Nightly News | December 01, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now we turn to the presidential campaign trail and the wild, unsettled race going on within the GOP . The Newt Gingrich that a lot of folks will remember from his speakership days back in the '90s was back on display, making statements about controversial issues that left some of his critics slack jawed. Our report from NBC 's Chuck Todd .
Unidentified Man #1: Thanks for coming, Newt .
Mr. NEWT GINGRICH: Thank you.
CHUCK TODD reporting: Former Speaker Gingrich was quintessential Newt in Iowa today, making broad assertions and diving into issues that haven't been front and center, like child labor laws and the work habits of the poorest Americans.
Mr. GINGRICH: Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works.
TODD: Those remarks came as Gingrich tried to clarify his claim at Harvard two weeks ago that child labor laws are, quote, "truly stupid."
Mr. GINGRICH: You have kids who are required under law to go to school. They have no money. They have no habit of work. What if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit at the clerical office and greet people when they came in? What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian?
Unidentified Man #2: How you doing, man?
TODD: Meanwhile, Herman Cain met with the influential New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, admitting that he never told his wife about a 13-year friendship with a woman who says it was an affair. Cain denies that but says he still hasn't talked to his wife about it in person or decided whether to quit running.
Mr. HERMAN CAIN: I haven't had an opportunity to sit down with her and walk through this with my wife and my family. I will do that when I get back home on Friday.
TODD: Still, if actions speak louder than words, it appears Cain plans on staying in. The super PAC supporting him is set to debut one of the most unusual TV ads of the year, citing a lie detector.
TODD: The establishment front-runner Mitt Romney was off the early state campaign trail. He paid a visit to former President Bush 41 , former first lady Barbara Bush -- as you see in this photo today -- trying to flaunt those establishment credentials. He didn't come away with an endorsement, Brian . Of course, the entire Bush family has been staying on the sidelines so far.
WILLIAMS: All right, Chuck Todd in our Washington newsroom tonight. Chuck , thanks.