Chuck Norris endorses Newt Gingrich at the very last minute possible, I mean seriously dude if you’d waited any longer you would have missed the South Carolina primary

Mitt Romney, this is your future.

So, whoever is writing Newt Gingrich’s tweets: kudos, this was funny.

Personally, I can’t imagine a worse endorsement, but then again I’m not running in the South Carolina Republican primary any more than Gingrich will be running in the Virginia Republican primary.

Norris is, of course, the action-star-turned-raving-rightwinger who believes that progressives and icky gay people are ruining –ruiningour public school system through systematic brainwashing and some other nonsense:

The impact of progressivism is being experienced by students across this land, hundreds of thousands of whom already have cried out with complaints of academic inequity. A sampling of the hundreds of student grievances from across the academic spectrum can be found on Students For Academic Freedom’s website.

It is also no surprise that an average of 6,000 students every year are leaving the approximately 94,000 public schools in America. If the powers-to-be over our public schools, such as government and unions, continue to oppose conservative curricula and impose overarching liberal educational revisions and laws, public schools will continue to experience an exodus.

To be fair, this fits nicely with Gingrich’s own platform of racist remarks about food-stamp recipients and his reference to the Civil War recently as “The War Between The States” and other totally crazy panderings to what he imagines the Southern contingent of the GOP want to hear.

Romney may have no soul, but Gingrich has no honor. Not that he needs much for his line of work.

In any case, South Carolina looks like it’s going to Newt. We could all be surprised, but as Jim Newell argues:

Newt Gingrich is going to win the South Carolina presidential primary tomorrow. Not just because he yelled at two debate moderators for asking him debate questions this week, which brought him up about 20 percentage points in the polls. That wasn’t enough to close the deal. But now that television survivalist Chuck Norris has endorsed him in a meditative World Net Daily piece, Romney’s got no chance.

I can’t even tell if I’m joking anymore. Newt Gingrich is a viable contender for the presidency in 2012. If that sentence isn’t a joke, then there are no jokes.

Yes, these tears are from laughter.

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Newt’s CNN Debate Win in South Carolina – Will It Be Enough?

Newt won his second South Carolina debate in a row.

Politico has Newt Gingrich seven points behind Romney among likely voters at 30%. After tonight’s debate, Gingrich may close that gap further. Romney floundered once again on the issue of his tax returns. He took a beating on both Romneycare and abortion. His confidence seems diminished.

Meanwhile Newt has this incredible way of segueing between attacks on Obama and attacks on Romney. Once again Newt is showing off his debating skills and his ability to sound reasonable while saying seriously crazy things all at the same time. His arrogance is galling but the crowd loves him.

I personally loved how Ron Paul took the issue of government healthcare and segued into military spending. He was the only one of the four who seemed to actually care that real people do actually depend on government benefits whether or not he believes in those programs.

Santorum did fine, but he didn’t rile up the crowd. He’s very good at sounding sincere. He has a certain maudlin folksiness to him that the GOP base enjoys. But they enjoy Newt more. Santorum rambles, Newt cuts right to the quick. Romney was on the defense almost all night, even in his pleas for Republican unity. Newt managed to call for unity while going on the offense.

This was a bad night for Romney and another win for Newt. Paul wasn’t at his best, but it doesn’t really matter. South Carolina is obviously not Paul territory. The real question is whether this and the last debate can propel Newt into fighting territory against Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has never looked so weak.

As Andrew Sullivan notes, “Every minute he speaks about this in this forum he loses votes.” Can Romney lose the electability race to Gingrich – a man who is on his third marriage, spent years lobbying for the housing industry just before the crash, and wracked up an absurd credit line at Tiffany’s?

It’s almost inconceivable.

But the Bain Capital record isn’t going anywhere. There’s something fishy about these tax returns and Romney’s inability to just release them to the public. Something is rotten.

The difference between Romney and Gingrich is that we’re all pretty sure we know the details of Gingrich’s dirty laundry by now. Even his ex-wife’s tell-all interview isn’t going to shine any new light on the former speaker.

Romney, on the other hand, remains something of a closed book. I bet that makes some voters nervous.

The devil you know can be a comfortable vote, and at this point I think a lot of conservatives are taking a second look at Gingrich whose warts they’ve basically come to terms with. His response to the accusations leveled at him by his ex-wife on ABC had the audience in a standing ovation, effectively turning a damning revelation into just another reason to go after the mainstream media.

One has to admire Gingrich’s tenacity at moments like these even if 90% of what he says is absolute garbage.

We know who Newt Gingrich is – but what lies beneath Romney’s slick exterior? Republicans can’t be certain. Will it give them pause this Saturday in South Carolina?

Update. Josh Marshall describes Gingrich’s performance and especially his broadside against debate moderator John King quite well:

It all started (and in a sense ended) with Newt’s ferocious broadside against John King for raising the “open marriage” story. The whole thing was a put-up job in reality. But for his intended audience, it was a masterstroke. And it was classic Newt. Take the mammoth offensive whether you have a leg to stand on or not and just go with it. It turned the whole thing into an outrage drama against the “mainstream media.” The cynicism of Newt’s tirade was on display post-debate when he complimented King for doing a great job moderating the debate. But again, doesn’t matter. He nailed it. That set the tone for the debate, virtually ensured that no one would touch the issue for the next two hours and instantly drew off all the Newt-tension hovering over the debate.

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