Miami, Florida (CNN) - Perhaps it was the strong Cuban coffee.
At a campaign stop at the legendary Cafe Versailles in Miami's little Havana neighborhood, Newt Gingrich served up his toughest critique to date on Mitt Romney's claims on creating jobs.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Gingrich seized on a new Romney campaign ad that defends the former Massachusetts Governor's record when he led the private investment firm, Bain Capital.
The ad states Romney and Bain created "thousands of jobs," not 100,000 jobs as the former Governor has previously claimed.
When asked about the ad, Gingrich laughed.
"He's now himself changing his claim," Gingrich said.
The former House Speaker called on Romney to produce records from his tenure at Bain to prove his claims.
"He's still not prepared to release any documents from Bain to prove anything," Gingrich said.
Last month, Romney told Time Magazine he and Bain created 100,000 jobs.
"And so I'll compare my experience in the private sector where, net-net, we created over 100,000 jobs. We created over 100,000 jobs," Romney told Time.
That jobs claim does not appear in the new Romney ad.
"Mitt Romney helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, grew new ones and rebuilt old ones, creating thousands of jobs," the spot states.
In an interview with CNN, Gingrich questioned Romney's claims.
"I'm saying that he misstated the facts," Gingrich said.
A new ARG poll finds Romney and Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the upcoming South Carolina primary.
Gingrich, who has come under sharp criticism from conservative pundits for his attacks on Romney's Bain record, appeared to be pivoting away from the topic at events in South Carolina on Thursday.
But in his remarks to a packed crowd of Cuban Americans inside the Café Versailles, the former speaker defended his comments, saying the issue is fair game. The Florida primary comes just ten days after South Carolina.
"If he can't stand up today and defend his claim today, how is he going to stand up to Obama in the fall," Gingrich asked.
The former speaker pointed to a recent Washington Post fact-checking column that gave the 100,000 job claim "three Pinocchios."
Gingrich admits he has now abandoned his previous pledge to wage a positive campaign for the GOP nomination. But only, he says, because Romney attacked him first.
"You either unilaterally disarm and quit or you decide you're going to match," Gingrich told CNN.
A pro-Gingrich super PAC, Winning our Future, is now running ads featuring clips of a 30 minute documentary style video that attacks Romney and Bain.
Gingrich, who has previously said he would not tolerate any misstatements from the super PAC, gave no indication he has a problem with the "King of Bain" spots.
The same fact-checking column gave the anti-Romney flick "four Pinocchios."
A new Gingrich campaign ad compares Romney to former Massachusetts Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and John Kerry.
Gingrich brushed off the possibility the comparison could damage the GOP, in the event Romney becomes the party's nominee.
"The Obama people will figure out their own line of attack," Gingrich said.
"Let him explain his record. It's certainly not a conservative record," the former speaker added.
UPDATE: In a paper statement on Friday afternoon, Newt Gingrich called on Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting his presidential bid, to edit or take down advertisements and a 30-minute documentary-style film critical of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital if they contained factual errors but he listed no specific problems. He then called on Romney to do the same.
"I am calling for the Winning Our Future Super-PAC supporting me to either edit its "King of Bain" advertisement and movie to remove its inaccuracies, or to pull it off the air and off the internet entirely," he said.
He said accuracy in advertising is a "two way street," and repeated his criticism of ads produced by the Romney campaign and their allies.
"Furthermore, I am once again calling on Governor Romney to issue a similar call for the Super-PAC supporting him to edit or remove its ads which have been shown to contain gross inaccuracies, something the Governor has thus far refused to do," he said in the statement.
Santorum begins S.C. push by contrasting with Obama
Gingrich hits Romney for speaking French
Colbert for president (again)
South Carolina GOP Chairman defends free market amid Romney attacks
Photo caption - Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich demonstrates how he juggled his wife and mistress.
Someone who can get through to the Mitt scull, we are not jealous of him. Too bad he doesn't understand what the American people are talking about.
In 2004 RoMney said he created 10,000, now he says he created 100,000 jobs. I guess by 2016 he'll say he created 1,000,000 jobs and 2020 will show him at 10,000,000 - on and on and on.
He lies. Do mormons not believe in the 10 commandments?
Fair is Fair wrote:
Fair is Fair
"So why are the majority of the Southern RED States with GOP Governors and low tax policy environments ranked as the poorest, least educated and have higher unemployment rates than the National average??"
I fail to see your linkage of cause and effect. However, I will ask you to consider the effects of geography.
I will ask you to consider the obvious. Conservative leaders actively engaged in conservative ideology.
But, will consider your geography perspective for a moment. Hmm. Geographical size is totally irrelevant. Compare Texas and Alaska. I think a better explanation is all of that quality home schooling that accounts for most of it. Finding a good paying job starts with a good education.
Newt, pay no attention to the likes of Rush, Fox, Priebus, etc. Run all those ads to the full, across the South and out west. They (the establishment) don't want you airing the truth about Romney's record. If his record was so great, he would have run for a 2nd term for Massachusetts (he didn't b/c, among many reasons, he wsa 47/50 in job creation).
And make sure you stay in there through the entire process (let people have their say on Mr. 25% ceiling). The GOP establishment wants to shut this down by next week to coronate Mitt. Show that you mean business and that payback for his ads in Iowa is a futha mucka.
I don't find any REAL meaning in anything Romney says. He is another Obama. He doesn't have the knowledge and wisdom that Paul has.
WILLARD IS A MEXICAN.... where's his U.S. long form birth certificate!!!
"pick romney, we will lose"...mr. ann coulter
I am absolutely loving these primaries. Obama's greatest ally for reelection is...the Republican presidential field. They're pretty much doing all his work for him. Thanks for ensuring that the president gets four more years guys!
Learned something new.
Thank you, Romney.
"always the with nauseating Gingeritch style of pompous bloviation of half facts blended with faith-based facts leading to declarations of utter nonsense."
Let me try to explain it even so you can understand it. You wrong – me right.
@Woman in California, Lynda/Minnesota- Do you two work for any government sponsored agency? Your myopic view of business is fascinating!!!!
When someone puts something on their resume, the employer is obligated to check it out. Why are Romney's now conflicting claims( some days its, thousands, some days it 10,000, other days its 100,000: do I hear a million) any different, and why is that information virtually impossible to find? Why is the public and the press having such a hard time finding information that should be at the top of Mitt's list of reference info?
"Finding a good paying job starts with a good education."
Yup. I agree. And finding ANY job is dependent on an employer locating his or her business where the population can support the labor force necessary. If you needed 1000 workers, would you put your business in the middle of nowhere? Good luck with that.
GINGRICH sure knows how to get out in front of an issue and how to articulate ideas and to win debates.
Romney on the other hand is a follower. He debates by insulting others with canned slogans, and by answering intelligent questions by flashing that wooden smile and resurrecting his forced "HA HA HA" laughter. Romney is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME. AND WHAT WAS HE THINKING WHEN HE ATTACKED HUNTSMAN FOR PUTTING HIS COUNTRY FIRST! AND ROMNEY WANTS TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF!!!
Go Newt. You schooled the Fakes News clowns with your savvy explanation of the difference between vulture capitalism and regular capitalism. Now go for the jugular and demand Flippers tax returns!
The 100,000 net net jobs is another LIE FROM ROMNEY! Romney and his Henchmen are JUSY MAKING STUFF UP!
Do u think obama is a clown I don't think so the Gop pick romney that is a joke just like ther republican party is a clown show
Fair is Fair – 'Let me try to explain it even so you can understand it. You wrong – me right'
Actually is 'You can be right or wrong, while I'll never admit the first and always pretend that I am right (no matter the facts) thanks to my love for sophism and fallacies'.
So much for GingRICH's promise to keep it clean and civil. Oh well, what did we really expect from a life-long politician. Romney has my vote!
Oh dear! I've been insulted by a Hark...
So, in the scheme of things, which is better for our country: To have failing companies limp along and get infused with a large government loan security, only to have it crash around us with newly infused capital gone, and debt spilling out like a crime scene (solyndra); or, having an investment firm divest a failing company and sell off the working components to a new emerging company to set it back on its' feet, or at least not have it bleeding money and giving off no value? We have to make the things that can work be put to use and forget the "too big to fail" mantra and let the healing begin. Mitt was doing what businessmen do... keeping the investment and economic wheels turning, not offering cronies a free pass to loans that they are gonna funnel to management, while letting the crediors dangle like the rest of our struggling businesses.
It's funny to see how desperate Newt is and Obama are they will say and do anyhting to hurt Romney..... But I have news for you guys Romney will be the next president!!!! Sorry Newt and Obama!!!!!
@GPO is lost – Thank you!!! It seems they want to have it both ways, depending on what supports them at that particulare moment. I don't trust either of these two.
@ Marcus –
My remark was quite tongue-in-cheek... sort of a curt reponse to a poster who instead of even considering an opinion simply dismissed it out of hand beccse of WHO posted it. Surely you understand that.