Audience doesn’t help Gingrich’s sparring with Wolf Blitzer

Politico | The Daily Beast
After Newt Gingrich effectively used a question from moderator John King to attack the media in last week’s South Carolina debate, it wasn’t surprising that he’d try it again in Thursday’s debate. But this time, unlike in Monday’s debate on NBC, the audience wasn’t asked to remain silent.

So when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich if he was satisfied with Mitt Romney’s income tax disclosures, Gingrich responded, “This is a nonsense question” — to loud applause from the audience. (Although, in keeping with his good relationship with members of the press, he first told Blitzer, “You and I have a long relationship, going back a long way.”) When Blitzer pressed the question, the audience loudly booed.

And yet, media observers concluded, the audience didn’t help Gingrich much. The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz concludes:

There was plenty of media chatter after the Tampa debate that the silence of the crowd, admonished by Brian Williams to stay quiet, hurt Gingrich. But the audience did nothing to help Newt on Thursday night.

Related: Gingrich campaign claims debate hall was packed with Romney supporters (The Huffington Post) | Earlier: Fox News exec says a debate with a silent audience “is like a movie without a soundtrack.” (The New York Times)

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  • Anonymous

    Gingrich is an excellent POLITICAL debater.  He knows all the rules of academic debate and breaks every single one of them when he thinks he can win emotional points with the audience.  Attacking the questioner, setting up straw-men to take down, appeals to authority, appeals to emotion and other logical fallacies are his bread and butter and he uses them very effectively.

    Anyone who has actually studied academic debate should immediately recognize him for the fraud that he is, and easily understand why he was denied tenure repeatedly when he was a professor at West Georgia College.

    The man does a great job of getting the unwashed masses riled up and he usually does a good job of getting them to focus their anger at whatever boogey-man he’s conjured up at the moment, but his ideas and positions generally lack substance and clarity and he can’t seem to defend them based upon their own merit.

    In the absence of an audience that he can manipulate into a pitchfork and torch wielding mob, Gingrich is forced to defend his ideas instead of deflecting the question, and defending his personal and political history, his policy positions and his ideas in the harsh light of day is not something that Gingrich is good at.

  • Anonymous

    Gingrich is a monster, shouldnt that fact be mentioned in every story?

  • R Thomas Berner

    I’m getting the impression that when Gingrich doesn’t want to answer a question, he attacks the person asking the question. I think Blitzer’s question is legit. Right now Mitt Romney appears to be 1/12 the man is father was.