MARK SHIELDS: The Republican field - Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman - stand between a landslide reelection victory of Barack Obama if Newt Gingrich is the nominee. If Newt Gingrich is the nominee, it will not be a competitive race. It will be a landslide. It will be a walk to reelection at a time when the nation needs a major debate.As usual, it's a deluge of diversity in opinion over there at PBS. Shields - what a joke. John Huntsman stands between the American people and a landslide re-election of Barrack Obama? John Huntsman?! What crack pipe has Mr. Shields been smoking out of?
GORDON PETERSON: Nina?
NINA TOTENBERG: Well, I don’t think that Barack Obama has led such a good life that he deserves or will get Newt Gingrich as an opponent, but it is possible, and it’s possible at the moment because of the time. I mean, we’re very close to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary now. It feels like this has been going on forever, and will go on forever, but it’s about a month or less. And so the time to pierce that balloon and watch it fizzle is evaporating, and he may beat the time, may beat the clock.
Here we have the president presiding over an absolutely horrific economy, he has encumbered the American people with health care legislation that they don't want, he has buried them under trillions of dollars of debt, and you tell us that it is Newt Gingrich who doesn't have a prayer?
I'll grant you this much, Mr. Shields: the two men have a strange commonality. Newt Gingrich was the architect of the 1994 Republican landslide victory. For his part, Barack Obama was the architect of the even greater 2010 Republican landslide victory. If Newt is able to secure the Republican nomination, I guarantee he will be able to articulate conservative ideas in a manner that will make for a clear choice for the American people.
The nation needs a major debate, Mr. Shields?
"I'm your huckleberry."