Romney calls Gingrich 'extraordinarily unreliable'
December 13th, 2011
09:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney calls Gingrich 'extraordinarily unreliable'

(CNN) – One day after Mitt Romney blasted Newt Gingrich for showing "erratic outspokenness," the former Massachusetts governor again leveled another verbal affront on Tuesday, this time calling his opponent an "extraordinarily unreliable" conservative.

Romney's comments follow a string of attacks exchanged between him and the former House speaker, a battle that took center stage at a Republican presidential debate on Saturday and continued during the following two days.

But in an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, Romney sharpened his attack strategy on Gingrich once again.

"He has been an extraordinarily unreliable leader in the conservative world–not 16 or 17 years ago but in the last two to three years," Romney said. "And even during the campaign, the number of times he has moved from one spot to another has been remarkable. I think he's shown a level of unreliability as a conservative leader today."

Those words mirror a similar tune he took on Monday when he called out Gingrich for saying the Palestinians were an "invented people."

In an interview with the Fox News Channel, Romney said Gingrich displayed "erratic outspokenness, which may be great in a campaign but is not great for someone who's running for president of the United States, representing this country."

The two continued the back-and-forth on Monday, with both candidates hitting each others' background in the private sector.

Also in the Washington Post interview on Tuesday, Romney took a swing at Gingrich for doing a 2008 commercial on climate change with then-Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a move Gingrich has since called one of his "dumbest" decisions in recent years.

Romney also disagreed with Gingrich over comments he made about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's popular plan among Republicans to reform Medicare. Earlier this year, Gingrich described it as a "radical change" but quickly apologized to Ryan after the comment drew fire in conservative circles.

And while Romney seems to be mounting a plan to cast shadows over Gingrich's record, Gingrich on Tuesday called for the candidates and their supporters to resist negative campaigning.

He made a similar rallying cry on Saturday before the debate, only to break it hours later when he sparred with Romney on stage. Gingrich launched one of toughest lines of the night by saying Romney would be a "lifelong politician" if he hadn't lost his senate bid against Ted Kennedy in 1994.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. dennis

    Thanks CNN, you've just posted another article for your Left Wing Liberal Readers to make vulgar comments on Republicans, Christians, Morality, and Responsible up right living. Rave on Liberal Democrat Propaganda Machine, write your comments for CNN to advertise the content of their loyal clients IQ levels.

    December 13, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. ja

    three ring circus, reagan, has turned over in his tomb

    December 13, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. sonny c.

    Thank God it was JFK who had his finger on the Red Button during the Cuban Missile Crisis & not blowhards like Newt & Reagen.

    December 13, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Larry L

    It's clear why Gingrich wants to avoid negative campaigning... who has more to hide?

    December 13, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. Benedict

    Hear it from the greatest flip-flopper in the business ! "Unreliable" ? That's from someone like Willard Romney that changes his stance at every tide ! You made my day, Mitt... :)

    December 13, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. pete4808

    Of course Newt is asking the candidates and their supporters to resist negative campaigning. cause Its not to his advantage that all his dirty laundry be exposed then he would loose supporters.

    December 13, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. Max

    In the same boat

    Both the flip-flopping Mitt and the flip-flopping Newt are 'extraordinarily unreliable' candidates. They both change their positions on conservative issues and just can't be taken at their words. This is a case where the pot is calling the kettle black. None is better, and none deserves to be elected as the republican nominee.

    Ron Paul is the most consistent and dependable candidate in the field right now. He knows what he believes in and sticks to his views on issues, even when they are unpopular.

    Mitt and newt are two hypocrites. They are both playing games with the voters just to get elected.

    December 13, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  8. Larry L

    I disagree! If dishonorable behavior is the goal Newt is highly reliable!

    December 13, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney does have a point. There needs to be a certain level of calm that the president projects. I don't think that Gingrich has that. He would also need some greater level of tact that Gingrich doesn't show. Romney on the other hand doesn't have enough fire to do much for anything.

    December 13, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Call me irresponsible
    Call me unreliable
    Throw in undependable, too

    Do my foolish alibis bore you?
    Well, I'm not too clever, I
    I just adore you

    December 13, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. enuff

    I know you are, but what am I?

