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Rick Santorum had Newt Gingrich in his sights during Thursday's debate, and he gnawed at him every way he could in order to garner even a little bit of attention. I'm no fan of Rick Santorum's, but it's pretty ridiculous for Newt Gingrich to call for he (and Ron Paul) to withdraw from the primary race so the only "true conservative" can challenge Mitt Romney.
Newt, never shy and always in love with himself, did exactly that on Wednesday. On Thursday, Santorum was declared the winner (if you can call it that) in Iowa, and has more delegates going into South Carolina than Gingrich. Santorum was also endorsed by the social conservatives after their secret meeting and vote in Texas, though Gingrich alleged there were dirty tricks associated with the final vote on that endorsement.
Which brings me to this debate slice, where Santorum is asked by John King to react to Newt's claim that [Santorum] "doesn't have any of the knowledge to do something on this scale."
Santorum's response was short, sweet and pointed:
SANTORUM: Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich. He -- he handles it very, very well.
(APPLAUSE) And that's really one of the issues here, folks. I mean, a month ago, he was saying that, "Oh, I'm -- it's inevitable that I'm going to win the election. And it's I'm destined to do it."
I don't want a nominee that I have to worry about going out and looking at the paper the next day and figuring out what is he -- worrying about what he's going to say next.
And that's -- that's what I think we're seeing here.
For him to suggest that -- that someone who was tied for first and eventually won the Iowa caucuses and finished with twice as many votes as he did and finished ahead of him in New Hampshire, in spite of the fact that he spent an enormous amount more money in both those places, plus had the most important endorsement in the state, the Manchester Union Leader, and I was 10 points behind him a week before the election, and then finished ahead of him.
So I was 2-0 coming into South Carolina, and I should get out of the race?
These are -- there are not -- there are not cogent thoughts. I mean, and -- and let's just be honest.
I guess that's a nice way of saying "Newt, you ignorant slut."
Speaking of cogent thoughts (and lack thereof), NBC's John Harwood tweeted this: