By Dick Morris on December 16, 2011

In yesterday’s Fox News debate, Newt Gingrich probably arrested the slide he has experienced over the past few days as attacks on his electability accumulate. With a brilliant debate performance, the former Speaker reminded us what a great speaker – and debater – he is. Wisely, he rebutted charges that he can’t win by emphasizing that he can destroy Obama in debates – his universally acknowledged forte.

Newt’s answers on defense, judicial activism, and social conservatism were splendid, eloquent and, even profound.

Romney was Romney. Never rising to Newt’s heights, he was always steady, reliable, constant, unflappable, strong, presidential, and controlled. If Newt is like a male tennis ace, making serves that are impossible to return, but sometimes missing entirely, Mitt is like a woman’s tennis star – a steady volleyer who always returns the ball. Romney did not hurt himself, but Newt really helped himself.

The loser was Ron Paul. After a series of economic and domestic policy debates, Paul reminded us what a disaster he is on foreign policy. Channeling Neville Chamberlin, he advocated appeasement, claimed that Iran only hated us because we mess with them, and supported disarming ourselves in the war on terror. In the late 30s, he would have been an America-firster, opposing involvement in the “foreign war” to stop Hitler. Today, he makes it evident that he could care less what happens to Israel and is prepared to use “diplomacy” to talk our way out of trouble. Bismarck once said “diplomacy without the threat of force behind it is like music without instruments.”

The runner up was Michele Bachmann. She is, obviously, the truest of the conservatives. She always makes the right choice on issues and stands by her principles. She is articulate, forceful, factual, well informed, cerebral, and able. She deserves more than a fifth place finish in Iowa. She’s right on the debt limit. She was right on TARP. She was right on health care. She’s a solid reliable social conservative. And she’s the only candidate up there about whom all that can be said (except perhaps for Santorum).

So look for Newt to move up. Michele to gain. Paul to crash. And Romney to stay steady as a result of the best debate so far.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Please leave a comment below - I would love to hear what you think! Thanks, Dick

  • northern owl on December 17, 2011 12:24 pm

    Can we all lay-off Paul? His supporters are relevant. Have they no place at the table of conservatism? A younger segment of voters virtually ignored by the GOP? I am stupified by the lack of outreach and organization. Where is Reice Priebus on this one? If the party is “tolerant” enough to agree to beat their drums and wave their flags for “Big Government Newt”, why not accept a Constitutionalist and his followers? Rather than wasting our time indulging Newt and his visions for a brave New World, why not garner a portion of the new generation of voters. The GOP failed to properly sheperd in the military votes cast for the GOP in 2008. Will someone please gather this flock?

  • jimheiner on December 17, 2011 6:29 pm

    I agree with most of your analysis, except for Bachmann. She violated the 11th commandment, and frankly, her attacks on Newt made me angry. She has proclaimed herself a conservative. Great. But her experience? 5 years as a US Rep? We need a nominee/next President with experience, knowledge, and WISDOM. Wisdom comes with age and experience. Obama would eat her alive in a debate. And Ron Paul’s followers remind me of Obama’s supporters from 2008 – blind loyalty to a perceive savior. Sorry, Ron, I agree with many of your views, but your foreign policy would be a disaster.

  • JimDirect on December 17, 2011 8:46 pm

    Just as I had mentioned earlier. It seems to be damaging Newt more since the debate.

    He was not able to minimize or lay to rest the Freddie Mac payments he received. This will be one of those issues that will follow him from state to state.

    “The term ‘government-sponsored enterprise’ has a very wide range of things that do a great deal of good,” Gingrich said, defending his $1.6 million consulting fee for Freddie Mac. “There are a lot of very good institutions that are government-sponsored.”

    Such comments wouldn’t raise eyebrows among independent or Democratic voters. But they may open Gingrich to questions from the staunch conservatives who dominate GOP caucuses and primaries.

    Republican consultant Alex Castellanos said via Twitter there will be “zillions of negative ads still dropping on Newt’s head in Iowa after this debate.”

    As the Iowa vote neared, Gingrich’s decision to take the weekend off from campaigning raised eyebrows given his rivals’ busy schedules. Gingrich called the decision “pacing.” Unfortunately President Obama does too much pacing as President with all his golf outings and vacations.

