Yesterday, six GOP presidential candidates took part in the first ever Twitter town hall debate, which was moderated in part by S.E. Cupp (@secupp). While only Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, Thad McCotter, and Rick Santorum participated, Gingrich showed his savvy in answering questions in 140 characters while also utilizing the medium to his advantage, something which has been a trademark of the former Speaker of the House.
For instance, at one point in the Twitter debate, @secupp asked the debate participants, “As Pres, if you could enact any policy to fix the economy w/o congressional approval what would it be? Be specific”
While the other candidates responded by tweeting they would repeal ObamaCare or eliminate agencies, @NewtGingrich was savvy enough to reply first by tweeting that “I wouldn’t even if I could b/c congressional passage offers legitimacy of the consent of the governed to the law.”
Gingrich then tweeted “Big impact can be made with executive orders though. I would stop EPA from regulating carbon & abolish all White House Czars”
By acknowledging the importance and legitimacy of Congress, Gingrich, in a savvy way, put him on the side of limited government conservatives who worry about any branch overreaching their constitutional authority. It
Then after the debate had wrapped up, Gingrich tweeted his followers to join him on the new social media site, Google +, which is a hybrid between Facebook and Twitter, for another discussion.
And at the very beginning of the debate, Gingrich used the one external link that each participant was allowed to link to an introduction video he specifically made for the event.
Gingrich’s campaign may not be getting the traction he hoped he would get, but the Twitter townhall, which was sponsored by TeaParty.net, showed that how formidable Gingrich can be in any debate format in any format or medium. Below is the video Gingrich smartly linked to at the beginning of the Twitter debate: