Many have said now he’s finished,” Cantor said in a radio interview, stopping short of endorsing that analysis but calling Gingrich’s comments “a tremendous misspeak.”
Perhaps most tellingly, not a single prominent Republican has rallied to Gingrich’s defense – a testament to the regard in which Gingrich is held by much of the Beltway GOP establishment.
For a host of party leaders, Gingrich seems to have proven with astonishing speed that he deserves his reputation as an undisciplined, self-destructive, shoot-from-the-lip politician. His flair for provocative rhetoric, combined with his desire to make loftier political points, might make him too combustible for the presidential campaign trail.
“The problem for Newt is, this is exactly what everybody who has ever worked for or around him said was his basic problem,” said Rich Galen, the veteran Republican strategist and former Gingrich aide. “Sooner or later, I suspect, unfortunately, the campaign will collapse from the top because people are going to say, ‘I love him and he’s really smart, but he can’t be president.’”
The campaign, Galen added, is “close to being functionally over.”
Gingrich and his wife, Callista, were hit with glittery confetti by a protestor during the couple's appearance at a book-signing in Minneapolis.
The man approached the Gingriches during the signing Tuesday afternoon at a downtown hotel before dumping a cracker box full of confetti on the pair while he said, "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!"
Two Associated Press reporters witnessed the event. The man was quickly pushed out of the room by an event organizer as the Gingriches brushed confetti out of their hair and laps.