Mount Dora, Florida (CNN) –Newt Gingrich offered a strong rebuke to Mitt Romney Thursday, calling his campaign "dishonest" and "grotesquely hypocritical" for pointing out his ties to the housing market crisis.
The former House speaker seized on information from Romney's 2011 financial disclosure form that reveals the former governor and businessman had his own connection to the crisis.
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"I think someone who owns stock in a place that forecloses on Floridians has a lot of gall to start raising the issue," said Gingrich of Romney, who had money invested in a Goldman Sachs fund that owned mortgage backed securities, considered to be central to the foreclosures that had a major impact in the Jan. 31 primary state.
Gingrich also took aim at Romney donors who hail from financial institutions. "He wants to run a campaign where he drowns me in mud with money he raises from people who are foreclosing on Floridians. I want to cut through the mud," Gingrich said.
The Romney campaign released an ad Monday that zeroes in on Gingrich as a lobbyist and Washington insider pointing to his consulting work at Freddie Mac.
"While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in," the narrator says, referring to the $1.6 million his company brought in during two different time periods.
At a robust tea party rally, and speaking to reporters afterwards, the former speaker launched a full-throated attack at Romney – just hours before the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate. He was quick to point out that the former Massachusetts governor has holdings in a mutual fund that invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and referred to a recent report that alleges Romney advisers lobbied on behalf the federally-backed mortgage giant.
"And on that front he decides to lie about my career? There's something about the hypocrisy that should make every Americas angry," Gingrich said during the press availability. "I mean at some level, there ought to be a sense of shame that a person would be this fundamentally dishonest." Gingrich said during the press availability.
Responding to Gingrich's claims, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said the former speaker is borrowing talking points from President Barack Obama to attack the candidate's private sector career.
"Gingrich has been rebuked by conservatives who served under him as Speaker, while the Democrats cheer him on. This is who Newt Gingrich is: an unreliable leader who undermines conservatives, hurts our party, and emboldens President Obama and his liberal allies," said Saul.
In his Mount Dora speech he said Romney was a "moneymaking independent" while the former speaker was working in Congress in the '80s and '90s.
"There's nothing wrong with making money but he had no interest in politics. He wasn't involved in helping save the country and he was an independent," Gingrich said. "This is the man who stood up the other night and questioned my credentials as a 'Reaganite'? This is the kind of gall they have to think we are so stupid, and we are so timid."
With the Florida primary on Tuesday, Gingrich and Romney have escalated their attacks this week. Recent polls show the two candidates are in a dead heat for first place in the state.
Gingrich argued Romney tries to hide his political history in which he campaigned with a more moderate platform during his Senate and gubernatorial campaigns.
"He is counting on us not having YouTube. That's how much he thinks we're stupid, and we're not stupid," Gingrich said. "The message we should give Mitt Romney is you know, `We aren't that stupid and you aren't that clever'."
The former speaker conceded the weight of the ads coming from the Romney campaign has hurt his campaign, but sought to remind voters of Romney's ties to Wall Street.
"Let's be really clear, you're watching ads paid for with the money taken from the people of Florida by companies like Goldman Sachs, recycled back into ads to try to stop you from having a choice in this election," Gingrich said. "That's what this is all about."
"Rallying the tea party crowd he said, "Remember the Republican establishment is just as much as an establishment as the Democratic establishment and they are just as determined to stop us. Make no bones about it This is a campaign for the very nature of the Republican Party and the very opportunity for a citizen conservatism to defeat the power of money and to prove that people matter more than Wall Street and that people matter more than all the big companies that are pouring the cash in to run the ads that are false."
CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.