Gingrich disdain is personal for Romney adviser
December 2nd, 2011
09:46 AM ET
7 years ago

Gingrich disdain is personal for Romney adviser

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – As Newt Gingrich gets cast as a Washington insider by frontrunner rival Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential candidate's top New York adviser and one of the state's most prominent Republicans is getting personal, calling the former House speaker "evil."

"Evil is a tough word, but frankly I can't think of a better word that describes what he is all about," said Guy Molinari, who served with Gingrich in Congress. "He is an evil person. That's the way he is. He'll lie; he'll do anything to get his way."

The incendiary comments come ahead of Gingrich's four-day visit to New York, which includes a stop in Staten Island, the most conservative of the city's five boroughs, where Molinari also served as borough president for 11 years.

Molinari admits he is holding a decades-old grudge from their days on Capitol Hill, but he said it's a reflection of the things Gingrich has done throughout his career.

"Those of us that know him have a duty as Americans to come forward and relate the problems that we experienced ourselves and hope that the people will begin to understand what he's really all about, and then pick somebody else," he said.

One incident involved Gingrich allegedly ignoring a written agreement. Years later he leveraged his seniority to remove Molinari from his post as ranking Republican on the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee. Molinari served four terms in Congress in the 1980s.

Molinari finds it "frightening" that Gingrich's presidential campaign has made it this far. He also raised concerns about the millions of dollars Gingrich earned from clients, including mortgage giant Freddie Mac, after serving for decades as a top House Republican.

"There's nobody that's benefitted financially as much as he has during his tenure in Congress," said Molinari. "You look at the stories about how much money he's made, lobbying really, he says it wasn't. It sure as hell was lobbying."

Romney's New York state chairman told CNN he is speaking out as a private citizen, but his senior role with a rival presidential candidate is not lost on the Gingrich campaign.

"We will run a positive campaign – others may not make the same choice," said Gingrich spokesperson R.C. Hammond.

Molinari said the campaign has not asked him to participate in any rapid response efforts leading up to Gingrich's New York visit, saying Thursday, "If they were going to do that I think they would have mentioned something by now."

The 83-year-old respected public figure, who supported former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential bid, is not afraid to go after Gingrich.

"This man is not a good person, he's not a good person, and I just hope that the people in this country recognize that fact and do not vote for him," said Molinari. "I'd like them to vote for Mitt Romney but if not Romney let them vote for somebody else, but heaven's to Betsy not Newt Gingrich."

Molinari was invited to attend the Gingrich town hall on Saturday by the Staten Island Tea Party, but he is not sure he'll go.

"I don't want the attention to be on me or the problems and differences that we had. This is a presidential sweepstakes and it's very, very important," he said. "I don't want to affect or have any impact upon the Romney campaign, so anything I'm doing myself is as a private citizen."

If he does attend the town hall, Molinari said he has no intention of asking a question and stirring up controversy. He also doesn't expect Gingrich to say anything negative about him.

"That's typical Gingrich-style. He won't attack me or anything like that, that's not the way he operates," he said.

- Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Years later he leveraged his seniority to remove Molinari from his post as ranking Republican on the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee. "

    Gee, I wonder why. Can you say "$300,000 in ethics violations fines?"

    December 2, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Ron

    I hope more people who really know the inside about Gringrich will also speak up.

    December 2, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Jariv

    Romney 2012 !!! This man is so correct. I like the way he was able to say this things. This man is a bad person and I have so many bad words I would like to say to express myself about this Gingrich. Do not make a mistake America !!!!

    December 2, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAhadists

    Newt does have an evil demeanor about him. You don't get "Grinch" put into your name and be a saint.

    December 2, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Eat it up now Libbies! Although the sparring match is ongoing between Romney and Gingrich, one of these gentlemen will be your next President!

    December 2, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Jess C

    Sounds like a very honest assessment. I've researched Newt and he is slimy to the core. Some Americans are so fooled by rhetoric; they need to dig deeper and wean themselves off the Fox News network. It's time for this country to recognize middle America and let the wealthy 1% not get all the breaks. I know hard working Americans who work two jobs just to get by. Newt, the underground lobbyist, can't even relate. He'll go down as someone who so seriously lacks ethics should.

    December 2, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Jules

    Molinari is not the first Republican to say that Newt is unfit for the presidency in the last few days. Former congressmen who worked with him in the House are saying the same thing. Seems like we should all pay attention to that since it is coming from his own party.

    December 2, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Ed Peters

    With Newt the GOP has a clear choice of the kind of integrity they want in a president. You stay in there Newt and keep telling it like it is, or like it should be.

    December 2, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Independent from NH

    Gingrich is the embodiment of evil. To all of you Republicans and Tea Party folks:

    I understand your dilemma. I have friends that are pro-Gingrich. But what they fail to see is that they are voting for a Sharon Angle. Winning the primary means nothing if you can't win the general election. That is why Harry Reid still has a job. You did not think outside the box and produce a viable primary candidate.

