Unleash the Newt

Those who felt let down by Newt Gingrich’s muted performance at Monday night’s debate—and, really, who among us did not?—should expect to get their money’s worth tonight. Live from Jacksonville at 8 p.m., it’s Wolf Blitzer’s turn to be Newt’s media-elite piñata (and, happily, audience reactions will not be discouraged this time). But the former house speaker will have many more targets at which to aim his barbs—especially after a furious two-day bombardment by Mitt Romney and the right-wing media elite. Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., and the editors of The National Review—to name a few—have declared all-out war on Gingrich. “Our Bill Clinton,” Tyrrell called him. “Re-elect Obama: Vote Newt!” Coulter declared. The Drudge Report featured no fewer than 14 anti-Gingrich headlines at mid-afternoon today. On a day when Gingrich’s campaign admitted that he lied to John King last Thursday about offering ABC News interviews with people who would contradict his second wife’s accusations—the day after he had to retract an attack ad calling Romney “anti-immigrant” at Marco Rubio’s behest—and with polls showing his South Carolina momentum slipping away, Gingrich’s ire-meter will surely be dialed up to 10.

So They Say

“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is—and I mean this seriously—the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been.”

Fidel Castro

Daily Meme: Thanks, Supreme Court 

  • Outside spending on the presidential campaign has doubled from 2008.
  • The total in Florida’s ad wars so far: $16 million.
  • Despite a $5 million boost to a pro-Newt super PAC, the Romney side is spending twice as much on TV ads in Florida.
  • SEIU and pro-Obama super PAC team up to expose Romney’s dos caras (two faces) on immigration.
  • New York magazine warns of a “coming tsunami of slime,” thanks in part to super PACs.
  • They’ll be even more influential in congressional races.

What We're Writing

  • Space Case: Patrick Caldwell reports from Florida on Gingrich’s proposed moon colony.
  • Jamelle Bouie writes that Romney’s donations to anti-gay groups undercut his vaunted “moderation”—and could hurt him in the fall. 

What We're Reading

  • Chris Christie tried to wriggle out of having to veto—or not veto—a gay-marriage law. It isn’t going to work.
  • Is Romney overdoing it with the effort to seem warm and jovial? Photographic evidence suggests that he is.
  • Was President Obama’s heated encounter with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer just good politics?
  • In the swing state of North Carolina, unpopular Democratic Governor Bev Perdue won’t run for re-election.
  • Ezra Klein explains why Obama is no radical.
  • Newt’s little secret: He likes media elites.

Polls of the Day

Three new Florida surveys show Romney retaking the lead over Gingrich.