Clueless

01.31.12

Newt Gingrich’s Reality Distortion Ignores Florida Drubbing by Romney

The ex-speaker delivered a fiery and deluded speech at a defeat party where he laid out how he would turn the country into a GOP paradise when he replaces Obama in January. Plus, read more Daily Beast contributors on what Romney’s win means.

Never mind that Newt Gingrich lost decisively in Tuesday’s Florida presidential primary to Mitt Romney—a “Massachusetts moderate” and tool of the establishment who “will manage the decay” of America.

In a barn-burner of a “victory” speech to energized supporters in Orlando, the former speaker of the House continued to spin visions of the coming Gingrich presidency, which by his account is all but inevitable.

“It is now clear that this is a two-person race between the conservative leader and the Massachusetts moderate,” Gingrich said, characterizing the contest as a battle “between money power and people power”—never mind (again!) the fact that while Romney indeed outspent him by at least 3 to 1—the lion’s share of that money on negative advertising trashing Gingrich to a fare-thee-well—a lot more people ended up voting for the Massachusetts moderate.

The Gingrich reality distortion field was operating at full strength. When he takes the oath of office next January, he will repeal President Obama’s health-care law, reverse hundreds of onerous regulations, move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, end Obama’s “war on religion,” and otherwise endeavor to turn this country into a Republican paradise.

Gingrich was managing the decay of his campaign quite nicely.

“It will be a working presidency,” Gingrich, standing behind a lectern festooned with a sign saying “46 STATES TO GO,” told the crowd of a couple hundred partygoers, their mood lightened by the offerings at the bar. “I may not play as much golf as Obama, but I’ll get in a lot more job creation,” the candidate declared. “I’m not going to be singing like Obama, because I’m not running for entertainer in chief.” Gingrich couldn’t help but add: “I promise you, when I become your president, I pledge to you my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor.”

In other words, Gingrich was managing the decay of his campaign quite nicely.

Before he took the stage with his wife, Callista, the future first lady, his disappointed supporters were reacting to the results less in sorrow than in anger.

“I think Florida got bought,” said accountant Andrea Anthony, “but Romney’s money is not going to be enough to beat Obama. If people are so stupid to think that the election can be bought, we’re in trouble.”

Read More Daily Beast Contributors about the Florida Primary:
Michael Tomasky: It’s Over for Newt
John Avlon: This Race Is Far From Over
Michelle Goldberg: Why Liberals Should Love Newt
David Frum: Gingrich Knows It’s Over
& More