The Fix: Newt Gingrich

Gingrich: Obama voted to allow ‘killing babies in the eighth and ninth month’

Gingrich: Obama voted to allow ‘killing babies in the eighth and ninth month’

Newt Gingrich launched a harsh counter-attack on the issue of abortion on Sunday, saying President Obama voted as a state senator to allow “killing babies in the eighth and ninth month.”

Gingrich was asked on ABC’s “This Week” about Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about how pregnancy from rape can be something that “God intended.” Gingrich said that’s what “every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes.”

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Newt Gingrich’s campaign — by the numbers

Newt Gingrich’s campaign — by the numbers

Rumors flew fast and furious on Monday night that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich might reconsider his presidential candidacy after today’s primaries.

“I think we need to take a deep look at what we are doing,” Gingrich told NBC. “We will be in North Carolina tomorrow night, and we will look and see what the results are. (Gingrich seems to be pinning his hopes of continuing in the race on winning the Delaware primary and the First State’s 17 delegates.)

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Adelsons give Gingrich super PAC another $5 million

The Adelson family gave a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich another $5 million in March, bringing the family’s total investment in the lagging GOP presidential candidate’s campaign to more than $20 million.

Miriam Adelson’s latest donation to the Winning Our Future super PAC, recorded on March 21, shows up in a report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission and comes as a bit of a surprise. Not only is it a surprise because Gingrich’s campaign has no momentum, but also because the super PAC basically hasn’t spent any of the money in the month since she gave it, and because her husband, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, said a week after the donation that Gingrich was “at the end of his line.”

Thus, many assumed the Adelsons had stopped funding the former House speaker’s campaign.

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Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

The Republican primary is now over. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s decision to end his bid on Tuesday means that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican standard-bearer against President Obama in the fall.

The end of the race means a time for reflection in Fixworld. (We are nothing if not introspective.) And, regular readers know the Fix loves looking back at the campaign that was and deciding who did it best and, more deliciously, who did it worst. (Some people call this back seat driving; we call it “analysis”!)

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Why Ron Paul matters more than Newt Gingrich

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s long, slow fade into political oblivion in this presidential primary race has received lots — and lots — of attention.


Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, cheer as Paul speaks at the University of California at Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
“People walk up again and again and say, ‘Please stay in, and please fight for conservatism’,” Gingrich told the Post’s Karen Tumulty over the weekend. (Gingrich has never been one to hide his light under a bushel.)

Rumors fly constantly — some cropped up late last week — that conservatives are attempting to broker a deal whereby Gingrich gets out of the race (he’s not going to) and throws his support behind former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. Conservatives are united and reenergized, the logic goes, and Gingrich, who has won a total of one state outside of his home state of Georgia, saves the conservative cause.

There’s only one problem with all of that: There’s virtually no evidence that Gingrich retains any significant constituency within the GOP or will play an influential role in the presidential race as it moves to its general election phase.

In fact, there is a case to be made that Gingrich matters far less in the contest than Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

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Rick Santorum huddles with conservative leaders, ponders future in race

Rick Santorum huddles with conservative leaders, ponders future in race

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum met with conservative leaders Thursday in Northern Virginia to discuss his path forward in the Republican presidential race, according to sources familiar with the gathering.

The conversation focused on the struggling candidacy of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and whether a final push could be made to unite conservatives and stop the likely nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The idea of Santorum leaving the race was not raised.

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Explaining Newt Gingrich’s never-ending presidential campaign

Explaining Newt Gingrich’s never-ending presidential campaign

The news broke last night: Newt Gingrich had traded out campaign managers, slimmed his staff by a third and was now focusing on calling delegates to the Republican National Convention rather than campaigning across the country.

The former House Speaker and his (remaining) aides insisted that this was all part of a grand plan to make former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney “earn” the nomination. “Until Mitt Romney has 1,144 [delegates] locked down, solidly, I owe it to the people that have helped me over the past year to represent their views and their values,” explained Gingrich in a radio interview with WTOP in Washington, DC today.

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Gingrich shakes up campaign, cuts staff

Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is scaling back, cutting one-third of its full-time staff and replacing his campaign manager as part of an effort to sustain itself, campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told The Fix.

Gingrich has already replaced his top aide, Michael Krull, with Vince Haley, who had been deputy campaign manager and a policy advisor. In addition to the other staffing cuts, Gingrich will not travel as frequently to the remaining primary states and will instead focus on communicating with voters through the internet, videos and social media.

“We’re readying the campaign for the convention floor,” Hammond said, citing the campaign’s commitment to stay in the race until the end.

The news was first reported Tuesday by Politico’s Mike Allen.

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Is Mitt Romney underrated?

Is Mitt Romney underrated?

In our newspaper column today, we argued that Mitt Romney is underrated as a presidential candidate.

Our argument, in brief, went like this:

* Romney is a Mormon in a party dominated by evangelicals.

* Romney represented a Northeastern state in a party still quite South-centric.

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The “walking dead” phase of the Republican primary is upon us

The “walking dead” phase of the Republican primary is upon us

This is how primary campaigns end — not with a bang but with a wimper. Or, more accurately, a whine.

Rick Santorum lost his temper with the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny on Sunday when Zeleny, perhaps the most even-tempered reporter we know, pushed the former Pennsylvania Senator on his remark that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would be the “worst Republican” to nominate against President Obama .

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The 2012 presidential race. By Google.

The story of the 2012 Republican presidential race — as told by Google searches. (If you have not bookmarked Google’s Politics and Elections blog, you should. Like, immediately.)

Republicans on the 2012 GOP field: Blah.

Republicans on the 2012 GOP field: Blah.

None of the top three Republican presidential candidates has created much enthusiasm among GOP voters, according to new poll numbers released by Gallup on Thursday.

Just 35 percent of Republicans said they would “enthusiastically” support former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney this November, while 42 percent said their vote would be primarily against President Obama.

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Are there moderates left in the GOP?

Are there moderates left in the GOP?

With all the focus in the Republican presidential race on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s struggles with conservatives, we got to wondering about the other end of the ideological spectrum within the Republican party.

Put simply: How many Republicans identify themselves as moderates or liberals in exit polling conducted in the 2012 race to date? And are there enough centrists in the party to deliver Romney the nomination?

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What you might have missed in the Alabama, Mississippi exit polls

What you might have missed in the Alabama, Mississippi exit polls

The Fix loves exit polls. Like, a lot.

But, once primary day/night passes, the political world rapidly moves on to the next Tuesday, the next state that is, or so we say, really going to matter. And the poor exits poll get lost in the shuffle.

Not this time! Here are five observations from the exit polls Tuesday night that tell us something important about the race going forward. Want to sift through them on your own? The Washington Post polling unit has a terrific sortable interactive exit poll tool. It’s fun — and educational!

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Mississippi, Alabama primaries: 5 counties to watch

Mississippi, Alabama primaries: 5 counties to watch

Need to know where to look to figure out who’s having a good night in the Alabama and Mississippi presidential primaries? We’ve got you covered.

We asked a handful of political operatives in both states to give us the one (or two) counties that will tell us something significant about how former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are faring tonight.

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The dirty little secret of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries

The dirty little secret of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries

Here’s a simple fact that has been lost amid Mitt Romney’s newfound love of grits, Newt Gingrich’s desire for gun racks on Chevy Volts and Rick Santorum’s insistence that the South is a home game for him: None of the top three Republican presidential contenders are “of” the South in any meaningful way.

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Alabama, Mississippi primaries: The Fix prediction contest!

Voters are voting in Alabama and Mississippi (and Hawaii and American Samoa)!


Madison United Methodist Church precinct worker Bob Shirley, left, hands off a "I Voted" sticker to a voter in Madison, Miss., Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
That means it’s time for a Fix prediction contest where you, gentle reader, make the call on how the candidates will finish. If you win, the greatest prize known to man (or woman) — an official Fix t-shirt — is yours.

Here’s what you need to do: In the comments section below, predict the order of finish — with percentages! — for the top three candidates in Mississippi and Alabama. As a tiebreaker, give us your total turnout number for Alabama.

Polls close in both states at 8 p.m. eastern time so any predictions made after that time won’t count. And, to be eligible to win, you must make your prediction in the comments section.

Need some guidance? Here’s the latest polling in Alabama and Mississippi. Now get to it!

Mississippi, Alabama and the power of political surprises

Mississippi, Alabama and the power of political surprises

For all of its unpredictability, there have been few actual surprises since voters began casting ballots in the 2012 Republican presidential race.

Mitt Romney won New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich won South Carolina. Romney won Florida. Even Rick Santorum’s (eventual) victory in Iowa wasn’t entirely surprising since polling suggested he was surging and social conservative candidates have a history of strong performances in the Hawkeye State. Santorum almost won in Michigan and Ohio, both of which would have been real surprises, but he didn’t.

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Republicans’ war on the TelePrompter — and its limits

Republicans’ war on the TelePrompter — and its limits

From the start of the 2012 presidential race, the most consistent — and popular — criticism of President Obama by the GOP candidates has not been on the economy, health care or foreign policy. It’s been on the incumbent’s use of a TelePrompter.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum took the TelePrompter criticism to a whole new level over the weekend by declaring that “when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a TelePrompter,” adding: “Because all you’re doing is reading someone else’s words to people.”

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Newt Gingrich not dropping out even if he loses Alabama, Mississippi

Newt is sticking it out no matter what, Romney used private email accounts, Ken Ard is done and primaries are heating up all over Illinois.

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What’s more interesting than the GOP race? President Obama.

What’s more interesting than the GOP race? President Obama.

Over the last 30 days, the Republican presidential race has been going great guns with a series of states voting, millions being spent and the candidates trading blows on a moment-by-moment basis.

And yet, for all the attention the GOP candidates have drawn, it pales in comparison to the interest directed at President Obama, according to a breakdown of searches conducted over the last month by Google.

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Is Mitt Romney getting a raw deal?

Is Mitt Romney getting a raw deal?

Mitt Romney, having won six of the ten states voting on Super Tuesday including the grand prize of Ohio, almost certainly woke up Wednesday morning, read the news coverage of his victories and thought to himself: “What else do I have to do?”

And he could be forgiven for thinking that way. After all, the pre-Super Tuesday expectation-setting by the media — up to and including this here blog — suggested that if Romney vanquished former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum in Ohio he would have not only “won” the biggest primary day of the year but also taken a major step toward emerging as the Republican presidential nominee. There was no discussion about what Romney’s margin of victory had to be in Ohio in order for the win to truly count as a win.

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Why Newt Gingrich shouldn’t drop out

Why Newt Gingrich shouldn’t drop out

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has only won two of the 21 states that have voted so far in the 2012 Republican presidential primary process. He hasn’t finished above third in 17 of the other 19 contests.

That record has some within the party — mostly allies of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — urging Gingrich to drop from the race for the good of the party.

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Southern swing could help Romney by elevating Gingrich

The South doesn’t like Mitt Romney very much.

The South is Mitt Romney’s best friend right now.


Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a Super Tuesday rally on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Those two statements, while seemingly at odds with each other, might both be true in the coming weeks.

While Romney has shown a complete inability to win Southern states (a quirky race in Virginia aside), a succession of Southern states holding contests in the weeks ahead could actually play right into his hands by elevating Newt Gingrich back to the level of serious contender.

And if that happens, Rick Santorum’s path to victory gets much tougher.

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Super Tuesday: Winners and losers

Super Tuesday:  Winners and losers

Super Tuesday is over. Long live Super Tuesday!

The Republican presidential primary campaign’s busiest night — 10 states voted in all — turned more into a marathon than a sprint as the Ohio primary wasn’t called for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney until early Wednesday morning. (More on that below.)

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Super Tuesday: Rating the GOP candidates’ speeches

Super Tuesday: Rating the GOP candidates’ speeches

Ohio’s Republican presidential primary is still up in the air — and could be for a very long time — but all of the major candidates have already given their victory speeches.

With apologies to Ron Paul, whose speech wasn’t widely televised (cut the conspiracy theories!), here are our Fix ratings of the addresses given by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They are ranked from best to worst. Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits!

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Newt Gingrich’s Georgia win cements Southern strategy

Newt Gingrich’s Georgia win cements Southern strategy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s convincing victory in his home state of Georgia — the race was called shortly after polls closed in the Peach State at 7 p.m. eastern time — means one thing: He will now likely emerge as the Southern candidate in the field.

Gingrich’s future in the race was entirely dependent on winning Georgia and doing so convincingly. Gingrich himself acknowledged that continuing on in the race without a Georgia win was impossible.

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Newt Gingrich caught off-guard at AIPAC

Newt got sleepy, Donald Payne’s seat will probably stay empty, Lisa Murkowski has regrets and the Club for Growth is backing a Nebraska underdog.

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The 2012 Republican presidential campaign — in tweets.

The Fix posse — like most of the political world — are Twitter addicts. It’s become the medium through which all political news breaks. You literally cannot cover the campaign without keeping an eye — and sometimes both eyes — on Twitter.

But, how reflective is Twitter of the various ups and downs of a campaign that has been a rollercoaster ride since voters started voting on Jan. 3 in Iowa?

Pretty reflective, it turns out. Check out the chart below that tracks the peaks and valleys of the campaign through the Twitter traffic around each of the four Republican candidates.

Make sure to check out the full screen chart if you want a closer look.

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Pro-Gingrich super PAC places big radio buy in six states

The top super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich is going up with nearly $900,000 worth of radio ads in six key states holding contests in the next two weeks.

The Winning Our Future ad buy appears to come on the heels of another significant cash infusion from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and gives Gingrich the kind of presence on the airwaves that he hasn’t had on Super Tuesday, which could be a make-or-break moment for his struggling campaign.

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Five lessons learned from the Republican presidential race

Eleven states have cast their votes in the Republican presidential nominating contest. Ten more will do so in six days time, the biggest single day of voting in the GOP race.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves at his election night party in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Now then seems like as good a time as any to take three big steps back and look at what lessons the first two months of votes have taught us about the Republican race.

Below are the five biggest lessons we’ve learned in the race to date. (And, yes, all lessons learned come in groups of five. It’s just how it works.)

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Newt Gingrich demands TV stations pull ads

Newt Gingrich wants ads off the air, Chris Christie vetoes gay marriage, the Maine results are in doubt and January fundraising numbers are in.

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Newt Gingrich’s risky Super Tuesday strategy

Newt Gingrich is handing Rick Santorum a golden opportunity to prove himself as the true anti-Romney conservative before Super Tuesday.

So far, the former House speaker’s campaign has shown little inclination to play in the three states that will hold their contests before March 6, a risky strategy that could pretty easily backfire.

That may be changing — Gingrich has hired some staff in Washington and is now pledging to visit Michigan — but his campaign is a little late to the game, which could play into Santorum’s hands.

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Newt Gingrich: The most disliked politician in America

Newt Gingrich hasn’t just fallen in the GOP presidential race; he may be the most unpopular person in American politics right now.

Two new polls out this week show the former House speaker with an absolutely atrocious favorability rating.
Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign event Monday in South El Monte, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A CNN/Opinion Research poll on Monday showed 63 percent of All Americans viewed Gingrich unfavorably, compared to just 25 percent who saw him in a positive light.

And today, a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows a similar split: 54 percent view Gingrich unfavorably, compared to 16 percent who say they feel positively predisposed towards him.

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Why Callista Gingrich is like a box of chocolates

Like that mysterious Valentine’s Day chocolate with God-knows-what inside, Americans are wondering what Callista Gingrich is all about.

The good news is that they’re about to find out more.

Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rolling out Callista in an effort to revive the former House speaker’s flagging campaign. And as the chart below demonstrates, interest in Callista on Google exceeds that of even Ann Romney, who has taken a much more active role in her husband’s campaign.
(Google)

And we’re guessing Gingrich’s comments Monday that he and Callista are going to “reconnect a little bit” for Valentine’s Day tonight (um, TMI) is only likely to increase her lead.

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Pew poll: Rick Santorum catches Mitt Romney

Pew poll: Rick Santorum catches Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum has tied Mitt Romney in national support among Republicans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Gallup also found a statistical tie between the two.

Conventional wisdom often has it that Romney’s position shifts are a known quantity from his 2008 run — they are “baked into the cake,” so opposition research and negative ads are unlikely to change voters’ perceptions much. This survey suggests otherwise.

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National Review to Newt Gingrich: Drop out

National Review to Newt Gingrich: Drop out

The National Review wants former House speaker Newt Gingrich to call it quits.

The GOP presidential candidate has long had an uneasy relationship with the mainstream conservative press in general and National Review in particular, and he will likely dismiss the editorial as “establishment” meddling.

The paper’s harsh assessment is likely the tip of the iceberg, however, and Gingrich will be forced to defend his own relevance going forward in the campaign — never a good place for a candidate to be.

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Callista Gingrich takes on a more prominent role

Callista Gingrich is preparing to take a more active role in her husband’s presidential campaign, starting with a speech introducing him at today’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the Gingrich campaign said Friday.

Callista is a frequent sight at Newt Gingrich’s campaign events, but she doesn’t often speak publicly. The Gingrich campaign did at one point run a Christmas ad featuring her.
With his wife, Callista, Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks after touring the Jergens manufacturing facility in Cleveland. (By Amy Sancetta/Associated Press)

Her speech in front of thousands at CPAC, then, will be a pretty significant entree for a heretofore quiet spouse.

Despite her limited role thus far, the campaign thinks she is a strong campaigner who can connect with voters on a personal basis.

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A hyper-regional GOP delegate race? Here’s how

Rick Santorum’s trio of victories in Tuesday’s contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri virtually assures that the Republican presidential race will, on some level, be a delegate race.

And if that delegate race drags on for a while, it could very well pit different regions of the country against one another.

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Why Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich dropping out wouldn’t change much — in one chart

Depending on the results of Tuesday’s contests, there may be pressure on either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum to drop out of the GOP presidential race.

At which point the other one would have a good shot at beating Mitt Romney head-to-head, right?

Not exactly.

Gingrich and Santorum have been arguing for a while now that, if only the other one dropped out, they would have a good chance at uniting the conservative, anti-Romney vote and defeating the frontrunner. Santorum is expected to make this case even more vocally if he wins Missouri primary on Tuesday.

But the polling just doesn’t bear that out — at least not right now.

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The true conservative alternative: Ron Paul?

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are fighting for the right to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

But they both lost that battle in Nevada — to Ron Paul.

Entrance polls from Saturday’s Nevada caucuses show Romney racking up huge wins among the vast majority of demographics, which isn’t surprising given that he took about 50 percent of the vote.

But the one demographic that is supposed to be Gingrich’s and Santorum’s bread and butter — people looking for the “true conservative” in the race — didn’t go for either one of them.

Which begs the question: Just what is the argument for their candidacies right now?

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Newt Gingrich: ‘I’m not going to withdraw’

Newt Gingrich predicted during a press conference following Saturday’s Nevada caucuses that he would emerge as the GOP front-runner again by the Texas primary.

The one problem with that: We have no idea when Texas will hold its primary. A spat over redistricting is likely to push it beyond its scheduled date, April 3.

Gingrich’s remarks about regaining his front-runner status by Texas — which he repeated — capped a bizarre press conference held Saturday in Las Vegas.

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Gingrich suggests Romney ‘clearly against the American ideal’

Newt Gingrich goes on the attack, Romney was once a Democrat, Santorum didn’t qualify for the ballot in Indiana and Florida Democrats seem ready to go to court.

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Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney

This story has been updated.

Celebrity mogul Donald Trump endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in Las Vegas today.

“Mitt is tough, he’s sharp, he’s smart,” said Trump from the lobby of his Las Vegas hotel. “He’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.”

Romney took the podium after Trump’s brief endorsement.

“There are some things you just can’t imagine happening in your life. This is one of them,” he joked, adding more substantively that the two agree on China policy. He called Trump’s endorsement “a delight,” adding that he was “so honored and pleased” to have the reality star’s backing. He quickly pivoted into a short stump speech; the whole event lasted only a few minutes.

“I think if he debates the way he’s been debating, I think he’ll beat Obama handily," Trump said of Romney in a brief meeting with reporters in the hotel lobby.

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5 lessons the Florida primary taught us

5 lessons the Florida primary taught us

There wasn’t much drama in the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday night. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney pulled away to a convincing enough victory that the race was called for him within moments of polls closing.

But, that dearth of drama doesn’t mean that there weren’t lessons learned from Tuesday’s vote in the Sunshine State that can be carried forward as the race moves to Nevada and beyond.

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Mitt Romney’s Florida sweep — and how it changes the presidential race

Mitt Romney’s Florida sweep — and how it changes the presidential race

Mitt Romney’s across-the-board victory in the Florida Republican presidential primary on Tuesday night serves as a direct rebuttal to the criticism that he simply isn’t conservative enough to be the party’s nominee and leaves his remaining rivals with few obvious next steps as the nomination fight moves to Nevada next month.

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What Google can tell us about the Florida Republican primary

What Google can tell us about the Florida Republican primary

What did Floridians want to know about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the runup to the Sunshine State’s primary?

Thanks to the folks at a perky Internet startup called Google, we have answers. (Special thanks to rock star Samantha Smith for gathering this data especially for the Fix.)

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Five counties to watch in the Florida primary

Today’s Florida primary features the largest and most diverse electorate of any contest to date in the Republican presidential primary fight.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney enters election day with a clear polling lead although former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pledged this morning that “I’m not going to lose big in Florida.”

Most precincts — 94 percent, actually — close at 7 p.m. eastern time while a handful of polling places in the state’s Panhandle region close at 8 p.m.

Given the size and complexity of the Florida electorate, we polled a bunch of Sunshine State Republican strategists in search of the five counties they will be watching as leading indicators of not only who will win tonight but also of how the swing state is trending heading into the general election.

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Gingrich raised $10 million in fourth quarter and $5 million in January

Newt Gingrich’s campaign announced in a tweet Tuesday that he raised $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and has pulled in another $5 million in January.

The newly disclosed fundraising numbers represent a big uptick for the former House speaker, who raised less than $1 million in the third quarter and was deeply in debt. The campaign had previously said it raised $9 million in the fourth quarter but is adjusting that up slightly.

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Mitt Romney calls Newt Gingrich ‘sad’ and ‘flailing’

Mitt Romney gets a few digs in, Chris Christie calls a state lawmaker “numbnuts,” Rick Santorum didn’t consider dropping out and polls show President Obama wins on empathy.

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Were Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich close?

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was either a key lieutenant of President Ronald Reagan or a backbench congressman throwing rhetorical bombs at the president of his own party.

Which one is closer to the real Gingrich-Reagan relationship depends almost entirely on who you’re asking.
In this April 21, 1988 file photo, President Ronald Reagan speaks in Springfield, Mass. (Ron Edmonds - AP)

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan herself said: “Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican Members of Congress to keep that dream alive.”

When Gingrich quoted her, he conveniently left out the second half of the quote. It’s that kind of exaggeration that has left Gingrich open to attack regarding just how close he really was to Reagan.

And, that picture is further muddled by the fact that Romney and Gingrich have been trotting out former Reagan administration with competing histories.

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Newt Gingrich ad suggests America could become Cuba

In a new Spanish-language ad, former House speaker Newt Gingrich suggests — through Cuban-American speakers — that President Obama is headed down the same path as Fidel Castro.

“My parents came to America looking for freedom and opportunity, and now America is starting to look like the country my parents fled,” says a young man in the English version of the ad.

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Mike Huckabee: Newt Gingrich ad ‘not authorized’

Mike Huckabee doesn’t want to be in ads, the DCCC outraised the NRCC, Gingrich is still up in national Gallup polling and Rick Santorum’s biggest backer has an open checkbook.

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Newt Gingrich still badly outspent in Florida ads

Newt Gingrich still badly outspent in Florida ads

Despite new infusions of cash, former House speaker Newt Gingrich is still being crushed in Florida television ad spending by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

With the primary coming up on Jan. 31, Gingrich and his supporters are being outspent 5-to-1 by Romney and his supporters as total spending in the state approached $20 million.

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Bob Dole blasts Newt Gingrich in letter

Bob Dole lays into Newt Gingrich, a trailer for another anti-super PAC documentary is out, Rick Perry has plummeted and there’s a debate tonight! Yes, another one.

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Man on the moon: Newt Gingrich’s lifetime fixation with space

Newt Gingrich’s promise to put a colony on the moon is only the latest in a long history of space-related ideas from the former House speaker.

Since childhood, Gingrich has been fascinated by space and space travel. He’s said the science fiction of Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke gave him a positive outlook and showed him the possibilities of the universe. And throughout his political career, he’s been trying to act on those possibilities.

Some highlights, from moon mirrors to space lasers:

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Newt Gingrich pulls radio ad criticized by Marco Rubio

Rubio objects to a Gingrich ad and it gets pulled, Romney is not Mexican-American, Gabrielle Giffords cast her last vote, and Linda Lingle raised a lot of money.

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Ronald Reagan’s words used against Newt Gingrich in new Romney super PAC ad

Ronald Reagan’s words used against Newt Gingrich in new Romney super PAC ad

A new ad from a super PAC supporting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney takes on former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s frequent mentions of Ronald Reagan.

“From debates you’d think Newt Gingrich was Ronald Reagan’s vice president,” the narrator of the ad, which is being sponsored by a group known as Restore Our Future, says. “Gingrich exagerrates, dropping Reagan’s name 50 times.” Clips of Gingrich invoking Reagan are the played .

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Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich makes $6 million ad buy in Florida

Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich makes $6 million ad buy in Florida

A super PAC supporting former House speaker Newt Gingrich has made a $6 million ad buy in Florida, underscoring the new dynamics of the presidential race.

A new ad from the group claims former Massachusett governor Mitt Romney “invented government-run health-care.” It paints the Republican candidate as an ally of Barack Obama through clever use of old clips. The spot repeats one 2002 clip in which Romney says “my views are progressive” three times.

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Why the tea party is responsible for Newt Gingrich

Why the tea party is responsible for Newt Gingrich

We may not be attributing Newt Gingrich’s rise to the tea party. But maybe we should.

Even as the movement’s influence in the GOP appears to have waned over the past year, there remains one major remnant of what happened in 2010: anti-establishment fervor.

The tea party spurred momentum and turnout for the GOP two years ago, but it also caused it some headaches in the primaries, turning aside candidates who were clearly favored by the party establishment in favor of conservative wild cards that went on to mixed results in November.

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Why Newt Gingrich needs noisy crowds

Why Newt Gingrich needs noisy crowds

On Fox News Tuesday morning, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said he wouldn’t “allow” future debate moderators to tell the audience not to applaud during the event.

“We’re going to serve notice on future debates that we won’t tolerate – we’re just not going to allow that to happen ... the media doesn’t control free speech.” Gingrich said. “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.”

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A new Newt (again)?

A new Newt (again)?

Goodbye South Carolina rabble-rouser Newt Gingrich. Hello Florida frontrunner Newt Gingrich.

The former House speaker created momentum for himself in the GOP presidential race — twice — with fiery debate performances in which he decried elites, attacked the media and cited Saul Alinsky ad nauseam.

But that Newt was nowhere to be seen at Monday’s debate.

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Newt Gingrich releases Freddie Mac contracts: Read them here

Newt Gingrich releases Freddie Mac contracts: Read them here

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has released his contract with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

You can read the entire contract, put out by Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Gingrich Group, below.

Gingrich reportedly had multiple contracts with the housing firm totaling at least $1.6 million, beginning in 1999 and lasting until September 2008. This contract is only for $25,000 per month with a $300,00 maximum and covers only 2006.

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Newt Gingrich’s rise — in one chart

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s rise (again) in the presidential race has been as meteoric as it has been surprising.

Nothing captures that ascent as well as Gallup’s latest tracking poll, which, when viewed from even a slight distance, captures the new normal of the presidential race.

The orange line below tracks Gingrich’s standing in the Gallup poll since early November. The black line represents the poll numbers of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

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Mitt Romney ad mocks ‘historian’ Newt Gingrich

The presidential campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is out with a new ad in Florida pressuring former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

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How Newt Gingrich’s past marriages may be helping him in South Carolina

How Newt Gingrich’s past marriages may  be helping him in South Carolina

The re-rise of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential candidacy in South Carolina has spawned any number of fascinating storylines.

But none is more amazing than how Gingrich’s tempestuous past personal life — highlighted by his second wife’s allegations that he asked her to participate in an “open marriage” — appears to have helped rather than hurt him in the final days before the South Carolina primary vote.

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Newt Gingrich, South Carolina front-runner?

Newt Gingrich, South Carolina front-runner?

A consensus seems to be emerging among connected South Carolina Republican political operatives: Newt Gingrich is the favorite to win the Palmetto State primary on Saturday.

“Now that [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry and [Minnesota Rep. Michele] Bachmann are out of the race, conservatives are attempting to rally around a single conservative candidate, the one who is most viable, and that’s Newt Gingrich,” said Walter Whetsell, a South Carolina-based Republican consultant.

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Rick Santorum takes an ax to one-time ally Newt Gingrich

Rick Santorum takes an ax to one-time ally Newt Gingrich

Rick Santorum, perhaps recognizing a make-or-break moment in the South Carolina Republican primary, set about chopping down each of his opponents issue-by-issue in Thursday’s debate.

The former Pennsylvania senator had attacks at the ready for each of his opponents, and perhaps more successfully than any candidate in the dozen-plus debates so far, used them to good effect.

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Marianne Gingrich says Newt eyed Callista as his ticket to the White House

Marianne Gingrich says Newt eyed Callista as his ticket to the White House

Newt Gingrich’s second wife said in an interview aired Thursday by ABC News that her ex-husband has “answers to give” regarding his personal sexual life and that he saw his eventual third wife as his ticket to the presidency.

Marianne Gingrich’s interview with ABC’s “Nightline” program expounded on previously released excerpts in which she accused her ex-husband of requesting an “open marriage” toward the end of their relationship. She said he lacks the character to be president.

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Gingrich says coverage of ex-wife’s allegation is appalling

Gingrich says coverage of ex-wife’s allegation is appalling

Newt Gingrich on Thursday denied his ex-wife’s contention that he asked her for an “open marriage” and, in the process, laid into the media for focusing on the issue.

In a remarkable exchange with CNN’s John King at the outset of Thursday’s South Carolina debate, Gingrich said the network and its competitors should not be covering the allegations leveled by his ex-wife.

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South Carolina Republican debate: What to watch for

South Carolina Republican debate: What to watch for

And then there were four.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to quit the presidential race means that only four men — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul — will take the stage tonight for their 16th(!) gathering. (Who would have bet that quartet would have comprised the “final four” just a few months ago? You have to love politics!)

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Newt Gingrich’s marriage(s) problem

Newt Gingrich’s marriage(s) problem

It’s no secret to anyone who has paid even passing attention to the 2012 Republican presidential race that Newt Gingrich has been married three times.

But, revelations today from his second wife, Marianne, that Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” have the potential to pick the scab off of the former House Speaker’s personal life less than 48 hours before the South Carolina presidential primary.

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Obama ‘destroys’ Romney in new pro-Gingrich ad

Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, is out with an animated ad imagining a debate in which former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is eviscerated by President Obama.

Gingrich himself came out with an ad Tuesday highlighting his biggest applause lines on Monday.

The Winning the Future spot is slicker and meaner — and also more fun, because it’s a cartoon.

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Newt Gingrich doubles down on ‘food stamps’

Newt Gingrich is touting a confrontation with debate moderator Juan William on Monday night in a new TV ad, using the back and forth to make the case that the former House Speaker is the only candidate who can stand up to President Obama in a debate.

No word yet on the size of the buy, but the ad is airing statewide in South Carolina.

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Can Newt Gingrich make another come back?

Can Newt Gingrich make another come back?

Newt Gingrich had one of his best debates of the 2012 presidential race on Monday night.

But does it even matter at this point?

There are plenty of signs that Gingrich has little room to grow in the GOP presidential race, even as he appears ready to test that perception.

The former House speaker actually began the debate on his heels a bit, with Fox News debate moderator Bret Baier challenging him on his earlier pledges to remain positive in the presidential campaign (Gingrich previously zinged Fox moderators for trying to get the candidates to fight with each other). Gingrich also headed off some questions about race that could have tripped up a lesser debater.

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Newt Gingrich asks super PAC to edit or pull Bain ads

Newt Gingrich asks super PAC to edit or pull Bain ads

Once again, former House speaker Newt Gingrich is caught between a rock and a hard place in his pledge to run a positive campaign.

Gingrich is now asking a super PAC supporting his bid to either correct or pull a series of brutal ads that attack former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s as a corporate vulture.

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New anti-Gingrich ad calls his attacks ‘desperate’

The super PAC supporting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is out with a meta-attack ad in Florida and South Carolina. The spot began airing Thursday morning.

The new Restore Our Future spot, “Desperate,” highlights quotes former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s criticisms of Romney’s Bain Capital record. Conservatives are quoted calling Gingrich “foolish,” “out of bounds” and “disgusting.”

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How to dismantle a Newtron bomb

How to dismantle a Newtron bomb

As the 2012 Republican presidential race turns its attention to South Carolina and the state’s Jan. 21 primary, the question on the collective mind of the GOP establishment can be summed up in four letters: WWND?

That’s short for “What Will Newt Do” as in: Will the former House Speaker make good on his ominous threat to go “all out to win” against frontrunning former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in South Carolina or is this just the latest strategic swerve soon forgotten from Gingrich?

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Afternoon Fix: Conservatives blast Gingrich for Bain attack

Newt Gingrich isn’t feeling the love, American Crossroads is defending Mitt Romney, the origins of the Bain documentary are revealed and Dave Spence explains majoring in Home Economics.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m!

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5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Polls will close across New Hampshire in three hours time and we should start getting results (rubbing hands gleefully) shortly after that.

Need to while away the hours until the polls close and the Fix live chat goes, um, live? Us too! Below is a look at a few storylines to keep an eye on tonight as ballots get counted. Have storylines of your own we need to watch? The comments section awaits.

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Newt Gingrich hits Mitt Romney on abortion in South Carolina ad

Newt Gingrich is out with his first ad attacking Mitt Romney in South Carolina, and it’s a doozy — targeting the former Massachusetts governor’s record on abortion rights.

The former House speaker has repeatedly denounced negative ads, but in recent days he has declared his intention to draw “contrast” with Romney.

Whatever Gingrich wants to call it, this is a negative ad.

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Anti-Romney Bain attacks hit South Carolina

It’s on in South Carolina.

Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting former House speaker Newt Gingrich, is putting $3.4 million into ads in the Palmetto State attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s record running the investment firm Bain Capital.

The pro-Gingrich ads will draw from a documentary made by the group that depicts Romney as an unscrupulous corporate raider who got rich by buying struggling companies and laying off tens of thousands of workers.

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Newt Gingrich compares himself to Charlie Rose

On “CBS This Morning” Monday, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said he was confident that he would emerge from the New Hampshire presidential primary Tuesday as the clear conservative alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“I think I’ll do well enough here Tuesday night that in South Carolina on Wednesday morning, it will be very clear that the game is on between a Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate,” the Republican presidential candidate told Charlie Rose.

Gingrich added that former Utah governor Jon Huntsman was emerging as a serious rival in the Granite State, but “I’ve been building steadily a national campaign.”

Gingrich went on to compare himself to his intervierwer. “He used millions of dollars of negative and sometimes very false ads in Iowa to stop the momentum, when we had a purely ideas-oriented campaign — almost a Charlie Rose-style campaign,” he said, referring to Romney. “We had to find a way to balance that out.”

Pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC documentary savages Mitt Romney’s time at Bain

Pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC documentary savages Mitt Romney’s time at Bain

CONCORD, N.H. — A new documentary set to be posted online by a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich accuses Mitt Romney of getting rich at the expense of tens of thousands of American employees at four companies.

The documentary, titled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” paints the GOP presidential frontrunner as a corporate “raider” more unscrupulous even than Wall Street executives, preying on the misfortune of people who lost their jobs when his company, Bain Capital, turned around their companies.

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Ron Paul-Newt Gingrich bad blood gets personal

Ron Paul-Newt Gingrich bad blood gets personal

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul engaged in a very personal exchange in Saturday night’s debate in which Paul criticized the former House speaker for not serving in the military.

Paul has repeatedly criticized Gingrich for taking a deferment during the Vietnam War, calling him a “chickenhawk” for having no problem sending young men to war despite his lack of service. And Gingrich took exception to it during the debate.

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Gingrich attacks ‘timid’ Romney in ad

No more Mr. Nice Guy (even if he was never all that nice). Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is out with his first ad attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney:

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Iowa caucuses: The Fix prediction contest!

Iowa caucuses: The Fix prediction contest!

The Iowa caucuses are here! Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. eastern time, Iowans will gather across the state to pick the man (or woman) that they believe represents Republicans’ best chance to knock off President Obama next November.

But before Iowans tell us what they think, we want to hear what you think. In the comments section below, offer your prediction on who will claim the top three spots — with percentages! — in tonight’s voting. As a tie-breaker, offer your prediction on what the overall turnout for the Republican caucuses will be.

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Gingrich calls Romney a liar

Gingrich calls Romney a liar

Newt Gingrich called rival Mitt Romney a liar on CBS’ “Early Show” Tuesday morning, declaring both the former Massachusetts governor ’s approach to negative ads and his positions on issues dishonest.

The former House speaker has refused to go negative in ads, even as he attacks his rivals in public for using those tactics. Gingrich has singled out Romney in particular for refusing to disavow negative ads aired by a supportive super PAC.

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2012 Iowa caucuses: The 6 counties to watch

It’s caucus day!

After months of campaigning, debating and spinning, the moment of reckoning has arrived, as the Iowa caucuses officially kick off the Republican presidential nomination fight tonight.
The sun sets over a farm Sunday in Johnston, Iowa. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

We’ll have tons of coverage throughout the day — both on The Fix as well as our Election 2012 blog — and a live blog tracking all the results right here beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.

In the meantime — and, yes, the wait for results will be interminable for all of us — here’s six counties to keep an eye on as the results roll in. They’ll tell us where the race is headed before it gets there.

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Afternoon Fix: Newt Gingrich says ‘I don’t think I’m going to win’ Iowa

Gingrich doesn’t think he’ll win Iowa, Rick Santorum gets the Duggar family, Perry wants names and Paul is has a plan to win it all.

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Newt Gingrich’s refusal to go negative is only part of the problem

Newt Gingrich’s refusal to go negative is only part of the problem

Newt Gingrich acknowledged Sunday that his refusal to respond to a barrage of attack ads has hurt him badly.

“I probably should have responded faster and more aggressively,” he said, according to reports.

And assuming he doesn’t win the GOP nomination, this will be the prevailing obituary for his campaign: that he didn’t fight back and he wouldn’t go negative when it counted.

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Virginia AG to intervene in primary ballot dispute

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) announced today that he will intervene to ensure that more Republican presidential candidates will appear on the state’s primary ballot.

Thanks to newly stringent enforcement of rules requiring 10,000 valid signatures, only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made it onto the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both cried foul, with the latter suing in federal court. Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman all signed onto that effort on Saturday.

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Gingrich tears up talking about mother (video)

An unusually emotional moment occurred on the campaign trail today: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich teared up during an Iowa town hall while talking about his late mother.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who moderated the event, asked Gingrich, with reference to the impact on his policies and beliefs, “When you think of your mom, what special moment comes to mind?”

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Gingrich raised $9 million in fourth quarter

Gingrich raised $9 million in fourth quarter

Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign said Wednesday that it has raised $9 million in the fourth quarter.

The total is a significant improvement from previous quarters for the former House speaker, whose campaign had been left for dead at one point but was rejuvenated last month.

But it’s not on-par with what other GOP frontrunners have raised in previous quarters, and Gingrich has struggled to compete on the airwaves with his GOP rivals in Iowa. The lack of advertising from his campaign suggests it has spent heavily to raise money and keep operations going.

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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich puts $500,000 in Iowa ads

Gingrich is buying big, Romney and Santorum would vote for Paul, Kaptur and Kucinich are ready to battle and Jindal is robocalling.

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Gingrich: I wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul

Gingrich is not positive on Paul, Romney thinks Gingrich is like Lucy, Santorum won’t say in if he’s dead last and Ben Nelson is going back to Nebraska.

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Is Newt Gingrich going bust in Iowa?

The 2012 Republican presidential campaign — both nationally and in the state of Iowa — has been defined in large part by a series of boom/bust cycles by conservative candidates.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann boomed in Iowa over the summer then busted when Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the contest. Businessman Herman Cain surged earlier in the fall only to bust — badly — amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s boom was cast by many as the final one of the race, coming, as it did, with the Iowa caucuses rapidly approaching.

And yet, Gingrich already appears to be on the down side of the boom-bust cycle with a week left to go before the Iowa caucuses. In fact, Gingrich’s growing and receding support seems to be following a very familiar pattern.

Check out this chart from the good folks at Real Clear Politics that looks at the breadth of polling down throughout the Iowa race. It’s a chart that should make Team Gingrich grimace.

Afternoon Fix: Gingrich tells Romney, ‘Let’s test this kitchen’

Gingrich wants to debate Romney in the kitchen, Michele Bachmann says there’s no reason to drop out, California Democrats got the map they wanted and a pro-Perry super PAC is throwing punches.

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Republicans showcase wives in pre-Christmas, pre-Iowa ads

A few days before Christmas, the wives of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are all featured in their husband’s political ads.

All three Republican candidates have something to gain from highlighting their spouses just two weeks shy of the first-in-the-nation Iowa voting on Jan. 3.

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NewtGingrich.com, occupied

NewtGingrich.com, occupied

When you go to NewtGingrich.com right now, you might end up on the Washington Post.

The pro-Democratic super PAC American Bridge has bought the domain and programmed it to redirect to various Web sites, a clever attack on the former House speaker. The link might take you to Freddie Mac’s Web site, Tiffany’s, information about Greek cruises , or to the ad Gingrich cut with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in favor of addressing climate change. Sometimes the page goes to a Post article about his campaign’s June implosion.

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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich issues challenge to Romney

Gingrich wants Romney to denounce his supporters, Bobby Jindal helps Rick Perry out, Scott Brown is still after the House GOP, and Obama isn’t playing poker.

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Why a Newt Gingrich comeback won’t be easy

Why a Newt Gingrich comeback won’t be easy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is sliding downward from the polling heights to which he had soared to just 10 days ago. And a look inside the reasons for his slippage suggest he may struggle to reclaim momentum in advance of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

We break out the major reasons for Gingrich’s erosion below — as well as how he might be able to turn it around.

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Gingrich ‘baggage’ under attack in another ad

Another tough ad is out Tuesday attacking former House speaker Newt Gingrich on a laundry list of issues.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC that backs former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, released the ad, which is called “Happy” and is airing in Iowa.

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Republicans’ authenticity problem

Republicans’ authenticity problem

A bare majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents see former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as willing to say what they actually believe, according to a new Washington Post-ABC-News poll.

Call it the authenticity gap.

Just 52 percent of Republicans in the survey say they can rely on Gingrich either a “great deal”(21 percent) or a “good amount” (31 percent) to “say what he really believes.” The numbers are even less encouraging for Romney, with just 16 percent saying they feel they can rely on him “a great deal” to voice his actual opinions and 35 percent saying they trust him a “good amount” to speak his mind.

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Newt Gingrich fights back in Iowa

Newt Gingrich fights back in Iowa

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is spending $242,000 ona week’s worth of television ads in Iowa, according to a Republican media buyer, as he seeks to combat massive spending against him in the run-up to the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The money will go to 30-second spots airing from tomorrow through next Monday. The focus is on Des Moines — the average person will see the Gingrich ad ten times in a week in that market — but there will also be heavy rotation in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City with smaller buys in Davenport and the Rochester-Mason City market. Gingrich is also airing ads on Fox News, ESPN and the History Channel.

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Can Ron Paul win Iowa? Yup.

Can Ron Paul win Iowa? Yup.

Fifteen days out from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses there’s one question on the collective mind of the political world: Can Ron Paul actually win?

The Texas Republican is, without question, far better organized in the state than he was in 2008 when he placed fifth in the state’s caucuses. And, he has been on television for months with commercials that are a vast improvement over the this-looks-like-it-was-done-in-my-parents’- basement ads that he ran in the last race. (The improvement in Paul’s ads is due to the underrated Jon Downs.)

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The Kumbaya debate

Anyone who has watched the increasingly nasty back and forth between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich this week had to be surprised to watch the debate Thursday night.

Aside from Gingrich making an off-hand reference to Romney having called him “zany,” the debate in Sioux City, Iowa, featured basically no engagement between the two candidates and no effort from Romney to go after the Iowa frontrunner. Compared to earlier this week, it was a veritable love fest.
Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich listens to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney during the Republican Party presidential candidates debate in Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday (REUTERS/Eric Gay/Pool)

The question, then, is why.

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Iowa Republican debate: What to watch for

Iowa Republican debate: What to watch for

For the final time before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the seven men and women running for the Republican presidential nomination will face off on a debate stage tonight.

The debate will run on Fox News Channel starting at 9 p.m. eastern time. (And, yes, The Fix will be live-blogging it all!)

We’re calling this the “kitchen sink” debate because you can bet any and every attack that the Republican candidates might have been keeping in their pocket will come out tonight. Why? Because it’s the last chance for Iowa voters — and voters nationally — to compare and contrast the candidates before an actual ballot is cast.

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When magazine covers attack

For those who have yet to see it, the conservative National Review magazine is out Thursday with a damning, multi-article takedown of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.

Perhaps more importantly, though, it is paired with an equally damning cover of the former House speaker.
(National Review)

The National Review’s illustration of Gingrich as Marvin the Martian, like so many memorable political magazine covers before it, crystallizes what’s already on everyone’s mind with the assistance of no — or relatively few — words to accompany it. The words say one thing — “Newt’s World” — but the message is essentially this: This guy is out there.

Remember Mitt Romney’s attack at Saturday’s debate criticizing Gingrich for wanting to mine the moon for minerals? Remember when Romney called Gingrich “zany” on Wednesday? The National Review essentially caricatures that very argument.

And the fact that this review is coming from a conservative publication makes it even more damning in a GOP presidential primary.

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Newt Gingrich’s general election prospects look bleak

If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich manages to win the Republican presidential nomination, he could jeopardize his party’s chances of ousting President Obama next November, according to several new national polls released this week.

Surveys from the NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, AP/GfK and Reuters/Ipsos all show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney running better than Gingrich in general election matchups against Obama.


GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. (Sarah Kaufman and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)

“Electability will come into play for many Republican votes,” said one neutral GOP consultant who preferred to speak anonymously. “It’s going to become problematic. I think you’re starting to signs of it.”

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Newt Gingrich super PAC forms

Newt Gingrich super PAC forms

A former aide to frontrunning presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has created a super PAC to raise unlimited sums to help his candidacy.

The group, called Winning Our Future, is lead by Becky Burkett, a former top fundraiser for American Solutions for Winning the Future, an orgaization that Gingrich founded to promote his political views while he left office in 1998.

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Ron Paul is Mitt Romney’s best (Iowa) friend

Ron Paul is Mitt Romney’s best (Iowa) friend

Want to know the key to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney winding up as the Republican presidential nominee? Two words: Ron Paul.

The Texas Congressman’s strength in Iowa — there is a legitimate case to be made that he will win the Jan. 3 caucuses but more on that later — coupled with his willingness to go after frontrunning former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in often quite personal terms make him perhaps the critical x-factor in Romney’s winning calculus.

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Newt Gingrich, frontrunner

Newt Gingrich, frontrunner

A funny thing happened over the past 48 hours or so: Newt Gingrich became the frontrunner for the Republicans presidential nomination. At least according to Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, that is.

“I’m now, I think by a big margin, the front-runner,” the characteristically humble Gingrich asserted today during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

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Is political organization overrated?

The rapid rise of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Iowa (as well as everywhere else) raises a question that has long been on our minds: Is political organization overrated?


Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks to supporters Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

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Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

It’s all over but the spinning at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where six Republican presidential candidates duked it out earlier this evening.

We live-blogged the debate but also managed to come up with some of the winners — and losers — from the night that was. Our picks are below. Have some of your own? The comments section awaits.

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Rick Perry, the Iowa x-factor

Rick Perry, the Iowa x-factor

Remember Rick Perry?

The Texas governor has largely played a bit part (Lemonheads reference!) in the presidential race in the six weeks (or so) since his disastrous “oops” moment in a nationally televised debate. But he may now be poised to play a bigger role in the contest — if not as a primary contender than as a spoiler.

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Gingrich run could bring up bad memories for former colleagues

Gingrich run could bring up bad memories for former colleagues

If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) is the Republican presidential nominee, many members of Congress will run on a ticket with a man they worked with two decades ago. Judging by some of their public comments, not all of them would necessarily welcome the idea.

Gingrich was hailed as a hero in the immediate aftermath of the Republican Revolution of 1994, but in the years after a large chunk of his allies abandoned the speaker in frustration. Then-Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) helped organize a failed coup against Gingrich in the summer of 1997; former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.), who is now running for Senate, helped pressure Gingrich to resign from the House a year later.

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Jon Huntsman, conservative alternative?

Jon Huntsman, conservative alternative?

For the entirety of the Republican presidential race to date, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has been a side story.

Huntsman’s biography (he returned to run straight from a gig as the Obama Administration’s ambassador to China), his centrist stances on issues like climate change and his generally moderate tone all seemed to be a fundamental mismatch for a Republican Party seething with white-hot anger at President Obama.

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Perry hits Gingrich and Romney on health-care mandates in TV ad (video)

While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney take aim at eachother, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is hoping to get in on the action with an ad that targets both rivals for supporting individual health-care mandates.

On a campaign stop in South Carolina Thursday, Perry also attacked Gingrich’s multiple marriages , saying he made “an oath to God when I married my wife” and that it was “an important issue.” Together, the two charges are a sign that Perry has decided go negative on the new frontrunner. Romney has also gone after the thrice-married Gingrich by contrasting his own stable family life to that of his rival’s.

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Romney campaign questions Gingrich’s commander-in-chief qualifications

Romney campaign questions Gingrich’s commander-in-chief qualifications

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s campaign opened up a new line of attack against Newt Gingrich this morning, calling into question the former House Speaker’s qualifications to be commander in chief.

“The off-the-cuff comment, for example, that Gingrich throws out on occasion is a reflection on the off-the-cuff thinking that he goes through to deal with issues, and that is not what you want in a commander in chief,” said former New Hampshire governor and White House chief of staff John Sununu, a Romney supporter. “What he did to [Wisconsin Rep.] Paul Ryan is a perfect example of the irrational behavior that you do not want in a commander in chief.”

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Wisconsin Senate hopeful’s relationship with Gingrich typifies a complex speakership

Former Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mark Neumann says his relationship with Newt Gingrich is positively Dickensian.

As in: His two terms in Congress under Speaker Gingrich were the best of times and the worst of times.

With Gingrich now a top-tier candidate for the White House and Neumann seeking the Republican nominationin for the Badger State’s open Senate seat, the two men could soon be thrust into the GOP’s effort to reclaim both. And teamwork hasn’t always come easy for the two.
Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at Tommy's Ham House in Greenville , S.C., last week. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)

Neumann typifies conservative hesi­ta­tion toward Gingrich’s presidential campaign — particularly among those in the GOP who have spent years either as Gongrich’s colleagues, rivals or something in between. And, like most of that group, Neumann is hopeful that Gingrich succeeds even as he clearly holds reservations about the former House speaker.

“Newt Gingrich is a brilliant man,” Neumann said in an interview with The Fix. “If you ask me, intellectually, does he have the knowledge and the wherewithal to lead the United States of America, I would definitely answer that question, yes. There are some other parts, obviously, as a conservative that I’m not enthused about.”

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Romney ad plays the family card against Gingrich (sort of)

Romney ad plays the family card against Gingrich (sort of)

Mitt Romney’s latest television ad has two messages.

The obvious one is that the former Massachusetts governor is a family man. The less obvious one is that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Romney’s main rival for the Republican presidential nomination, well, isn’t.

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Newt Gingrich’s fascination with Lincoln-Douglas debates, and why they aren’t happening

Those looking for a true Lincoln-Douglas style debate in the 2012 presidential race would be better served attending one at your local high school than tuning in to the debate between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman on Monday.

Details of the Gingrich-Huntsman debate in New Hampshire are beginning to trickle out, and they make clear that the debate will not, in fact, be a formal Lincoln-Douglas-style face-off, or really anything close to it.

For the better part of the last couple months, Gingrich has been touting the idea of Lincoln-Douglas style debates, inviting his GOP opponents to face him and promising to challenge President Obama to seven of them, at three hours each, if he wins the GOP nod.

And just about every time Gingrich mentions such a verbal sparring match, the crowd salivates at the idea of a detailed policy discussion between the wonky former House speaker and Obama, who they see as something of a political lightweight.

But for those anxious for an Obama-Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas debate, don’t hold your breath.

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Why Mitt Romney needs a long primary fight

Why Mitt Romney needs a long primary fight

The rapid rise of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to frontrunner status in Iowa and South Carolinabadly complicates Mitt Romney’s hopes of quickly wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination and raises the possibility that the former Massachusetts governor only path to victory is a war of attrition.

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Ron Paul goes on air in Iowa against Gingrich

Ron Paul goes on air in Iowa against Gingrich

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is now on the air in Iowa with television ads attacking former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, making him the first candidate to go negative against the frontrunner in the Hawkeye State.

With former Massachusetts governoer Mitt Romney still struggling to decide how hard to push in Iowa, Paul is clearly positioning himself as Gingrich’s chief rival in the state.

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2012 Republicans rated less ‘acceptable’ than 2008 slate

New Gallup polling shows just two GOP presidential candidates are rated as acceptable nominees to face President Obama by a majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, while the rest of the crop are all rated as unacceptable.

But perhaps the most interesting nugget of data is just how unacceptable even the most acceptable Republicans are.


Mitt Romney speaks to supporters and volunteers during a rally in Manchester, N.H. over the weekend. (Jim Cole/Associated Press, File)

According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents rated former House speaker Newt Gingrich as an acceptable GOP nominee, while 54 percent rated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as acceptable.

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Mitt Romney has an Iowa problem

Mitt Romney has an Iowa problem

Yes, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is running 15 points behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a new Washington Post-ABC News survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers.

But it’s not where Romney stands today in the poll that should be so troubling for his campaign. It’s that the numbers reveal that Romney has a narrow path — at best — to victory in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

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Gingrich: I didn’t want to qualify for Missouri ballot

Gingrich: I didn’t want to qualify for Missouri ballot

In a press conference in New York City today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich declared that he never intended to qualify for the ballot in Missouri and that failing to meet the deadline was “a conscious decision, not an oversight.”

The primary is non-binding; it is followed a month later by caucuses where Missourians pick their convention delegates. But every other major candidate is participating in the primary, which gives the public an idea of where Show Me State voters stand.

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2012: The year of the insider?

2012: The year of the insider?

Every poll conducted over the last two years makes one thing crystal clear: Voters are sick of the status quo in Washington and want outsiders to shake things up.

And yet, with less than a month remaining before the Iowa caucuses, the two frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — are political insiders of the first sort.

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Newt Gingrich’s high Iowa ceiling

Newt Gingrich’s high Iowa ceiling

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged into the top spot a month before the Iowa caucuses, according to two new independent polls released over the weekend. And, a look inside the numbers suggests Gingrich’s ceiling in the Hawkeye State is high, suggesting he may well be stronger than even his current lead indicates.

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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich and Huntsman to debate

Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman will debate, Cain is meeting with top supporters tomorrow, Lisa Murkowski is backing Romney and Jon Corzine has been subpoenaed.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.

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Afternoon Fix: Newt says ‘I’m going to be the nominee’

Elizabeth Warren ties Scott Brown, Rick Perry mocks himself, Virginia tea party activists aren’t happy, and Newt Gingrich still wants to put kids to work.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.

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A new Newt?

A new Newt?

Newt Gingrich isn’t the most likely candidate for a political transformation. He’s been in and out of elected office for more than three decades, building a reputation as a gifted but often undisciplined politician.

And yet, a look at Gingrich’s campaign over the past few weeks suggests that the former House speaker is working to correct the mistakes he made earlier in the presidential race, mistakes that led to the departure of almost his entire senior staff in June.

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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich says Cain has ‘right to try to recover’

Newt Gingrich says not to count Herman Cain out, a shakeup in the Perry campaign, and Jon Huntsman won’t rule out an independent bid.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.

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The Herman Cain collapse: Who benefits?

The Herman Cain collapse: Who benefits?

Businessman Herman Cain’s acknowledgment earlier Tuesday that he is “reassessing” his presidential bid in the wake of allegations from Atlanta woman Ginger White that he engaged in 13-year extramarital affair looks very much like the end of his aspirations for national office.

Even before the allegations from White surfaced Monday, Cain and his campaign had been waylaid by allegations of sexual harassment — charges that Cain denied but that effectively squashed any momentum he had built in the race. Polling conducted prior to these latest allegations confirmed that Cain’s wave had begun to recede long before today.

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Why Mitt Romney needs Herman Cain

Why Mitt Romney needs Herman Cain

The latest allegation swirling around businessman Herman Cain — that he conducted a 13-year long extramarital affair with a woman named Ginger White — could well amount to a political death blow for his already-reeling presidential campaign. And that’s bad news for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

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Barney Frank jabs Newt Gingrich: A long-simmering feud

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was never known for holding his fire, and in a press conference announcing his retirement the liberal lawmaker saved some of his most memorable barbs for former House speaker and now presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

“I did not think I lived a good enough life to see Newt Gingrich as the Republican nominee,” the 30-year House veteran said. “He would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater ... It’s still unlikely, but I have hopes.”

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What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

The endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader of the presidential candidacy of Newt Gingrich provides the former House speaker with a boost in the Granite State and likely solidifies him as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“The endorsement gives Newt credibility with New Hampshire voters, and conservatives especially, just when he needs it most,” said Mike Dennehy, who managed the New Hampshire presidential campaigns for Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2000 and 2008. “As with McCain in ‘08, the [Union Leader] has brought to life the comeback for Newt Gingrich.”

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New Hampshire Union Leader endorses Gingrich

The New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board has endorsed Newt Gingrich, giving the already surging former House speaker another shot in the arm in the Republican presidential contest.

In an editorial published in print editions Sunday, the publisher of the state’s largest newspaper says Gingrich isn’t the perfect candidate, but that his ideas set him apart.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich greets supporters with his wife, Callista, at the Naples Hilton in Naples, Fla., on Friday. (AP Photo/Erik Kellar)

“We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing,” publisher Joe McQaid wrote.

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Newt calls for ‘humane’ immigration policy

Newt calls for ‘humane’ immigration policy

As he starts to lead in primary polls, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) appears to be looking ahead to the general election. In CNN’s national security debate, he called for a “humane” immigration policy.

It was an echo of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s declaration in an earlier debate that if you don’t support helping undocumented immigrants afford college, “you don’t have a heart.”

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CNN Republican debate: Winners and losers

Another day, another Republican presidential debate. We live-blogged the whole thing but also took note of a few of the night’s winners and, yes, losers.

Our thoughts are below. Have your own winners and losers? The comments section awaits.

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CNN national security debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican candidates will gather for the billionth — oops, sorry, twelfth— time tonight in Washington, D.C. for a debate focused on national security.

The festivities get started at 8 p.m. on CNN — we will ramp up the Fix live-blog around 7:30 p.m. — but in the meantime we thought we’d offer a few things to keep an eye on in tonight’s debate.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.

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Gingrich out on his own on child labor, for now

Gingrich out on his own on child labor, for now

In an appearance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government last Friday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called child labor laws “truly stupid.”

Gingrich is known for — and proud of — his unconventional ideas. As he said himself in the same speech, “you’re going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals.”

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Newt Gingrich’s marriages: Should they matter?

Newt Gingrich’s marriages: Should they matter?

The (re)rise of former House speaker Newt Gingrich in the 2012 Republican presidential race has re-started a debate over his at-times-tumultuous personal life and how much it could — or should — impact his chances of winning the nomination.

The facts are these: Gingrich has been married three times.

He and his first wife, Jackie, divorced in 1981. (The circumstances surrounding the split up — including a debate about whether Gingrich informed his wife of his plans during a time when she was hospitalized — remain a point of debate.)

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Ron Paul is for real in Iowa. Seriously.

Ron Paul is for real in Iowa. Seriously.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, long dismissed by the GOP establishment as a fringe candidate, has broadened his electoral appeal and emerged as a major player in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, according to several recent polls and conversations with a handful of longtime Hawkeye political operatives.

“He has certainly broadened his coalition from the ‘rage against the machine’ types that primarily comprised his supporters in 2008,” said one senior Iowa Republican operative granted anonymity to speak candidly about Paul’s prospects. “The expanded coalition includes more traditional activists — as a number of GOP county chairs have endorsed his campaign, as have a handful of legislators.”

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Rick Perry’s comeback strategy: Attack Obama

Rick Perry’s comeback strategy: Attack Obama

Looking to claw back to relevance in the Republican presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears to have settled on a simple strategy: attack President Obama.

His latest ad, which began airing today in Iowa and on national cable stations, takes Obama to task for a recent comment that America has grown “a little bit lazy” in selling the country overseas over the past few decades.

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The limits of Newt Gingrich’s staying power

The limits of Newt Gingrich’s staying power

BETTENDORF, Iowa – Is Newt Gingrich the next Republican to rise and fall as the chief alternative to Mitt Romney?

Despite the former House speaker’s sudden return to prominence in the GOP presidential field, reservations about his long record in public life — and the baggage that comes with it — will continue to call into question just what kind of staying power he has.

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Newt Gingrich reclaims frontrunner status as Cain stumbles

Newt Gingrich reclaims frontrunner status as Cain stumbles

OK, you can call it a comeback.

Two new polls show former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) climbing back into the ranks of the frontrunners in the GOP presidential race, just a few months after he was left for dead by his staff, his supporters and the media.

Gingrich’s gains appear to have come at the expense of businessman Herman Cain , whose continuing battle with sexual harassment allegations is starting to drag down his poll numbers.

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Newt Gingrich’s war on Republican debate moderators

Newt Gingrich’s war on  Republican debate moderators

If there’s one thing Newt Gingrich has made clear in recent debates, it’s that he doesn’t have much regard for debate moderators.

Gingrich’s duel with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo at Wednesday night’s Republican debate in Michigan was perhaps the tensest exchange between Gingrich and a debate moderator to date, but it was simply the latest in a long line of them. Gingrich has taken on the press at almost every debate (he actually did it twice with Bartiromo on Wednesday) in what can’t be described as anything less than a calculated effort.

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GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican presidential candidates will gather tonight at 8 p.m. at Oakland University in Michigan for their tenth debate of the primary season.

We’ll be live-blogging the proceedings — natch! — but thought we’d provide a viewer’s guide to keep you occupied in the hours before things get started in earnest.

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The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

And then there were eight.

As in eight candidates on this month’s Friday presidential Line — the first time this election cycle that we aren’t including ten Republicans in our rankings of who might wind up as the GOP nominee.

Why? Because with the no-go decisions by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin , there simply aren’t ten people left in the Republican field who can make even a semi-reasonable case that they could wind up as the party’s standard-bearer against President Obama next November.

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Newt Gingrich: He’s baaack!

Newt Gingrich: He’s baaack!

Don’t call it a comeback! Actually, do. Sort of.

Over the past six weeks, a funny thing has happened in national polling in the Republican presidential race: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, thrown on the political scrap heap as recently as this summer, is back in the mix — in a major way.

In a new New York Times/CBS News national poll, Gingrich was alone in third place at 10 percent, trailing only businessman Herman Cain (25 percent) and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (21 percent). Among self-identified tea party supporters, Gingrich received 15 percent — roughly double the eight percent he got in mid September.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: Winners and losers

The eighth Republican presidential debate — and fifth in the last six weeks! — is over.


LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
We liveblogged the whole thing but also made time to scribble down a few of the best — and the worst — moments of the night.

Our take is below. Have thoughts of your own on the debate? The comments section awaits.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: The Live Blog

Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time seven Republican candidates running for president will take the stage in Las Vegas for the fifth debate in the last six weeks.

And what would a Republican debate be without a Fix live blog? (Answer: It would be, somehow, empty. Like “Two and a Half Men” without Charlie Sheen. Or Van Halen without David Lee Roth.)

Starting around 7:30 p.m. — we like to warm up to avoid injury — the Fix posse will be detailing every quote and note from the debate. If you’ve never participated in a Fix live blog before, there’s no time like the present. It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and the “McLaughlin Group” rolled into one. Sort of.

Come. Comment. Hang out. It’s the only way to watch a debate!

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

For the fifth time in the last six weeks and the eighth time in 2011 — neither of those are typos — the Republican presidential field will gather on a debate stage with Las Vegas providing the backdrop to tonight’s tete a tete.

Unlike the last several debates there will be seven not eight men and women on stage as former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is boycotting the debate in solidarity with the New Hampshire Republican party, which is upset with the Silver State for scheduling their presidential caucus on Jan. 14, 2012. (Follow all of that?)

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GOP Debate: What we learned

GOP Debate: What we learned

The only thing more fun than live-blogging a presidential debate is sifting through the aftermath and figuring out what it all means.

With a (short) night’s sleep to think on the fifth Republican presidential debate, we came up with a few lessons learned from the night that was.

Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments section.

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