Rick Santorum slaps down Newt Gingrich. “[A] lot of ideas, brilliant in that respect, but as far as focus, as far as being able to rely on him to come out and — and deliver that consistent, strong message and not undermine our — our folks in the House and Senate, not undermine some of the basic things — look, sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi is not a particularly — not a particularly solid conservative thing when you’re out there, as I was, fighting this — this — this junk science of man-made global warming and cap-and-trade, and Newt was on the other side. This is — this is the kind of behavior that we cannot have out of a nominee.”

Mitt Romney slaps down Gingrich too. “But leadership — the capacity to move others and accomplish various ideals is something which you look for in a person that will guide the nation. And character is a big part of leadership, as is vision, sobriety, steadiness. These are attributes which I think people want to see in their candidate.” Santorum and Romney seem to have a common theme here, huh?

Gingrich slaps down elites. “People who are just sick and tired of being told what they’re allowed to think, what they’re allowed to say. Again and again, it came up, as you know, in the two debates. The highest, the most intense passion in both debates was a head-on collision about what the news media was doing. And I think there’s something real and deep there that happens all across the country and that we’re seeing everywhere and certainly in Florida, which has had one of the most painful periods with housing mortgages and the price of housing and the difficulties in the housing area. As they look at the big boys on Wall Street they look at the guys in Washington, they know none of that help got down to average everyday Floridians. And I think that gap creates a real anger against the national establishment.” But is this a campaign message?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slaps down Gingrich’s claim he wasn’t a lobbyist. “He got paid $1.6 million. First, he said he was a historian, now he’s a strategic adviser. I mean, let’s be serious. It’s the oldest dodge in the book. He was using his influence that he obtained in public office to try to help them. That’s why they paid him $1.6 million. He can call it whatever he wants to call it, but that’s what it is.”

Maureen Dowd slaps down President Obama. “Despite what his rivals say, the president and the first lady do believe in American exceptionalism — their own, and they feel overassaulted and underappreciated. We disappointed them.. . . Who knew, in the exuberance of 2008, that America was electing an introvert? And that one who touched so many felt above the touchy-feely-gritty parts of politics?” Umm, a whole bunch of us, actually.

P.J. O’Rourke slaps down the high-minded left. “The elites who denounce poverty despise the poor. Their every high-minded, right-thinking ‘poverty program’ proves this detestation — from the bulldozing of vibrant tenement communities to the drug law policing policies that send poor kids to prison and rich kids to rehab to the humiliation of food stamps and free school lunches to the loathsome inner-city public schools where those free lunches are slopped onto cafeteria trays.”

Lisa Schiffren slaps down Gingirch’s mess-of-a-victory speech. “Newt should have had a speech outlined for this occasion. Actually, he does. He glances at it from time to time, only to go off on a riff. This is not a good moment to hold on to the mike and give the audience a tour d’horizon of issues domestic and foreign. Discipline. Please show us some discipline.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) slaps down the shopworn Obama agenda. “It sounds to me like the same old proposals we’ve seen — more spending, higher taxes, more regulation — the same policies that haven’t helped our economy, they’ve made it worse. If that’s what the president is going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it’s pathetic.” Yup.