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BLITZER’S BLOG: The gloves will be off in Thursday’s debate
January 23rd, 2012
04:14 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: The gloves will be off in Thursday’s debate

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - A week ago, the Gallup daily tracking poll of registered Republicans around the country had Mitt Romney at 37% with Newt Gingrich at only 14%. Guess what? That 23-point spread has now disappeared. The new nationwide Gallup numbers: Romney 29% to Gingrich’s 28%. That’s a statistical tie well within the 3-point sampling error.

It only goes to show you how quickly political fortunes can change. Fresh from his double-digit victory over Romney in South Carolina, Gingrich now certainly has the political momentum going with him into Florida’s January 31 primary. He seems to be on a roll.

But as he himself is fully aware, what goes up can certainly come right back down – and rather quickly.

Since announcing for the presidency, the former speaker already has survived two near-death political falls.

The first was last summer after several members of his senior campaign staff quit following his decision to take a two-week Mediterranean cruise. Many pundits quickly wrote him off. Those pundits made a mistake.

He eventually came back, but once again only to see his numbers collapse in Iowa in the face of a brutal pro-Romney super PAC advertising assault. At the time, Gingrich was trying to take the high road and really didn’t fight back. That was a major political blunder on his part. His numbers collapsed in Iowa, and he wound up coming in fourth. He also finished in fourth place in New Hampshire.

Once again, pundits began to write him off.

Since then, he has fought back. He no longer turns the other cheek. He’s clearly much more effective on the offense. Just check out what happened in South Carolina after his two impressive debate performances.

I will be moderating the CNN Republican presidential debate at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville on Thursday night at 8 p.m. This will be the third time I’m moderating a Republican debate during this election cycle. I know how important these debates have been in affecting voters’ attitudes. I can see and feel it in the auditoriums.

In recent days, I’ve been busy preparing for this week’s debate fully aware of the stakes for the candidates.

There were eight candidates on the stage at the start of this cycle. With only four finalists left, each candidate will have more time. I’m certain the gloves will be off. No more holding back.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate moderated by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate.

RELATED STORY: Submit your questions for the next CNN debate in Florida

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Filed under: 2012 election • Debates • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingtich • Republicans • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Griff

    Floria voter say's "I'm sour and I'm not going to vote fo anyone to clean up this mess."
    "No, said Obama, "and that's why your going to voter for me!"

    January 30, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  2. Mark

    YIKES! I thought the whole world knew that Gingrich is nothing more than a weasel and Romney's camp would bankrupt america all over again. Santorum is a true politician, flip flopping between issues depending on where his paycheck is coming from, and i don't mean holding office. RON PAUL. honest, consistent, uncorrupted by lobbyist money, and nearly unattackable. He proves himself again and again. I feel sad for the condition of the most powerful nation in the world...it's people blinded so completely by media nonsense....The quiet death of democracy at the hands of fascism, golf clap.

    January 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tim Slater

      Ron Paul makes sense.
      Here is a question from the debate:
      If the ruler of Cuba called you as President, would you answer the call and if yes what would you say?
      Ron Paul: Yes, I would ask what he wanted.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Lareese Jackson

    in last nights debate a lady asked about health insurance. She said she did not have a job and no health insurance. the question was how could they help her. They gave every round about answer they could come up with, nothing, their is nothing the republican party wants to do about health care except to say, I will gey you a job. Wolfe should have pressed the candidates until they all gave a real answer.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  4. Sarah 1

    I am just watching the debates from Canada and have a few questions:

    Is it true that Mitt Romney's father ran to be President of the USA? If that is correct then how did Mitt Romney say last night that his father was born in Mexico – are you not supposed to be born in the USA to run for President?

    Also, how is it that the news media, except for David Gergen last night, has not commented on the fact that Romney did not even know what's in his own ads even though at the end of it he approves the message and how is it possible that Mitt Romney got away with a lie about all his investments being in a blind trust run by a trustee and another lie about the ad about Newt and the ghetto remark. If Mitt Romney becomes the President of the USA is he not going to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in his administration. Most Presidents say the buck stops with them but not Mitt who thinks his wealth will buy silence and people will be blind to his deceitful way of hiding information on his FEC filing and what appears on his tax returns.

