Skip to main content

The NPR/PBS 2012 Wisdom: It's Down to Romney, Pawlenty, or Huntsman; Gingrich Is a 'Joke' and a 'Travesty'

Tim Graham's picture

The conventional wisdom manufacturers on NPR and PBS this week have announced that the actual Republican presidential field has only three serious candidates: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and the current media favorite, Jon Huntsman. On Friday night’s All Things Considered, “conservative” NPR analyst David Brooks said the week belonged to Huntsman, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is too conservative to have appeal. Liberal analyst E.J. Dionne suggested Perry was "very, very conservative."

On Monday night’s Charlie Rose show on PBS, the assembled journalists came up with the same trio, but former Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Al Hunt strongly insisted Newt Gingrich was just a “joke” and a "travesty" as a candidate:

First, Friday night on NPR:

MICHELE NORRIS, anchor: Fellows, I think it's time for our weekly check-in on the ever-growing, shifting, evolving, shrinking, expanding GOP field. This week, Governor Romney is in Iowa. Michele Bachmann says she'll have a big announcement soon - no exact date. And today, Governor Rick Perry of Texas says he's now considering a run in 2012. Perry is one candidate we really haven't spent much time talking about. Should we assume that a governor from a big state will automatically shake up the candidate pool?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he is from a big state, but that state happens to be Texas. And I think there was a general view among Republicans that governors of Texas have been tried and maybe they shouldn't go back to that well again so soon. He's also quite a conservative fellow on education, some of those things which will hurt him. He's also - the reputation is not the greatest campaigner on earth. So, I'm not sure Perry is flirting because there's a vacuum there.

I would say this week sort of belongs to Jon Huntsman. Among those who talk about those things, the former governor of Utah, his stock has suddenly risen and I would say he seems to have entered the big three of Huntsman, Pawlenty and Romney.


E.J. DIONNE: I agree with David that Huntsman is going to become the next darling of the Washington conventional wisdom, at least for a while. You know, Governor Perry spoke loosely about Texas secession a couple of years ago. Maybe he could run on a program to let all the states secede - and Massachusetts and Vermont might actually want to if he got elected. He's a very, very conservative governor.

But the Republican race now is like the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. Anybody can enter, anybody can win. And I think that the field is so cut up, Republican opinion is so divided that it's hard to rule out anybody as having a possibility of winning...

NORRIS: That's an amazing statement you made - anybody can win. Is that true?

DIONNE: Well, I don't mean the general election, I do mean the nomination.

BROOKS: It's not true, by the way. Only Pawlenty, Romney and Huntsman can win. All the rest are in there for fun.

Then there’s the PBS chatter on Gingrich from Monday:

MARK HALPERIN: I still think under a certain scenario he could be a nominee. I`m in a pretty small group who thinks that still.

AL HUNT: You and Callista. (Laughter)

HALPERIN: He`s in  category with Bachmann and Palin. He could have a real impact on this. I don`t think either Huntsman or Pawlenty will be particularly inclined to or be particularly effective at going after Romney on Romneycare. Gingrich I think, despite what he said recently about individual mandate, I think he could end up playing that role. I think he will be still be a pretty formidable fund-raiser and have table-stakes.

HUNT: I mean, Newt Gingrich has become a joke. He's become a travesty. He had the rollout that is the worst nightmare of any candidate in history. This is after two months ago he said he had those extramarital affairs because he cared so passionately about his country.

HALPERIN: He`s a joke in Washington. Look, there`s no one in this race -- of the big three, of the big three candidates, there`s not one who is a clear social conservative, religious conservative candidate.

HUNT: Neither is Newt.

HALPERIN: He could be.

HUNT: He changes. He's adaptable. I agree. He doesn't have a history.

HALPERIN: I'm not saying he's likely to win but I think after Bachmann and Palin, the next most likely to shake things up and play a role, and Ron Paul as well....

CHARLIE ROSE; You know what, I remember? I remember in 1992. They looked around and they said, my god, all the top tier people are not running. Mario Cuomo is not running. People thought that Bill Clinton was running really to be vice president and running for `96.

HALPERIN: But the difference is Bill Clinton felt like Ronald Reagan felt when he ran and like George Bush felt when he ran and Barack Obama. This is my moment. This is my destiny. This is what I should do right now because what I offer matches what the country needs. Some of these people in the race now I don`t think have that attitude. I think that`s normally what it takes to win and particularly to beat someone like Obama who is despite the ceiling on his support still commands a very strong base of support.


#1 I would say this week sort of

I would say this week sort of belongs to Jon Huntsman.

If that were the case (which I don't believe it is), that would be one crappy week for conservatives.

“There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” - Ronald Reagan (1964 Republican Convention)

#2 You have to remember part of

You have to remember part of the agenda for these people is to discourage as many conservative voters as possible. Another example “Look, there`s no one in this race -- of the big three, of the big three candidates, there`s not one who is a clear social conservative, religious conservative candidate.” And that is just the way these people want it.

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” ~ William F. Buckley, Jr.

#3 Republican King Makers?

When it comes to discussing Republican politics, this particular group is uniquely unqualified to do so and uniquely irrelevant to boot. They may as well recorded a conversation between a group of birds perched on a phone wire.

Let's make the 2012 campaign: "The War on Error"

#4 Great Image

The birds are a great image Chris. I might only add that whatever the birds drop while being perched up there has more substance than the aforementioned panel's declarations.

#5 Joker in Chief

Actually, it's Obama who is the 'travesty' and 'joke'. He thought he was running for Present, not President.

Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#6 It's always been a pet peeve

It's always been a pet peeve of mine that reporters and pundits routinely  mangle words because they are lazy:  Present instead of president, constootion instead of constitution, so-security for Social Security.

But I have to admit, when they say "Present Obama" they hit the nail on the head.

#7 The Republican Party would FRACTURE

Go ahead and nominate "Huntsman Pawlenty or Romney".

See. What. Happens.

#8 Perry scares the **** out of them.

Texas is leading in business recruitment, has malpractice reform with doctors pouring in and lawyers fleeing, has no state taxes, and is ranked by Business leaders as the Best State for Business and job creation. And Rick Perry hates Obama and doesn't have the Palin love/hate divide that is prevalent through the country. God, please get this man in. Perry/Rubio would have David Brooks in tears.

#9 Perry scares the **** out of them.

Texas is leading in business recruitment, has malpractice reform with doctors pouring in and lawyers fleeing, has no state taxes, and is ranked by Business leaders as the Best State for Business and job creation. And Rick Perry hates Obama and doesn't have the Palin love/hate divide that is prevalent through the country. God, please get this man in. Perry/Rubio would have David Brooks in tears.

#10 test


#11 Amb. Huntsman Calls to Apeal for Our Support....

"Hi, this is John Huntsman..... John Huntsman. You know me, don't you?..... You don't? Well, I was ambassador to China. I've been away for a couple of years..... CHINA. AMBASSADOR..... Yes, The great leader Obama appointed me and I accepted because it was an honor to serve him..... Well, yes. Serve the country..... You still don't remember me? Well, I was the governor of Utah.... UTAH. GOVERNOR.... When? A few years ago. I was a big name.... You really don't remember me? Well, let me tell you, the mainstream media think I'm a big deal... Well, you should care. I'm the thinking man's conservative.....That means some liberals think I would make for a great loser to President Obama in 2012. May I count on your support even though you have no idea who I am?....Hello? Hello?"

Let's make the 2012 campaign: "The War on Error"

#12 Huntsman

David Brooks (2010) when hearing Huntsman for the first time on Meet the Press:

"Huntsman!? If there's one place the Republican nominee is not coming from, it's from the Obama Administration!!!"

David Brooks (2011) : see above.


#13 my guess is...

Huntsman will run out of money before we run out of primaries.

#14 If Jon Huntsman Gets Arrested In Utah They Might Lose Him

He would get lost if arrested in any other state. Bush bought a lot of good will from Chia by letting them export to this country and build a sixty million person middle class. Jane’s Military publications say that it turned China away from war. That good will that cost so much is almost gone after two years. Did Jon Huntsman get anything for it or lose face like Clinton's Ambassador?

Mitt Romney did a fairly good job with the Olympics but Massachusetts now is a bloody train wreck.

Tim Pawlenty might make a good dog catcher.

I wonder which one will oversee the liquidation of NPR.

#15 Obama is the joke

His media meeting with the Polish leader was unbelievable yesterday
Literally, every 5th word was an "Uhhh" and the stammering speech was
unwatchable. How his actions and word are so worshiped by the left is beyond me.....

#16 I wonder why.

Perhaps they didn't have a current converter for the TOTUS' teleprompters.


#17 :OD

No, definitely no teleprompter. I should have done an "Uhhhh" count. It was stunning.

#18 And we care what NPR and PBS

say why?


#19 Just chill, everyone!

They have it narrowed down to three, and before you know it, they will tell us who the winner is.

Isn't it nice to have all the work done for you?


I'm waiting for the discussion about how Barack Obama really hasn't fulfilled his promises, and the economy is still in the tank, his stimulus really hasn't worked, the "Arab Spring" is turning out to be more of an "Islamist Spring" and he's alienating our one real ally in the Middle East....etc....

and is  it time for another Democrat to think about challenging him?  And who should that Democrat be?


<Chris Matthews imitation> HA!!

