Posts Tagged ‘GOP Primaries’

Will be live-blogging and tweeting the Florida GOP primary returns as they come in. Watch this space…

Two-minute warning for Gingrich victory speech has been given…

Given Romney’s comments criticizing/attacking Gingrich in his speech, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gingrich decided to return the favor during his victory speech tonight and during his TV interviews tomorrow morning.

9:25 – Crowd chanting “Newt can win! Newt can win!” Gingrich’s opening line: “Let me first of all thank everyone in South Carolina who decided to be with us in changing Washington.”

“The American people feel that they have elites who have been trying for a half century to force us to quit being American and try some other system. It is not that I am a good debater, it is that I articulate the deepest held values of the American people.”

Gingrich praises Santorum: “Rick Santorum showed enormous courage in Iowa when he had no money, nobody covered him, and he just kept campaigning.” Crowd starts chanting “VP! VP!”

“If Barack Obama can get reelected after this disaster, think how radical he would be with four more years.”

Gingrich says if he is the GOP nominee, he will challenge President Obama to seven three-hour debates.

Gingrich says he will challenge president and “elite media” on “growing anti-religious bigotry of our elites.”

“I want America to be so energy-independent, no American president will ever bow to a Saudi king.”

Gingrich hitting Obama for nixing the Keystone XL pipeline deal.

Gingrich invoking his own version of John Edwards’ “Two Americas” stump speech

9:50 – Gingrich finishes his speech, walks off to Toby Keith’s “Only in America.”
[Correction: The song is by Brooks and Dunn, not Toby Keith.]

7:57 – Romney and his family stepping up to the microphones…

Opening line: “You should hear them when we win.”

Thanks Gov. Nikki Haley and other state lawmakers right off the top.

“We are now three contests into a long primary season.” Note Romney’s emphasis on the word long.

8:00 – Romney goes into standard anti-Obama stump speech.

“President Obama has no experience running a business and never run a state. Our party can’t be led to victory by someone who has never run a business and never run a state.”

“We cannot defeat that president with a candidate who has joined in that very assault on free enterprise.
When my opponents attack success free enterprise, they’re not only attacking me, they’re attacking every person that dreams of a better future. They’re attacking you.”

Romney never mentions Gingrich by name except the brief congratulations at the beginning. But make no mistake, the speech was about as much of an attack against Gingrich as much as it was against President Obama.

Romney finishes at about 8:10.


NBC and Fox News project Gingrich as the winner. CNN has not made a projection yet.

Update: The Associated Press calls the race for Gingrich at 7:25. Still no projection from CNN.

Update II: At 7:35, CNN projects Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina primary.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper have floated the possibility the network might project a winner as soon as the polls close at 7 p.m. local time in South Carolina.


T-minus 20 minutes and counting for polls to close in South Carolina… Will be live-blogging and tweeting the action all night. Watch this space.


The file has been circulating online recently, but Buzzfeed has posted the McCain 2008 campaign’s entire 200-page opposition research file on Mitt Romney. Enjoy the light bedside reading.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier is reporting that Michele Bachmann will suspend her presidential campaign today, effectively dropping out of the race. He also writes that Rick Perry could drop out of the race as well after his disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses.

If you had told me a month ago that Rick Santorum would come in second in Iowa in a photo finish with Mitt Romney and that there was a chance he would stay in the race longer than Rick Perry, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Talk about the pot and the kettle… During an interview on “Fox and Friends” this morning, the Donald made the following comments:

“Ron Paul’s not going to win. He’s got no chance.

You have a better chance right now of winning, and you’re not running, and so he’s not going to win.

He’s a joke candidate.

Here’s a man who doesn’t care if Iran has a nuclear weapon that can wipe out Israel. He doesn’t care. He says ‘Let them do whatever they want. They can make their own nuclear weapons’.

It’s ridiculous, so he’s not going to win, he’s not going anywhere, he’s cutesy, he’s got some nice, little slogans.”

Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who teased a possible presidential run based in large part on taking the birther issue to absurd new heights, was savagely mocked to his face for it by President Obama and Seth Meyers, withdrew from the race, and recently teased the possibility of entering the race as a third party candidate just as Newsmax announced he would be moderating their Republican debate on December 27. By the way, he made the Ron Paul comments during an interview to promote his new book.

I’m not for or against Paul or Trump, but the timing and substance of Trump’s comments – coming shortly after Ron Paul’s campaign chairman blasted the Newsmax debate – is disingenuous. Trump has a propensity to inject himself in the political debate to generate buzz or attention for himself and his brand, whether it be his TV show or his book. Ron Paul has been in public office for decades and run for president three times. Who’s the joke candidate here?

Newt Gingrich threw his hat into the 2012 race this afternoon, making the announcement via Twitter and YouTube:

As was the case with Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, anyone who has been keeping an eye on the former Speaker of the House will not be surprised by this announcement. Fox News, which employed him as a paid commentator, was pressuring him to make up his mind about getting in the race or not. He and fellow 2012er Rick Santorum were initially suspended from their contracts with Fox for 60 days, with a May 1 deadline to make up their mind whether they were running or not.  May 1 came and went, so Fox terminated both their contracts.

Unlike Pawlenty, Gingrich was honest enough to himself and the public to openly admit that he was running for president, rather than hiding behind the semantics of an exploratory committee.

I suppose this is as good an occasion as any to tell my Gingrich story. I randomly ran into him inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome two years ago while I was working on a story for another organization. He was traveling with his wife, who at the time was a member of an American church choir (don’t know if she still is) that was performing in the basilica. Small world…