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January 23, 2012

GOP Debate Reaction

If you missed it, the Daily Beast has video clips of the best moments of tonight's GOP presidential debate.

Ron Fournier: "Somebody must have awakened the cool-and-nonchalant Romney out of his debate slumber and told him the GOP nomination was slipping away. Gingrich stunned the political world -- and frightened much of the GOP establishment -- with a landslide victory in South Carolina on Saturday night that erased Romney's lead in national and Florida polls."

Andrew Sullivan: "What a different Gingrich tonight: eager to thank and support his rivals; humble with respect to the huge challenges ahead. He has decided to cut the fireworks to foil his critics. And I presume his Super PAC will meanwhile open up various cans of whup-ass on Romney. So this is Newt on his best behavior. Even when Romney called him a 'disgrace' three times. Maybe Gingrich is trying to reassure the establishment that he is not the constant bomb-thrower and surprise agent. Maybe he realizes he needs to look more presidential. My own take is that this gambit cannot work for Newt. He is not a serene statesman. He's a ferocious demagogue. That's all he knows. I don't find the new Newt very appealing. But maybe tactically, it makes sense."

Howard Kurtz: "Mitt Romney was so anxious to attack Newt Gingrich in Monday's NBC debate that it was as though he was delivering a PowerPoint presentation on speed."

David Brody: "Romney was very much on the offensive tonight as he landed subtle punch after punch on Gingrich's record of leadership and attempting to paint him as a Washington insider. It's a smart play by Romney and a strategy that he must implore. If Romney can paint Gingrich as your typical influence peddling same old politician then voters will be turned off and Romney will probably see himself on top again very soon. So this is an important battle. The problem for Romney is that Gingrich has SO FAR been able to masterfully turn his insider image into this outsider man of the people."

Tim Alberta: "Like a stand-up comedian whose routine suffers without echoes of laughter egging him on, Newt Gingrich appeared to be a candidate without cadence Monday night when he found himself searching hopelessly for the secret weapons that have proven crucial to his season of strong debate performances: moderators to scold and audience members to energize."


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