Newt Gingrich: ‘It’s not that I’m a good debater….’

Updated at 9:35 p.m. — Now, we may be cherry-picking here, but in his victory speech, Newt Gingrich seems to be getting more and more comfortable with the word “grandiosity.”

Says Gingrich: “It’s not that I’m a good debater. It’s just that I articulate the deepest values of the American people.”

But ultimately, he offered lavish praise on Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and even Mitt Romney.

Updated at 9 p.m. — Sarah Palin was featured in a quick interview with Fox News a few minutes ago. Good news for Rick Santorum: She said it wasn’t yet time for him to bow out of the contest.

Minutes later, Santorum was on the same network, noting that Mitt Romney, rather than him, should be the fellow pressed to leave the stage. “The idea that Romney is the obstacle isn’t working anymore,” he said.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. “This race is getting to be even more interesting,” Mitt Romney tells his supporters. “This is a hard fight because there’s so much worth fighting for….Tomorrow we’re going to move on to Florida.” He thanks South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley – which brings up a good question. What does this mean for her? Aside from that dynamite rendition of “Happy Birthday” from Mitt.

Most of his ire was aimed at President Barack Obama. But he turned to Newt Gingrich. “The Republican party doesn’t demonize profitability. We celebrate it.” Or something close to that.

Those “Republican leaders who demonize” free enterprise “aren’t fit to be our nominee,” he said. Boom.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. — “The only question,” noted BJ VanGundy, a Gwinnett GOP activist, said at Newt Gingrich’s celebration here in Columbia, “is the spread. How big is the win?”

The general consensus is that 40 percent would be the multi-candidate equivalent of a landslide.

“Welcome South, Mr. Romney!” was the cry of Susan Meyers, another Georgian. Gingrich’s next-door contingent is quite strong at the Hilton, where the audience was waiting for a visit from the candidate that will be sooner rather than later.

State Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, told of spending most of Friday north of Greenville, knocking on doors in the rain until he was soaked through. “Sixty percent of the people who opened the door declared for Newt,” he said.

For Gingrich to continue his success in Florida and beyond, the former U.S. House speaker will need an instant organization. Hill spoke of setting up a kind of “lightning squad” of Georgia volunteers who would be shifted from state to state as needed.

Others in the room: Randy Evans, the Atlanta lawyer and close friend of Gingrich; Matt Towery, the pollster; Maria Strollo Zack, another GOP activist from Georgia; Rufus Montgomery; Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell — and too many others to call by name.

Updated at 7:01 p.m. — Well, that was quick. Fox News just called the contest for Newt Gingrich. I’m assuming there may be a few people still waiting in line to vote. NBC News quickly followed.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Good evening from South Carolina, which tonight is likely to be the land of Newt.

It’s good to be suspicious of early exit poll leaks, but one in particular rings true – nearly half of all voters said they only made up their minds in the last few days. Which means Newt Gingrich’s two debate performances are likely to weigh heavily.

I’m looking for exit poll prognostications to come early.

I had a chat this afternoon with Rick Tyler, the former Gingrich spokesman who now is with Winning The Future, the Super PAC that has absolutely nothing to do with Gingrich. He estimated that his group dropped $3.8 million in South Carolina, primarily in TV attacks on Mitt Romney.

Romney’s Super PAC spent roughly $4.7 million, he estimated. A difference of nearly $1 million, and yet Gingrich picked up more than 20 points in the last week of the campaign – if this last round of polling is to be believed.

After tonight, Tyler said cash shouldn’t be a problem for Gingrich in the immediate future. He’s already got his plans for Florida mapped out. He intends to portray Mitt Romney as a “Charlie Crist” Republican.

Tyler said he won’t be at the Gingrich celebration next door – at the Hilton. But he asked us to bid Gingrich a good day. “Remember that I only communicate with them through the media,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

29 comments Add your comment

Snip Willy

January 21st, 2012
7:21 pm

The mormon dude never had a chance in the great state of South Carolina.

JimBob

January 21st, 2012
7:30 pm

Go Newt, go!! The Dems are sitting back, licking their chops.

Teddy Roosevelt

January 21st, 2012
7:31 pm

What’s wrong with being a “Chris Christie Republican,” other than being from New Jersey?

VoiceOfReason

January 21st, 2012
7:31 pm

A Mormon dude against a moron dude.

M

January 21st, 2012
7:38 pm

Man, I hope Newt gets the nomination…just to watch the cognitive dissonance head asplosions when “traditional marriage” supporters have to vote for a thrice-married serial adulterer; when “ethics and morals” voters have to vote for a former Speaker who was forced to resign his seat due to ethics violations and pressure from his own party; when Obamacare haters have to vote for one of the original champions of the individual mandate; and when people who sneer at academic elites have to vote for a college history professor. Good times, good times. C’mon, Newt.

john

January 21st, 2012
7:41 pm

I really don’t understand why people like newt. The guy is not a conservative. He just talks big but he doesn’t actually offer any concrete solutions like santorum or romney. Newt just throws out punch lines and get cheers. Obama would absolutely destroy him in the general election. I like santorum first then romney. I would not support newt.

Bootnewt

January 21st, 2012
7:45 pm

The thick, odiferous fog expelled by Newt has made S.C. GOP’ers gasp w/ tears in their eyes.

Last Man Standing

January 21st, 2012
7:48 pm

The only reason you liberal retards want Romney to have the nomination is because you know the Obama abomination can beat him. You people are truly as ‘transparent’ as the communist stated his administration would be.

