Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich might be riding a wave of new momentum going into the South Carolina primary, but New York Times columnist David Brooks says that wave won’t go much further.
On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” Brooks said that despite his ascent in the polls, Gingrich has too much negative baggage — and that will play itself out in a general election.
“The guy has, I think, a 27 percent national approval rating, Brooks said. “He’s just un-electable.”
“Maybe I’m just an elite pundit out of touch, but I can read numbers,” he continued. “And if the vast majority of the country doesn’t like somebody, and they form a very negative opinion about somebody, it’s very unlikely that person is going to be elected president. So I still think, at the end of the day, that he probably will win in South Carolina. I think it’s hard to see Gingrich running the table.”
According to Brooks, had this been a traditional campaign where advertising and money were more central, Gingrich wouldn’t be where he is today. However, two moments in two different debates have made him a contender.
“The reason this campaign is different from all the others, it’s almost — it’s 90 percent a debate campaign,” Brooks said. “It’s not about the ads. I really don’t think the money is making a difference. It’s really not about the appearances. Newt Gingrich is up because he attacked Juan Williams and he attacked John King. There were two moments in two different debates, and that’s what did it for him.”