Scott Conroy reports on Newt Gingrich's unbelievable moment last night at a meeting with Delaware tea party leaders.
“I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through,” Gingrich said during the private meeting -- to which RealClearPolitics was granted access -- at Wesley College. “In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact.”
.... Gingrich did not pull his punches in accusing Rupert Murdoch -- the chairman and CEO of News Corp., FOX News’ parent company -- of pushing for Romney behind the scenes.
“I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point [who] said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney,’ ” Gingrich said. “And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches FOX.”
Couple things here.
1. Both Gingrich and Santorum have had watershed breaks from their former employer, Fox News, in this campaign.
Santorum claimed they were "shilling" for Romney, and now Gingrich accuses them of being more biased than CNN (mortal sin), while attacking their tagline "Fair and Balanced" (an even bigger sin).
Then, to complete the bridge burn, he lights and blows up Rupert Murdoch. Even Patton would have been like "Bro, don't close doors, man."
2. I can't find numbers proving it off the top, but I think both Gingrich and Santorum have made many, many more appearances on Fox News since stepping into the race than Romney, who's been very spare with even the conservative media.
Santorum has been on Greta's show constantly, as has Newt, and Gingrich seems to particularly gravitate towards Hannity.
If Fox News were truly shilling for Romney, they wouldn't be giving his opponents vastly more air time to directly make their case to Fox viewers.
3. Both Newt and Santorum's rantics have come during desperate times. Santorum's came on March 13 -- better known as "after the pivotal Michigan and Ohio primaries, which Santorum lost."
Gingrich's lot was desperate long ago, but this is Newt -- an active volcano that demands gifts and sacrifices for appeasement, and even after that, might blow up.
4. Newt's lash also included a pounding of George Will.
Gingrich said that Will was among the conservative media figures who harbored “personal jealousy” against him.
“In the case of Will, I was on [George] Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning with him, and it was kind of a ‘You’re not allowed to run for office -- I mean, if you could run for office, why am I not running for office?’ ” Gingrich said. “And it’s almost like they were personally offended. You know, ‘This can’t be real, and how can this guy go do that?’ I got that reaction from Will a few years back about writing a book because I’m supposed to be a politician. He’s supposed to be the writer. Well, I’ve now written 24 books, and 13 of them are New York Times bestsellers. I mean, there’s a morning when George ought to just get over it.”
Now Will has been really derisive of Gingrich, but he's been pretty critical about the entire field, and absolutely ripped Mitt Romney in October, writing an entire column called "Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate"
Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate.
In fact, last year, Gingrich even cited Will's column against Mitt!
5. Newt might be done with his war on Romney, but he still clearly holds some huge grudges against the conservative media. That's good for copy; bad for salvaging whatever was left of his his candidacy.