In examining Thursday night's GOP debate in South Carolina, Politico says she certainly did.
With a rousing denunciation of the news media right out of the gate, Gingrich electrified the conservative audience here and temporarily defused an issue that poses a lethal threat to his campaign. Then he deftly portrayed his “grandiose” persona as nothing less than fully American. He also managed to tweak Romney with an act of strategic showmanship: recognizing Romney’s unease about releasing his income tax returns, the former House speaker released his own during the debate, baiting his rival into yet another painful episode about his wealth.
The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a closer look at Mr. Gingrich's harrumph at the media.Romney, by comparison, worked his way through a series of halting answers on entirely predictable subjects, from his taxes to abortion to health care. All are issues he’s struggled with throughout the campaign, and it was never more evident than Thursday night that Romney hasn’t put them to rest – or even figured out how to speak about them comfortably.The former Massachusetts governor’s awkwardness was underscored at every turn by Gingrich’s fluent, flamboyant performance. Already surging in South Carolina polls, the former speaker won his second standing ovation from a debate crowd in a week and put himself in a position to win Saturday’s primary with another impressive showing.
By twice castigating one of the right’s perennial bogeyman – the press — Gingrich made a gut-level connection with conservatives who think they get a raw deal from the news media.
Gingrich responded with barely controlled anger when CNN moderator John King began the debate by asking the former House speaker to respond to his former wife's allegations.
"I think the destructive, distracting, and vicious nature of the news media makes it harder to govern this country," Gingrich responded. "I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. . . . This story is false."
Airing such a story two days before a primary "is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine," Gingrich said, adding he was "tired of the elite news media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans."
The line drew a standing ovation from the crowd inside the North Charleston Convention Center.
Although Gingrich's complicated marital history was not news, GOP strategists said the ABC interview could threaten his standing with the conservative voters who dominate Republican primaries in South Carolina, as well as with women, who polls suggest are cooler to him than men are.In her interview, Mrs. Gingrich (she continues to use her husband's name) suggested that infidelity and Mr. Gingrich go hand in hand. A reasonable conclusion can be made that she was out to get him.
She might have done just the opposite.
You can read what you want into American culture as you consider how this story has developed.