On the day before the New Hampshire primary, CNN had some choice words for one candidate in particular – Newt Gingrich. The candidate had attacked front runner Mitt Romney for his past in the private sector and his connections to well-funded super PACs that are producing negative attack ads on opponents.
CNN contributor and faux-conservative David Frum slammed Gingrich's attacks on Romney as a "suicide destructive mission of revenge." A CNN viewer might have thought he was referring to a suicide bomber in the Middle East.
"He's not doing himself any good," Frum scolded Gingrich. "And it's kind of absurd that a man who just said, hey, I got a $5 million check the other day from the third richest man in America will be attacking Mitt Romney for having too many rich friends."
Later on during the 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips cited another smear of Gingrich, this time by the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan. She had described Gingrich as an "angry little attack muffin," and Phillips actually asked her panel if it was a "fair description".
"Sadly, there's no mention whether it's blueberry, bran, English muffin," Phillips joked. "So what do you think? Is it a fair description?" she asked her "Political Buzz" panel.
[Video below. Click here  for audio.]
A transcript of the segments, which aired on January 9 at 8:06 a.m. and 10:31 a.m. EST respectively, is as follows:
8:06 a.m. EST
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Let me play a little chunk from the debate because there were – it was the weekend of debates this weekend. And this is Newt Gingrich talking to Mitt Romney and really talking a little bit about those super PACs and negative ads. Take a look.
NEWT GINGRICH, Republican presidential candidate: I wish you would calmly and directly state it is your former staff running the PAC. It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC, and you know some of the ads aren't true. Just say that straightforward.
MITT ROMNEY, Republican presidential candidate: Well, of course, it's former staff of mine. And of course they are people who support me. They wouldn't be putting money into a PAC that supports me if they weren't people who support me.
(End Video Clip)
O'BRIEN: How much damage did he do, do you think, in that? Because it got a lot of applause, and I feel like that approach and also the Bain approach is sort of what everybody is focused on right now in trying to attack the frontrunner.
DAVID FRUM, CNN contributor: Well, Gingrich is on sort of a suicide destructive mission of revenge. He's not doing himself any good. And it's kind of absurd that a man who just said, hey, I got a $5 million check the other day from the third richest man in America will be attacking Mitt Romney for having too many rich friends.
10:31 a.m. EST
PHILLIPS: All right, your "Buzzer Beater", 20 seconds each on this one. Ok, guys so who doesn't love a delicious muffin at breakfast time – unless maybe it's an angry muffin. Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal calling Newt Gingrich an "angry little attack muffin." Sadly, there's no mention whether it's blueberry, bran, English muffin. So what do you think? Is it a fair description? Maria?
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center