Newt Gingrich may very well be the greatest debater in the world, and then again as Jim Croce’s ‘Bad Bad LeRoy Brown’ found out, there’s always someone who’s just a tad bit tougher. Like the NFL proverb suggests, on any given Sunday the best can leave a challenge humbled like the rest. And at the Republican Debate in Jacksonville, Florida on Thursday night, Mr. Newt found this out the hard way.
Gingrich and his supporters have pumped him up to be the Muhammad Ali of debating, but even the mighty Ali eventually ran into ‘Smoking’ Joe Frazier. And between the bombastic haymakers thrown by Mitt Romney, the sweltering criticisms levied by Rick Santorum, and the revenge of Wolf Blitzer, as even the lame-stream media finally struck back, the whole world watched as Gingrich soon realized that all egos were made to be deflated at some point, as all of the GOP’s horses, all of the GOP’s men, and all of Gingrich’s ex-wives couldn’t put the greatest debater back together again.
Santorum, for starters, was simply light-years ahead of Gingrich during the debate, and even though his most dominating and most heated exchange came as he blistered Romney over the undeniable kinship over what he considers to be the evil first cousins in Romneycare and Obamacare, Santorum took time out of his busy, Romney, ass-blistering schedule to let the greatest debater alive know that he was in no way ready to crown him as the champion. Santorum continued to paint Gingrich as a pandering hypocrite who was for such liberal policies as government mandates before the lure of the presidency and the GOP asylum issued its own mandate by demanding that since President Obama was also for it—all conservatives must now be against it. In a nutshell, Santorum depicted Gingrich as a guy who might be the greatest debater, but might also be the worst conservative, and Santorum was very effective at packaging himself as the one true conservative in the race.
But, the most brutal lashing of Gingrich came from a revitalized Romney, who emerged from a South Carolina Primary defeat with both, political guns blazing. To put it lightly, Romney tattooed Gingrich’s ass like never before. If Gingrich is the greatest debater alive, then it is obvious that someone forgot to tell Romney, because he took Gingrich to the proverbial woodshed like he was just one of his sons who needed a quick reminder of father knows best, and on many occasions during the debate Romney left Gingrich looking like a loud mouth drunk who just got suckered punched in a fight that he picked. What Gingrich needs to understand is that arrogance is a sign of confidence when it’s used to make a person resort to their best, but it can just as easily be a sign of vulnerability when it clouds one’s judgment to the point where the challenge is overlooked and underappreciated, as it takes a backseat to blind egocentrism.
Excerpts from Mitt Romney on Newt Gingrich during the Florida Debate in Jacksonville
“The idea that I’m anti-immigrant is repulsive! You can say we disagree on policies, but to say that enforcing the US law to protect our borders, to welcome people here legally, to expand legal immigration, as I have proved, that that’s somehow anti-immigrant is simply the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that has characterized American politics too long. Our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. Our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many Americans, legal immigrants, would like to have.
You can call it whatever you’d like. I call it influence peddling. It is not right. You have a conflict. You are being paid by companies at the same time you’re encouraging people to pass legislation which is in their favor. This is a real problem if we’re going to nominate someone who not only had a record of great distress as the speaker but then has worked for 15 years lobbying. It’s about leadership, and the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader of our party in 1994 and at the end of four years he had to resign in disgrace.”
Even the debate moderator, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, seemed unimpressed with the greatest debater in the world, as he called out Gingrich on one of his recent statements about Romney’s offshore interests. Blitzer asked Gingrich to further elaborate on his claims, but Gingrich did what he often does by running and hiding behind the ‘gotcha question’ bushes, as he accused Blitzer of stoking the gotcha fires, but Blitzer showed the greatest debater alive that backbones were not strictly reserved for the greatest, as he pushed Gingrich to respond to and stand behind claims that he made about Romney’s alleged, shady business dealings.
In others words, Blitzer basically told Gingrich: “You said it, now you own it,” as he said to Gingrich, “But, Mr. Speaker, you made an issue of this, this week, when you said that, ‘He lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts.’ I didn’t say that. You did! If you a make a serious accusation against Gov. Romney like that, you need to explain that.”
If Blitzer had allowed Gingrich to use the biased, home cooking of the GOP laden crowd to inhibit him from doing his journalistic duty to press a candidate like a Newt Gingrich, then that would be the quintessential definition of a lame-stream media. Although, most conservatives including Gingrich will never tell you that. So is it my imagination, or does the greatest debater in the world have a glass jaw, because I’m sure that I heard it shattering during the debate.
So, let me say this to Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich, you are not Ronald Reagan. You weren’t Reagan yesterday, you are not Reagan today, and you will not be Reagan tomorrow, so put the political, crack pipe down, and pick up a reality mirror! You are also not the greatest debater in the world either. You just want to be the greatest debater, just like you want to be President Reagan, and people in Hell want popsicles—good luck with that! So remember Gingrich, a legend in his own mind is usually just a wannabe in the minds of others.