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Blitzer’s blog: Was Gingrich’s cruise a smart idea?
June 8th, 2011
02:03 PM ET

Blitzer’s blog: Was Gingrich’s cruise a smart idea?

What was Newt Gingrich thinking? He announces he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination and then goes on vacation with his wife, Callista. Not just any vacation. Not a vacation in the Grand Canyon enjoying America’s majesty. Not a vacation in Florida or California where there are so many wonderful places to relax. But he goes on an exclusive and expensive cruise in the Mediterranean to the Greek Isles and Turkey. Hats off to Politico for breaking the story.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the Seabourn Odyssey is fabulous. The pictures of the cabins look great. I’ve also been to the Mediterranean and it’s wonderful. But if you’re serious about becoming President of the United States, does it make any sense to go on a European cruise immediately after declaring you’re a presidential candidate?

Does it also make any sense to go on such a cruise after acknowledging you had a $500,000 credit limit at Tiffany’s in New York? I know he paid off all his bills. He says he now has no outstanding debt. But these are not exactly actions that reinforce the notion that he’s a man of the people.

And the cruise occurred shortly after his surprising criticism of Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan and the uproar that followed.

Gingrich is now back home and will participate in the CNN New Hampshire GOP presidential debate next Monday. I have covered him for many years. He’s a very smart guy with lots of intriguing ideas. But I also think it’s fair to say he has a lot of work to do to convince Republican voters out there that he’s serious about this campaign.

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Filed under: 2012 election • Politics • Situation Room • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Andi

    Hey Wolf. You know if you are rich, you're rich. The fact is though that these people actually think that the American voters are not smart enough to determine that they're in it for the money and not for the people. That's the actual insult. He can go on all the cruises he wants to, but if you're not in it for the people, then happy sailing to you. Bye Newty!

    June 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Greg in Cabot, Arkansas

    Titanic decision if he thinks he can count on the middle class American vote.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  3. V I Chaucer

    Come on now, what's the big deal? First of all, I am sure his wife paid for the thing. Second of all, he's not going to win.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  4. Ronnie Harper

    What? What is one of his intriguing ideas – do tell. . .? He's about as intriguing as a ham sandwich.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  5. xmonkeyfistsx

    I wonder how many people in his state alone could really use a sandwhich right now...theres an idea for running for president...instead of a lavish vacation, spend all ythat money on peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and milk cartons and bottled water andlook to your left to find the hungry unemployed blue collar who your evil coorperation and political parties irresponsibility took a job a car a house and a life away from not to long ago! ...vote4yourself....

    June 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  6. Zombie

    WOW!! What a joke, this guy is an idiot, just like the rest of GOP canidates, and if the media whore (palin) wins we are all boned. The only one im voting for is Ron Paul.


    June 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Greg Kells

      I'm a Ron Paul supporter myself, but Gingrich is no idiot. If your political ideology revolves around the legalization of weed, you probably wouldn't understand the complexities of Gingrich's ideas. He's obviously not taking this campaign seriously, but that doesn't discount his integrity and intelligence.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  7. 14Mickey

    What's the big deal? He can't win the nomination anyway, and taking your wife on a cruise is a great idea regardless of circumstances. Anyway, I took my wife on a similar cruise that included those countries a few years ago......if anyone has a problem with that, smack yourself hard, and quickly (and by the way, I'm not a Republican).

    June 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  8. Paul Jones

    I like Gingrich. He's a very smart guy, but is a bit too far right and should stick to commentary, which he is great at.

    June 8, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  9. Call it right Wolf

    Hey Wolf, great story. Now how about covering how the SITTING President keeps taking vacations. So if you announce you are running, you can't take a vacation, but if you are currently the President, then you can fly all over the country and the world, taking vacation after vacation while the economy is in the toilet. This is exactly the double standard in the media you all keep denying exists. Either cover it the same for both parties or don't cover it at all.

    June 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  10. Mary Ann

    Just a thought-nobody at CNN made a big deal when our "elected" president went to Spain instead of the Gulf after the oil spill. What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

    June 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  11. Bob

    How can you criticize Gingrich when the USA has a President who travels at his leisure costing the USA millions of dollars and vacations at will. How about taking Obama to task for wasting tax-payer money on all the non-productive trips that he enjoys? How about Obama staying in Washington DC and trying to do something to help the citizens of the United States for a change?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ronnie Harper

      How is it over there in Uninformedville?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  12. Bill Carey

    Was Gingrich’s cruise a smart idea? It wasn't smart and it wasn't dumb. It is not an issue because it happened now so far away from the primary elections. It is only a question because Wolf Blitzer makes it a question. A great example of "The Situation Room" fabricating negative stories about Republicans. I keep hoping CNN will change back to when it was a source of fair and even-handed news. Sadly, those days are long gone.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  13. Anissa

    It was not a smart idea for Gingrich to take a cruise right after he announces he's running for the Republican Presidential nomination. Of course, he is allowed to take vacations but this one was very costly, not to mention bad timing. It doesn't look like he cares about conserving money when people don't have jobs and are struggling right now. Honestly, now is not the time for lavish vacations.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  14. jilli

    It doesn't really matter – gingrich will never be the nominee.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  15. Stephens

    Even tbhough he is not my kind of candidate, lay off your attacks on him as far as this trip goes. They most likely booked and paid for this trip 10-12 months ago.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  16. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    Sorry CNN, but I think this take on Newt's Mediterranean vacation is just way over the top. Cut the guy some slack. He works hard....let him and his wife take whatever vacation wherever they want when they want and find something else to fill your 5 PM news segment. By the way, I'm a Democrat.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  17. ed

    The same can be said about Bush's golfing / trips to the ranch... The same can be said about Obama's trips to Hawaii... All junk non-stories.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  18. idea4u

    Who gives a s**t if Newt goes on a cruise or has a credit limit at Tiffanys? You don't have something better to try and whitewash Newt over. You guys are such scum.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  19. Name*kens

    Is this blog serious, after a president that he and his family have wasted hundreds of millions of tax payers money to go on countless vacations and played to many rounds of golf to count? This is done during an economic meltdown and someome with their own money is questioned about their vacation. WOW.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  20. hrtk

    Newt is currently at the bilderburg meeting in sweden, why is cnn not covering the corrupt crook elites planning to destroy the dollar, censor internet, and bring in the north american union. Get Real, cnn is suppose to be the most trusted in news, but they are minions of the government controlled media. situate this:

    June 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  21. drogo, the stallion that mounts the world

    Newt is a train wreck. This narcissistic womanizer has no shame. His ideas are worthless because there is no constituency to make them happen. Newt will never be president, but he's having a merry time in the process.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  22. herpaderples

    Please, for the love of god, do not vote for this slime-bag.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  23. Blackman in America

    OK how about he has the SAME darn stupid and crazy attitude as most republicans..........................I am god I do what I want. What a jerk!

    June 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  24. slick

    Newt can forget it he doesn't have a chance. Sarah Palin wil win the republican nomination and will be the POTUS in 2012.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Loose Era

      One out of three... not too good.

      June 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • donnaskillet

      Palin will be POTUS? I don't think so. That ship permanently sailed away when she claimed to be the victim after the Arizona shooting tragedy.Do you really want to elect someone(Palin)whom is not as smart as you?

      June 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Whoosh

      Pipe Dreams to you slicker!

      June 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  25. xmonkeyfistsx

    If i were to run for president my focus would certainly be extroverted. i certainly wouldnt leave the country and if were on vacation why not pump my money back into the local economy? too many politicians are selfish and want office titles for selfish reasons. every republican has a hidden agenda...most democrats do too. the only real politicians that are in it for the people and our nation are in the military. we are in a sad state this country. our society has declined to the point where its ok to be apathetic or ignorant to those in need. coorperate greed has damaged our economy and our mentality. humanity is now disgusting, apathetic, self centered, and lazy. thanks alot jersey shore bush sr and jr, walmart and AIG. youve killed our culture and doomed our next generation...and imstaying right here to fight it. im a veteran of this war and im embarrassed to see my brothers and sisters come home to this like i did. if i werent wounded i would have been happy to stay where i was....

    June 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  26. AL

    Go Newt

    June 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  27. Mike Hobart

    Everyone says that Newt is a smart guy, and I felt that way for many years. He certainly is always generating ideas. But looking at the often-crazy nature of those ideas and his actions this year, one wonders if he is smart, or just someone who knows how to generate publicity. I now think that Newt's "smarts" are more the result of his self-promotion.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  28. Derek Smalls

    Newt is just misunderstood..... he's a really swell guy, ask any of his ex-wives.....

    June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  29. excitizen

    doesn't matter anyway – there's no way even the republicans will nominate him!

    June 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  30. carl

    anybody can go whereever they want. makes no difference if they are running for president. i don't think newt is right for the country for other reasons.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  31. Tara

    This has always been a man hungry for attention and who loves to shock everybody. So why should anything he does now be any different.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  32. Nigel Tufnel

    The press needs to lay off Newt. When you are a pasty, doughy old man with a hot have to buy expensive jewelry and go on expensive vacations.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

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