Newt Gingrich’s big applause line in the South Carolina CNN debate is coming back to bite him.
When moderator John King opened the debate with a question about allegations that his ex-wife made in an interview. Gingrich fired back, saying that his campaign offered several friends familiar with the situation to rebut ABC’s interview, but that the network refused to talk to them.
That wasn’t really true, his campaign now says.
Gingrich’s spokesman R.C. Hammond has told CNN that the only witnesses it offered to ABC were Gingrich’s two daughters from his first marriage. Not exactly the scores of “personal friends” that Gingrich promised as character witnesses in the debate, and promised again in a follow-up interview with King.
“It’s very easy to talk down a moderator,” Romney said. “The moderator asks a question and then has to sit by and take whatever you send to them. And Speaker Gingrich has been wonderful at attacking the moderators and attacking the media.”
Ultimately, the legacy of Gingrich’s big moment might not matter, as Gingrich’s South Carolina boost seems to be shrinking fast. Already the conservative media is uniting to sink Gingrich’s campaign, and new polls show that Gingrich is rapidly losing his lead in Florida.