In shift, Romney campaign targets Gingrich
January 18th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
2 years ago

In shift, Romney campaign targets Gingrich

Spartanburg, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney hit Newt Gingrich over job creation claims Wednesday, the latest in a sudden escalation of attacks by Romney's campaign on the former House speaker.

"The Speaker the other day at the debate was talking about how he created millions of jobs when he was working with the Reagan administration," Romney told an audience standing outdoors at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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"Well, he had been in Congress two years when Ronald Reagan came to office."

Romney said jobs are created by the private sector, not government.

"Congressman taking credit for creating jobs is sort of like Al Gore taking credit for creating the Internet," Romney said.

The direct hit was the latest in a torrent of coordinated criticism unleashed by Romney's campaign Wednesday, perhaps a sign the campaign sees the former speaker as a growing threat in the days before South Carolina's primary.

In contrast, Romney complimented Gingrich in a Republican debate two days earlier.

"I appreciate the speaker's work working in the Reagan years and in the Clinton years," he said during the Myrtle Beach forum. "We did see good growth in this country. I want to see that come back again."

The campaign seemed to shift tactics Wednesday, releasing a pair of web videos that featured two of Gingrich's former congressional colleagues, Rep. Susan Molinari and Sen. Jim Talent, who charged the GOP candidate was an "undisciplined" and "unreliable leader."

On a morning conference call for reporters organized by the Romney campaign, the legislators - both Romney supporters - took another opportunity to hit Gingrich's leadership record as House speaker.

The Romney campaign held a similar conference call in Iowa in early December, when Gingrich was leading in many state polls.

Molinari told reporters Gingrich lacked the "temperament" to lead the Republican party, and both legislators charged the speaker was a lone operator who did not always act in the party's best interest.

"If the speaker's the nominee, he's going to be the issue," Talent said.

In a statement, Gingrich's campaign released a list of current and retired Congressional supporters who they said stood firmly behind the former speaker's record.

"With several former and current members endorsing him, Gingrich has already proven his leadership skills during his time as Speaker, creating 11 million new jobs, balancing the budget, controlling spending, and reducing poverty levels," Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said in a statement.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Lili

    ONE WORD– DESPERATION !

    Okay Romney and his allies, when Newt begin to a attack back–dont start crying like babies!!

    January 18, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Yes, Romney must level all barrels on Gingrich and blow him out of the water in SC & FL. It's now over never Romney. Don't hold ANYTHING back if you intend to win the nomination.

    January 18, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Romney said jobs are created by the private sector, not government.”

    So that mean Romney is not giving any credit to Ronald Reagan

    January 18, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    "If the speaker's the nominee, he's going to be the issue,"
    -------------------------
    Same thing for Willard. His uncountable flip flops are unexplainable. ROMNEY HAS NO CORE!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 18, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. westward

    And yet he can't be bothered to release any of his tax returns...just can't bring himself to it.

    January 18, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Val in MA

    Romney is the best and winning choice the Republican Party has for general election. Obama will look like a school kid in comparison to Romney. Romney's surrogates are right, the election will be about Gingrich should he win the nomination because his baggage is just too grandiose. We want this election to be about Obama and his pathetic record of job creation. If the Republican force this election to be about Obama and his records the country as the whole will win because four more years of Obama will be a disaster. So Mr. Newt, wise up, you are going to lose because you have too much baggage.

    January 18, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. carrotroot

    Romney's only crowing achievement was implementing a healthcare system in Massachusetts which became the model for our National Healthcare system. Unfortunately he's spent the last 3 years trying to disown it and instead he has been trying to convince people that he's a job creator when he's spent his entire career doing just the opposite.

    January 18, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. dreamer96

    Newt Gingrich should not be President because as Speaker of the House he hear early warnings of the 911 attack and made the wrong decisions did not prevent it...yes there were warnings even back then....maybe more symbolic, but still very loud, like the flare from a ship in distress at sea...many saw the warnings......As for Mitt Romney...Mitt Romney does not know much about Europe...Germany has high taxes, highly trained Union workers...are retrained by their companies to keep up to date on technology...German Government pays companies to hire the unemployed and retrain them, German has the largest economy in Europe, the worlds second largest exporter in the whole world...and every thing Romney wants is the opposite of want German does...

    We do not want a GOP to lead us into the future, they will only lead us farther into the past ...I would rather vote the Tea Party out of Office, and every member of Congress that signed Grover Norquist's pledge, and ignore Grover Norquist..

    We need to get off imported oil and build up our renewable energy Algae, wind solar, make pure hydrogen...

    January 18, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Romney still hasn't produced his birth certificate. He hasn't proven he's eligible to run for president.

    Where's the birth certificate, Mitt?

    January 18, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. quinLee

    Gingrich has been like a freakn radioactive attack monster the past 2 weeks. He's been all over Romney. Romney busted him up pretty good in IA with the CPAC supported ads and I don't think Gingrich liked that. Today, Gingrich basically told the other candidates to drop out while I continue to open this can of....well you know.

    January 18, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Hugganoak

    Since Romney says he knows how to create jobs, and at the same time says government can't create jobs only the private sector can, that means he would not be able to create jobs either as president. We should make sure he stays in the private sector then where he can put that job-creating experience to good use.

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. ted

    What Mittens says is correct. The politicians do not create jobs, they only create havoc and chaos. However, RomneyBain not only created jobs, they destroyed them. So Gingrich and Romney are both liars. Hardly a surprise.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    January 18, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Well Mittens, since you've quickly backtracked from your "100,000 jobs" to whatever it is now, you shouldn't be critisizing Newter as putting out falsehoods.

    January 18, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Butter My Butt And Call Me a Biscuit

    I cannot wait until the Obama Campaign turns its' big guns on Mitt Romney. That will be almost as much fun as watching Obama mop the floor with Romney during however many debates are planned. Romney CANNOT think on his feet....unscripted he says what he truly believes...to the dismay of much of America. If Republicans truly thought they had a chance at the White House in 2012 why did Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and all the other big guns in the Republican Party decide not to run? They can read the handwriting on the wall. The Republican Party is fast becoming a rotting stinking corpse and it is a little bit sad. They were once the "Party of the Loyal Opposition" and had a place in American politics but NO MORE.

    January 18, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Rsprings

    Gingrich, Perry. Paul and Santorum cannot win on the national level. You can beat Romney up all you want but I like a man who has demonstrated success at something. For you who have a problem voting for Romney...how much of a problem do you have voting for more of Obama???

    January 18, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. jparker77

    Romney sure looks like your average American in those jeans. Corperations are people too. I will bet you $10,000. $357,000 is not alot of money. I would fire them. Grover Norquist your my hero :)

    January 18, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "Congressman taking credit for creating jobs is sort of like Al Gore taking credit for creating the Internet," Romney said.
    ----------------------
    Republicans like to have it both ways. Didn't Romney rhetorically ask the question this morning of Obama, "Where are the jobs." The standard talking point is that government nurtures conditions to create jobs, which is exactly what Al Gore did when he "created" the Internet.

    The technology that drove those early networks had been around and under development for two decades under DoD sponsored research programs. It was used by researchers doing classified work. The DoD turned the technology over to the research industry. They loved stuff being able to have instand access to remote data and documents, and especially this new thng called email. Only they couldn't take it home because the computers running it was classified.

    But, a few guys working in Oak Ridge, TN had a friend who was the junior Senator from TN, whose name was Al Gore. Sen. Gore’s 1991 sponsored legislation that was known as the High Performance Computing and Communication Act, which mandated putting the communication backbone technology created by the Defense Department into the public domain.

    It was expressly prohibited for anyone to own and control, or otherwise limit public access to this new communication backbone. Legislation before the Congress would roll back this landmark piece of legislation.

    January 18, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Gurgi

    I'm not all that crazy about Romney, but he will be a better president than the current occupier of the white house. Actually almost anybody would, probably even Rudy NYC.

    January 18, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. IndeePendant

    If 'jobs are created by pvt sector and not govt.' then why join govt and promise that you can create jobs. That sounds like you are lying one way or the other. Which is correct?

    January 18, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. ShawnDH

    This Romney dude is an elitist, out-of-touch, entitled brat. He's creepy as hell and a terrible GOP nominee. Yuck.

    January 18, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. curious

    If Romney claims that jobs are created by the private sector, why does he blame President Obama for not creating more jobs? And how does capitalism and the free market factor in state of today's domestic economy?

    January 18, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Sirned

    Oh yeah, I made a small amount of money on speaking fees in 2010 too....just over 350,000 dollars.... And then tells us he feels our pain out here on Mai street...lo

    January 18, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. ANIMAL ABUSER

    Anyone who would abuse an animal by strapping it to the roof of a car in a carrier for 12 hours, as it's bowels turned to mush from the stress, and ran down the back window of the vehicles is not fit to be President of anything. Someone so heartless as to treat his own dog that way, has no heart, and is not going to care about me or you. II takes a twiisted mind to then say "the dog liked it" He scares me.

    January 18, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Maria

    Its a choice between a wooden yet chronic flip flopper and a neutron bomb. Obama 2012

    January 18, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Gurgi

    A document written by a german in 1848 reads scarily similar to the democratic platform. I have no idea how any thinking person can be a liberal.

    January 18, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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