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Fox News: CNN's John King Helped Newt Gingrich Win South Carolina

Cable news outlet credits Gingrich's media attacks for his primary win on Saturday

Did CNN’s John King swing the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich?

That’s what several Fox News analysts said on Saturday, including former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who said that Gingrich should take King out to a steak dinner for his tough questioning during Thursday night's debate.

King opened CNN’s candidates debate by asking Gingrich a controversial question about an interview ABC conducted with his ex-wife Marianne in which she said the former Speaker wanted an “open marriage.”

Gingrich then attacked King, calling his second wife’s claim “trash” and saying he was “appalled” that King would open a presidential debate with such a question.

Also read: Newt Gingrich Calls Ex-Wife's Claims 'Trash,' Rips CNN

Gingrich went on to have another strong debate, and attacking the media has long been a specialty of his.

In his victory speech after his win in South Carolina on Saturday, he took another opportunity to say the media elite was out of touch with the American people.

But it was King's question and the debate that Fox analysts argued swung the vote since a large number of voters were still undecided.

“Taking on the media is always good in a Republican primary,” Fox analyst Karl Rove said. “John King couldn’t have set up the question in a more positive way for Gingrich to just nail it and haul it right out of the park.”

Also read: Jon Stewart Offers Gingrich New Slogan: 'Open Your Legs, America' (Video)

Marianne Gingrich’s claims clearly did not have a huge effect on her ex-husband's popularity among women in South Carolina, as he won the largest number of votes with both sexes. 

For its part, CNN political analysts blamed continued discontent with Mitt Romney and said that the ABC interview may prove more damaging in the future. Analysts such as Wolf Blitzer did say the debates gave Gingrich a big boost, as they almost did in Iowa until Romney's negative advertising overwhelmed Gingrich's underfunded campaign there.

Gingrich, in a rare case of modesty — or perhaps false modesty — said in his victory speech that he is not a particularly good debater but that he "articulates the deepest held values" of the American people.

  • NotLarrynotJohnKing

    Did CNN’s John King swing the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich?…Lucas, YES YES YES…….KING was responsible for this Newt victory sure and while i am no fan of NG and am a left liberal, and loathe FOX, JOHN KING was totally out of line and should be ashmed of himself for asking such a stupid qeustion as first qusertion of the night. KING should be fired…..what a stupuid man he is…… i thought he was smarter than that…CNN is almost as bad as FOX now…sigh

    • Lady Jane

      That's funny, I didn't know John King was the one who tried in public to impeach Bill Clinton while privately cheating on his second wife with an employee 20 years his junior. 

      I didn't know John King was the one who chose to chase the so-called “values voters” after delivering divorce papers to one of his multiple wives on her hospital bed.

      Newt Gingrich deserved that question and a lot more. The fact the South Carolina Republican primary voters fell for his rhetoric and not his long-standing BEHAVIOR on these issues is a reflection on them, not John King.

      • Saonevoyager

        Actually…the impeachment of Clinton, as I'm sure if you're honest you'll remember, wasn't about his infidelity.  It was about his lying about it under oath.  He should have been forced to resign for his lying.  I couldn't give a tinker's damn less about his cheating.  Same with Newt: maybe he's no angel (clearly he's not), but would he make a good president?  I think he might.  He's got a long way to go to prove it, though.

  • Elie

    This was almost an article. Then with the ‘perhaps false modesty’ it became an opinion piece and a typical example of opinion parading as reporting. 
      As for King – he made a critical error. He assumed that he could throw Gngrich off by the question. What he found out is not that that people hate Gingrich but that they REALLY hate the media. King expected embarrassment and fumbling – instead he got Gingrich a standing ovation.

  • Devin McMusters

    The more the Libs attack someone, the better we like em.  And Newt has a backbone, unlike Mitt Romney, the closet lib.

  • $6220678

    All American mass media is now fascist, interested in their own survival and in biasing niche audiences (to their grip) as they can. The fascism of “embedded reporters” glorifying the wars- no reporters/producers staying for weeks like in Vietnam with Richard Threlkeld- just snippets of “Our boys at FOrward base ZULU”. The glorification of war in Hollywood benefited USC and its ICT (which a cinema school person described to me as “The Army's new toy”) had a web site for years (made in Hungary) and described ICT as “In Marina del Rey near shopping and the beach”
    The hell of war