Posted on | May 17, 2011 | 22 Comments
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, speaking on a Tuesday conference call held to respond to his controversial comments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, said that he didn’t go into his interview with NBC’s David Gregory “hostile enough” and should have pushed back more forcefully against the “gotcha” questions the host asked.
But he argued that this controversy, which many have argued spells the end of his candidacy, will be fixed in a matter of days, and he likened his experiences to Ronald Reagan’s.
“Every once and awhile there’s going to be a problem, and you gotta spend three or four days fixing it,” he said. “If you go back and look at Ronald Reagan’s record, the opening week of the campaign in Sept. 1980, they didn’t have a very good week. And they had to go back and fix it. This happens occasionally. The trick is to relax, look at it, try to figure out what happened, and keep moving.”
Gingrich said he should have been better prepared for the “adversarial nature” of “Meet the Press.”
“I didn’t go in there quite hostile enough, because it didn’t occur to me going in that you’d have a series of setups,” Gingrich said. “This wasn’t me randomly saying things. These were very deliberate efforts to pick fights.”
Newt didn’t realize David Gregory was going to play “gotcha”? Hello? But the comparison with Reagan is a bit much. The 24/7 New Media environment — including cable TV, talk radio and the blogosphere — didn’t exist in 1980.
Does the acronym WCFCYA mean anything to you?
This is where Newt’s long, long political record works against him. Leave aside the ex-wives and the half-million-dollar Tiffany’s account. That’s just a distraction. The fact is, Newt has a record to defend, he’s opined on a variety of topics during TV appearances and speeches, and his difficulty in meeting Gregory’s “gotcha” attacks exposes that vulnerability. And if he thinks he can bamboozle Republican voters, he’ll get more of what he got in the “Rebuke in Dubuque“:
For me, of course, it’s personal. I was there in the ballroom at the Hotel Saranac on Nov. 3, 2009, when Doug Hoffman gave his concession speech. Lot of red-rimmed eyes in the crowd there that night. But there is no crying in journalism . . .
Newt will not win the Republican nomination. Not while I live and breathe. Hit the freaking tip jar.
I sent him money, I called his campaign office and talked to his staffers, I was on his email list. It was my first realization that from that moment on … NO politics were local. What happened in that district “somewhere in NY” could potentially mark a point in time when the tide turned and the Every Man could make a significant impact.
And I remember how enraged I was when Newt Gingrich mocked us. Tried to destroy Doug’s candidacy. Endorsed and praised and supported that abomination of a women. Not once. Not a couple of times. For weeks. And he … was “on our side.”
As I have argued, the Hoffman campaign actually did “mark a point in time when the tide turned.” That’s why, on Election Night 2010, in Boca Raton, Florida, I walked outside of Allen West’s victory party and placed a call to Doug Hoffman.
Those of us who were involved in the NY-23 — and that includes a lot of our blog readers here who gave money to Hoffman — knew we were in the middle of a crucial moment. And the fact that Hoffman lost didn’t change that. What was important was the fight, and the fighter who had the guts to tell the clueless GOP establishment to go to hell.
UPDATE II: Had to do this: