BRAZILE: You know, he won South Carolina. It threw the entire Republican nomination process in turmoil. He's being outspent 5 to 1 in Florida. Mitt Romney has been on the ground for a long time in Florida. One-fourth of Floridians voted early in 2008. Once again, we're seeing a great deal of Floridians going to the polls early, voting early.
TAPPER: That's very important, that early vote, yeah.
BRAZILE: And there's one other thing. Independents, women, Hispanics, they're voting against Newt Gingrich. He has a problem. He didn't solve it in South Carolina. Florida will either make him what I call the third comeback kid or it will destroy his candidacy.
INGRAHAM: Well, look, Newt defined himself in South Carolina. He framed the debate as, "I'm the real conservative. Mitt Romney's the faux conservative. He's late to this game of conservative politics."
Became what happened is, he became -- he became the figure in "The Godfather" trapped in the revolving door, OK? The bullets were coming everywhere, and that revolving door was stuck. He couldn't get out of it.
And today on the show, he spent a lot of the time complaining about the tone of the campaign, negative ads, they're lying, they're not true. And that -- some of it may be true. But there's a rule of thumb in politics. If you're at a point where you're complaining about the other guy being mean and unfair and uncivil, that's probably a sign that you're losing. And that's what he's facing right now.
TAPPER: Austan, you're close with a lot of the Obama campaign, which is headquartered in your hometown of Chicago. Who would President Obama rather face, Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?
GOOLSBEE: I think they'd certainly rather face Newt Gingrich. He's prone to blowing himself up. I do think Mitt Romney perhaps is learning a negative lesson or the wrong lesson from his experiences in this primary. So if you go to the movie and there's a guy -- if you've ever been -- and a guy's sitting there and his phone starts ringing, but he's too into the movie that he doesn't notice, and people are like, "Sir, your phone is ringing," shh, I'm watching the movie, that's -- Mitt Romney is that guy.
They've had -- he's been surpassed by a guy running a pizza chain, a guy who couldn't remember the three branches of government. Newt Gingrich has passed him twice on a platform of launching moon bases and having taken a million-plus dollars from Fannie and Freddie.
What Mitt Romney took from it is not that he should change his pattern. It's just sit first and do nothing and they'll blow themselves up. And then, second, if they start gaining, dump everything you have in a negative way on them. Don't turn to policy. Don't make it about ideas. But instead just try to make it about them and scandal.
WILL: I think that's right. I think Mitt Romney is still learning the great lesson, which is it's very risky to be cautious in presidential politics. I mean, this is a man who going all the way back to last fall couldn't get ethanol right. And, I mean, life's full of complicated questions. That's not one of them. I mean, Al Gore has given up on it, and he was still splitting the difference, and he's going to have to stop that.
INGRAHAM: But, George, I think we also have to remember, though, you know, the pig pile on Newt, never seen anything like it. I mean, he said it was carpet-bombing. That's pretty much what it was.