    Nobody in the media commented on MItt's remarks a month ago when asked how he thought his wife did in an interview he responded "she did great – she did not answer the hard questions which is exactly what she was supposed to do". I was amazed that I did not hear any media pick up on this. THIS MAN WILL SAY AND DO ANYTHING TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE USA – shame on all of you who are demonizing Newt and building up this man who is devoid of any character.

    January 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tim Slater

      As one of my neighbors said "Romney = car salesman"

      January 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Tim Slater

    It was obvious in the Jacksonville, Florida debate that Speaker Gingrich has been listening to voter issues, not just giving car salesman type speeches.

    I wish we could have heard the candidates views on how to restore jobs to the Space Coast.
    Should the Jacksonville port be deepened to stay competitive, is there a federal role?
    Opinions about a nuclear carrier group in Mayport to avoid a Pearl Harbor on the East Coast and save local maritime businesses.
    Also, Newt brought up establishing a Social Security fund of its own, a HUGE issue in Florida

    I was disappointed that none of the candidates had new ideas about those local and national issues.
    Where was the energy discussion? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a year of $2 a gallon gas would fix our economy.

    I respect Speaker Gingrich for floating bold ideas and LISTENING.

    January 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  6. Lynn Otting

    If Newt says anything negative about Romney, the media is all over it. However, the media never says anything about the Romney ads and attacks of Newt. In addition, the Romney campaign bombards the media with elite establishment members so they can destroy Newt's credibility and character at the same time these ads are aired. The media does not interview Gingrich supporters or reporters to contradict these false accusations In addition, Romney has debate coaches, researchers and campaign advisors to aid him with every aspect of his campaign. So, why is it so hard to figure out why Newt is not having the best of debates? It is hard to get his message out to the average American voters when the so called media is just as biased as the elite republican establishment and the Romney campaign. In the past, the media represented the people, now they represent anything but the average voters. Obviously, the media is no longer the liberal media, but the elite establishment media. Of course, I can see how the two may be the same these days. During this election, it may be best if you represent the people, otherwise we may not have a country in need of a media. Perhaps, you think this is extreme, but this country is in need of a leader that will not go along with the Washington establishment and I have faith that the American people will elect one as long as we have an almost level playing field.

    January 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Sam Whistledorf

    Blitzer used to be a serious journalist about 20 years ago. But now, his questions are much more appropriate for a supermarket tabloid journalist than a serious new anchor. Wolf, you had a wonderful opportunity to stimulate discussion of our most urgent governmental problems but you tried hard to amplify the personal attacks among the Republican candidates. Ask questions about national debt, government spending, healthcare, etc. Who cares about the First Ladies. You have descended to the level of Jeraldo Rivera, a cheap, sleazy, sensational hack.

    January 27, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • E.Chambers

      I probably should not be commenting on any of this as I am not American, but I have two grandchildren that are.
      I watch CNN daily in Canada and have been watching the Republican debates and all the news regarding it. What I have noticed lately is that. (1) in most debates Paul and Santorum are not given the ssame amount of time as the other two and it is becoming increasing eveident to me at least that Blitzer is a Romney supporter, especially when you watch his reports on the Situation Room when he is covering the Republican race. What really blows me away is how people who procalim to have the same political views can attack each other.

      January 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  8. concered voter

    Wolf Blizter did the worse job I have ever seen hosting tonights debate. His questioning was weak and many questions were just down right dumb, What kind of first lady would you wife make? Give me a break. Why does Romney get so many softball questions and so much time to answer them . . . be a strong reporter and take control or was it suppose to be the Wolf and Romney Show. Now I know why I stop watching CNN for political coverage . . . and it name is Wolf Blitzer.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  9. Anthony

    Thank you for giving fairly equal time to all four of the candidates tonight. This was a refreshing change from other recent debates.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  10. Rajawat

    Wolf, can you ask question regarding tort reform..

    January 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Rajawat

      Santorum doesn't understand foreign policy

      January 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  11. Geneva

    Question for all of the candidates: Since all of you are against so-called "obamacare," what do you suggest people with no coverage and chronic illnesses do while you repeal it and come up with another solution? Many will die as they wait. Is this satisfactory with you, as evidenced by the debate when the audience cheered and applauded people dyeing on hospital gurneys or will you provide care until your "new medical plan" is in effect?

