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12.18.11

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and More Sunday Talk

Mitt Romney calls Newt Gingrich ‘unreliable,’ Michele Bachmann accuses Obama of running a ‘banana republic,’ John Boehner says he hasn’t given up on the president, and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Romney: Gingrich is ‘Unreliable’ and ‘Zany’

Them’s fightin’ words. In his first Sunday talk show appearance in a year, Mitt Romney came out swinging against his top opponent. While discussing entitlement reform on Fox News Sunday, the former Massachusetts governor accused Newt Gingrich of being undependable: “The speaker said, ‘This is right-wing social engineering.’ Talk about unreliable.” Romney then attacked him for his impractical ideas: “He has been unreliable … and zany.”

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Gingrich: I’m ‘Delighted’ for Romney

What does Newt Gingrich think of the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of his opponent? The 2012 hopeful took the high road on Face the Nation, where he said he was happy for Romney. “I’m actually delighted,” he said. Still, the former speaker said New Hampshire's conservative paper, the Manchester Union Leader, chose the real Republican by endorsing him: “I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is,” he added. As for his work for Freddie Mac, Gingrich told host Bob Schieffer he should have responded to questions regarding his profits differently.

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Bachmann: Obama Acts Like He’s Running a ‘Banana Republic’

Here’s a new take on the debt crisis. On Meet the Press, GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann said the president’s handling of the national debt was fit for a “banana republic,” not a world superpower: “We’re acting like Greece and like Italy, and that’s what people are frustrated with. They want us to act like a first-world nation, not like what President Barack Obama is doing.” After claiming that the national debt was $160 billion under George W. Bush in 2007, host David Gregory contested the accuracy of Bachmann’s statement: “Congresswoman, that just misstates the record.”

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Has Boehner Given Up on Obama?

Also on Meet the Press, the Speaker of the House sparred with Gregory over accusations that he and fellow Republican lawmakers made a strategic political decision to oppose any policy Obama supports. “I’ll never give up on this president or give up on this process,” he said. “I do trust him.” As for assuaging Americans’ concerns over the deadlock in Washington, Boehner offered little consolation: “There are two things that people should never watch: sausage being made and laws being made.”

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Huntsman: I’m Getting ‘Whiplash’

On State of the Union, Jon Huntsman said he’s not out of the race yet—not even close. Defending his conservative record against accusations that he sends mixed messages, the former Utah governor and China ambassador said he’ll win the New Hampshire primary without a doubt: “I don’t light my hair on fire… Everyone gets their Warholian 15 minutes of fame. They go up and they go down.” He said he’d rather have a “steady” and “consistent” rise and avoid the “whiplash” he’s getting from watching the other candidates. Famous last words?

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Romney’s Media Blitz

Lamestream media who? After Romney (finally) threw his hat into the Sunday talk-show ring, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank commented on Reliable Sources that, despite an undercurrent of mainstream media mockery, the GOP hopefuls have been relying heavily on said press to boost their campaigns: “The most popular thing, certainly in Republican primary circles, is to bash the media. But, guess what? They’ve all been sort of seeking the validation of the media.”

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Is the American Dream Dead?

Does upward mobility still exist in the United States? On This Week, Christiane Amanpour hosted a debate between Paul Ryan and Barney Frank, where the congressmen sparred on everything from taxes to legalizing marijuana. Discussing the gap between the rich and the poor, Ryan said the GOP has tried to create the conditions for economic growth: “The question is, what are we doing to make it as easy as possible for people to rise through the ranks and make the most of their lives and remove those barriers in front of them?” Frank disagreed: “And, the answer is: not nearly enough.”

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