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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum’

As South Carolina Polls Close, FNC, NBC Declare Newt Gingrich Winner; CNN Waits

At 7pmET as the polls in South Carolina closed, Fox News and MSNBC returned from a commercial break and made the call that Newt Gingrich had won the primary there. On CNN, no call was made despite exit polls showing Gingrich in the lead. “We want to make sure that those exit polls (38% for Gingrich, 29% for Romney) are accurate, so we’re not ready to project a winner,” said Wolf Blitzer around 7:02pm. “But it looks like a very good night for Newt Gingrich.”

“It’s more important to be right, than first,” Blitzer added around 7:09pm.

Brian Williams on NBC, Diane Sawyer and David Muir on ABC and Scott Pelley on CBS anchored special reports. While ABC also projected Gingrich the winner, CBS estimated a Gingrich lead at the time of the 7pmET updates.

With Gingrich winning South Carolina, three different GOP candidates have taken the first three contests. Earlier today, the Iowa republican party declared Rick Santorum the winner there, and Mitt Romney took New Hampshire January 10.

> Update: CNN projects Gingrich the winner at 7:34pmET. Mark Preston, CNN’s political director pulled back the curtain telling Anderson Cooper why the call was made 34 minutes after other networks: “We got enough of the raw vote in, the real vote that people cast. We focused on the counties we thought Newt Gingrich would do well in. We put this formula together, our exit poll team — which is our pollster, and our political folks — crunch it together, that’s how we get it.”

> More: FBN’s Neil Cavuto was on the phone with Gingrich at 7pm as he was declared winner by Fox: “You have won South Carolina. We are calling this race for you. So congratulations there, sir.” “Wow. Thank you,” said Gingrich. (Video after the jump)

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Gingrich Blasts CNN, ABC Over Ex-Wife’s Tale: ‘I am astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate’

At the start of tonight’s GOP debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, moderator John King asked Newt Gingrich about the ABC News interview in which Gingrich’s second wife claims Newt asked her to engage in an open marriage. Not only did he deny it, he bawled out King and CNN for daring ask about it:

“I think the destructive vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.”

After much applause, Gingrich continued, “To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary, a significant question in a presidential campaign, is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.”

Gingrich said his two daughters wrote the head of ABC “and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and I am, frankly, astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.”

King jumped in, “As you noted, Mr. Speaker, this story did not come from our network. As you also know, it is the subject of conversation on the campaign…”

“John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don’t blame it on somebody else. You and your staff chose to start the debate with it,” Gingrich said, to more applause. “Now, let me be quite clear. The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period says the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren’t interested because they would like to attack any republican. I’m tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking republicans.”

With that Gingrich got a standing ovation from the crowd, and King moved on asking each candidate whether this should be an issue in the campaign. While Rick Santorum and Ron Paul gave measured responses, Mitt Romney said: “John, let’s get on to the real issues. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Video after the jump…

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Hours Before CNN Debate, Rick Perry Drops out of GOP Race

The TV networks are reporting Rick Perry will hold an 11amET news conference at which he will announce he’s dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination for president. The week started with six candidates and by tonight’s CNN debate in South Carolina there will be just four on the stage: Gingrich, Paul, Romney and Santorum.

CNN’s Peter Hamby was first with the news, with the network reporting it at 9:11, Chuck Todd on MSNBC reported “the chatter” about Perry at 9:18 (getting confirmation at 9:33), Fox Business also reported the news at 9:18, citing CNN, and Fox News reported the story at 9:24am getting confirmation at 9:40.

The Perry news came just hours after reports that Rick Santorum did, in fact, get more votes — 34 more — in the Iowa Caucus than Mitt Romney. With Perry dropping out, his likely endorsement of Newt Gingrich and the interview with Marianne Gingrich — second wife of Newt — scheduled to air later today on ABC, Santorum’s win in Iowa will likely be overshadowed most of the day.

Bret Baier Grabs Rick Santorum After Sky Live Shot

This will make Rupert Murdoch proud.

Outside St. Anselm College in Manchester this morning Bret Baier was doing a live shot for Fox Business. Standing next to him was Rick Santorum — the former FNC contributor now running for president — doing a Q&A with FOX’s British cousin Sky News. Not to miss an opportunity, Baier grabbed Santorum and brought him into the FBN shot. “See what happens? You’re doing a live shot and you get a quick interview,” said Baier.