    January 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  12. Ejay

    I'm very disappointed in Wolf tonight. I thought if anyone would hold the candidates feet to the fire to "ANSWER THE QUESTIONS" it would be him. The lady from the audience, Lynn, asked what she should do with no job and no health insurance. NO ONE answered her question. They all danced and talked about what should happen in the future when they are elected. What about Lynn NOW! None of them has an answer for a very important question. As someone who was without insurance for several and unemployed, it is devastating. What do you do with cancer and no coverage? What about a child with diabetes and no coverage? One of the candidates even said something crazy like finding something with low premiums and paying it. How do you pay premiums with no job? I would love to hear just one debate when a moderator refused to move on until the candidates actually answered the question instead of dancing and/or redirecting their comments to something they want to talk about.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  13. Rajawat

    How can we bring back our manufacturing industry ???

    January 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  14. Rajawat

    Ron Paul is the only person who is honest and can change

    January 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  15. Rajawat

    Wolf, you are really doing goog. You are asking intelligent questions and being fair

    January 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Mark

      To hold the kind of standards one might have for a jellyfish in Wolf's shoes. By THAT standard he did a passably good job...but he isn't a jellyfish,, he is SUPPOSED to be a reporter....FAIL

      January 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  16. Bill

    I wish someone would stand up to the so-called GOP candidates that refuse to give President Obama the respect he rightly deserves. He is the leader of our country and has earned the right to be called PRESIDENT OBAMA!
    They no longer hold the positions they once had, yet they still are given their props. Why is that?

    January 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  17. Mike

    Wolf, I love your tenacity tonight despite the crowd!

    January 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  18. Paula

    Question for Gov Romney: You are running to be the CEO of the US. You have provided the American people with 1 year completed and one year estimated income tax returns. Before a bank grants a business loan to a company, they require a minimum of three years' tax returns and 3 years' financial statements. I am confident that Bain Capital required a minimum of three years financial data before investing in a company. How can you expect the American people to make such a momentous decision as electing a president with such scant information as one year and an estimate?
    Question for Speaker Gingrich: Since your entry into Congress in the 1980's, you have gained a reputation for pugnaciousness and being a contrarian even within your own Party. Former colleagues of your own party have described you as bombastic, ethically challenged, and petulant. How do these aspects of your character fit the office of President of the US?

    January 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  19. Mark

    What makes this republican primary a complete joke is that only Ron Paul can run against Obama. Instead of backing the only honest candidate and the only candidate that has the people's interest in mind. Every major news network keeps talking about Romney and Gingrich because that is where the drama is. It's just disgusting lack of media integrity to spend so much time talking abut these two guaranteed losers instead of promoting real intellectual political debate. Kick Roney and Gingrich out of the debate and hear between Paul and Santorum actual issues get discussed. It is completely ignorant that CNN and FOX specifically think that the people can't recognize Goebellian Propaganda when we see it.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  20. Eric Ennis

    Ron Paul is the one we need to be talking about. He is the only one who is really going to change things in America. Semper Fi

    January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tim Slater

      Ron Paul is awesome and brings common sense to the discussion. His age is an asset, not a liability. As discussed in last nights debate his energy level is great and he knows how American health care can be fixed.

      Health Care costs are probably the biggest threats to US business and military. Sounds like national defense issue!

      January 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  21. Mark

    I would like to hear each of the candidates thoughts about the Patriot Act and NDAA. Specifically i would like to know if they can see the obvious connection to the recent SOPA, PIPA and ACTA which all have so called bad wording, that contradict the Constitution, as well as Universal Human Rights throughout the book.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  22. Roy J. Meidinger

    Tax Loop hole.

