Newt Gingrich Lost the Arizona Republican Debate

Looking at some of the statistics, it's not obvious why Gingrich is considered less important than Rick Santorum. He has more endorsements than Rick Santorum, and more total primary-goers have voted for him. Heck he even has the most twitter followers!

Of course though, we know that he's been badly beaten in recent contests. He has won fewer states and has fewer delegates to his credit than both Santorum and Romney. His nemesis throughout the primary has been Mitt Romney, who he has accused of attacking him with ads and misrepresenting his record. The two have sparred in past debates and many people expected that this debate would show Gingrich at his most pugnacious and aggressive. Michele Bachmann's former campaign adviser put it simply, “he's got one shot.”

Interestingly, Gingrich did not opt for extreme aggression in his last stand. Prior to the debate, Gingrich promised that he would try to focus on big issues like his energy plan. He also pledged to “stay out of the kind of negativity that unfortunately has characterized way too much of this race.” He also said he would try to focus on his energy plan.

He only kind of succeeded at this master plan, and even then, it was because no one baited him, which would have been enough to drive him into the discussion with more passion.

Gingrich was able to intercede in some squabbling between Romney and Santorum and did so in a grandiose fashion, and on earmarks Gingrich took the side of Romney and said that “he supported the governor.” He also talked broadly about the competence and modernity of the government, trying to craft a grand vision. 

He was also able to talk about his energy plan, but he didn't have too much opportunity to bring it up, as auto-bailouts and earmarks were the most contentious early discussions. He could have brought up the relationship between energy and the auto industry, but he didn't.

At points though, he got angry. On the issue of auto bailouts, he criticized Romney heavily, and said that writing checks to the auto industry was wrong and that it was was a violation of bankruptcy law at the expense of bondholders.

For the most part though, Gingrich was quiet, simply because his views weren't very important for this debate and his moment of influence had passed. There was no blow up in the debate between Romney and Gingrich. Is it possible that they got over their bad blood? 

 

Photo CreditGage Skidmore


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jordan Wolf

My training is partially in philosophy and I'm interested in democratic theory, but more practically, I like thinking about media sophistication, data in politics, and ways to curb partisanship.

MORE FROM

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.