Newt Gingrich: NBC took audience out of Monday’s debate

And the crowd goes – silent.

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich this morning complained that NBC took the audience out of Monday night’s debate in Tampa, by requesting those in the hall to hold their applause.

Said Gingrich, via The Hill newspaper:

“I wish in retrospect I had protested when Brian Williams took [the crowd] out of it because I think it’s wrong,” he said. “I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate.”

Gingrich was in fact off his game last night. He eventually returned this volley from Mitt Romney, but it took a while:

Last week in South Carolina, Fox News and CNN encouraged audience reaction. Presumably, Thursday’s debate hosted by CNN will follow the same pattern. An inquiry to CNN prompted this statement:

“As we have done in the past, CNN will ask the audience to be respectful of the candidates. We have always said that if audience reaction such as shouting or booing interferes with the debate or with the candidates’ answers, we will ask the audience to refrain.”

On background, one of the organizers of the NBC debate said the network decision – specifically, the audience was asked to cut loose just before commercial breaks — wasn’t a matter for negotiation with the campaigns. NBC has made the same request in other debates – one at the Ronald Reagan library and the other in New Hampshire.

But this audience of 500 may have been more inclined to observe the request. The small theater held about 500 people, we’re told. Many were academics — the confrontation was held on the University of South Florida. Then there were business leaders – and the French and British ambassadors to the United States. It was not a crowd particularly juiced by the campaigns or the state party — as was the case in South Carolina.

Another point: Gingrich likes to say that he intends to challenge President Barack Obama to seven three-hour debates along the lines of the Lincoln-Douglas confrontations of 1858. Those, in fact, occurred before large, raucous crowds.

But the former U.S. House speaker might want to get used to a silent audience. The Republican nominee will be participating in three meetings with President Barack Obama this fall – the dates have already been set by the Committee on Presidential Debates. Absolute silence is required from the audience.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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172 comments Add your comment

xxixpines

January 24th, 2012
10:01 am

NBC not only took out the audience for the debate, they effectivly removed two candidates from the debate in spite of the race being open to all four at this stage of the primaries.

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
10:30 am

Since I was circling Hartsfield for an hour waiting in vain for the fog the clear, I missed the debate.
I can only assume that NBC ignored the two moonbats and focused on the cheater and the rich guy.

daniel

January 24th, 2012
10:31 am

They took the audience out of the debate because they didn’t want it to be like an episode of Jerry Springer with a bunch of hooting idiots like the rest of the debates

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
10:36 am

Citizen Newt!
However, the average citizen doesn’t reap a 7 figure income for exercising their right to lobby congress.

DannyX

January 24th, 2012
10:37 am

Of course Newt wanted crowd reactions. He needs his massive ego stroked. When Newt’s ego isn’t getting stroked he becomes withdrawn, sad and depressed. He is going to need to find a Tiffany’s and do some shopping so he can snap out of his funk and get his game back.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
10:42 am

Look before I leap…..they don’t?

Auntie Christ

January 24th, 2012
10:46 am

I guess Mr Getrich misses the booing of a US soldier, the shouts of “letttim die,” and the cheers for ole fashioned bigotry that he has become accustomed to. I look for him any day now to stomp a kitten to death at one of his rallies to fuel the blood lust of the typical republican crowds.

I may be reading this wrong...

January 24th, 2012
10:47 am

…but this debate was not held at UNF. It was at USF, in Tampa/St. Pete. Not Jacksonville.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
10:51 am

Auntie…..Does hate fill your heart all of the time or just sometimes?

jeff

January 24th, 2012
10:52 am

I thought this debate was in Tampa…

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 24th, 2012
10:54 am

It’s hard to imagine anyone better suited to be the face of today’s GOP than the original bombthrower himself, Newt.
Evil, bloated, small minded, amoral, selfish, punative, self centered, unstable, pale as a sheet, nihilistic, and just begging to drag the world to hell in a handbasket for no particular reason at all except that they’re tired of reason and unable to admit to being wrong.
Give him the nomination, pick an equally attractive running mate, and embrace who you are, Republicans. Out of the closet and into the streets with you. Let’s see if America really does want to commit suicide.