    The Obama Administration is right. It will be much tougher beating Romney than Gingrich. This time around, with the new DNC chairwoman, there is going to be some very serious attacks coming from Obama. It won't be all niceties like 2008. This cycle is going to be brutal and even a fifth grader can come up with a list of at least five things Newt has done that are scandalous. I'm not talking about the fifth grader knowing about Obama and esoteric policy making. I'm talking about human values: cheating on your wives, etc, etc.

    The left has so much ammunition against Gingrich and his baggage it is almost as if he is a non-issue. For people like me, the "oh so valued Independent," I'll tell you one thing: I don't know of an Independent that I've met yet that will vote for Gingrich. And it will be us who will decide this election.

    December 2, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Many republicans don’t want to see Newt Gingrich in political arena again

    December 2, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Larry L

    Spot-on-target! Republicans need to draw the line here and not accept such obcious character flaws as those repeatedly demonstrated by Newt Gingrich. Do conservatives for honorable behavior or have they listened to Fox News so long this is simply all about hatred for the President?

    December 2, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. steven harnack

    I knew that the people who know the real Gingrich would sound the warning about this demigog if he got too cocky. He should have been laughed out of contention before he got started. Americans indeed have short attention spans.

    December 2, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Steve

    Purely personal attack. "Newt got me thrown out of my plum position." This will not help Romney.

    December 2, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. AlaskaPalin

    He will not attack him nor anyone else in the party yet he called him evil. There are other terms he might have used yet he went for the extreme- molinari should check his motives; see if in his final desperate gasp to impose the elite myth romney (the rejected) on us he might be showing emotional incontinence! Newt is indeed a 'bad boy' but he is genuine; has the intellect and the drive to move this country forward. Where as myth romney seems robotic. Chicago dirty politics does not stand a chance against the newt; he'll crush its ugly head with a tsunamial win. It will be a joy to let him loose against the 'no drama'!

    December 2, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. johnborg

    Romeny = Corporate Titan, Gingrich = Federal Titan. It's a lose-lose situation, the GOP needs to look more at Paul, Johnson, and Huntsman.

    December 2, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "We will run a positive campaign – others may not make the same choice," said Gingrich spokesperson R.C. Hammond."

    Personally, I despise Newt Gingrich. However, in this instance I believe he actually WILL run a positive campaign against Romney. Let's face it, Mitt Romney was caught sleeping at the wheel where Gingrich is concerned. We all knew that "Flavor of the Month" was going strong against Mitt - although Mitt himself was too self absorbed to accept it. Now he has to contend with good old Newt, and once again, is caught flailing in the wrong direction. Having your spokesperson call a rival candidate "evil" publicly probably won't get you far ... especially in this political climate. Mitt's advisers are only feeding the beast of hate, not starving it.

    How incredibly ugly and meanspirited GOPers have become. Moderate and Conservative alike.

    December 2, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can't blame the guy for being gun shy of Gingrich. Because Gingrich has had a questionable past, it strikes me as a possible reason to not give him the nomination.

    December 2, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Molinari finds it "frightening" that Gingrich's presidential campaign has made it this far. He also raised concerns about the millions of dollars Gingrich earned from clients, including mortgage giant Freddie Mac, after serving for decades as a top House Republican.
    It is frightening, sir. Have you considered what it says about the Republican Party and the convervative movement? The rest of The People have noticed it sense Obama took office.

    December 2, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. vatoloke

    These guys are like professional wrestlers. After the match they go have a beer together and are the best of buddies until next time. Give us a break.

    December 2, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. v_mag

    Have things ever been this bad for Repugnant presidential aspirations? The voters have gone through all the "lesser" candidates looking for an alternative to Romney, but none of them is worthy of even a low-level government job, much less the presidency. Romney can get support from old guard, non-evangelical Repugnants, but he needs the support of teabaggers and evangelicals to get elected, and that can't happen. It's too late for another Repugnant to jump in, the deadline having passed. The only option is a third-party challenge, which will only further divide the party. By election day, there will be mass depression within the ranks of Repugnants and Obama-haters, because there will be no way to beat the President.

    With voter turnout extremely low among dejected Repugnants, lots of House and Senate seats will change to the [D] column, and the country will begin to turn around as it comes out of the grip of Repugnant obstructionism.

    December 2, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Thomas

    Newts elitist ideals combined with his egotistical quasi intellectualism makes for a soon to be revealed humbling experience.

    It will be very interesting to see how long the King of spins teflon coat and silver tongue will flutter and flaker.

    I find Newt Gingrich to be the poster child for this years narcism convention. For Newt to feel he's the chosen one entitled by God to be president , why not then KING .

    Contract on America

    December 2, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Bob

    Sounds like he knows Newt quite well.

    December 2, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |