This is the moment that cost Gingrich the debate and the nomination. You just can’t be a one-trick pony in this day and age.
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:
Newt Gingrich has repeatedly hidden behind a veil of Republican unity when it was to his advantage, while pulling out daggers when it wasn’t. I don’t begrudge him that. He’s running a campaign to be president of the United States. That’s his interest. In a debate setting, the interest of reporters (among others) is to make candidates defend their statements in detail.Often those two interests collide. That’s a feature, not a bug. It was good to see Wolf Blitzer–even with the crowd turning on him–lean into that collision a bit last night. The ref isn’t there to make sure the crowd cheers for him, or to make sure the combatants “approve” of him.
More seriously, Romney took advantage of this moment beautifully, dealing Newt the killing blow. Once Gingrich lost his footing it was just done. And this race is done. Romney is the nominee – or he will be soon enough.
More damning revelations about the Ron Paul newsletters probably won’t hurt Paul too badly at this point, but the congressman really doesn’t have a chance at winning at this point anyways. He’d be wise to go third party at this point, even though it guarantees Obama’s victory.
Obama is still better – in spite of his many civil liberties shortcomings – than Romney or Gingrich on innumerable issues of war and peace and torture. Paul going third party makes sense because sinking the real hawks in the Republican party makes sense, even if Obama is way to the left of Paul.