    Newt hasn’t set up his organization completely to run in the primaries yet. But I’m sure if he wins the primaries he will start his fund raising and set up his organization to defeat President Obama. Maybe Obama will go on vacation until Newt is ready.

    Obama can not win another four years. At least a lot of the other candidates are taking their runs very seriously.

  • mperoni101 on December 18, 2011 12:14 am

    Des Moines Register endorses Mitt Romney. Woot!

  • DJHaas on December 18, 2011 9:43 pm

    I’m sorry but I can not agree with your analysis. While Newt did perform well he did not hold up well to some of the attacks from Bachmann. In particular the Fannie and Freddie situation. He might not have been lobbying directly, but you of all people should know that the former Speaker of the House held some influence over some Republicans in Congress. He would not have to lobby specifically his presence would do that for him, even if it wasn’t intentional. I would argue further that his comment on how he does not work with people unless he shares their views would further blur this situation for him. Along with continued support of Government Supported housing programs. People still have the bad taste in their mouth from the housing market collapse, and I just don’t see this element working out for him. I believe it was clear that Bachmann had him flustered with this issue. He usually handles himself better.

    Romney was not only as you said typical Romney, but I believe he was much more. Newt even gave him the nod with the budget deal where he suggested changes to the Paul Ryan Plan. In addition I believe Romney is solidifying his stance as the correct economic choice for the Presidency. He’s beginning to stand out more and I predict will start drawing the votes of those Conservatives who care deeply about getting the economy going again.

    I say all of these things trying to remain objective. I am of the opinion that it will be either Newt or Romney. Both would be successful as President, but right now Romney would seem to be the better choice. I’d be happy to debate this with you further if you have the time.

  • romangut on December 19, 2011 9:14 am

    I cannot agree with you, Dick. Romney was stately and calm while Newt could not coherently explain his “not-so-lobbying” gig with Fredie and his defense of GSEs. Newt is indeed brilliant, but he is so full of himself, that as much as Obama is arrogant, put them both in the same room, and you will have no space for anything else. It was a cheap shot against Romney who I like more and more. Maybe it was a nice metaphor by comparing him to a woman tennis player vs. ace-hitting Newt. While Newt is playing for a single slam championship match, it will only place him in a semi-final where he is certainly to lose in a final match in straight sets. Mitt, though, has a great chance to win the tournament with may be an underwhelming serve and no drop shots, but classical forehand and backhand. For Republicans, though, it will be tough to pitch for an unpredictable Newt. He might be the best ever debater, but we are not looking for a debater- or historian- or professor-in-chief. We already got one in the White House and look at the results.

  • northern owl on December 19, 2011 10:46 am

    If Speaker Gingrich isn’t careful about his “occasional” haughtiness, people may revert back to:
    No Newt is Good Newt.
    Hopefully, for the party’s sake, he will temper himself. He has alot to offer, but often it is too utopian.

  • parkerda on December 21, 2011 12:10 am


    I was told by a true fellow patriot about your ridiculous comments regarding Dr. Paul and was compelled to track them down for myself. Once at your “site” and realizing that after four days a whopping 16 people have commented on your remarks I realized that you are completely irrelevant and that makes me feel much better…thanks

  • stevegold on December 22, 2011 4:04 pm

    “Ron Paul’s foreign policy would be a disaster”. What do you call the last two presidents foreign policy? A success? Going into an undeclared war on a tactic “terror”, by the way there were no weapons of mass destruction, and yes Dr. Paul voted against the war that killed 3 times more people than died in 911. Terriorism has been around for a very long time. If any of you on this thread believe that our current foreign policy causes people to like us, then obviously you are the screwballs. Just like almost all of Dr. Paul’s views, he looks to get to the root of the problem. Why do people hate us and want to kill us. I can assure you it is not because we are Free and prosperous. If they are just terrorist’s then why are they not attacking Switzerland?

  • Stanley Clamhammer on December 25, 2011 2:42 pm

    The polls show you to be completely wrong, dick.

  • Sam Elliott on December 25, 2011 4:09 pm


  • Timmy Lynch on December 26, 2011 5:58 am

    "So look for Newt to move up. Michele to gain. Paul to crash. And Romney to stay steady as a result of the best debate so far."

    I hope you never decide to become a pollster. That prediction was more inaccurate than Kim Jong Il's reported golf scores.