    The employee Social Security rate for yr. 2010 was 4.2% with a limit of $106,800 or maximum payment limit of $4,485. With this payment limit, if employed, Newt Gingrich with income of $3.1M, he would have paid a tax rate of 0.14% and Mitt Romney with income of $21.6M he would have paid a tax rate of 0.02%. With the current legislation in Congress, would the candidates support removing the limits on the Social Security taxes?
    Please keep in mind the Social Security fund has been added to the general fund.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  23. Made in MA

    Mr Blitzer,
    Please avenge John King. His question to Mr Gingrich was absolutely appropriate as regards his personal life. Why more hasn't been made about his serial philandering and his penchant for putting himself first is beyond me. Character is of the utmost importance in selecting a president, not to mention a first family. To allow he and his morally deprived wife to even possibly represent what is good about America is troubling. To have her as a first lady would be disgusting prospect. This is a man who left not one but two wives, and now his children are defending him against their own mother. He has obviously raised self serving children as well. Let's mention the half million dollar tab at Tiffany's as well. If the guy cannot manage his own money, I certainly don't want I'm managing mine.

    Contrast that with Mitt Romney who was a great governor here. He didn't take a salary the entire time he was in office. He got legions done, despite the corrupt Democratic legislature. He even out off running for office at one point until his wife had recovered from her MS to the point that SHE was comfortable with the rigors of a campaign. Family first-that is Mitt. Newt first- that is Gingrich. And anyone who doesn't see right through him to comprehend that his four years in the white house will be all about furthering his own interests, deserves what they get. Thank ou.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  24. Sergei

    I am an undecided voter who has been out of work or under-employed for 1 1/2 years.

    The candidates have said that President Obama tried to fix the economy with the wrong solutions and that is why we still have such high unemployment. Florida's is particularly high.

    I'd like to hear Governor Romney and Newt Gingrich discuss their timelines for how long it will take to get the unemplyment rate down to 8%, 7% and 6% unemployment and what specific steps the President and the Congress would take to accomplish this lower rate.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  25. Angela

    Wolf, I would like to know if the audience is being stacked in Newt's favor for Thursday night's debate. I was looking at one of Newt's Florida support group's FB page and there were many comments from the members stating that they were selected by CNN to attend the debate. Is this true?? If so, are Mitts FB supporters also being awarded the opportunity to attend the debate?? If not....NOT FAIR! Is this another setup for Newt????

    January 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  26. Karen

    Wolf, please, no more loaded questions to Gingrich so he can have one of his Jerry Springer moments and incite his base. The debates have become unwatchable.

    January 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  27. Kenneth Dansby

    Ken Dansby Greenville SC...Wolf, I confronted Newt on his racial comments in Greenville SC. I asked Newt if he would be willing to meet with Sharpton,Jealous,Roland,Juan Williams and Eric Dyson in a town hall setting , Newt said he would since he knows Al. Since Newt, Santorum and Paul has so many great ideas for the Afro American community, let Newt answer questions from Afro Americans and the panel. Newt took my name and # and said he would be willing to do it, ask Newt if he will keep his word and if all the candidates will meet with other ethic leaders and people?

    January 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  28. Don44

    Could you ask the candidates: "All the candidates suggested eliminating tax loopholes and lowering tax rates. Would you be willing to eliminate the "carried interest" loophole that allowed Mitt Romney to reduce his taxes so much?"

    January 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  29. Deborah

    There are two analytical approaches to economic analysis, Supply side, proven successfuly by Ronald Reagan for the first time, and Demand Side Analysis followed by John Maynard Keynes and countless others since his prescriptions that extended the Great Depression through 1946.

    Dear Wolf,
    Below is a question many of my friends would like Republican Candidates to answer:

    Are you a Supply or Demand Side advocate?

    How does your stated economic policy fit into the Ronald Reagan Supply Side mold and produce, wealth, entrepreneurship and jobs. How fast can the economy grow with your policy?

    Thank you so much for considering this question.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  30. Rich

    Romney and Gingrich are both old school republicans. The old school are what got us to where we are today. Broke and unemployed in debt up to our eyeballs and detested by almost every country on the globe for attacking other countries we never should have attacked.

    People have no faith in the old republican party any longer. They don't see much light at the end of the tunnel in the democrat depot either. This leaves very little hope for the future of America and no one in Washington is paying attention.

    I don't see a future for America in either candidate. Unfortunately I see no better option with Obama. The end result is we have to wait another 4 years for any possible change in direction. We have much more time then we have money. That is for certain.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Mark

      Ron Paul is the only one who stands a chance against Obama. If anyone wants a republican president everyone has to get behind the only one who can hold honesty over the democrats. He is intelligent and focused, with the full party backing him he is un-stoppable. But he gets left in the dust because he wants to change things NOW instead of trying to sneak up on it.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  31. Griff

    "Believe me Wolfi, I did try to watch that address last night, but the merisms on Obama's face made me want to burst out laughing, so I had to switch over!"

    January 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  32. Griff

    "Why don't you play the record, Wolfi. Everytime you mention the idiot Obama? 'Give all your kisses to me." The idiot sure does love him self, and so does CNN>"

    January 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  33. gary

    Please Wolf, Do not wimp out like John King did-Hit em hard-N G deserves a Emmy for his pre planned attack on the media & King should be ashamed. Family values meens using chidren from your first wife to say your second wife is lieing about your third wife.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  34. page

    Wolf, Brian Williams made the audience stay quiet, can you do the same? It made for a more thoughtful, less emotional debate than the South Carolina debates.
    Please don't let the crowd turn the debate into a pep rally for Newt–Jacksonville is in the deep south and it will happen if you do not insist on quiet.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  35. BAdams

    Could you please tell me why Romney has not used his biggest asset he has that Gingrich could not possibly come back with any kind of creditable response? His family! Why is he not having his wife and sons go on news interviews and telling the American people what it was like having a dad like Mitt Romney. What did he teach his sons about money, values, making important decisions? I think that Mitt Romney has more family values in his little finger than Newt does in his whole being! In my opinion, the best thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother and treat her with respect. You can look at the way that Mitt looks at Ann and you can see a deep love for her and her for him. You cannot see that when Newt looks at Calista. It's like they have some ulterior motive to get the White House. Can you imagine having Newt and his 2nd mistress wife as the first lady? What would that say to our American Youth? The Governor that spoke for the Republicans last night even mentioned that this country is in serious need of a reminder of family values. Gingrich wouldn't even know how to explain the meaning of family values. This is a nation based on the family values that Mitt has held dear to is heart all his life. I don't know why anybody isn't addressing the big red elephant in the room! Marriage is important! The way you treat your wife, the mother of your children, is important! I just don't get why we haven't heard or seen any of this from the Media. I just don't know if I could get behind Newt if he were our nominee. I think I could live with 4 more years, and that's sad!
    Thanks for reading my rant! :)

    January 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  36. A. L.

    Please, please keep the audience quiet like Brian Williams did. Don't let it turn into a pep rally for one candidate–that is soooo unfair!

    January 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  37. Sheila Parsons

    1/24/12 – Gingrich surges in Florida and national polls. The reason that the GOP doesn't like Gingrich is that he refuses to be bought. GOP's bought and paid for candidate is Romney. FOX News and other media keep pushing Romney. Romney is weak and the bought and paid for candidate of the GOP (good old boys). Parading Peloski and McCain on national networks as spokespersons for the GOP is more of the same. Tell the truth CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC. This is what the People in this country are sick of - the lying media. comment...

    January 25, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  38. david kurtz

    fox new reported that a large number of employees of the IRS have not paid their taxes for 2010. how do government employees keep their jobs when they don't/won't pay their taxes? your thoughts please.
    why have the candidates not discussed how they would balance a budget and begin to pay down the national debt? would this be a good question for the debate?

    January 25, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  39. gord

    from the debates so far-lower taxes for the job creators–deregulate–bomb iran–more free trade –off shore banking –shipjobs over seas-trickle down–where have i seen this movie before

    January 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  40. Richard Brown

    On at least three occasions I've heard Situation Room commentators refer to "The Church of Latter Day Saints." The proper name of the church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Please correct the naming, as the true name says far more about the nature of the church. I am not a Mormon–just someone like you who values keeping the facts right.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  41. casademello

    Mary Matalin is my favorite contributor to your show. However, when is she going to be reigned in for wearing her religion on her shoulder, or, in this case, on her chest. Obviously a fine Catholic, wearing a large crucifix on more than one occasion recently, certainly detracts from her message. She is too good as a contributor to be allowed to do this on CNN.

    January 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  42. Brent

    I would like to see equal time for all of the debaters. No favoring. For once allow each candidate equal time to address questions. I am so tired of the attention on Mitt and Newt. There are 4 in the running regardless of the latest polls. Please take the lead, set the standard and allow all candidates equal time.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Richard Hutchins

      I agree!
      I have a suggestion about the GOP debates. Allocate an equal amount of time to each candidate for the entire debate. Each candidate can use their time as they please. If they take a long time to answer a question, they will use up their time and not have as much time to answer another question. When their time is up, they can not respond to any more questions! This will prevent Mitt Romney from hogging the time while ignoring the question and, instead, give another speech about what is wrong with Obama. Romney took a lot of time (going off topic) which deprived us from getting input from the other candidates. If Romney and the others knew they only had a certain amount of time allocated to their remarks, we would have more succinct responses and less time bickering. We would like to hear from all of the candidates! Each candidate would have a timer in front of them to let them know how much time they have left and how much time each of the other candidates have left.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Mark

      I agree completely. it is completely against the idea of media integrity to present certain candidates as the obvious choices while others are left to be outsiders. They are all running and it smacks of attempted influence of the outcome to have preferential time allocation.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  43. Jim Thomas

    Paul is still the man.Qbama must be voted out or our country goes all the way down the tubes.Romney is just like obama and that is bad.Paul tells it like it is period.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    January 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  44. Julie S.

    QUESTION Request:

    Saw the woman tell Santorum yesterday that "Obama is an avowed Muslim." Santorum retreated into (imo) cowardly silence.

    Please, please please, Mr. Blitzer - help Americans correct this AND see if these candidates have any courage to tell the truth. Please ask something about "Many Republicans say the President is a Muslim who was not born in this country. Will you go on record that this is not true – will you tell your base the truth about the President's religion and birth?"

    Let's see if any of them have real "leadership" qualities. Or if they will weasel out of it, and say anything to get elected.

    Thank you!

    January 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • gary

      In the 2008 campaign McCain stood up for B Obama when a spectator called him a Muslim. Santorum showed no such honesty & leadership

      January 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  45. polly

    I think it is time for Wolf or anyhone else to start challenging Newt on his fanil values and having redemmed himself – after all he was Speaker of the House when Bill Clinton was impeached and Newt was even then carrying on the affiar with Calista - talk about double standards. I also think it's time for any of the moderators to start talking about how this country got into the mess - it wasn't Obama or who us into Iraq or Afghanistan. Mitt wants to build more ships, others want to go the war with Iran - whee is the money coming from - perhaps they should be reminded that it is the current Republican dominated House that is pushing for spending cuts - they wanted the defense spending cuts - the Democrats have given in on everything but the Republicans (especially those in the Eric Cantor camp) are not prepared to compromise on anything. One final thing did anyone see Newt this morning pontificating!!!

    January 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  46. Frank

    It's time for a different debate on Thursday. The most serious issue facing the country is our long-term, structural budget deficit. The next President must lead the country to a long-term solution. Yet, this topic has scarcely been broached in any of the debates I have seen. We already know enough about the backgrounds of the candidates (good and not so good). We don't need to watch them throwing spitballs at one another. We need to hear how they would address our major problem going forward. Wolf, as moderator, please, please, please help this next debate thoughtfully focus on the deficit.

    January 24, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  47. Susan

    Our current President is a gov't experience only President. Gringrich & Santorum gov't only experience. It is time for a change, get the politicians out of our lives. Give a business experience person a chance to turn our country around. I believe it is our only hope. Please tell me the republican party it not going to be so stupid as to nominate Gringrich which in turn means we end up with Palin and whoever else he has bought off with promises to endorse him. I am more than amazed he has gotten so far; I am disgusted.

    January 24, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  48. susan

    As a devoted and intelligent viewer for years, I implore you to consider the two correspondents that are such old relics of the news show...Jeanne Moos and Jack Cafferty. I remember Jack Cafferty when he was a "local train wreck, murder, rape, reporter on local news and still has the aura of a local reporter...and you are so professional and so reliable...they are both so out of their element and it is time to make a change....Jeanne Moos is the oldest relic I have ever seen...and her form of humor is laughable...not in a good way, but in a pathetic way...it is 2012...they are old, old, old...and their styles and intellect is an embarrassment to your show...Thank you

    January 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  49. M.A.

    The reason that Newt Gingrich spoke last Saturday evening is that he had to watch each of his rivals speeches first, dissect them and essentially roll them into own campaign message.

    The man is a self-absorbed, dangerous ego maniac that feeds on people's emotions. Give him enough rope, he'll strangle himself. Just hope that he doesn't get too far....he'll drag you right down along with him.

    The man is divisive, likes to start quarrels, has a mean spirit and will say or do anything to get elected.

    January 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  50. Sarah Sands

    Why are all of the big cable networks so bias in favor of Romney? I'm 70 years old and I remember very well Newts time as speaker. I am aware that Clinton had an equal hand in it, but I rather liked the balanced budget and the surplus that came out of that time. What's the real story???

    January 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  51. CoJo

    someone needs to explain to me what Gingrich has done for me or the public since he was ousted out of the speaker of the house by his own party. Someone needs to explain t what has he done to show (concrete facts) that he has changed since his own party didn't want his to lead. How do I know he has really changed? All I hear is he has lobbied for himself to get richer!!!!! What makes me think he won't be as bad (or worse) as a president as he was as a speaker? If he thinks the speaker of the house was a tough job, how is he going to handle the presidency? He may be book smart but cannot apply is knowledge... I have known a lot of book smart people that just cannot put their knowledge into practice..

    January 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  52. stephen

    In Brian Todd's piece on Saul Alinsky the fact that Alinsky was an orthodox Jew was omitted. Gingrich invokes Alinsky's name to appeal to antisemites particularly in his red states. Remember the past when Obama was "paling around with terrorists", and the anti-American Jeremiah Wright.? Gingrich is an accomplished demagogue. Bad for America, bad for the world.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  53. manny oliver

    Gingrich "Contract with America" won a lot people over, but Gingrich acting as Little Cesar believe he could do what ever he wanted, He lost control. The Republican Party sank to new low. Sooner or later he will open his big mouth that always get him into trouble. Then John King will reported and show the America the down fall of Gingrich.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  54. macdav

    To bad Wolfe does not know there are 50 states in the US.Just report the news rather try to twist it Wolfe.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  55. Charlotte

    Good explanation on your show earlier of who Saul Alinsky was but you left out the elephant in the room - that Newt's frequent mentions of this Jewish name are anti-semitic "wolf whistles" llike his references to Obama as "the food stamp president" are racist. I doubt he'd get the same wild applause to these statements in New York City as he does in the south. If Alinsky's name had been John Smith do you think Newt would be repeating it as he does?!

    January 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  56. joesmith

    once again, your rant fails to put Ron Paul in the mix..don't you realize your folly..he has the answers, but you fail to allow his ideas to become American staples..giving unpresidented coverage to a couple of also rans..but..AIPAC loves you..

    January 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  57. Richard in Boston

    Wolf: Open a line of questioning on the role of China in loss of US manufacturing jobs. I dont care for Mitt, but he is the only one to make sense on this topic: declare China a currency manipulator. This imposes 40% surcharge on Chinese goods entering US, making a $10 alarm clock $14, and a $50 pair of shoes $70. Now American manufacturers can compete! Ask Mitt how this translates to US jobs? He must have calculated this. And the benefit to the treasury of the surcharge! Like $120b per year! He's totally right: there would be no trade war or China would lose even more! The China currency fix may be the biggest and quickest route to American job creation.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  58. shoegazer

    If the gloves come off,won't that reveal that this lot is a collection of knuckle draggers?

    January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  59. ,Larry Liebling

    Dana Bash basically bashed Newt Gingrich during the Situation Room tonight. Shouldn't she, or CNN, have to disclose that she is married to CNN's John King, who Gingrich lambasted at CNN's South Carolina GOP primary debate?

    January 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  60. Susan

    Wolf: Please don't let Gingrich hide behind "one-liner, glib" remarks. Force him to answer tough questions. How can someone spend 40 years in Washington, become a lobyist and not be a Washington insider? Can someone explain to me how a wife cheater and liar can be an evangical? I just don't get it!

    January 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  61. us1776

    The GOP does not have a candidate that can challenge Obama.

    The latest electoral polling shows Obama with a huge lead against every single one of these GOP candidates.

    .

