Gingrich: South Carolina will be 'Armageddon' of attacks
January 11th, 2012
06:41 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich: South Carolina will be 'Armageddon' of attacks

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich said Wednesday a relentless attack from his rivals ultimately eroded his will to stay positive in the race for the GOP nomination.

Speaking with CNN's Piers Morgan, the former House speaker said Mitt Romney's refusal to disavow attack ads produced by a super PAC sponsoring his candidacy left him with no choice but to go negative.

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"I concede that every effort I made to stay positive and every effort I made to talk Romney out of doing this failed," Gingrich said. "But you can't - you know you can't unilaterally disarm unless you want to get out of the race. And since this is the objective reality we have no choice."

A super PAC supporting Gingrich's own candidacy recently purchased more than $3 million of ad space in South Carolina, and is preparing to unleash a scathing attack on Romney's time as CEO of the private investment firm Bain Capital.

Gingrich didn't mince words about the battle in the Palmetto State.

"This is going to be Armageddon – they are going to come in here with everything they've got, every surrogate, every ad, every negative attack," Gingrich said. "At the same time we'll be drawing a sharp contrast between a Georgia Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate who's pro-gun control, pro-choice, pro-tax increase, pro-liberal judge, and the voters of South Carolina will have to look and decide."

Gingrich framed the attacks on the former Massachusetts governor as a gauntlet any candidate must face if they expect to succeed against President Barack Obama.

"The last thing you want is to nominate somebody who collapses in September because they can't answer the questions," Gingrich said. "I mean, so you better answer - you know, people want to attack me for my past, that's fine. I either will answer it and be ready to be the nominee or I won't. Romney ought to have to meet the same test."

Gingrich, who has sparred with Romney frequently at debates, said he had no personal opinion of his opponent.

"No, I have no view," Gingrich said when asked his personal judgment of Romney.

He continued, "He is a competitor. He's somebody who I think was unnecessarily negative and who ran - who knows that some of the things he ran were not true. But that's his decision. That's how he wants to play the game."

Also see:

Poll: Romney, Santorum tied with Obama in Florida

Gingrich fires up down South

S.C. Republicans plan presidential forum in conservative upstate

Santorum to spend fundraising haul immediately in S.C.

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • South Carolina • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. ron

    LOL!!! Look at what that republican Supreme Court has done to politics with its Citizen United ruling. How poetic it is that the first ones to suffer the effects are republicans. President Obama told us this would happen, and the SCOTUS Justices shook their heads saying no it wouldn't. Well, what say you now SCOTUS?? OBTW...thanks for helping re-elect President Obama!

    January 11, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Jake

    i wouldn't drop the word "Armageddon" so casually for all of your evangelical followers to hear!

    January 11, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. nytw

    I wonder what Newt would be complaining about if the part of Fiengold-McCain that outlawed soft money had not be struck down by the Supreme Court. No doubt Newt supported that action.

    January 11, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. man enough

    I have never seen such a evil person, a looser, and are liar like this guy in politics. He should do him a favor and go teach or lecture in universities where kids will go to sleep because hes manu ideas need trials first!!

    January 11, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Newbigtech

    "we'll be drawing a sharp contrast between a Georgia Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate who's pro-gun control, pro-choice, pro-tax increase, pro-liberal judge, and the voters of South Carolina will have to look and decide."
    ...........................Kind of say's it all for me.
    MIT AIN'T IT !

    January 11, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. antieverything

    What a lunatic. The GOP is in serious trouble if these goons are the best they can come up with. Look at what Romney said:

    "I will insist on a military so powerful, nobody will ever think of challenging us"

    And not a single one of his supporters - nor any other republican for that matter - can see what is wrong with this statement. I mean wow Osama Bin Laden sure was intimidated by our incredible military back on 9/11/2001! Stopped him cold in his tracks baby! Oh wait a minute. It didn't stop him. DOH!!

    Our country is now facing the worst times since the civil war.As of now it can be avoided, but if any one of these so-called presidential candidates actually wins the thing that's exactly the path we will be on: Civil war.

    January 11, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Mark silvers

    Fun to watch Republicans eat their young!

    January 11, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Nancy

    I thought that candidates could not influence a Super Pac's message. How does Newtie know what the Super Pac's are going to do unless he is telling them what to do? Would not be the first time that the Newtie ran afoul of ethics.

    January 11, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. victimhood

    Be it Gingrich,Romney, Paul, or whoever, anybody but Obama will at least have America's best interest at heart

    January 11, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. donna

    Gingrich's angry attacking motif isn't working. He must know that. I think he should reanalyze his campaign and focus on Florida. I think that's his last chance to save his campaign.

    January 11, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. man enough

    You have to except the fact that when you had 2 affairs while married is the GREATEST LIAR OF ALL!! You can not talk about telling the truth when you YOURSELF Lied many times to the very person you were supposed to be truthful to. Just quit NEWT and retire with the money your Billonaire friends gave you and forget polictics because you have made your marked in there with your evil spirit showing right now!!

    January 11, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Mindie from Indie

    Hopefully SC will be when newtered wakes up and realizes the country does not like him and would never elect him as POTUS

    January 11, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Jamie from Riverside

    Oh brother, he broke his promise not to go negative but it's everybody else's fault.
    Remember Flip WIson? "the Devil made me do it!"

    January 11, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. zip

    Burn down the whole thing, Newt. Destroy the GOP forever. It's all about you.

    January 11, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Nick

    Sure is a lot of news from the guy that finished FOURTH in NH.

    January 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Greg

    Does this mean that Newt is admitting to contact and direction of the superpac supporting him? Hmmm sounds like investigation time of a flony

    January 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. Gingrich is WAY too Melodramatic

    South Carolina will be the Armageddon of attacks just like his failure to get on the ballot in Virginia (due to fraud within his own campaign) was likened to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    This guy needs to take his ball and go home.

    January 11, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. brooklyn web design

    Anyone voting for romney needs to take a look at his largest financial contributors! Yup, Bain Capital is in there ($69,000)...but the top contributor is Goldman Sachs at over $350,000! Next up is the Credit Suisse Group, Morgan Stanley, HIG Capital, Barclays, Kirkland & Ellis, Bank of America (all of these guys gave over $100,000)...the list goes on and on like this. If you want your next President beholden to the big banks and financial houses of Wall Street, then Romney is your man!

    January 11, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. ziegfeldf

    The truth hurts, doesn't it, Newt?

    January 11, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. Carol

    Gingrich is not as radical as the rest of the contenders, is that why Republicans prefer Romney because he is? He seems more intelligent and more moderate than the rest. The moral judgers of the Republican Party pick on his personal background as important, but than the Republican Party uses whatever they can to push the person they think they can control to do their bidding. Hard to believe this Party is the same Republican Party I voted for in my first voting experience, for Eisenhower.

    January 11, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. augustghost

    just given them pistols and 10 paces and be done with it...PLEASE

    January 11, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. fred

    Nasty nutty Newt!

    January 11, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. conoclast

    Go get him, Newt! Somebody's got to stop the Romney Train long enough for us to get a look at just what is it's carrying!
    All the manifest says is "I can beat Obama" and NOTHING else. Seems like a really long train to be carrying such a light load, hmm?

    January 11, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. dick

    It's not that we really think any of them are great. It's because Obama lied so much to get elected then he and that Queen Witch of the West started shoving expenses down our throat with their socialistic viewpoints. At this point we would vote for ANY GOP candidate. Get it Libbys!

    January 11, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Sandy

    Go get him, Newt! LOL

    January 11, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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