01.22.12

Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and More Sunday Talk

Newt Gingrich is ready for a fight, Mitt Romney releases his returns, Santorum’s sticking around, and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Romney’s Tax Return Oops

With the attention over his tax returns and new Iowa caucus results, Mitt Romney told Fox New Sunday, “This was not a great week for me.”  The GOP hopeful then took a few digs at Newt Gingrich before revealing his plans to release the much talked about tax returns on Tuesday.  “We made a mistake in holding off as long as we did,” said Romney.  “It just is a distraction. We want to get back to the real issues of the campaign."

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Gingrich: Bring on Obama

Fresh off of his primary victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich used his time on State of the Union to address the polls and opponents who say he’s not electable. In addition to supporting ‘dramatically lower taxes’ and ‘strength overseas,’ the former speaker believes that he’s the only one who can go “toe to toe” with President Obama. “In the end, a Gingrich/Obama fight is much better for Republicans than the dynamics of a Romney/Obama fight, “ Gingrich said.  However, before he gets to Obama, Gingrich will have to duck and weave his way to victory in a few more states. Next stop, Florida.

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Santorum: Gingrich A High Risk Candidate

Rick Santorum made it clear on This Week, that he feels “absolutely no pressure” to end his presidential campaign, due in part, to the instability of the other candidates. The GOP hopeful stated that although he is “good friends” with Newt Gingrich, he questions his reliability. “He’s a very high risk candidate,” said Santorum. “If the Republican nominee is someone that the Obama campaign can drop a billion dollars in ads on top of and make him the issue, then we’re going to be in tough shape to be able to win this election.” With friends like this, who needs enemies?

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Christie: Gingrich an Embarrassment to GOP

Chris Christie is Team Romney’s biggest cheerleader. And even though Mitt suffered a set back in South Carolina, the New Jersey governor told Meet the Press that he is optimistic about the future. We had a bad week as a campaign, and a bad result last night,” said Christie. “So, you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, and you get to Florida and you fight.” Christie also added that even though Gingrich pulled out a victory, he’s still not the best Republican for the job. “This is a guy whose had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment to the party.”

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Graham on Candidate Electability

While some polls may be questioning the electability of Newt Gingrich, Senator Lindsey Graham says that’s no longer an issue. While he’s not officially endorsing Gingrich, the South Carolina senator told Face the Nation that Newt’s debating skills prove he is ready for the main stage. “The debate Monday night in Myrtle Beach was probably the best explanation of conservatism in a bold fashion coming from Newt Gingrich I’ve heard in decades,” said Graham. “He not only won the debates, he convinced people that he could beat Barack Obama."

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Gingrich Leveraging Debates

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness. Looks like that theory also applies to presidential primaries. On Face the Nation, Kelly Evans from The Wall Street Journal said that Mitt Romney’s deep pockets can’t compete with how Gingrich utilizes the free airtime provided by debates. “They’ve been an opportunity for Newt Gingrich to really stage his comeback and stage his campaign,” said Evans.

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Is Romney’s Negative Coverage Unfair?

Mitt Romney has received negative attention from the press over his reluctance to release his tax returns. While many are aching to see his financial summary, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin thinks the media coverage of Romney has been slightly unfair. “They have focused on his wealth,” said Rubin. “There are a lot of wealthy people who have been in this campaign.” Nevertheless, the media pressure worked. Romney is set to release his tax returns on Tuesday.

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