CNN first took it on the chin, not Newt Gingrich. Newt turned the issue of his third marriage into a barrage about the media and to the moderator, John King. The question of 'open marriage' was never revisited. The other candidates tossed verbal bombs at CNN and King, putting the moderator on the defense. Newt, at least temporarily, ducked the issue that he asked his second wife to agree to a 'open marriage', so he could date Callista, his current third wife, while remaining married to his second wife,
All in all, I would call the debate a draw. Mitt Romney had a little issue explaining his plan to publicly release his tax returns. Santorum sounded a bit like a little pet Yorkie, verbally nipping at the heels of the front runners without really landing a bite. Ron Paul held his own, and was improved since the Fox debate on Monday.
Bottom line, the candidates had a safe debate with Newt avoiding major scrutiny. CNN demonstrated their inability to produce an effective Presidential debate. John King was schooled by Newt, the other candidates and even the audience erupted with a boo or two. John failed at producing any 'news' for his floundering network.