The former Speaker has been slipping in the polls and fallen out of the media eye and, thus, needed a breakout performance tonight. Going back to a proven strategy of attacking the media, Newt Gingrich garnered some of the biggest applause by taking the fight back to CNN and off the candidates who have given endless commentary on their personal views of social issues.
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"But I just want to point out you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. So let's be clear here, if we're going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues it is President Obama, who as a State Senator voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion."
And there was much rejoicing.
The GOP base has been begging their candidates to point out the hypocrisy of how the media treats Republicans in contrast with how they treated President Obama in the 2008 campaign. There weren't any debates that moderators brought up then-Senator Obama describing the infants that survived abortions as having “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead,” and then asking "why did you vote to protect doctors who allow these clearly alive children to die?" Which is, by the way, a legitimate question. [Bold my emphasis]
The press has given the President a pass on his weak response to the gay marriage issue. Obama can simply say that his views are "evolving" but the GOP candidates are subjected to being grilled about the nuances of their personal views on homosexuality. The media was very quick to bring up and keep the questions coming about DADT and other gay rights issues in previous GOP debates.
When the President is challenged about social issues he shows contempt to the media and begs, "Come on, guys!" And the media is happy to appease. The base that these candidates must engage is sick of seeing the intentional malpractice of reporters concerning legitimate comparisons between coverage of President Obama and the Republican candidates. Newt certainly had a big win during the debate with this tactic and the media and, by extension, President Obama suffered a loss. The more frustrated the American people become with the mainstream media, the less they will trust their coverage. When this election is narrowed down to the President and the eventual GOP contender, it will be the mainstream media fighting for survival.