Though Blitzer apologized, CNN suspended the anchor without pay for the duration of the election season as a penalty for covering the second tier libertarian congressman's long-shot presidential bid. Blitzer began the broadcast focusing on the soft support for top-tier candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry when he suggested, unfathomably, that some Republican voters might be giving Ron Paul a second look.
"The show was humming along until Wolfie cut away to some Ron Paul campaign footage," explained CNN contributor and guest on Blitzer's weekend edition, Mary Matalin. "It could've been a mistake, but he just kept talking about Ron Paul and then asked me if I thought Paul had a shot in New Hampshire. I almost threw up in my mouth."
Blitzer's director cut to commercial break during the segment. When the show returned, a visibly shaken Blitzer apologized to his audience for, "Wasting your time and mine with the foolish pipe dream of a viable Ron Paul candidacy." The mea culpa was not enough for Blitzer's employer, CNN.
"We at CNN are committed to covering serious news and serious candidates for president," explained network spokesperson Vicki Carlyle. "The mere fact that Wolf would mention Ron Paul in the same breath as pizza man, Herman Cain and reviled ex-Speaker, Newt Gingrich is troubling, to say the least." Blitzer wrapped the segment with footage of genuinely serious presidential candidate Rick Santorum at an Iowa Super Target produce department, equating gay marriage with picking fruit in front of an enthusiastic crowd of three.