Politics Today: Gingrich Bets Romney, SNL Mocks Trump GOP Debate, And More
File this one under the "It's About Time" category: thrice married GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich is (finally!) promising "personal fidelity" to his third spouse. Great news for Callista Gingrich, given that her husband famously cheated on his first two spouses. In a written promise to the socially conservative Iowa-based group The Family Leader, Gingrich pledged to "uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others." Unless, of course, those marital bonds are between two men or two women, as Gingrich also pledged to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Hey look, another bet! On Monday, Gingrich responded to Mitt Romney's challenge that Gingrich return all the money he made as a consultant to Freddie Mac with his own bet. "If Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him," Gingrich said. "And I'll bet you 10 dollars, not 10,000 that he won't take the offer." Of course, Gingrich was referencing Romney's $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during Saturday's Republican presidential debate.
With about three weeks to go until the Iowa caucus, two new polls show Gingrich with a healthy lead over the other Republican candidates. A University of Iowa Hawkeye poll shows Gingrich leading with 30% of the support, followed by Romney at 20%. An American Research Poll shows the race a little tighter, with Gingrich ahead of Romney 22% to 17%.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said on Monday he has ruled out running for president as an Independent. The GOP presidential candidate told reporters after a town hall meeting that despite recent speculation: "I'm not running as an independent. I'm not running as an independent. I don't know how many times I have to say that." So now you know.
Donald Trump's GOP presidential debate appears to be sinking faster than the Titanic, which naturally presented a golden opportunity for Saturday Night Live to mock him on its latest episode over the weekend. In a spoof of the Fox News program "On The Record with Greta Van Susteren," Van Susteren (played by Kristen Wiig), interviewed Trump (a reprise cameo by SNL alum Darrell Hammond) and the only two participants who accepted his debate invitation, Newt Gingrich (Bobby Moynihan) and Rick Santorum (Andy Samberg). As usual, Hammond did a great job of putting Trump's "yuuuuuuuuuge" ego on full display. Watch it here.
Speaking of Trump's ego, "The Donald" told Fox News on Monday that Romney's campaign is sinking because he declined the invitation to his debate. Said Trump: "His [Romney's] numbers have gone down very substantially since he said 'no', and a lot people think it's because it showed a lack of decisiveness or a lack of courage in going into this debate." Trump also pointed out that Gingrich, who did accept Trump's invite, has "gone up like a rocket ship." As The Hill best summed it up: "This is wrong on so many levels."
Tex. Gov Rick Perry is now blaming his back surgery in July for his poor performances in the Republican presidential debates. Perry said in an interview with Des Moines Register: "I would suggest to you that I was pretty fatigued. No excuses. It was error. It’s what it is. Look, if anybody is looking for the perfect candidate, I’m not it." Well said, Governor.
Gaffe Of The Day: Rick Perry's gaffes now apparently come in pairs. On Sunday, during a speech in Iowa, Perry referenced the: “$500 million that went to the country Solynda." First, it's Solyndra, not Solynda. Secondly, Solyndra is not a country. Nice try, though!
Video Of The Day: The latest installment of Bad Lip Reading takes aim at Rick Perry's "Strong" ad. Watch: