Gingrich under fire
December 14th, 2011
08:41 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich under fire

Iowa City, Iowa (CNN) – Newt Gingrich is getting a nasty taste of what’s to come.

As the former House speaker stood in a classroom at the University of Iowa and began to detail his vision for a federal brain-science project dedicated to curing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, Occupy Iowa City protesters started shouting.

The rowdy disruption lasted for several minutes. One Republican in the room ripped a written speech from the hands of one demonstrator.

But Gingrich eventually seized control of the event as the protesters were led out of the room.

That wasn’t the worst of it. At the end of a question and answer session following Gingrich’s remarks, one man in the crowd attacked the GOP front-runner’s personal life.

“Seems like you have a Ph.D. in cheating on your wife,” the unidentified man said.

It was a bitter end to a day that began with a barrage of attacks from Mitt Romney and his supporters, who are out to blunt Gingrich’s momentum heading into the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The Romney offensive sought to enflame tensions at the top of the Republican field little more than a day after Gingrich issued a plea to his fellow contenders to wage a positive campaign.

But Gingrich would have none of it.

“They should run their campaign the way they want to and I'm going to run my campaign the way I want to,” Gingrich told reporters at a news conference after the University of Iowa event.

Gingrich conceded he was drawn into a war of words with Romney earlier in the week. This time, he said he was not going to take the bait.

“My campaign is going to be focused on positive ideas and positive solutions and I'm frankly taking the gamble that the American people care about solving our country's problems - not just watch politicians beat each other up,” Gingrich added.

Earlier in the day, Romney seemed to question the former speaker’s seriousness as a presidential candidate in an interview with the New York Times.

“Zany is not what we need in a president. It may work on talk radio… But in terms of a president, we need a leader,” Romney told the Times.

The pro-Romney political action committee Restore Our Future was also on the attack. It aired a new negative ad that portrays a Gingrich candidacy as a dream-come-true for Democrats.

“Barack Obama’s plan is working. Destroy Mitt Romney. Run against Newt Gingrich,” the ad states.

Adding to the video onslaught, the Romney campaign released a new web ad that features Gingrich and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in their now infamous plea to combat climate change.

When pressed by reporters to respond to Romney’s attacks, even Gingrich's spokesman declined.

“We’re going to stay positive in this campaign,” R.C. Hammond said.

Gingrich, who has ridiculed Occupy Wall Street protesters in the past, offered an olive branch to the protesters who interrupted his speech.

“I’d be glad to talk to them about how to create jobs,” Gingrich said.

It was clearly a different Gingrich on display. The former speaker exhibited restraint, holding back his trademark acid-tongued comebacks.

But the Gingrich confidence could not be contained.

Asked about recent polls that show he poses less of a challenge to President Obama than Romney, Gingrich made a less-than-modest comparison.

“I’m at about where Reagan was with Carter at this stage,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich told reporters he’s looking forward to taking a new bus across Iowa in the next two weeks to make his case to caucus-goers face to face.

As he walked out of the news conference, he told reporters he is still having fun.

Also see:

Romney video ties Gingrich to left

Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee

Sen. Rubio for vice president?


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. chEzr

    Pretty pathetic when the freaks will not even let an opposing veiw point be expressed. Occupiers are proving themselves to be the scourge of society. Their motto: if you don't like it, kill it.

    December 15, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. ATL Guy

    Watching these Republicans debate is similar to watching pigs wrestle. Entertaining yet not so cool.

    December 15, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. dee

    I know that both political parties are thrilled at the division in our country. It draws attention from the real issues, which I have heard no solutions for from either party, such as really how to address unemployment, or the growing number of American's and children living in poverty. What about all of our jobs which have been outsourced to other countries? Let's see some common sense, when people are working, unemployment is down, money is being spent at our stores, tax revenue is being generated to support our do nothing government. Get real people and stop throwing stones at each other and instead start throwing them at all of our sold out to greed politicians.

    December 15, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. chEzr

    For all you libs still backing our current nightmare: please list ONE GOOD THING that he has done in his three years. And if you say Obamacare, I'm going to puke...

    December 15, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    chEzr

    For all you libs still backing our current nightmare: please list ONE GOOD THING that he has done in his three years.
    ------
    Osama Bin Laden. He kept our country safe.

    December 15, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Byrd

    Report back when Gingrich is actually on fire. The burning blubber alone could fuel this country for weeks, if not years.

    December 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Alan

    Anyone named after a Salamander lizard should just slither back under the rock he came from. He is way past is alloted 15 minutes. Gingrich walked, talked and handed out trash in the 1990's. Why don't they just dig up Ronald Reagan and see how that works. Oh, wait, the Republicans didn't support funding for stem cell research and cloning, so scratch that last idea....

    December 15, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Todd C

    @chEzr, why the Obamacare hate? It's exactly what Romney and Gingrich spent most of the last decade pushing for.

