Gingrich’s great debate expectations
November 12th, 2011
07:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich’s great debate expectations

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) – Newt Gingrich revealed a bit of humility and shared a secret to his debate performances that are contributing to the candidate’s rise in the presidential race.

While campaigning in Greenville ahead of Saturday night’s foreign policy debate, the former House Speaker indicated concern that his reputation as a great debater is a double-edged sword.

“I hope so,” Gingrich replied to a woman who told him he knows more about foreign policy than the other White House hopefuls. “I worry though. Everybody says I do so well in these debates, I’m worried about the debate where I don’t do all that well.”

He shared with the Furman University crowd something that might surprise his competitors: his debate coaches are his young grandchildren.

It turns out the first thing he scribbles on paper when he gets on stage is a smiley face.

“I write a smiley and it has Maggie under it because she’s my smiling coach,” Gingrich said. “And then under that I write ‘Robert, shorter, clearer’ because that’s what he thought was wrong with my answers. I said to him one day what should I improve, he said, 'Well you could be shorter and a little bit clearer.'”

Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Cushman of Atlanta, was with her son Robert at Furman University and the grand opening of her father’s Greenville campaign headquarters.

The GOP presidential candidate pointed out young Robert who was in the audience taking photos, “So when people say I do well in debates, you’re seeing one of the people who’s guided me to success so far.”

Gingrich spoke to hundreds of supporters who gathered in the parking lot of the campaign office.

“Now people look at me seriously. Our resources are going up, the number of people going to Newt.org every day and donating has gone up astronomically,” Gingrich said. “It's a very exciting time, and I'm going to go into tonight's debate doing exactly what I've done, which is check out the smiley and remind myself of Robert's rules.”


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • South Carolina
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. LouAz

    I agree. Marryin' Newt apppeals to forth grade intellectuals.

    November 12, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  2. Mary Jane

    Newt Ginghrich did great tonight along with Mitt Romney.

    November 12, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Lawrence Daley

    I You know we have said all the bad about everybody that we can. The issue today is the economy and we need someone who can guide the country through this mess. We need economic growth and the most important thing is get Americans back to work!!!

    November 12, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  4. KeithTexas

    Newt is very smart, and if Smart could save America he might be the man to do it. I was a life long Republican and I will say for sure I will not vote for a Republican in the next election. The Republicans hate poor people and they hate the working class, until that changes, they will not get my vote.

    How will I be able to tell if they care about me? When they vote in someone for the consumer protection agency that will actually do something. When I see major Bankers going to jail for the economy collapse. When I hear an apology for giving all the money to the banks without making any demands on them. If and when they do anything at all that improves my life in any way I will reconsider them.

    So, republicans, there you go, win me back. Do something, do anything.

    November 12, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. John

    I guess he used his great debating skills when his first wife asked him why he was deserting her while she was dying..

    He may be the smartest among a field of halfwits, but he is an unprincipled, hypocritical sleazeball!

    November 12, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. KeithTexas

    What could I have possibly said in my last post that got me sent to the moderator?

    November 12, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. 2tor

    Robert's right. I always thought he was too long winded. Now he makes more sense.

    November 12, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Angela Birch

    Don't care how much he draws smiley faces. He is a serial adulterer, a liar,a guy who thinks the MAu MAu were located in Indonesia and a fraud . Other than that I am sure he is a heck of a nce guy. He just isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

    November 12, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. AGuest9

    Sure you want someone spending campaign funds at Neiman Marcus?

    November 12, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. judith

    I'd love to see Newt in a debate with President Obama. Obama would mop the floor with the crooked old slimeball. If the GOP is dumb enough to nominate this ethically challenged, thrive married creep, Obama will win in a landslide.

    November 12, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. moses

    What is about the quote," FROM THE MOUTH OF BABES."

    November 12, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. Leopold

    A brilliant guy, no doubt about it. Even democrats recognize that.

    November 12, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. aqua

    I could never vote for someone who served divorce papers on his wife while she was in the hospital. That alone is a sign of poor character.

    November 12, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. TCAROS

    I hope they nominate that dusty old fartbag.

    November 12, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. claudeinalbany

    Oh, urp.

    This guy is an egocentric millionaire. He thrives in being the iconoclast. Yet he's probably the smartest one of the group, which is not saying much.

    November 12, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. roro

    Do we really want this arrogant, bloated, nasty, womanizing creep from the last century to guide us in this century? NOT!!!

    November 12, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. TCAROS

    Newt is just hawking his new book "A Biased History Lesson from an Old Fartbag GOP Idiot."

    November 12, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Gingrich has a lot of book smarts, but the morals of a snake (has cheated on every wife prior to his current one; heck, he's probably cheating on Callista as I type!). He's also the person who shut down the whole federal government because he didn't get the seat he wanted on a plane. He's contemptuous and arrogant, and is firmly in the pocket of the corporate interests that are ruining our economy (bleeding us dry to finance their global expansion).

    Who needs Newt? Certainly not the U.S.

    November 12, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. dnick47

    I recall when Newt and his repub gained control of the House. At an witching hour secession these fiscal conservatives voted themselves a healthy pay and benefit increase. This is how this cheat works and he wants to be President? Gad saves us.

    November 12, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  20. Henry Miller

    Considering that most Americans have about the attention span of children, and about as much common sense, getting advice from "young grandchildren" seems like a good idea.

    November 12, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  21. David McNulty - Lucas, Texas

    PLAY IT S.M.A.R.T., Newt, and you can WIN!
    Succinct, Measured, Articulate, Relevant (read: JOBS duh!), To the Point!
    You're brilliant, but impulsive! You can BEAT OBAMA!! Don't do anything stupid!!!
    My wife, Beverly, and I support you.
    We sent you $100 today! (:

    November 12, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. no1atall

    Oh please. We're supposed to believe that the serial cheater now has a conscience? Don't forget Newt, it is not possible to be a cheater and not be a bare-faced liar, which you are also. The fact that you are rising in the polls is due to the utter desperation of the republicans.

    November 12, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. God

    Sorry Newt, You are not the one......

    November 12, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. sundrop

    Newt is an adultery, lier, and have no morals. He ask his dying wife at her bedside and told her he was going to divorce her. He can not trust his own money and now he want people to trust him as president. The republicans who preach family values, morality and honesty, hate forr the president is more powerful.

    November 13, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  25. sundrop

    Newt is a horrible person with no remorse for what he has done.

    November 13, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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