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
10:57 am

I think it was in Tampa, although the article says both Tallahassee and Jacksonville.
Jay, you a bit hungover?

just askin'

January 24th, 2012
10:57 am

I have been going to these political debates for years and years.

They always tell the audience to be quiet, not clap, not laugh, and to not respond.

Stop acting like a baby

January 24th, 2012
10:59 am

Is there anything that this guy won’t whine about?

I punish my kids for whining and tell them that life sometimes just is not fair. I’m not doing it to be mean, but because I want them to understand that life is what you make it and nobody likes a whiny victim.

Enough already.

jconservative

January 24th, 2012
11:01 am

Throckmorton, please do not hold back.

Stop acting like a baby

January 24th, 2012
11:02 am

I agree that the last part of Auntie Christ’s comments went over the line but as I recall the booing of a soldier and the shout of let em die did actually happen. Nothing hateful there, just a good memory.

Filter

January 24th, 2012
11:03 am

Throckmorton,

It’s not America that wants to commit suicide. Just the GOP.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:03 am

J…..”bloated”….the typical class act we come to expect from the left……great job!

David

January 24th, 2012
11:10 am

@ Stop acting like a baby

January 24th, 2012
11:02 am

I agree that the last part of Auntie Christ’s comments went over the line but as I recall the booing of a soldier and the shout of let em die did actually happen. Nothing hateful there, just a good memory.

Your memory serves you correctly, because I remember that audience’s hateful behavior as well. Just an observation.

Just a Man

January 24th, 2012
11:11 am

Newt is complaining the NBC took the crowd out debate. Please, NBC wanted a debate where rowdy Tea Partiers were not screaming after every cry of being hurt by the “lame stream media”. If you win the primary Newt, there will be silence at the presidential debates with President Obama. Will you cry foul there too?

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:15 am

David….why did they boo the soldier? Do you remember?

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:18 am

I remember. He was a gay soldier that was asking about repealing DADT.

n

January 24th, 2012
11:19 am

Demagogues need rabid howling audiences.

GaBlue

January 24th, 2012
11:21 am

Didn’t they boo the soldier because he was gay? (As if being gay means he did not carry the same amount of sacrifice and risk on his shoulders — in the service of our nation — as the straight soldiers…)

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:25 am

GaBlue….Nope they didnt boo him because he was gay. They booed him because he thought that because he was gay he was exceptional. Who cares if you are gay or not…..you do not have to go on a national televised program and announce to the world that you are a gay soldier or a straight soldier.

Road Scholar

January 24th, 2012
11:25 am

Tony N

January 24th, 2012
11:30 am

Romney needs a NEWT Flat tax so he and people like him doesn’t have to Hide His Success and rather put that money back to work in the economy and Jobs with it .

When you hear Romney talk about paying his Taxes Legally and makes it sound like its not fair this is the problem with the tax code , because he should not have to explain his shelters and all the various effort he is making to HIDE his Success . He should be like anyone else and just say here it is , just like all the rest of you do .

Newt Needs come out and make the case that Romney having to Hide his success like the tax code is making him do is reasons why we need change in the tax code so that he and people like him are filing taxes just like everyone else and doesn’t have to be making all this effort to Hide his success and instead wants to put it to work and people to work with it . A Flat tax also will take away the Obama Class warfare tactic that is stalling out Economic recovery today .

carlton

January 24th, 2012
11:31 am

not hard to see who Galloway’s readers are.

Jose

January 24th, 2012
11:32 am

Almost always, the moderators ask audiences to refrain from applause etc. After all, the debate is about what the candidates actually say, not about how many audience members their campaigns can slip in through the auditorium back door.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:33 am

Tony….nice post.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:35 am

MSNBC…..”Romney reveals tax bill of $6.2 million on $42.5 million income over two years.”