There is absolutely no way Obama will debate Gingrich in an open forum. Obama must have the lamestream media clear the path for him.

M

January 21st, 2012
7:50 pm

Obama will make Gingrich throw a tantrum faster than Clinton ever did.

td

January 21st, 2012
7:58 pm

john

January 21st, 2012
7:41 pm

Newt receives a lifetime rating of 90% voting record from the American conservative Union.

td

January 21st, 2012
8:00 pm

Here are you libs something to chew on for a while. Herman Cain was massacred in the media for his sexual harrassment claims (not because the people came out) so why has no media outlet ever reported this story? Do not know if the stories are true or not but that did not stop the media with Herman or with Newt for that matter. They drug up Newts 13 years ago divorce? What is the difference?

“During Barack Obama’s tenure as the president of the Harvard Law Review in the late 1980s, at least two male student editors complained to colleagues and senior university officials about inappropriate behavior by Obama, ultimately leaving their positions at the journal, multiple sources confirm to THE KANSAS CITIAN.

The men complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Obama that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the university that gave them financial payouts to leave the journal. The agreements also included language that bars the men from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Obama and his administration repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the journal.”

http://conservativetalk.org/2011/11/07/obama-accused-of-sexual-harassment-at-harvard-law-review/

Jose

January 21st, 2012
8:01 pm

On moral issues, Newt is all talk, no walk. He is a liar at heart and callously hurt those closest to him. I don’t understand how he is any better than BIll Clinton in that regard.

ab

January 21st, 2012
8:17 pm

TD, now he murdered 6 people? Thanks for the link, that, and you, are hilarious….

hl

January 21st, 2012
8:25 pm

Personally I found Romney’s concession speech lacking substance. When he announced his intention to run for office he promoted his job creation. When he was governor, not so good..but then he touted 100,000 then 10,000 and now thousands..so who know what the net will be. Now he is running on the premise that I got mine so heck just clean more toilets like Newt says and you will have yours also.
Well if he is elected we will have more tax cuts so that’s good unless you are on medicare and social security..

td

January 21st, 2012
8:29 pm

ab

January 21st, 2012
8:17 pm

Now remind us all again who found out the truth about John Edwards? The national inquirier? Maybe they should find out the truth hear since it seems the so called “main stream media” refuses to do its job.

ab

January 21st, 2012
8:35 pm

you are right td, why isn’t Fox news all over this?

td

January 21st, 2012
8:46 pm

ab

January 21st, 2012
8:35 pm
you are right td, why isn’t Fox news all over this?

Because Fox is only slightly to the right of the “main stream media” and that is still on the left side of the middle. Glen Beck left Fox because the bosses told him to stop telling the truth about George Sorros.

Marie

January 21st, 2012
8:50 pm

I guess South Carolinians decided they would rather have a compulsive adulterer than a shady businessman with too much money hidden off shore.

honested

January 21st, 2012
9:12 pm

Who is sarah paline and what does she have to do with anything?

JB

January 21st, 2012
9:12 pm

Well if Newt and Obama is our choise in November believe I’ll just stay at the house!!!

honested

January 21st, 2012
9:13 pm

jb,

We’re countin on that!

kreedham

January 21st, 2012
10:40 pm

As I posted in the other blog, I’ll be voting for the Republican candidate who can help make this nomination process go as long as possible. It helps the economy!

Hot Dog

January 22nd, 2012
2:37 am

Hey TD,

If these so called individuals, as you stated, were harassed, why don’t they come forward and sue the President? They have every right to prove they were harassed. Only COWARDS SETTLE!

Please note: The issue with Rev. Herman Pimp Daddy Cain is, THE WOMEN WERE CREDIBLE… ESPECIALLY GINGER WHITE. I know it’s very difficult for you and others like you to believe that. Politico gave Rev. Pimp Daddy every opportunity to refute the accusations. Rev. Pimp Daddy chose to lie instead of telling the truth. That is why he dropped out of the race. If it were not so, he would be in Florida right now trying to get the nomination.

By the way, I’m amazed that you have such disdain for the president. It appears that, like J Edgar Hoover, the HOMOSEXUAL, you have designs on our President.

Could it be that you are GAY and want to come out of the closet? If so , it’s ok to be GAY. I’m sure your parents and colleagues will support you in your decision!

Floupebup

January 22nd, 2012
4:01 am

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January 22nd, 2012
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junbug

January 22nd, 2012
6:31 am

“Newt Gingrich: ‘It’s not that I’m a good debater….’”

And IMHO you are a very liberal reporter.

liberalefty

January 22nd, 2012
9:33 am

@td

dude u sure you arent one of them closeted self hatin gays? get a grip or maybe u shouldnt grip so tight…eeeewww

mehlman rings twice

January 22nd, 2012
4:31 pm

Last Man Standing @ 7:48 pm (January 21):
“There is absolutely no way Obama will debate Gingrich in an open forum. Obama must have the lamestream media clear the path for him.”

An open forum debate between Obama and the “history” consultant welfare candidate might be quite ugly. My bet is on Obama to make Newt look like George Bush fighting it out in the air with a Tuskegee Airman.

harley

January 22nd, 2012
8:24 pm

“Conniving Carpet Bagger from Pennsylvania takes dim witted southerners for a ride….falsely claims “southern” roots”
news at 11