    January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Mark

      Paul could beat Obama, if his own party would back him. His Ideals are strongest and he has the pulse of the nation, which is something no president has had in a very long time. The fear of him is unfounded, not every ideal the man has is going to become law, as we have seen in the last 4 years sometimes almost none of them do.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Perry Haupt

    Wolf, You asked for it so here goes.
    I have heard nothing so far about Newt's calamity after his "Contract with America"
    What happened?? He lost control. The Republican Party tanked.
    I'd like to hear what he says about this type of LEADERSHIP.

    Perry Haupt
    Bellwood, Pa.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  63. EJ in ABQ, NM

    Wolf, you should get David Stockman on your program BEFORE your next debate. He just gave a scathing description of crony capitalism showing that BOTH Newt and Mitt are embroiled in it. Gingrich in the "cesspool" of Fanny/Freddie, but coming from Reagan's former budget director it's so poignant!! (Newt claiming to be a such a Reagan-ite) Stockman is just as hard on Romney saying that being an "LBO artist" (leverage buy-out pro) has nothing to do with skills that can help grow the US economy. Stockman says he learned that same set of skills – how to "strip mine" cash out of a company and it's no qualification to be President!! Really, you need Stockman on your show if not at the next debate! He's hard on Obama, too, saying he has concealed the real problems with the Fed. Stockman says Ron Paul is the only real alternative for those who want a different approach. Quite the talker, that Stockman! GL this week.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  64. JohnChen

    I home Wolf Blitzer will be NOT act like John King:
    You can not be bullied by Newt or any other candidate: As Newt said: when you running for the highest public office everything is on the table.
    No body can bully the messenger to hide the mess he created.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Sam

      To John Chen: I am so glad you articulated what I was thinking so well! Well done! Not to mention, Newt is the one who is "touting" family values! So, yes, his personal life such as that one is fair game!

      January 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  65. Kenneth Close

    Wolf, I know you guys love this, but do you ever get to tghe point where you just want to throw up your hands and say enough.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  66. Paul_I

    Sort of. Newt has had his gloves off. Mitt doesn't know how to fight without gloves. Newt is Mike Tyson of the debate world. Mitt is already missing a piece of one ear and likely to lose another this Thursday. We all love the spectacle of a loud-mouthed, arrogant, self-centered bully dominating the clumsy nerd. Newt will be king of the prom and also voted most-likely-to-succeed. (We all also know how the movie ends.)

    January 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  67. alphonse leong

    sadly, last week confirms you really can't be a nice guy and expect to win in politics

    January 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  68. Bud

    John King was right to ask Speaker Gingrich about his ex-wife's comments but he just asked it the wrong way. This issue is not just about his lack of morals or ethics back then . He says he has changed. Maybe he has. Maybe he has not but we don't know. This issue is his judgment. He uses his past record as his credentials to be president. But he used incredibly poor judgment in having an affair during a time when he was talking about family values and criticizing Pres Clinton for his affair. He used incredibly poor judgment which caused the ethics committee to fine him when he was Speaker, etc. So the issue is not just his poor morals. The issue is his poor judgment. He deserves to be challenged on this.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Dan5404

      What John actually asked him was "would you like to comment on that?", not anything accusatory. It was one of the two important news stories that everyone had been talking about all day, so why not get it out of the way early? Newt and a lot of the GOP/TP think if you even bring up such a topic, it is the "liberal media" being biased. That makes it easy to attack the messenger to deflect negative happenings.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • DENNA

        Make no mistake, Old Newt was just waiting for John King to bring it up. Unfortunately, it gave Newt the chance to take the "high road" foreign territory for him I might add. The audience clapped and hooted like a bunch of grade school kids in a signifying contest. But hey, the GOP have lowered their standards so much, that Newt looks like a good candidate. Well, he is not and should not be president.

        January 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Sam

      Another well written comment! I agree 100%

      January 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  69. Max

    Democrats wants him

    Good for Gingrich! that's exactly who we (democrats) want to face Obama. Our strategy of attacking Romney is working so far and we will keep the pressure on voters NOT to elect Romney, so we'll have Gingrich with all his baggage to run against Obama.

    Go Gingrich go....good showing! We democrats wants to face you.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

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