If you know just a little bit about the GOP debate of 19 January 2012, then you probably know how Newt Gingrich responded to a question asked by CNN journalist John King, who moderated the debate.
As expected, conservative and Republican pundits are participating in the scolding of King. Yet, King has a defender from an unexpected source. During the 20 January 2012 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto – a FOX News program – Cavuto spoke in defense of King.
On the one hand, Cavuto defended the legitimacy of Gingrich’s response to King.
On the other hand, Cavuto defended the legitimacy of the question that King asked.
Cavuto himself served as a moderator during an earlier GOP debate, during which Gingrich tried to dodge a question that Cavuto asked. Cavuto did not permit Gingrich to escape the question.
Regarding the question that John King asked, Cavuto stated that he, too, would have asked the question had he been the moderator instead of King.
After making his commentary, Cavuto interviewed former Republican congressman J.C. Watts, who is a supporter of Gingrich. Although he questioned the timing of King’s question, Watts agreed that the question was a legitimate one to ask, and Watts was expecting King to ask the question.
It was no surprise that the members of the debate audience gave Gingrich a standing ovation after Gingrich responded. Plenty of people believe that MSM jounalists are in the tank for Obama. Gingrich is well aware of the prejudice against MSM jounalists, and he played to that prejudice.
Yet, the Nightline interview of Marianne Gingrich was the big political story of the day, and the story was not going away. It is normal for the big political story of the day to be discussed during a political debate, no matter who the story is about. Even if MSM journalists are in the tank for Obama, their questions about Republicans can still be legitimate, as it was in the case of John King’s question.
Neil Cavuto was not the only FOX News personality who supported the legitimacy of King’s question. During the episode of The Five that followed Cavuto’s show, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino talked about the need for people to be consistent when came to the things that should matter during a political contest. If Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity was a legitimate topic when he first ran for President, then Newt Gingrich’s marital infidelity is also a legitimate topic.
The Five panelist Greg Gutfeld criticized a portion of Gingrich’s response to King, during which Gingrich said, “Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things.” As Gutfeld correctly pointed out, Newt Gingrich is the one who inflicted pain on his then-wife Marianne, which is what the interview with her was all about.
You can paint CNN’s John King as being a media villain, but Newt Gingrich is no victim. This current brouhaha would not be happening if Gingrich had not committed adultery in the first place. Sure, the Bible says that God will forgive the sins of people who are repentant, but it does not say that God will remove the earthly consequences of those sins. Newt Gingrich is discovering what those earthly consequences are.
Gingrich could learn a lesson from that great philosopher Pogo, who said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
[P.S. No matter who the GOP nominee ends up being, I am still voting for ABO.]