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December 11th, 2011
03:22 PM ET

Candy's Post Show Rundown


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On State of the Union:
Listening to Rick Santorum, you are going to see, you are going to hear some interesting things over the next three weeks before the Iowa caucuses. Remember, on the debate on Saturday night Santorum had very nice things to say about Newt Gingrich by in large saying that he inspired him to get into conservative politics, etc., etc., and today talking about Gingrich he said, ‘You know I’m just saying, after three years in the leadership there was a coup to try and get rid of Newt Gingrich’ and that doesn’t happen very often, so even those who consider themselves admirers of Newt Gingrich understand that you have to go after him and certainly Santorum did that in this morning’s interview.

I also would recommend for your viewing pleasure a look at Bob Walker, a former congressman and now an adviser to Newt Gingrich, along with John Sununu the father, former governor of New Hampshire who is a Romney supporter and if you just look a that interview you are getting a preview of what the next four or five months may be like if this becomes a long drawn out, Newt vs. Mitt campaign.

And also, about your first class letters, more expensive to send them next year, as of January I believe, and now they are going to take longer to reach their destination. I feel kind of sorry for the Postmaster general [Patrick Donahoe], the guy in charge of the post office, because they need to save $20 billion in three years and the only way to do that, he thinks, is if service gets slower and it costs more. So it doesn’t seem like a great remedy for saving the post office, but nonetheless he thinks it’s going to work and it will be affected even if you send Christmas cards. By the way, you should know that when he left I said, ‘well good luck to you, I don’t envy your job,’ and he said, ‘Okay, send lots of Christmas cards.’ So I don’t know, if you want to help the U.S. Postal Service send a Christmas card, or a holiday seasons card, whichever you prefer.

Ask Candy:
So we have a question from Evan Schmitt who wants to know who I thought were the winner’s and losers of last night’s debate. I have to tell you, I thought pretty much everybody put in nice solid performances. Michele Bachmann hasn’t been that forceful in a long time. Ron Paul, consistent as ever, wasn’t shy about going after Newt Gingrich, but nobody was shy about going after Newt Gingrich. Rick Perry had, we would not have had all these discussions about how Rick Perry was destroyed by debates had he put in performances like he did last night, which was really pretty strong. Newt Gingrich, here’s what Newt Gingrich did, he didn’t go off on anything. Part of what everyone was trying to do last night by going after Newt Gingrich, now the frontrunner, to try to push his buttons. To try to get him to show the flash of Newt that so many of his critics are talking about and he didn’t do it. He took it with a smile, he you know, gave as good as he got, I guess if you are looking at who, Santorum again, strong, stuck with his conservative message. The big deal as you know is this $10,000 bet that sort of seemed to come off the top of Mitt Romney’s head when he was trying to push back against Rick Perry, that’s what you are going to see, played everywhere.

And remember most people see the debate in the bits and parts, not the debate itself. There are far more people who see it in the news than see it in its totality. So it was widely seen as an unforced error by Mitt Romney, but I have to say over the course of the 12 debates they’ve all gotten a lot better at it and guess what, there are a couple more between now and the Iowa caucuses, plenty of time for people to mess up or shine. But I actually thought in the end that they’ve all learned how to debate fairly well, some missteps here and there. The question is, does it make any difference now, can there be a debate that totally changes everything? I’m not sure there is enough time between now and the caucuses for a debate to change anything.

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Rick Santorum
Mitt v. Newt Surrogates – John Sununu and Bob Walker
Anita Dunn and Tom Davis
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe

Rick Santorum (R-Presidential Candidate) on CNN's “State of the Union”
on his GOP rivals:
“We need a clean, clear contrast. We need this race to be about Barack Obama and his record, not with Republicans agreeing with that record. I mean, that would be the last thing we should be nominating is someone who has a bad record on some of the most important issues that we're going to be dealing with, like bailing out Wall Street, like climate change, like the Obamacare.”

Rick Santorum (R-Presidential Candidate) on CNN's “State of the Union”
on Obama foreign policy:
“There is a consistent pattern of contingencies that have come up under this administration where he has opposed the freedom fighters and has gone with the radical Islamists. That is a problem for the security of Israel and our country.”

Rick Santorum (R-Presidential Candidate) on CNN's “State of the Union”
on Newt Gingrich:
"People are also going to look at his leadership ability and look at his record and whether what he says he's going to do is what he did when he had the opportunity to do it. I think that's where as people start focusing a lot more on those details, I think that's where we're going to rise."

Fmr. Gov. John Sununu (R-New Hampshire), Romney Campaign Surrogate, on CNN's “State of the Union”
on Romney’s $10,000 bet debate moment:
“He used a figure of speech. I think the only thing that will come out of that is it will remind people about a $5,000 - $500,000 outstanding bill at Tiffany's. Those are not the things you should judge whether somebody should be a president or not. They should judge him on their programs.”

Fmr. Gov. John Sununu (R-New Hampshire), Romney Campaign Surrogate, on CNN's “State of the Union”
on Newt Gingrich:
“Every time this man speaks, he tries to put himself in a position where he's perceived as being better than those that are involved in the discussion.”

Fmr. Rep. Bob Walker (R-Pennsylvania), Gingrich Campaign Surrogate, on CNN's “State of the Union”
On critical comments by Gingrich’s former colleagues:
“The fact is that there are a number of people who are unhappy with Newt from his congressional days, because he was a very tough reformer who tramped on some toes along the way. And so you've got people who are digging up things from 20 years past, where they've had concerns about things that they thought hurt them. And so they're coming out and saying these kinds of things. There are a lot of us who worked very closely with Newt Gingrich, who understands that he was very disciplined and very focused.”


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It doesn't seem to be a matter of if anymore, it's more like when and how Congress will extend the cut in your social security taxes. But enjoy it now because the top Republican in the Senate says 2013 is another matter:

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, on "Fox News Sunday":
"I believe that we should extend the payroll tax holiday another year, avoid a tax increase on working people for another year. I also agree with Senator Reid, my counterpart, that we ought not to do it again next year."

The number two Senate Democrat Dick Durbin says it's the highest priority for the president and Democrats to get the tax cut passed.

Senator Lindsay Graham, who helped plot the failed coup attempt to oust Newt Gingrich as Speaker in 1997 is not exactly a supporter in 2011. Still, Gingrich has a healthy lead among Republicans in South Carolina. And after a friendly phone call from Newt last week, Graham is not the Newt critic he once was either:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on NBC's "Meet the Press":
"I think if the election were held tomorrow he'd win South Carolina, and i saw bits and pieces of the debate. It's clear to me that Newt Gingrich has established himself as the Republican front-runner. ... He's been out of government for a long time. He's matured as a person. He's reattached himself to his faith. He seemed to be- we had a good conversation about energy policy, talked about the past. You know the coup started in my office so obviously the guy doesn't hold grudges."

Twenty-two more shopping days until the Iowa caucuses but the state's most prominent conservative Republican, Congressman Steve King still hasn't selected a candidate:

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on CBS's "Face the Nation":
"I'll just be, you know, straight honest with you on what's going on inside of me. And that is, I have to come to a conviction. Just like these candidates come to a conviction to run for president I need to come to a conviction to get fully behind a single candidate. ... And so, that's what's holding me back, I hope to get there."

Absent from the stage last night in Iowa... Jon Huntsman, who has pretty much taken up residence in New Hampshire. A strategy he says is working:

Jon Huntsman (R-Presidential Candidate) on ABC's "This Week":
"We're doing better in New Hampshire than half the people on that stage last night when you look at the recent polls. We're going nowhere but up. We started as a margin of error candidate. I'm no longer a margin of error candidate because our messages are working."

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