It’s all about Newt Gingrich this morning.
According to Public Policy Polling, overnight tracking in South Carolina shows no sign of damage to the former U.S. House speaker as a result of the allegations of ex-wife Marianne Gingrich. He continues to lead Mitt Romney in the state by 35-29. In fact, says PPP:
For the first time in our South Carolina tracking this month his favorability is better than Romney’s, with 53% of voters holding a positive opinion of him compared to 51% for his chief competitor.
Gingrich’s lead with evangelicals held steady today at 40-22 over Romney. He’s also doing well with Tea Party voters (46-21), registered Republicans (38-30), voters describing themselves as very conservative (41-21), men (39-27), and voters in the Upstate (36-25).
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich hasn’t gotten an endorsement from former rival Herman Cain, but he’s getting sympathy. On Fox News this morning, Cain applauded Gingrich’s lambasting of CNN’s John King, who opened a two-hour debate last night by asking the former Georgia congressman if he wanted to respond to his ex-wife’s accusation that he had once sought an “open” marriage. Via Politico:
“I loved Newt Gingrich’s response because that’s the same crap that they pulled on me, and that’s what’s wrong with politics. This is what’s turning the American people off,” Cain said on Fox News. “What does something that happened 20 years ago relative to an ex-wife have to do with fixing America’s problems today? Nothing.”
Cain, whose own presidential campaign crumbled after allegations of extramarital affairs surfaced late last year, said repeatedly that he “loved” seeing how his former rival “shoved it back in their face” from the debate stage.
For those of you who couldn’t stay up late, here’s the entire eight-minute ABC News segment featuring Marianne Gingrich:
In all the hoopla over Marianne Gingrich, one of the greatest crossover appeals from Newt Gingrich during last night’s debate was largely buried:
”Why is President Obama for young people being allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26? Because he can’t get any jobs for them to go out and buy their own insurance. I mean I have — I have an offer — I have an offer to the parents of America: Elect us and your kids will be able to move out because they’ll have work.”
Deep in a Politico.com article on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s withdrawal from the presidential campaign were these two paragraphs:
Henry Barbour, an influential Mississippi Republican and nephew of the former governor, attended Perry’s news conference to show support for his favored candidate but said immediately afterward he wouldn’t back Gingrich.
“I like having a Republican speaker of the House,” Barbour cracked, suggesting Gingrich would be a disaster as the GOP nominee. “He puts all our down-ticket candidates at risk.”
The Washington Post today traces the friendship between Newt Gingrich and Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who donated $5 million to the Gingrich-allied Super PAC that has made all the difference in South Carolina:
Sheldon Adelson credits then-Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.), now retired, with introducing the Adelsons to Gingrich at the Capitol, though Linder does not recall being the matchmaker. The encounter came just before passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Though the act had bipartisan support, presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have declined to implement it, deeming it an infringement on the president’s sole constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs.
Finally, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today does some fact-checking on last night’s CNN debate.
– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider