Politisite Team Coverage provides a summary of News wires, Blogs, Mainstream media, and Pundits for the Fox News Debate December 15, 2011.
Gingrich at center stage in Iowa debate | Reuters
Reuters – Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich, buffeted by attacks, gets his chance to fight back on Thursday at a debate that may help clarify who will win Iowa’s looming contest to choose a presidential candidate.
Gingrich takes center stage in Sioux City at the last debate before Iowa’s January 3 contest at an exhilarating time for him. He is leading national polls of Republicans pondering who they want to send to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in next year’s election.
via Gingrich at center stage in Iowa debate | Reuters.
Voice of America -US Republican Candidates Prepare for Iowa Debate
The Republican nominating process begins in the Iowa caucuses January 3.
Opinion polls show the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, has surged ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Republican race.
Gingrich leads the Republican nominees nationally and in three key early voting states — Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. He was at the bottom among Republican candidates a few months ago.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian, has also been gaining ground in the Republican race..
TheHill.com – Does Paul seize the moment?
The Texas congressman has long been expected to perform well in Iowa, where he has a loyal and energized network of supporters he can count on to show up to the caucus sites.
“Our goal is obviously a top-three finish,” said A.J. Spiker, Paul’s Iowa vice chairman and a member of the Iowa GOP’s central committee.
But while a third-place finish for Paul would give him the justification he needs to carry on, a first- or second-place result would be the boon to his candidacy he’s been eagerly awaiting.
“He’s been gradually ticking upwards,” Spiker said. “The people in Iowa are getting more and more comfortable with Dr. Paul the more they know and the more they hear from him.”
The PPP poll released Tuesday showed Paul is within 1 point of Gingrich and 5 points ahead of Romney, whose super-PAC is spending millions attacking Gingrich in television ads in Iowa.
Final Iowa Debate | Jamie Dupree Washington Insider
One interesting note is that there are more and more rumblings in the press about whether Gingrich’s poll numbers are starting to soften here in Iowa.
As I’ve discussed on the air in recent days, Gingrich is being hit hard with ads from Romney, Paul and outside groups linked to Romney.
Meanwhile, Gingrich does not have much of a media buy – so his message is being dwarfed.
Maybe Gingrich’s message wins out.
Or maybe we’re about to see another cycle in the GOP race.
Sioux City Debate: GOP Candidates’ Last Joint Meeting Before Voting Starts
The Republican presidential debates have mattered more this year than anything else in determining which candidate had the momentum and the lead in the race for the White House nomination.
Thus, Thursday evening’s Sioux City, Iowa debate (Fox News, 9 pm ET) could be decisive in narrowing the gap between Newt Gingrich and the rest of the field or cementing his frontrunner status.
The debate is the last one before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses so the pressure will be intense on the candidates to leave the most positive impression possible on Iowans as voters’ attention will soon turn to their last-minute preparations for the holidays.
For Gingrich, that means continuing his string of strong debate performances.
With the rhetorical ability to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” to use Muhammad Ali’s old line, Gingrich has shown the ability to sidestep potentially dangerous debate moments.
For instance, during the Des Moines debate, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas attacked the former speaker for taking money in his post-Congress years from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich responded by saying he agreed with Paul that the Federal Reserve caused the 2007-2008 economic crisis.
Romney, Perry debut new TV ads
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have new entries in the GOP presidential campaign’s ad war, with both sending messages about the economy and red ink.
In Perry’s ad, the Texas governor blasts Romney and Newt Gingrich as “political insiders” who have contributed to “reckless spending.” Perry then touts his work creating jobs in Texas and his plan for a part-time Congress.