Romney on whether Gingrich lobbied: 'When it walks like a duck...'
December 17th, 2011
12:44 PM ET
7 years ago

Romney on whether Gingrich lobbied: 'When it walks like a duck...'

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) – Visiting a state where Newt Gingrich enjoys a commanding lead, Mitt Romney said Saturday he expected to peel off some of the former House speaker's tea party support as voters learn more about Gingrich's record.

Romney was making a two-day swing through South Carolina accompanied by Gov. Nikki Haley, who said she endorsed the GOP candidate in part because he had not worked in Washington.

Romney made that comparison explicit in remarks to the media in Charleston, hitting Gingrich for his work with troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

When asked whether Gingrich's work could be considered lobbying – a characterization Gingrich has strongly denied – Romney said he would let the lawyers decide.

"But you know, when it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, typically it's a duck," he said.

He again pointed to the $1.6 million Gingrich earned consulting with Freddie Mac.

"I think as tea partiers concentrate on that. For instance, they'll say, 'Wow, this really isn't the guy that would represent our views'," Romney said. "I think the tea party is anxious to have people who are outside Washington coming in to change Washington, as opposed to people who stayed in Washington for thirty years."

During a tele-town hall with Iowa voters the same morning, Gingrich said much of the compensation had been used to pay overhead for his Washington consulting firm.

Romney spread some blame onto Congress, as well, as he spoke at a town hall hosted by tea party-backed freshman Rep. Tim Scott on Saturday.

"It's hard to expect a bunch of kitty cats to all come together and march in lock step. That’s just not going to happen," he said. "So the only way to herd cats is to have a leader."

But he did not directly answer a question about Congress' vote Saturday to temporarily extend a payroll tax credit until after the holidays, instead blaming the president for "demonizing and attacking" rather than leading.

Also see:

Gingrich 'editing' his words as campaign acknowledges concern

Bachmann camp: Gingrich morphs positions based on 'who's paying'

Perry moving staff to Iowa

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I noticed that Mittens is also beginning to look like a duck.

    December 17, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Squigman

    There's nothing in the world that would make an intelligent person vote republican.

    December 17, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Is foreign owned media, Fox, now reporting that the pipeline project will create 20,000 jobs? I believe the truth is closer to 6,500 temporary jobs. Even 6500 is a big deal to the GOP who saw the elimination of 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years.

    December 17, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee

    Both of these men are dinosaurs , more of the same !

    They both act like children arguing over the color of there car seats on a cross country road trip !

    December 17, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Just Say No To Flipper

    Flipper better lay off the cat comments or people will start remembering how strapped the family dog, in its carrier, to the roof of his car. It doesn't get much more psychopathic than that.

    December 17, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney on whether Gingrich lobbied: 'When it walks like a duck...'◄
    ginGRINCH on Romney's "Insane Bain" Hype: "Then it QUACKS like a duck..."

    Obama 2012

    December 17, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Clwyd

    Right! Newt is a duck!

    December 17, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Max


    Which Mitt?

    December 17, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Max


    Which Mitt? The one FOR universal health care or the one AGAINST universal health care? Which Mitt anyway?

    December 17, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Drew

    Gingrich can squeal, winnie and moo but a duck is a duck. I think Bachmann nailed him to the proverbial wall in the last debat. Sorry Newt you can't slip this one..Quack.

    December 17, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    Lizard still ducking the payroll tax issue. He's running scared after telling the truth about the Ryan plan to kill Medicare. Wingnuts flee the truth. The GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 17, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. junglejim123

    Newtie is not going to help us defeat the Obama. Too much baggage, too many affairs , too many shady dealings... etc ...The Democrats would love for Newt to be the nominee..... Romney is the best bet and he can win over Tea party members and disgrunted Hillary Clinton voters.... long as he reminds them a vote for him is a vote AGAINST OBAMA.... We cannot afford 4 more years of this radical. and his far left extremist positions .. .. ROMNEY/RUBIO 2012 !!

    December 17, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Chuk

    This so-called leader is a say-anything-to-get-elected "leader". Romney is a flip flopper. He will flip and flop to match the current rythm.

    December 17, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Namejkane

    You have to be a total idot if you don't think grichrich wasn't lobbying. If you get payed in Washington to influence somebody in Washington , your lobbying , plane and simple, and I think It's a crime if your not registered which grinchrich isn't

    December 17, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. cisco4

    Do these two dudes look mlike they are conservative with your money or their money?..Which is it?

    December 17, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. steven harnack

    He didn't really accuse the President of "demonizing and attacking" did he? How many times has President Obama demanded to see their birth certificates, called them Muslims, called them Nazis or Hitler wannabes, accused them of wanting to destroy America? Do they really think that THEY have been attacked and demonized?

    December 17, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Namejkane

    Romneys unelectable, just ask mass. Residents, they wouldn't elect him dog catcher!!!

    December 17, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. mk1

    I posted this a few minutes ago and it is gone but basically of course Newt lobbied, no matter what you want to call it. He peddled influence for money. He is an expert at skirting rules for his profit as he has done for a very long time. Nothing new here and it would follow him into higher office, not a doubt in my mind. What an incredibly corrupt man he is.

    December 17, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. toocy

    I think for the first Mitt may be saying what he actually believes. it probably feels good.

    December 17, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Yaung Ni Oo

    Romny problem is some time he walks like a duck, sometime he walk like a chicken, some time he walks like a penguin, not sure what he is any more.

    December 17, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. willie floyd

    With "Trikki Nikkis'" 34% approval rating, in which I'm not included, doesn't sound as though she's doing him any favors.
    Between her and Nick Zais, supt. of Ed., we're the laughing stock of America. Oh well, after 66 this state one would think I'd become accustomed to it–NOT!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    December 17, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. ja

    it is a matter of, will he get a pass, more than likely, due to to short memories by some for a certain segment

    December 17, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess that would go for trickle down economics as well. It doesn't work except in an ideal world which this isn't. If they can't figure out that the rich don't and won't spend to make that work, then they are more foolish than I thought.

    December 17, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  24. Former Republican, now an Independent

    And when you consider all of these poor excuses from the GOP for candidates, if it looks like BS, and smells like BS, THEN IT IS BS!

    December 17, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  25. Redleg56

    Would even Fannie Mae pay that kind of money for the professional historical judgment of a draft dodger who couldn't get tenure at a second rate southern school?

    December 18, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
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