• Newt Gingrich Believes in Freedom of Applause for Newt Gingrich

    Pundits generally agree that Newt Gingrich's impressive debate performances have pulled him back up to front-runner status in the GOP primary. His uncanny ability to win over the crowd at televised events dwarfs that of stiff Mitt Romney, squawking Ron Paul and timid Rick Santorum.

    So what happens when the crowd is banned from whooping at Newt's juicy media zingers?

    Newt Gingrich hit out at NBC's Brian Williams on Tuesday morning, criticizing the moderator of Monday night's debate for keeping the forum's audience quiet.

    The crowd, which has been one of the stars of the never-ending series of GOP debates for months, was notably muted on Monday, under strict instructions from Williams not to interfere…

    While there were some moments of scattered applause on Monday, the candidates were mostly sending their zingers into dead air — and Gingrich, who loves to play to the audience, was robbed of another standing ovation from the crowd.

    You see, Newt Gingrich is like Tinkerbell. If you stop believing in him, or stop hooting and hollering at his demagogic utterances, he ceases to exist. He is the Newt, a power-hungry attention monster that feeds on applause, lobbying cash and, most likely, powdered donuts. Once an audience is permitted to applaud, the Newt cannot be stopped.

    Mitt Romney's only hope to defeat the Newt this season is to cut the wires of the audience mics at every debate. Or slash the tires of every Entenmann's delivery truck.

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Brian Williams, Debates, NBC, NBC News, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans


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