#20 Motherbelt...

Right on. And this manchild had the opprtunity of a lifetime to bring the nation together, to lead it in the direction of a common good, based on its common roots, its goodness and greatness. Instead, he divided the nation through his lies and a narcissism which borders on evil. I'm still not convinced that he doesn't want the downfall of this nation. To say the least, he's a disappointment even to the most ardent optimist. [ Never,Never trust a "liberal" ( progressive)]

#21 Perry is not the Republican savior

If Rick Perry was the only possible candidate to challenge Obama, I'd vote for him. But he's definitely not the strongest candidate, and many Texans (myself among them) are mad at him for his desire to practically give away our Texas highways to foreign companies (and sneaking the Trans Texas Corridor in via the back door during the current Legislative session); his mandate that girls 13 and under be vaccinated with that HPV-preventing drug (I can't remember the name of it) which was subsequently thrown out; and his spending thousands of dollars in Texas taxpayer money a month to stay in a ritzy Austin apartment while the Governor's mansion is undergoing renovation and arson repair.

I don't like Rick Perry. But if he was the only Republican, I'd vote for him. I'm really hoping someone comes along that's stronger and believes more in limited government and the Constitution.

I know who I'd want, but I don't feel like being flamed this morning. I spent the day yesterday at the Freestone Motocross Nationals down in Wortham, and it must have been about 120 degrees. But at least it was windy.

“I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership, that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose.” – Ronald Reagan, July 17, 1980.

#22 WOW what nonsense....

I guess the fact that he has won election for Governor three times by very large margins and has never lost an election means he is just hanging on by his finger nails. This posting is just bizarre. The Devil can quote scripture and Democrats can quote Reagan.



#23 Perry Has Local Problems

Texas is the second biggest state in always and has its problems. Some people are going to get hurt in anything that a Governor does. I too disagree with corporations running highways as toll roads just to off load the cost of road maintenance from the state budget.  The people still pay but if original road construction is done by the corporation I can see doing it. There are four or five big problems that Perry has solved in ways that make some people unhappy. The thing to remember is that he did solve the problem. All hat and no cattle does NOT apply to Rick Perry.

#24 No, It's Not Bizarre.

Perry does not have the support in Texas that you think he does. Go ask a Texan. I have a friend who lives in Dallas/Ft. Worth and she is no fan of Perry. It's been a while since we've talked on this subject, but when she shared her concerns, I remember thinking -- this guy is not fit to be governor; I cannot imagine him as a president.

The forced vaccination was a BIG DEAL down there. If you had daughters, you might think it was, too.

---- Let us all eviscerate the trolls and fill their carcasses with bile and venom.
Visions and Principles blog

#25 No Black Republican candidates

Just watching Meet The DePressed and in a round table discussion of Republican presidential candidates, with the Democrat strategist David Brooks, no black candidate was considered, discussed, mentioned.

Must be they don't exist.

#26 Red Jeep...

Great observation. To discuss a serious black candidate like Herman Cain or a truly well-educated, highly-intelligent, experienced black man such as Congressman West, would take a search for the truth of which no "liberal" is capable. We must not forget, women and blacks need equal time and equal rights--except if they are conservative Republicans. [Never,Never trust a "liberal" ( progressive)

#27 I would love to see Cain or West vs. Obama

That should take away playing the race card. Then we will have to see if the MSM dares to start "Uncle Tom" criticism.

#28 Good Point.

The whole "disappearing black" theme was a hallmark of racist literature in the post-Civil War South. It's interesting to see that PBS has picked up that torch and ran with it. They are trying hard to completely erase conservative blacks from the discussion in hopes of eradicating them from people's conscious thoughts, and then...well...who knows what happens when people don't think you exist? Sickening. And if anyone asks, no, I don't think I'm reading too much into this. I think they are so racist that they never even thought about discussing Cain -- even though he has formally declared for the presidency.

---- Let us all eviscerate the trolls and fill their carcasses with bile and venom.
Visions and Principles blog

#29 The Make Believe Media keeps

The Make Believe Media keeps bringing up Huntsman.


They will work overtime to force a RINO onto the GOP ticket.

#30 I see the Racists at NPR ...

Have dismissed Herman Cain.

#31 Cain is a threat to their so-called Race Narrative

The Left and its associated Race Industry have always feared the visibility of prominent black Americans like Colin Powell, Condaleeza Rice, Alan Keyes, and Thomas Sowell.

I expect that Cain won't be heavily attacked by the Left because they don't want to call attention to him, and they don't want to demonstrate to black Americans that the 'punishment' for non-compliance with Leftist stereotypes is to be vilified and humiliated by the Left.   They hope that the Republican primary system will push Cain out before the Dems have to attack him.

Cain is tough enough to take it, as is freshman Rep. West, who has reportedly givne the Congressional Black Caucus an earful.  The MSM will probably try to ignore them and hope they disappear, but I don't think that will happen.

#32 and we fund these fools, why?

and we fund these fools, why?


#33 Because they are not fools.

They are very clever partisans who have the full support of the Democratic party.

#34 Partisans Should Not Be Government Funded Or Nonprofit.

NPR should be a fully taxable enterprise.

The next Republican controlled Congress should consider a dong a Clinton. Clinton retroactively raised taxes on income from previous years that people had already paid the taxes on. Collecting taxes from the foundations that keep NPR spreading its propaganda would pay for two or three days of the Obama plague.

In any case the not-for-profit status of NPR should end 20 January 2013.

#35 one thing is almost certain

The GOP nominee will NOT be from the pool that PBS/NPR favor. If also serves to inform all conservatives who is the least viable of all the contenders.


Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#36 progressive pos

who cares what these mental defective progressives think about any politicians other than thier own...remembr these are the people who sold out thier soles to ..obama..pelosi,ried,schummer,wasserman shultz,weiner...i cant say about to eat..allways remember these weak democratic stratigist caca roaches speak for the above named chamberlins of our time...pigsquirts

#37 NPR

NPR--your tax dollars at work.

#38 I agree about Newt

Gingrich is a joke and a travesty. He could have been one of the leaders of the conservative movement but after a few years as House Speaker he decided that he wanted to be loved by everyone more than he loved principle.

He sat on a couch with Pelosi for Christ's sakes talking about global warming.

He batters Republicans any chance he can get.

He makes friends with liberals who want to see him buried.

He throws the Tea Party under the bus with a smile.

Screw Newt.

You support the troops by supporting the mission! If you don't support the mission, have the guts to say you don't support the troops.

Obama: Not my President. Ever.

#39 Tim That guy is: 1. wrong


That guy is:

1. wrong about everything
2. a propadandist for the demo party

What on earth does he get paid (from news people not the DNC) because whatever it is, he is grossly overpaid?.

#40 More Than Enough

To prove that these three have no business on the GOP ticket, none.

#41 re: Huntsman

Why does a guy who garners an astounding 1% in polls (on a GOOD DAY!) get so much play with the MSM?

You'd think Huntsman had mounted a real insurgency campaign the way these losers talk about it. How does the guy even get mentioned in any top 3??

#42 Flavor of the Week

Just the left's and inside-the-beltway RINO elite's Flavor of the Week.

#43 The primaries are almost over?

Gee, I seem to have missed uuhh, all of them so far.

#44 There Was Pizza! and Cake!

You missed almost all of the ballot box Stuffing Parties at the DNC. The "open" primaries are in the bag already but if the Republicans close some of their primaries you can write off Obama.

#45 Sorry dork, neither one of

Sorry dork, neither one of these RINO will get the nomination. Another liberal attempt to pick the right's candidate.

Non, je ne regrette rien. "You aren't angry because I might be a racist, you're angry because you know I'm right".

#46 Just wait until the Hermanator shows up at the next repub debate

Newt is now solidly petrified burnt toast - trust me, I live right smack in the middle of what was once known as "Newt Country," and nobody around here is even talking about him.

Romney and Huntsman are both jackasses in zippered elephant suits, and Perry's support for back door scamnesty is going to blow up in his face should he choose to run - I'll even volunteer to light the match and touch it to the fuse.

As for Sarah Palin, I very much doubt she is going to run mainly because of her family, but I do hope she teams up with Herman Cain and they start picking off any other RINOS who wander into the GOP tent.



Vote for the American in November

#47 I am with you Dave

If Ryan and Bachmann get in, this will be some fun.

Someone please remind me who the dimwits are parading around? Obama, Clinton, thats all the dimwits have?

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

#48 CAIN supporters check this poll.

Interesting poll.

#49 Sarah who ?

Reading up on Herman Cain, and hearing some of the stuff he's said has almost been enough to make me forget about Sarah Palin.

Almost.  ;-)

#50 They would make a great pair

We will see.

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

#51 Almost enough to make you want to vote for Newt,...

but not quite. This comment by NPR helps Newt and hurts Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman (whoever he is).

Jim Webster

#52 Huntsman is the designated "Fall Guy"

Huntsman is the designated Fall Guy the MSM wants to see nominated.

In the past, we've the MSM fawn over Dole(96), Bush(00), and McCain(08), although they didn't expect Bush to win in 2000. (Ha!)

Now that the Tea Party movement is active, and places such as Brietbart and Newsbusters are spreading the true about Make Believe Media bias, I don't expect the GOP primary voters to be fooled by Huntsman.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.