    December 14, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney calls Gingrich 'extraordinarily unreliable'◄
    Plus all the dirt from Grinch's past is NOT justifiable
    MITTens wants you to believe he's more electable
    In my opinion, both of them, is negatively very pliable

    Obama 2012 – Because you know where he is coming from – and you know where he is going in order to Win the Future!!!

    December 14, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. Pete Schatz

    Romney and Gingrich, aka Leroy and Sap

    December 14, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  14. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I have to disagree, Newt. I think Mitt is very ordinary. That would make him ordinarily unreliable.

    Newt on the other hand... Well maybe we could ask others (wives, for just one example) how reliable Newt is...

    December 14, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. AlaskaPalin

    Is cnn a mouth piece for Romney? As compared to the other candidates most romney stories are crouched in such a way so as to give his campaign an upbeat; optimistic or positive spin.

    December 14, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  16. Scotti

    Gingrich has been very clear, when he gets attacked he will respond. The "lifelong politician" was in direct response to Mitt Romney calling Newt Gingrich the same–how is that a Gingrich attack??? Gingrich has put out no negative ads (none) and said he will disavow any person or group that does negative ads "for" him. He just fired his campaign guy in Iowa for making negative comments about Romney (before he was employed by Gingrich).

    Meanwhile, Romney puts out "positive" ads aimed at both Gingrich's past marital problems and his religious conversion (it's totally fine for Romney to highlight someone else's faith, right). Romney refuses to disavow inflammatory comments that he instructed "surrogates" to make and yet claims he is running a clean campaign. Romney is a mudslinger who whines when anyone defends themselves plain and simple. The fact that he isn't rising in the Iowa polls doesn't bother him a bit–he just wants anyone but Newt to win there since he knows that he can't.

    December 14, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. James

    Newt is a man of good ideas but lacks the will to remain reliably true to conservative principles.

    December 14, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  18. AlaskaPalin

    If romney calls him unreliable; gringch will call him a flip flopper.

    December 14, 2011 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Gingrich unreliable???? Hard to believe, just like Newt himself. I saw the other day that he was trying to be a spokesman for fidelity. Really, Newt?? Can we ask your first wife, who found out you were filing for divorce while she was in the hospital fighting for her life against cancer. You dumped her in her time of need to marry your mistress. Maybe we could ask number two (the former mistress), who was dumped for the current Mrs Newt, the mistress while you were married to the second wife.
    Then again, maybe you meant political fidelity. We could ask the Republicans in Congress a few years ago, who kicked you to the curb because you were too crooked to be a Republican. And this is the party of Nixon, Grant, Reagan (our teflon President) and the two Bushes
    I am impressed by your gall, if nothing else.

    December 14, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  20. Shelby

    To the Moon, newt! And stay there, please.

    You are not presidential material.

    December 14, 2011 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  21. Showmeyerpapers

    Still got my vote Mr Cain. Herman my man, my main man,the "hermanator" got the nwo scared to death . The man will allow the states to enforce the dadgum law against mehicos invasion of our lives! That would ruin everything for the nwo. Illegals must have murdered at least 250 000 americans in the last 50 years. Cant you hear their blood scream for justice from their graves? Our american brothers and sisters victims of federal ethnic cleansing! Sometimes at night i can hear a car horn stuck on as if in an accident,then another and another and so on when one goes silent the tune is carried on by others till they fill the night with the constant blare,the horrific ane sickening symphony of americans getting wiped out by illegal "hispanic" drivers, theyre wiping out entire families daily

    December 14, 2011 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  22. db

    Look at the two photographs, the first impression I got of Romney is that he is wondering who just let a stinkyfart go and Gingrich looks very determined about something.

    December 14, 2011 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  23. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    He's right.Lizard is a loose cannon. The problem for wingnuts is that teabaggers love loose cannons. Palin,Perry,Herb Cain,Newt. Still toying with Ron Paul and Trump. The GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 14, 2011 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  24. Just Say No To Flipper

    That's pretty funny from the guy so lacking in self-awareness that he said this:

    "Nothing's changed in my position. I'm just as conservative today as I was four years ago. Maybe more so,"

    The only thing "reliable" about Flipper is that he'll say anything to anyone to get elected and fulfill his role as the designated sockpuppet for Karl Rove and the elitists who want to crush America and divide the pieces amongst themselves.

    December 14, 2011 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  25. Sandy

    BWAAAAAAAAAa! This charge seems hollow coming from the master flip flopper. LOL

    December 14, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
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