In Saturday’s Republican presidential debate George Stephanopoulos asked the candidates, oddly enough, what they rather be doing that evening, if they weren’t in the debate.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s response was particularly painful.

Gingrich: I’d be watching the college championship basketball game.

(unknown): Football game.

Gingrich: I mean, football game.

Santorum: I’d be doing the same thing with my family. We’d be huddled around, and we’d be watching the championship game.

Romney: I’m afraid it’s football. I love it.

They’re totally regular guys! They like watching college sports.

This probably isn’t a very important, but both Gingrich and Santorum were lying.

College basketball championship games occur in March. The former governor of Massachusetts at least had the right season (football championships do occur in early January), but one would think, as lover of football, he’d be better informed.

There was no college championship game (in either sport) on television Saturday night. There was, however, an NFL playoff game; the New Orleans Saints defeated the Detroit Lions, 45 to 28.

At least Ron Paul was (reasonably) believable. “I’d be home with my family,” he said. “But if they all went to bed, I’d probably read an economic textbook.”

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer