RSS
Newt's campaign: 'Over before it begins'?
The conservative backlash against presidential candidate Newt Gingrich continues, and his odds of recovering from this disastrous start don't look good
 
Just days into his struggling presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich is already fighting with his own party and being publicly ridiculed by potential voters.
Just days into his struggling presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich is already fighting with his own party and being publicly ridiculed by potential voters.
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was supposed to kick off his presidential campaign Monday with a 17-stop swing through Iowa. "Instead, he got kicked in the teeth," says Kendra Marr at Politico. Republicans — including important primary state Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.)blasted Newt for his criticism on Sunday of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) controversial plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system. Meanwhile, in Iowa, a Republican voter embarrassingly dressed down Gingrich to his face: "Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself." Then, Politico reported that Gingrich had at one time owed luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. up to $500,000. It makes you wonder, says Clive Crook at The Atlantic, if Newt's campaign is "over before it begins." Is it?

Gingrich should quit while he's behind: When you have Iowans yelling at you and influential right-wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Charles Krauthammer "declaring you dead," you have a big problem, says Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media. In the internet era, "unprincipled and undisciplined" politicians like Newt can no longer get away with the type of careless, self-serving bomb-throwing that Gingrich displayed by criticizing Ryan. The world changed, Newt didn't. "Now, you can probably stick a fork in his campaign."
"Krauthammer: Newt Gingrich is 'done'"

Lots of good campaigns begin poorly: The modern 24/7 news cycle has amplified Gingrich's stumbles, says Sam Stein at The Huffington Post. But while his rocky campaign rollout is a liability, it "also does not have to be completely debilitating." Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stumbled out of the gate before cruising to victory. A good candidate can recover from a bad start.
"Newt Gingrich's flame-out says as much about campaigns..."

But Newt's damage control is worse than his gaffes: Gingrich has personally apologized to Ryan, says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. But it’s possible that Gingrich's massive walkback has actually damaged him more than the initial forehead-slapping comments. Instead of coming across as "defiant," he just looks weak and remorseful. Plus, we all know Newt "isn't the least bit sorry for what he said" — "he's just terribly sorry it probably ended his presidential ambitions."
"Newt Gingrich apologizes to Paul Ryan"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week