Staff Changes at MSNBC

Some internal moves at MSNBC this week, and one new face added to the contributor mix. TVNewser has learned Robert Traynam, a former Comcast Network host, will join as a political analyst, while continuing as a columnist for Philadelphia Tribune. Before TV news, Traynham worked on Capitol Hill as a top aide to former senator, now GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Also, Robert Gifford has left the “Morning Joe” team and has been named senior producer of “Now with Alex Wagner.” And Matt Pitzer has been named senior producer for “Andrea Mitchell Reports” after working for the last year on the NoonET hour.

On Caucus Morning, Former FNC Analyst Rick Santorum Watched CNN & Got Advice from Rupert Murdoch

On “John King, USA,” last night Iowa Caucus runner-up Rick Santorum said he and his wife were watching CNN’s Election coverage after his speech – early Wednesday morning. The one-time Fox News analyst told King how he and his wife ended their late night: “I’ll admit, we watched CNN until you guys. I was listening to the… your package you had before, Jeanne Moos‘ package. And I was reliving it, because I was watching that late at night and enjoying the coverage. So, yes, we were just sitting there watching it and she eventually just fell asleep watching it. And that was — that was sort of the end of our evening.”

Santorum has a fan in News Corp. Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch who, on New Year’s Day Tweeted, “Good to see [S]antorum surging in Iowa. Regardless of policies, all debates showed principles, consistency and humility like no other.” Wednesday morning, Murdoch added, “Well, well! Values DO count. Santorum result pretty amazing. Policy very similar to Reagan. Now start to sound like him.”

Cablers Stay Up Late, Start Early Covering Closest GOP Presidential Contest Ever

The only thing closer than last night’s vote, ending at 2:33pmET, is no finish at all (2000 anyone?) With just 8 votes, Mitt Romney took first place in the Iowa Caucuses over Rick Santorum. The candidates are making the news rounds this morning after what was a late night for all and an early start for some, including CNN’s 3-day old “Early Start.”

At 3amET, CNN’s studio of stars was still going. “We are still on the air, long after we thought we wouldn’t be,” said Anderson Cooper, calling it “the special CNN after dark edition.” On Fox News, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly stayed on until 3amET, with Baier signing off: “My flight back to Washington is in 6 hours.” On MSNBC Chris Hayes began anchoring coverage at 1amET and continued until 3amET.

Signing off at 2:39amET, FBN’s Neil Cavuto couldn’t help tweak his competitors on CNBC. “A certain rival network was and is in taped programming much of the night,” said Cavuto. “A historic battle in the republican party just got started and the so-called financial network of record is in reruns. We aren’t stopping, we are here around the clock.”

The earlier of CNN’s two new morning shows, “Early  Start with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin” went on an hour early at 4amET after Cooper and company turned in. “I’m kind of looking for Serve Pro,” joked Banfield, looking around the Atlanta studio. “The election center just cleared out.”

Is Wolf Blitzer Ready for ‘Bullies like Gingrich?’

It might look like the three other debates held on CNN this primary season, but the photo above is the stage for tonight’s GOP debate — the 11th of the primary season. CNN is teaming up with The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute for the debate at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. Wolf Blitzer moderates and at the podiums above, from left to right, will stand Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman.

In the past few debates — as he’s climbed in the polls — Gingrich has made a point of calling out the style and moderating of the TV debates. Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik has some advice for Blitzer in this regard:

There’s a civil but firm way to deal with bullies like Gingrich in follow-up questions and remarks, and I hope Blitzer will use his stature and intelligence to do that tonight. I’ll put Blitzer’s professional experience and John Hopkins University graduate education in international politics up against Gingrich’s education and intellectual track record any day.

CNN Slates Criteria, Candidates for GOP Debate

CNN has announced the criteria and participating candidates for its Republican Presidential primary debate, which will be held a week from tomorrow in new Hampshire. John King will serve as moderator of the debate, which will be produced in conjunction with WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

CNN set specific criteria that candidates had to meet in order to participate, and those that made the cut are former House Speaker (and ex-Fox News contributor) Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator (and ex-FNC contributor) Rick Santorum.

Former Fox News Contributor Rick Santorum to make 2012 Announcement on ‘Good Morning America’

Can you feel the anticlimax in the air? Former Pennsylvania Senator and Fox News Channel contributor Rick Santorum has announced that he will make an announcement about his intentions for 2012 Monday, and ABC “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos has the first interview.

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