Good for him….congratulations Mitt!

dw

January 24th, 2012
11:37 am

Anybody else notice how there is only a sea of white faces at these republican debates? Even the most hardcore wingnut ought to see a problem with that but like everything else, they dont.

Edward

January 24th, 2012
11:38 am

Are we electing an audience or a candidate? There shouldn’t be a need for an audience in order for the candidates to debate the issues, which is the whole point, is it not? Newt just likes to whine. WHINE WHINE WHINE, Newt. Newt is a petulant blow-hard, all froth and no substance.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:39 am

dw….there are a sea of white faces…..AND?

David

January 24th, 2012
11:40 am

@dw

January 24th, 2012
11:37 am

Anybody else notice how there is only a sea of white faces at these republican debates? Even the most hardcore wingnut ought to see a problem with that but like everything else, they dont.

David

January 24th, 2012
11:42 am

@ dw

January 24th, 2012
11:37 am

Anybody else notice how there is only a sea of white faces at these republican debates? Even the most hardcore wingnut ought to see a problem with that but like everything else, they dont.

They could care less about making the audience look diverse when there party isn’t.

dw

January 24th, 2012
11:43 am

@uga

Meaning EVERYONE except well off white people are NOT interested in going to the republican debate. You clearly see no problem with this.

How can a party that ONLY attracts whites, be a good representative for ALL people of America?

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
11:44 am

Actually the only people Romney should be concerned with is the Mormon church. The LDS requires members to tithe 10% of their earnings. Looks like Mitt is over half a million short in that regard.

dw

January 24th, 2012
11:45 am

Oh sorry I forgot. This is the party of “I got mine, F all of you”

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:49 am

dw……Agreed. Democrats are more interested on how they can become more dependant on the gubament.

The repub party does not only care about reaching out to whites. However blacks are only concerned with being democrat. As Herman Cain said it….”they are more concerned with their image than doing what is right for their country or race.”

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:49 am

dw……you have yet to make a point.

Independent voter

January 24th, 2012
11:49 am

Romney look very angry at Newt.

anarcho bicyclist

January 24th, 2012
11:52 am

A black person supporting the republican party is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

jeffrey

January 24th, 2012
11:55 am

I think normal Americans should be onstage and asking the questions. This is a job interview and should be treated as such. The candidates can get on stage when and if they win.

GaBlue

January 24th, 2012
11:57 am

UGA 1999,

If you don’t mind me asking, where did you purchase your crystal ball? Or was it inherited? It’s amazing how you know what that soldier thinks of himself, even though he was on screen for only a moment, and that you know exactly what the audience was thinking when they started booing him the moment they realized he was a *insert nasty word they were thinking*, and how you know exactly what Democrats are interested in, even though I have never heard one single Democrat say what you claim we all think!

Do you charge for psychic readings? Do you report ALL your taxable income from that endeavor, even cash under the table? Just curious.

Orlando

January 24th, 2012
11:57 am

I agree with DW, just for gp, they should have recruited some black repubs for the audience. Great catch dw.

Independent voter

January 24th, 2012
11:57 am

President Obama going to win 4 more years. These republican candidates show they true color in the debate. I just read on CNN Blog the republican party looking for a better candidate. Whoever they come up with going to lose against president Obama.

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:59 am

GaBlue…Can you read? Did I say anything about what he thinks of himself. I just said he got boo’d because he was making a case about being gay to a national audience. So what?

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
12:00 pm

UGA 1999

UGA 1999

January 24th, 2012
11:49 am

“Democrats are more interested on how they can become more dependant on the gubament.”

“However blacks are only concerned with being democrat”

Got anything other than Rush Limbaugh to back up either one of those statments?

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
12:01 pm

@UGA 12:00P

I can read. This is what you wrote:

“They booed him because he thought that because he was gay he was exceptional”