Newt Gingrich chose to go “On the Record” with Greta van Susteren tonight in a major effort at damage control. It was hardly “Mission Accomplished”. Gingrich admitted that he had made a mistake, two mistakes actually in his statement on Meet the Press about Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal. He said that he called Ryan to apologize. He said that Democrats had better not use his statement in “false ads” against Republicans. Greta showed him no mercy. After he had completely walked back his statement, Greta brought up the Wall Street Journal Editorial excoriating Gringrich. Newt’s response was that he would be glad to meet with the WSJ editorial board and explain to them all the things he had done in the 90’s and find out what they had done. He also made some reference to the “Washington literatii”. If that wasn’t bad enough, Greta then hemmed and hawed before asking Newt: “What’s the deal with this $250,000 to $500,000 debt to Tiffany’s? And have you paid it?” Newt grinned and said, “I’m not going to answer that question.”
Not going to answer the question? Good grief, Newt. You bought your wife some very expensive jewelry, from a very nice store, and you paid the bill. You have paid the bill, right? What’s there to “answer”. You just made a bad situation, incredibly worse. Seems to be a habit.
The Tiffany’s bill was first publicized by Politico and then picked up by the MSM, major newspapers throughout the country, numerous blogs, and is now all over the internet. It’s basically an old story from his wife’s 2006 financial report in which she listed Newt as owing $250,000 to $500,000 on a revolving charge account to Tiffany and Company. There’s no evidence the bill hasn’t been paid, and if you’ve bought anything from Tiffany’s, it’s easy to see how a person of substantial means like Newt could easily charge that much. But, it just doesn’t look good. And refusing to answer questions about his personal life, will just raise more questions.
Meanwhile Charles Krauthammer was on O’Reilly earlier tonight saying once again that Newt is finished as a candidate. While Gingrich claims he is getting great response from the people of Iowa, one wonders how long any candidate, much less one who is known to be relatively thin-skinned, can take this kind of pounding. The suggestion from the unidentified Iowa voter caught on tape was good advice: “Why don’t you stop embarassing yourself and just quit now?”