The Republican debate started off on a rocky note when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed CNN’s John King for being questioned about Marianne Gingrich’s “character attack.” After Mr. Gingrich reprimanded Mr. King for using “trash like that” in a presidential debate, the Republican candidates started attacking each other.
Along with Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum stopped short of dismissing Ms. Gingrich’s interview as immaterial for South Carolina voters to consider in selection a Republican presidential nominee. “These are issues of our lives, and what we did in our lives are issues of character for people to consider,” Mr. Santorum posited.
Mr. Santorum also accused Mr. Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney of “playing footsies with the left” on health care. Mr. Gingrich “has been for an individual mandate [...] as late as 2008,” Mr. Santorum added.
In response to Mr. Santorum’s attack, the Georgia Republican fired back that he “led the charge against ‘Hillarycare’ in the House.” Mr. Gingrich added that one can visit healthtransformation.net to “see hundreds of ideas — none of which resemble Barack Obama’s programs.”
Later in the Republican debate, Mr. Santorum slammed Mr. Gingrich for not being careful enough about what he says. “Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich,” Mr. Santorum remarked. “I don’t want a nominee that I have to worry about going out and looking at the paper the next day and [...] worrying about what he’s going to say next,” Mr. Santorum argued.
WASHINGTON—Mitt Romney perpetuated one unsubstantiated claim, about his record at Bain Capital, and more or less corrected himself on another, about President Barack Obama’s health care law, in the latest Republican presidential debate.His rivals flubbed history, Newt Gingrich blaming a Democratic president for a jobless rate he never had, and Ron Paul painting an idyllic picture of life before Medicare that did not reflect deprivations of that time.
A look at some of the claims in the debate Thursday night and how they compare with the facts:06.36 The Washington Post’s E.J Dionne Jr says Gingrich only won the debate by trashing the media.Opinion Leave it to Newt Gingrich to turn a question about second wife’s statement that he had requested an open marriage into an opportunity to go after the media. His gambit worked brilliantly with tonight’s debate audience in Charleston. I suspect it worked with a lot of Republican voters, too.
If Gingrich pulls out a victory in South Carolina, it will be because of this week’s two debates – and because Mitt Romney had once of the worst weeks of his campaign. Romney has made one mistake after another in talking about his taxes and his earnings. He is still tone deaf on matters related to economic class and his own financial situation. It was not the way a candidate wants to close a campaign.06.10 Here’s the inside scoop on what Team Newt really thinks of the Marianna Gingrich interview – a set-up.
Opinion “We kind of feel like it must be a political set-up of some sort,” former Rep. Bob Walker, a longtime colleague of Gingrich’s, said after the debate, referring to ABC News’ brief feature in which Marianne Gingrich claimed Gingrich asked to have an “open marriage.” Asked who might be behind the set-up, Walker said, “I don’t know, but ABC has been pretty favorable to Barack Obama over the years, and maybe they decided this was the time. I don’t know, but the timing is somewhat suspicious…As Newt begins to rise in the polls, it is interesting that a couple of days before the election is when they bring this up.”05.33 (00.33) Did Newt Gingrich win tonight’s debate in the first five minutes? Tim Stanley thinks so, saying his chin wobble said it all.
South Carolina Republican debate Video South Carolina Republican debate: January 19