."
Then when his political opponents brought the heat, instead of accepting responsibility for explaining away the mess he himself made, he wails about how he's being lied about and it's so unfair.
It's not unfair and Gingrich knows it. He PREDICTED that his comments would be viewed as advocating a form of amnesty.
Whether his plan does or does not constitute amnesty is beside the point here. We are talking about political strategies.
Gingrich knowingly and deliberately made it VERY EASY for his opponents, from the minute he said it in that debate and forward (go back and watch the tape and read the threads about AMNESTY here on FR the next day), to characterize his position as allowing illegal immigrants a way to stay in the U.S.
Again, this is precisely what he claimed he was "ready to take the heat for."
Except he wasn't ready to take the heat. And he didn't go out there the day after the debate, and the day after and the day after, and make damn sure that HE explained himself again and again, if necessary.
Saying "Newt has a plan on his website" has zero impact on how politics gets done in the real world.
But the fact is that Gingrich proposed to allow at least some illegal immigrants to stay, be provided a "path to legality," which everyone knows then makes them, just by virtue of being here legally, eligible to apply for citizenship. Please check the voluminous FR threads on these points in the days after he made this proposal. These discussions about amnesty and Newt's proposal were not had by a bunch of Romney supporters; they were based on what NEWT SAID.
Gingrich made this mess and he didn't clean it up. End of story. So he had to pay the piper.
To go from that to crying that his opponents "lied" about the very thing he predicted they would say if he said what he said shows a shocking level of political incompetence (or delusions of grandeur). Gingrich would have been in a much stronger position to have simply said, "I said all along they were going to peg me as an amnesty supporter, but here's how my policy is not amnesty."
As it is: call the whhhhaaaaaaambulance.
Sorry, but you’re proving their point very well.
The more Santorum appears as the Not Romney AND the Not Gingrich candidate, the prettier his numbers will get.
Newt’s support was never deep.