By Bill O'Reilly
Why are some conservative Americans demeaning Newt Gingrich? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo. First, the latest poll from Florida, Rasmussen surveyed 750 likely primary voters yesterday.
And found that Mitt Romney is favored by 39 percent; Gingrich 31; Rick Santorum 12 percent and Ron Paul nine percent. Obviously the poll is very good news for Governor Romney. And he's being helped by the hard-right America.
Earlier this week you heard Ann Coulter on this broadcast smash Newt Gingrich. She believes he is not committed to the conservative cause and that he would get hammered by President Obama in the general election. And there is no question that many prominent conservatives are siding with Coulter.
Listen to former House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, once a close ally of Newt Gingrich.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DELAY: What has been said about Newt is pretty much true. He -- he had to step down because the Republicans, the conservative Republicans wouldn't vote for him again as Speaker.
DELAY: Well, because he's not really a conservative. When he was Speaker, he was erratic, undisciplined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, "Talking Points" believes ideology will not play much of a role in the general election; committed Republicans are going to vote for their guy, committed Democrats of President Obama. By it is the Independent vote that will win the election. It's hard to say whether Newt Gingrich could win over Independents who believe President Obama is not up to the job. The Indies don't really care that Mr. Obama is a social justice guy. They just want performance, particularly in the economy.
At this point, it looks like America will improve economically in the next nine months and that will help the President. If the Republican candidate is a controversial person that might also help Mr. Obama and certainly Newt Gingrich is explosive.
However, there is no doubt that some conservative voters reject what Tom Delay and Ann Coulter are saying. They see Mr. Gingrich as an avenger, someone who will not take any guff from the President or from the media that support him. Right now that is the Speaker's main attraction.
But I must say I am surprised by the right-wing. I have known the Speaker for about 10 years. To me, he is a bona fide conservative. He may wander off the reservation sometimes, but that simply shows he is not a zombie. If a year ago somebody told me that the committed right would be attacking Newt Gingrich on ideology, I would have laughed, scornfully. But that is what is happening today.
And that's the memo.
Pinheads & Patriots.
Nancy Pelosi told CNN she has some things... something on Newt Gingrich that would prevent him from becoming president of the United States. Well, the speaker has now responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via phone): I have a simple challenge for Speaker Pelosi. You know, put up or shut up. I have no idea what she's talking about. I don't think she has any idea what she's talking about. But bring it on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: All right. For confronting an innuendo that has no place in American politics, Mr. Gingrich is a patriot. Knock it off, Ms. Pelosi.