The Megyn Kelly/Newt Gingrich Exchange Was TV Gold

"I think your defensiveness on this may speak volumes, sir."

Megyn Kelly is really good at not letting pundits and politicians get away with say anything, and those that forget that do so at their own risk. If you need a reminder, there is the still memorable exchange between Kelly and Karl Rove on election night 2012 that prompted Kelly to take an impromptu, on-air trip to Fox News’ Decision Desk when Rove challenged the fact that Fox has called Ohio for President Obama. And when this election is finally over, last night’s moment between Kelly and guest Newt Gingrich may go down in similiar infamy.

If you were looking for clues that would indicate what their interview would devolve into during the segment’s final few minutes, it was in Megyn Kelly‘s face, largely set in a subtle incredulity as she listened to Gingrich describe his candidate’s polling fate. Kelly was not going to let his words go unchallenged.

It began though, with an idea that everyone can agreed on. “The next two weeks are a contest of two parallel universes,” said Gingrich.

But that would be mostly it.

When Kelly challenged Gingrich’s interpretation of what polls are showing, Gingrich responded, “I don’t take polls as seriously as people who’ve never run for office.”

Well, maybe not Gingrich, “but your candidate loves them, and has touted them from the beginning,” said Kelly. “And he’s been behind in virtually every one of the last 40 polls that we’ve seen over the past month. That’s the reality.”

But you didn’t come her for poll talk, did you? After bringing up Trump’s sexual scandals and the ensuing back and forth, Gingrich told Kelly, “You are fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about policy.”

“Me, really?” Note here what was left unsaid.

“Well that’s what I get out of watching you tonight,” Gingrich responded.

Kelly responded to that with a line straight out of the high moral ground playbook. “You know what, Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex. But I am fascinated by the protection of women, and understanding what we’re getting in the oval office and I think the American voters would like to know.”

Gingrich: “And therefore we’re going to send Bill Clinton back to the East Wing, because after all, you are worried about sexual predators.”

Kelly: “Listen, it’s not about me, it’s about the women and men in America. And the poll numbers show us that the women in America in particular are very concerned about these allegations and in large part believe they are a real issue, and don’t dismiss the women, summarily.”

Gingrich: “You want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?”

Kelly, with the been there, done that: “We on the Kelly File have covered that as well, sir.”

Gingrich: “I want to hear the words, ‘Bill Clinton: sexual predator.’ I dare you. Say ‘Bill Clinton: sexual predator.'”

Kelly, still with the been there, done that, but also a reminder about who’s running: “We on the Kelly file have covered the Clinton matter as well…but he’s not on the ticket. And the polls also show that the American public is less interested in the deeds of Hillary Clinton’s husband than they are in the deeds of the man who asks us to make him president, Donald Trump.”

And if that wasn’t enough of a kicker, here’s more from Kelly: “We’re going to have to leave it at that, and you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker. Thanks for being here.”

Gingrich:”And you too.” (?)

Relive it below.

Publish date: October 26, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT