From the National Journal today:
Newt Gingrich might have delivered one of the least gracious–but most memorable–concession speeches in memory on Tuesday night.
The former House speaker, reeling from his distant fourth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, trampled over postelection etiquette by blasting two of his rivals by name, mocking both as serious choices for the GOP nomination. He saved the toughest jabs for his antagonist on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney, who nearly doubled Gingrich’s share of the caucus-vote total.
The Georgian asked voters whether they wanted a “Reagan conservative” like himself, “or do you want a Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay but has given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture, or change the political structure, or change the government?”
Gingrich was equally blunt in speaking about the third-place finisher, Rep. Ron Paul. Electing the Texas lawmaker, he said, risks bringing down nuclear apocalypse because Paul isn’t willing to prevent the weapons from falling into enemy hands.
“The fact is, his views on foreign policy, I think, are stunningly dangerous for the survival of the United States,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich’s attacks were all the more eyebrow-raising because after leveling them, he still complained that he had been the target of the “biggest onslaught” of negative TV ads in Iowa caucus history. As former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer put it afterward on CNN, “It was one of the most ungracious moments in politics.”
Gingrich is astounding. He demonstrated last night that his mean-spirited ego would guide his political future, and his past performance confirms this. He’s a jerk. I truly hope this loss confines him to grovelling within the K street money pits and setting up the conspiracy theories that oppose his evil master plan.