- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 22, 2012

SEEKING A NEWT MOMENT

Mitt Romney needs a “Newt moment” to woo voters who now revere Newt Gingrich for his attack on CNN anchor John King in the last Republican presidential debate. The 19th bout looms Monday night; it’s NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ turn to wrangle the GOP hopefuls. Inquiring minds wonder: Mr. Romney is said to be the liberal left’s candidate of choice to take on President Obama. Will Mr. Williams tee him up for an image-building outburst? Indeed, candidates can now grab a rogue bounce among the sizable voting bloc that loathes the press.

Gingrich won South Carolina because he refused to succumb to assaults by the liberal media, and because conservatives are just as fed up as he is,” observes Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell. “He tapped into the anger and frustration of not only South Carolina voters, but the rest of the country. The left-wing media have tried to manipulate this campaign cycle through the systematic character assassination of every conservative in the race. The public has had it.”

Mr. Bozell adds, “Newt’s three competitors ought to push back against the media the same way he did this week. If they’re smart, they will emulate the refreshing assertiveness that propelled Newt to victory. Rush Limbaugh is right: the liberal media learned nothing, and will not stop. They are on a mission, and their mission to destroy these candidates continues.”

As for Mr. Gingrich, he begins his Florida campaign with a prayer, not a growl, perhaps. The Hillsborough County Republican Party hosts the candidate for an early afternoon rally at The River of Tampa Bay, an evangelical mega-church in Tampa.

PRO-LIFE FOREVER

“Respect for life has never been a political position for me: It’s who I am, and it’s who we are as a people.The cause of life endures in large part due to the vigilance of the American people, especially those who, led by Nellie Gray, march and pray in our nation’s capital each year at this time.”

- House Speaker John A. Boehner, who will deliver the opening remarks at the 39th annual March for Life on Monday, followed by the annual Rose Dinner, with keynote speaker Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II .

PRO-CHOICE FOREVER

“This Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.”

- President Obama, regarding the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

MONDAY VIEWING

Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, hosts a significant Conservative Black Forum at the U.S. Capitol at 10 a.m. Monday, joined by Republican Reps. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, among many.

“More than 95 percent of black voters voted Democrat in the last election. I am hoping Monday’s forum will begin to shed light on how we can change this status quo,” Mr. West says.

C-SPAN will broadcast the event live, to be followed by live coverage of the 39th annual March for Life at noon.

ANTHEMATIC

Steven Tyler screeched through the “Star Spangled Banner” before the AFC Championship game in New England on Sunday. But his was not the worst pregame national anthem, at least according to an online poll of some 1,600 people who listened to assorted versions from assorted public events at Deadspin.com, a sports news blog. Roseanne Barr’s 1990 performance won the bad anthem derby, followed by Carl Lewis’s moment in 1993, Christina Aguilera (2011) and Michael Bolton (2003).

SANTORUM’S DEFENDERS

Rick Santorum is “the best candidate to bring together social conservatives, national defense conservatives, economic conservatives, and the newly energized constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party,” states a group of 34 conservatives who have reaffirmed their endorsement of Mr. Santorum as the Republican presidential nominee. His defenders include:

Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams, American Values President Gary Bauer, CatholicVote.org President Brian Burch, philanthropist and attorney Tim Busch, radio host Penna Dexter, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Center for Military Readiness founder Elaine Donnelly, World Net Daily Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah, Heritage Alliance President Richard Ford, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy member Maggie Gallagher, marketing executive Rebecca Hagelin, Capitol Resource Institute Chairman Tim LeFever, retired Texas Court of Appeals Justice Paul Pressler and wife Nancy Pressler, former member of Congress and Eagle Forum of Illinois President Penny Pullen and Conservative HQ.com Chairman Richard A. Viguerie.

POLL DU JOUR

• 48 percent of “very conservative” Republican primary voters in South Carolina voted for Newt Gingrich; 19 percent voted for Mitt Romney.

• 41 percent of “somewhat conservative” voters in the state voted for Mr. Gingrich; 30 percent voted for Mr. Romney.

• 31 percent of moderate to liberal Republicans voted for Mr. Gingrich; 34 percent voted for Mr. Romney.

• 45 percent of tea party supporters voted for Mr. Gingrich; 25 percent voted for Mr. Romney.

• 44 percent of evangelical or born-again Christians voted for Mr. Gingrich; 22 percent voted for Mr. Romney.

• 44 percent of the South Carolina primary voters overall decided who to vote for on the day of the election.

• 44 percent decided in the days preceding the election.

Source: Edison Research/National Election Poll exit surveys of 2,381 Republican primary voters in 35 South Carolina voting places conducted Saturday.

Polls, shouts and murmurs to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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