With the Iowa caucuses only a few days away and Republican candidates are attempting to grab as many headlines as they can leading into the final weekend - Newt is crying in front of moms, Mitt's son Matt is making bad jokes about Obama's report cards and Ron Paul is taking the weekend off.
Newt Gingrich showed a rare amount of emotion when speaking Friday morning at an event sponsored by cafemom.com in Iowa. When asked about what special moments he thinks of when thinking of his mom, who died in 2003, Gingrich admits that he gets teary-eyed whenever he sings christmas carols today. He had to pause a few times to collect himself, and eventually one of his daughters handed him a tissue while he choked up. Politico even compared the event to when Hillary Clinton regained some traction in the 2008 election when she shed a few tears leading up to the New Hampshire primary after coming third in the Iowa caucuses. The crowd was won over, at one point in the video you can hear them go, "Awww" as he remembers their time singing together.
Matt Romney's comedy career is going nowhere fast. In this Patch video, Romney's five sons are speaking at an old folks home when one crowd member asks if their dad is going to release his tax returns. After initially saying his dad hasn't said he won't release his tax forms, he let out this blunder: “He’s certainly not afraid of anything, he’s not hiding anything. But I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things, that maybe he’d do that.” Another brother quickly realized what Matt had just said and tried to play damage control, "That was not my dad that said that." Matt backtracked and made sure to clarify it was a suggestion that came from someone else. Talking Points Memo reached out the Romney campaign for comment, but didn't hear back from them until Matt started a new Twitter account just to apologize for forwarding the bad joke. Elsewhere, dad is standing on a chair.
Ron Paul has announced he's staying home in Texas for the weekend before the Iowa Caucuses, according to a PBS Newshour who spoke to him at an event in Iowa. When the reporter asked if the small vacation was a sign of his confidence in Iowa, Paul responded, "No, I would never say that." It is a holiday and Paul has chosen to spend it at home with his family in Texas. The Washington Post points out that candidates occasionally take weekends off, but never so close to a nominating contest. They also point out that Martha Coakley took a week off before losing to Scott Brown.