We are witnessing a whole new level of enmity from the powers that be in the GOP.
Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen write:
"Newt Gingrich better hope voters who lapped up his delicious hits on the “elite media” and liberals don’t read the Drudge Report this morning.
Or the National Review. Or the American Spectator. Or Ann Coulter.
If they do, Gingrich comes off looking like a dangerous, anti-Reagan, Clintonian fraud.
It’s as if the conservative media over the past 24 hours decided Gingrich is for real, and they need to come clean about the man they really know before it’s too late. This is just a sampling of what’s hitting Newt:
The overnight Drudge Report banner: “Insider: Gingrich repeatedly Insulted Reagan.” The headline linked to a devastating takedown by Elliott Abrams in the National Review, who wrote, among other things, that Gingrich had a long record of criticizing and undermining Reagan’s most transformative policies.
Drudge also linked prominently to the American Spectator’s R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s similarly harsh takedown of Gingrich over character: “William Jefferson Gingrich.” In it, Tyrrell writes: “Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping… His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out."
The brutality of Newt's own party's attacks on him is matched by its breadth. Michael Dougherty is stunned:
"The entire GOP establishment has unleashed on Newt Gingrich this week, and it looks like it is slowing his momentum in the polls.
Almost all of the anti-Newt Gingrich material hitting the media is coming from conservative institutions: National Review, The New York Sun, and the Washington Times.
Just look at the Drudge Report from last night and early this morning.
The number one news source for many populist and conservative readers, looks like an anti-Gingrich pinboard. There are twelve anti-Gingrich links leading the site." EMPHASIS OURS
It remains to be seen how this will impact the upcoming Florida ballot but, tonight's debate, the last for some time to come, is taking on new importance as it's Newt' final chance to widely push back. Today's perfect storm of criticism could potentially provoke the kind of savage rhetorical throat cutting that was so conspicuously absent from him at the previous debate.
I think it's possible the GOP establishment has made a terrible mistake by not waiting to fire some of their big guns. It's Newt's supreme nastiness and taste for revenge that got him the win in South Carolina. The base doesn't like "nice Newt." I find it very unlikely that "nice Newt" will be making an appearance this evening.
What's more, many members of the GOP base have been publicly rebuking their own establishment leaders recently. They may just rally behind Gingrich to spite them.