    December 15, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Larry L

    @ chEzr

    For all you libs still backing our current nightmare: please list ONE GOOD THING that he has done in his three years. And if you say Obamacare, I'm going to puke...
    -----------------------------------------------
    1. In spite of Republican the President's Healthcare program helped many get insurance who had none. Puke if you like but Republicans only offered gifts to HMOs and insurance companies – their sugar daddies.
    2. He killed the living crap out of terrorists – a far better job of managing the war on terror than "W" ever dreamed possible.
    3. Despite Tea Party and Republiucan opposition (95 filibusters – even against their own initiatives), he initiated policies that economists believe prevented a deep depression – one we could not recover from.
    4. Served as an advocate for the poor and middle class

    Republicans can take credit for;
    1. Trashing our economy (note: 1st bailout for banks was issued by Bush)
    2. Starting two wars w/o funding nor an exit policy – over Americans 5000 dead and 100,000 wounded.
    3. Blocking every initiative designed to help the middle class but supported rich folks at every opportunity
    4. Caused America's bond rating to fall to the level of 2nd world nations

    December 15, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. GOP answer to everything~"the middle class can pay for it, then blame the poor or a minority"

    Obamacare! – I'm sure it looks good (normal) on you – cheezier

    December 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. AlaskaPalin

    If there is a need for more taxes then there's to much spending. When has being 'rich' become unamerican? If the rich spent like the government do they would have been in the same position! There is a need for greater privatization in part or as a whole of some government programs. Government fiscal policies should be geared towards greater investments by the rich. Its time to stop threatening the rich with this we are going to take away what you have. That smacks of communism.

    December 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    chEzr

    Pretty pathetic when the freaks will not even let an opposing veiw point be expressed. Occupiers are proving themselves to be the scourge of society. Their motto: if you don't like it, kill it.
    --------
    They are imitating the antics of the Tea Party in August 2009 who crashed town hall meetings of Democrats serving in Congress, as they discussed the details of the Affordable Care Act and health care reform.

    December 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Texas Annie

    I'd come lot closer to voting for Romney over Obama than I ever would for Newt. Newt is a proven liar, cheat, and would sell his own Mother to the devil if it lined his pockets. At least I have some confidence that Romney is more ethical & honest than Newt. Right now Romney is about the ONLY candidate on the GOP list that I would support.

    December 15, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. excitizen

    "Gingrich, who has ridiculed Occupy Wall Street protesters in the past, offered an olive branch to the protesters who interrupted his speech."

    Positive aye? I would want to keep things "positive" as well if I had a past like yours. I bet he can't contain himself for more than a week! Jerko

    December 15, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Handofdoom

    Newt Gingrich's tast, loling, Newt Gingrich does NOT need to be in White House !

    December 15, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "When has being 'rich' become unamerican?"

    You honestly don't know the answer to that?!? When they use their wealth and power to corrupt our government and our economy, and to massively redistribute wealth upwards to increase the wealth and income gap, then yes, it's pretty easy to determine when these hidden elites who own our politicians became un-American.

    December 15, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Handofdoom

    Newt Gingrich does NOT need to be in White House !
    Newt Gingrich does NOT need to be in White House !
    Newt Gingrich does NOT need to be in White House !
    Newt Gingrich does NOT need to be in White House !

    December 15, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Patsy

    Calista Gingrich, possible 1st Lady, 2nd Mistress, 3rd wife

    December 15, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. sunpacific

    @Larry L- Obama's take on Libya was pragmatic: no American lives lost, considerably less expensive, and a terrorist dictator is gone. What have you republicans done in contrast other than whine? Obama is to be praised: it will take more than one term to turn around 8 years of republican "leadership." George Dubya Bush was the one who saddled us with two-billions-of-dollars costing wars and a shattered economy. Who do you think approved TARP? You know, the billions-of-dollars costing bail-out for the ultra-rich & uber conservative banksters? That was Bush as well. If we're spending trillions of dollars in foreign wars and plunging into debt, we have the republicans to blame. Oh wait, if you're republican, this is where you suddenly perform "transference" and shift the blame to Obama

    December 15, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 15, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. loathstheright

    Awww, the unethical, immoral, corrupt adulterer is going to be upset with everyone pointing out that he is an unethical, immoral, and corrupt adulterer .

    December 15, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    AlaskaPalin wrote:

    If there is a need for more taxes then there's to much spending. When has being 'rich' become unamerican? If the rich spent like the government do they would have been in the same position! There is a need for greater privatization in part or as a whole of some government programs. Government fiscal policies should be geared towards greater investments by the rich. Its time to stop threatening the rich with this we are going to take away what you have. That smacks of communism.
    ------
    We had an annual surplus, which was paying down the national debt that Reagan had ran up.
    Excuse me, but "unamerican" is not a term that you hear coming out of the mouths of liberals. Stop projecting.
    If the rich spent like Republicans did and will do again, then they would be in the same position. I agree.
    There is no need for privatization of critical infrastructure. It would be a disaster leading to be bailouts.
    Government fiscal policies should be geared towards The People, not just the rich. We do not want a plutocracy.

    It is time to stop the rich from extracting the wealth of this country. Wealth that was built by the workers, not capitalists. Workers built the cars that made auto industry the best in the world. Farmers grew the crops that made the US the bread basket of the world. It was men and women of science who made the discoveries and innovations that drove other industries. It was the rich who drove the economic policies that led to both the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

    December 15, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Handofdoom

    Why ? Must because people see him as he is !

    December 15, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Handofdoom

    Being unethical, immoral, corrupt so what new about DC !

    December 15, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Lynne

    Nope 2012 - And for all of you against the 1% remember that the country's wealthiest people have a 100% right to leave the country.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    You are right they have every right to leave, but you notice they haven't? They have it way to good here!!! If they went to almost any other country they would actually have to pay taxes!!!!! Their companies would have to pay taxes!!!!!! And they don't want that, Heavens no!!!

    Do you know that most likely, you paid more in income taxes than the biggest 50 corporations in this country????? Why would the 1% want to leave???? The have teams of tax people filing 250 page tax returns and getting multimillion dollar returns...beyond what they had paid into the system. And you and I pay through the nose. So, let them leave. I dare 'em, I double dog dare 'em. I double dog dare you!!!!!

    December 15, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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