Yesterday, after former Speaker of the House Rep Newt Gingrich (R-GA) gave a somewhat long and convoluted concession speech, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith let fly with a surprisingly blistering assessment of Gingrich’s candidacy, his mettle as a man, and the Speaker’s own party members’ disgust with him.
“Wow,” Smith said as the speech wound to a close, “Well, I’m exhausted. Just a guess here – I’m not one who normally guesses at things, after all we have to live by a set of facts – but I’m guessing both of you are exhausted as well. The two of you who stayed with us.”
The statement alerted viewers to the fact that this was not going to be the routinely polite, golf-clap coverage that news agencies normally afford campaigning politicians who call it quits.
“I don’t know anyone on his side of the aisle who can stand him anymore,” Smith said, calling the now ex-candidate “delusional” and saying of the 23-minute speech, “I don’t understand what he just did, why he just did it, what he was hoping – I just don’t understand it.”
Smith, along with guests Ed Rollins, former campaign manager to Michelle Bachmann, and reporter Carl Cameron, marveled at Gingrich’s extravagant self-regard and seemingly intractable grandiosity. Over the course of the speech, in which Gingrich celebrated himself as a transformational figure in U.S. history, the former Speaker excoriated President Barack Obama, made repeated references to his beloved moon colony project, and ranged over a wide and varied number of topics, without ever managing to endorse presumptive nominee Mitt Romney outright.
In fact, Gingrich only offered Romney the most tepid of praise, saying, “I am asked sometimes – is Mitt Romney conservative enough? And my answer is simple: compared to Barack Obama? This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical, leftist president in American history.”
At the end of the segment, Smith read aloud from Romney’s equally bloodless response to the speech, which praised Gingrich and asserted that Governor and Mrs. Romney consider the Congressman and his wife Callista to be “good friends” who they look forward to working with in the general election.
Smith looked straight into the camera and deadpanned, “Politics is weird and creepy. And now, I know, lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality.”
Gingrich, like his fellow candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA), lashed out at Smith’s network, Fox News, earlier this year, claiming that the network was favoring Mitt Romney in its coverage.
Watch the clip, embedded via Crooks and Liars, below: