The Note: GOP Candidates Sharpen Their Knives For Debate Night In Des Moines

GINGRICH: I LIKE THE PRESS. ABC campaign digital journalist Elicia Dover files a reporter’s notebook from the campaign trail with Newt Gingrich: Most people who follow Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich around constantly either work for him or are members of his family. As an ABC News political ‘”embed’” with the Gingrich campaign, I’m certainly neither, but when a presidential candidate’s schedule is your schedule, it provides a unique opportunity to get to know a person who very well could play a role in shaping the country for the next eight years. While it would seem likely that Gingrich would find a camera in his face annoying, he told ABC News that he likes it. “I actually identify with the people who are the embeds,” Gingrich said. “Also, we have really nice people. I mean all the guys who are hanging out with me are nice. I don’t know about the other campaigns.” But is he ever worried we’ll catch that embarrassing moment or that he will say something he shouldn’t? “Sooner or later, everything gets covered in the modern world and if you didn’t do it, somebody with a cellphone camera would do it,” Gingrich said.

ANN ROMNEY CALLS MITT ‘MY MOST DISOBEDIENT CHILD’ Ann Romney has five children, but if you ask her, she actually has six. “Mitt is not what you think at home,” Mrs. Romney said at a campaign event on Friday designed to court women voters in Iowa. “He is my most disobedient child.” Her attempts to create an atmosphere of “family decorum,” were constantly thwarted by Mitt, who Mrs. Romney said “liked to get them going and get them riled up.” At Friday’s gathering, billed as a “Women For Mitt,” event, Mrs. Romney stuck to her Mitt-as-family-man script — one that she has been driving home with renewed intensity as the Romney campaign seeks to sharpen the contrast with Newt Gingrich. Her goal over the next few weeks, she said, will be to talk to voters about “the other side of Mitt that you never hear about.” She never once mentioned Gingrich, who has been married three times, but her message was unmistakable. “The quote that we kind of grew up with as a motto in our home was, ‘no other success can compensate for failure in the home,’” Mrs. Romney said. “That was something that was reinforced by Mitt all the time, and he had that basic value from that early, early time in our marriage.”

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