master debaters

Newt Gingrich Tried to Make Nice With Debate Moderators During Commercial Breaks

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), speaks during a Fox News, Wall Street Journal sponsored debate
Before you even start, I just want to say that this question, this debate, and the entire news media are travesties. Please continue. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In case it wasn’t obvious enough that Newt Gingrich’s frequent condescending scoldings of debate moderators were nothing more than a superficial bit of theater he put on for the cameras, a new e-book by Real Clear Politics writers Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon reveals that Gingrich would often approach the moderators afterwards, during commercial breaks, and try to be friends. It doesn’t seem like it was a totally successful strategy:

Bevan and Cannon write that during the commercial break after his lecturing of [Fox News’s Juan] Williams, Gingrich “revealed it was nothing personal by coming over to Juan Williams and asking if the journalist had read a Civil War novel Gingrich had written and recently sent to Williams’ office at Fox News. One of the characters was a black soldier, and Gingrich wanted to know Williams’ opinion.”

After his showdown with [CNN’s John] King, Gingrich also strolled over to the moderator during a commercial break immediately afterward.

Great debate so far,” Gingrich said to King, prompting King to laugh and say, “I thought I was ’despicable.’”

“No, it’s a great debate,” Gingrich said.

It’s also possible that Gingrich has the same memory problem as the guy from Memento, which would also explain why he has “Remember Sammy Jankis” tattooed on his left hand. 

Gingrich Made Nice With Debate Moderators