In shift, Romney campaign targets Gingrich
January 18th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
3 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. Mike from Calgary

    Romney is not only one focusing on Gingrich, Obama has now started criticizing Gingrich. No surprise since No surprise since Gingrich is the only Republican ready to challenge Obama in the fall debates and in November.

    WITH ROMNEY, THE REPUBLICANS DON'T HAVE A PRAYER!!

    Romney is so beffudled and inarticulate and evasive, I wonder is he unable or unwilling to provide any straight talk or to answer any simple question ... or is he just not able to understand a simple question. Romney couldn't win against Ted Kennedy, could not gain re-election after the Massachussetts voters had a good look at him.

    Romney is not a winner and this is so obvious that even Sarah Palin recognized it. WITH ROMNEY, THE

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

    The russian paper "pravda" had an editorial some months back that posed the question, "didn't america learn from our 70 years mistake?" It was referencing policies enacted/posed by the liberal president, senate, and congress.

    January 18, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Mike from Calgary

    WITH ROMNEY, THE REPUBLICANS DON'T HAVE A PRAYER1

    With her profound grasp of the obvious, even SARAH PALIN recognized that Romney can not win against Obama.

    January 18, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. chelle

    So if only the private sector can create jobs Mr. Romney, I assume that means that you are done blaming President Obama for the unemployment rate?

    January 18, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. yogi

    When the circus leaves town It will all come down to this:
    Obama 2012

    January 18, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. unsub

    where is his birth certificate?

    January 18, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    One thing's for sure......I trust Gingrich to do the right thing, far more than I trust Romney, to do anything.

    January 18, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Olaf Big

    Rick, I agree with you 100%, right as opposite of left, not right as opposite of wrong.

    January 18, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Mike from Calgary

    Romney and his PAC henchmen are now touting that Gingrich is an "undisciplined" and "unreliable" "leader",

    Romney is right! Unlike Romney, Gingrach is indeed a LEADER.

    "Undisciplined" means that Gingrich is not an unthinking candidate who "follows", but rather he is a thoughtful and wise "leader". He is is also bold and fearless. That is why Obama has now focused his attacks on Gingrich alone. Obama does not want to face Gingrich in the fall dabates and in the November election.

    Romney is right that Romney is a LEADER ... Romney may be a corporate raider, but her is definitely not a leader.

    WITH ROMNEY, THE REPUBLICANS DON"T HAVE A PRAYER!

    January 18, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Thomas

    @Gurgi
    The russian paper "pravda" had an editorial some months back that posed the question, "didn't america learn from our 70 years mistake?" It was referencing policies enacted/posed by the liberal president, senate, and congress.

    Thanks Gurgi for your insight and supreme intelligence.
    The russian paper "pravda" supports Medvedev and Putin".and is owned by oligarchs.

    Russian News Source "Pravda" Sues Fox For Stealing Its Format.

    Gurgi did you see the protests in Moscow last Month ?

    January 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    I hope Romney puts it all on the Line in s.c. & FL – – and by that I mean, all the resources he's got, period. Maybe by the time Florida Votes, the newter will be history, and ride into the sunset. If the republican party expects to win against Obama, they better put Romney as their winner. If the Newter gets the nomination, Obama will be re-elected. There's a lot of people in this country that does not like Obama, because of his policies, and they say he is not a leader, and can't lead, and he was never in business, and the only thing he'd done was to be a community organizer, and he's good at speeches, but Believe me, I would Still Vote For Obama, than I would "the Newter" – I mean take a good look at his history, when he was the speaker. Surely people in this country doesn't want D.C. to be the same old , same old. and Gridlock will be worse with the newter, because he's already made his millions, so why wouldn't he shut down the government ? He done it in the 90's, so why wouldn't he do it again ? Believe me, he will put this country in a VISE, if he gets IN.

    January 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. augustghost

    Lying desperate POS....like every other republican

    January 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Maria

    At least Newt is a known open bomb thrower. With Romney, you will never know what is really in his head. (besides how to get rich himself)

    January 18, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    Romney afraid of Gingrich? This is an interesting development.

    January 18, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    @Gurgi – oh no socialists! Communists! Oh my. I guess you're of the political persuasian who believes that socialism for corporations and CEOs is just nifty, all other socialism is bad, right? Good grief. Right wing talking points that have no foundation in reality, unless you thing right wing propaganda is reality, of course. I love it. We're going to destroy ourselves from within with our ignorance.

    January 18, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Fielding Mellish

    For a while I thought Romney had the best shot of beating Obama. But after hearing his false statements over the past month, no way. He'll get tied up in knots by the president. Please someone else come on!

    January 18, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. jj

    Obama is sure to be reelected. That said, it is sad that Romney has to resort to negative campaigning against that nut job Gingrich.

    January 18, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    What Mitt mostly wants to do is move the spotlight away from his wealth and low taxes and onto Newt and his various weaknesses. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful, err, just a regular guy named Mitt."

    January 18, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Gurgi

    @Thomas, yes, as a matter of fact I did. As far as I'm concerned Putin has never left the KGB, and the current president is his puppet. Russia has one of the most corrupt governments in the world. But that doesn't change the fact that, that is what the "pravda" editorial said.

    January 18, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Gurgi

    @annie, typical liberal, cannot refute a fact so resort to name calling. Nothing you said proved what I said was wrong or mistaken in any way. All you could do is make an accusation. Your credibility is shot.

    January 18, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Gurgi

    @annie....."We're going to destroy ourselves from within with our ignorance." The only accurate part of your statement.

    January 18, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Me

    To all of you ignorant Obama loving losers, do you really think Obama cares about you and your situation? NO. He is another millionaire who lives the SAME live style as every other RICH politician. Have you ever read or seen anything that goes on in the White House??? Mr. Obama gets to eat food that cost more than MOST of us make in a week, and he gets to eat it EVERY meal!!!! They are ALL rich people who ultimately care about their money!!! Difference between Obama and others is that Obama can sweet talk every one of you fools!!! At least republicans are not all talk and will get something done, unlike the current top dog Democrat in the White House today!

    January 18, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Jeff Runkle

    This is how it is done.

    Google the term "Cash Simple Stock" and click on the Top ranked non-ad site. Go to the Penny' Stock section to find out what the rich do not want you to know.

    For everyone that hasn't had a fair shake in life. This site is for you. I think we all deserve a change at super wealth and this is a start.

    January 18, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Rick

    This great and right on the money! If elected, Newt would be the 2nd most devisive President since Obama! Is this really what we want. Isn't it time to for real change and not a bunch of HATE BS!!??

    January 18, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Dixie Independent voter

    Newt will not win debates with Obama. Newt uses arrogance to make you believe he's right. He bluffs and seems to constantly stretch the truth. Obama is calm in the face of chaos. He thinks before he speaks.

    January 18, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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