Gingrich’s retort to John King

(Note: I initially linked the wrong CNN video, an interview of Gingrich by John King on January 24 [in which Gingrich claimed that several witnesses other than his two daughters from his second marriage were prepared to refute his ex-wife’s story, a claim he has since retracted]. The link is now corrected.)

It is already a week old, but if you have not seen the opening exchange between CNN’s John King and candidate Gingrich at last Thursday’s GOP debate about the ABC interview with Marianne Gingrich, it is worth viewing. As I have said before, while Gingrich’s marital history is certainly reasonable grounds for criticizing or rejecting his candidacy, for King to open the debate—held two days before the South Carolina primary in Gingrich was surging in the polls—by questioning Gingrich on the vastly hyped interview in which his second wife repeated already known facts about the end of their marriage, was very wrong. Under the circumstances, Gingrich’s forceful retort to King was both justified and extremely effective, resulting in what some are calling the first-ever standing ovation at a presidential debate.

You can see why people respond so strongly to this. When he wants to, Gingrich has the ability to put the media—the most powerful and destructive non-governmental institution in American life—in their place, and that is what conservatives are looking for.

At the same time, I must repeat that it is ludicrous that the GOP candidates, including Gingrich, have willingly appeared at an endless series of debates hosted by hostile liberal media organizations in which all the questions come from the left and reflect anti-conservative biases. A Republican candidate who was truly ready and willing to resist the power of the liberal media in this country would not just lecture the liberal moderators at liberal-run debates for their biased liberal questions, as Gingrich has famously and properly done; he would insist on having debates in which the moderators have knowledge of and interest in issues that are actually of concern to—gasp—Republican voters.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 27, 2012 08:41 AM | Send

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