February 3rd, 2012
05:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich: Romney didn't deserve congrats

(CNN) – In some of his harshest words yet, Newt Gingrich explained Friday why he didn't call rival Mitt Romney after the former Massachusetts pulled a decisive Florida primary victory earlier in the week.

Pointing to Romney's post-South Carolina campaign strategy, which turned noticeably negative against the former House speaker, Gingrich said Romney didn't earn any kudos.

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"They outspent me five to one to quote destroy Newt Gingrich?" Gingrich said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "You know, I think that doesn't deserve congratulations. I think that's reprehensible, I think it's dishonest, and I think it's shameful."

Gingrich took heat over not making the call after Romney's win on Tuesday, given that the former Massachusetts governor had congratulated Gingrich for his South Carolina win just 10 days prior.

Meanwhile, Romney's other rivals, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, both picked up the phone on Tuesday.

"The other candidates all called, but I guess Speaker Gingrich doesn't have our phone number," Romney said Wednesday on NBC's "Today."

While campaigning ahead of Nevada's Saturday caucuses, Gingrich has largely maintained that Romney's full-throated attack strategy in Florida would come back to haunt him, arguing that voters prefer a positive campaign.

"Pretty hard to see how somebody is going to negatively carpet-bomb their way to the nomination," Gingrich said Friday on CNN. "Pretty hard to see how that nomination is going to be worth much if that's all they've got to show for themselves."

The candidate said he had no regrets over not making the traditional phone call.

"I feel very comfortable with exactly what happened after Florida," Gingrich said.

Also see:

Romney on 'poor' comment: I misspoke

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A Trump endorsement: Where imagination and reality meets

Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. James

    Poor sport...

    February 3, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Newt is a first class (no class) poor loser cry baby! When ever he doesn't get his way or if someone disagrees with him, Newt's only response is always to attack, blame the other guy and never take responsibility for your own poor showing. He's the same guy that he was when he was Speaker, he hasn't changed a bit, liar, hateful, cry baby, poor loser.

    February 3, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. TheOtherRosie

    "I feel very comfortable with exactly what happened after Florida," Gingrich said. I guess that means trying to steal delegates from Romney?He's so comfortable with that?

    February 3, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. nero

    I hate Newt. He would have done the exact same thing if he could have. Actually he would have done worse if he could have! Actually he probably has!

    February 3, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. diridi

    None of the Republican idiots are worthy for this nation. Enough mess they caused. Again, this election is Rich v/s Middle class America. True, true, true...Obama2012/Hillary16.

    February 3, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Doug in NYC

    Waaaaaa, Mommy, Romney is picking on me, waaaaaaaaa, waaaaa, sniffle sniffle, stomps feet, waaaaaa

    February 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Gavin

    Newt the Brute is just a sore loser. Mr Bluster is like the little bully in the sandbox. it didn't go his way in Florida so he picks up his toys and leaves in a big huff. Real classy move, Newt. Time to take your carnival show tent show and go home.

    February 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    That's right, and Romney can forget about a Gingrich endorsement later this year. Newt's a good hater. Newt sees Winston Churchill staring back at him when he looks in the bathroom mirror in the morning.

    A lot of this can be attributed to adolescent hangups, as well. Mitt was (is) the handsome jock, the BMOC. Newt, meanwhile, was in the chess club, reading Hayek on the school bus, dreaming of world domination. Newt feels that he had to work for what he got, and feels that Romney coasted on family connections, good looks, and superficial charm.

    Revenge of the Newt. Get your popcorn and Coke Zero ready, folks.

    February 3, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. hilroy

    Newt Gingrich is not as evil as some make him out to be. If I had to vote for a republican, I would vote for non-plastic Newt. He said a few unfortunate things I deemed as race baiting but that is why the country is where its at today in 2012 and it is sad.

    That said, I still do not trust the other republican players because they would do anything to bring down this president even if it means destroying the economy while hurting the country. The president will prevail nonetheless even if they continue on their hidden agenda. They have nine months to work on their scheming and backroom dealing to bring this president down. What an evil bunch of blue suits.

    February 3, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Steven Colo

    Since when has whining and tantrums led to getting elected President? If this crybaby had the resources of the USA at his disposal, he'd be dangerous with his immaturity level.

    February 3, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    It is clearly evident that this man has not matured emotionally. He is still the know-it-all fat kid that the other kids hated and the teachers felt sorry for. No wonder he married his high school math teacher.

    February 3, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. logicnLA

    The farce of being called names and then contgratulating the guy who did it is only something you would see in politics and sports.
    How many congratulatory phone calls do you think GM got from Ford, Toyota or any othe car manifacturer for becoming # 1 again?

    February 3, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Dan

    Watching Gingrinch reminds me of the Allstate commericial with Mayhem acting like a baby in the back of a car.

    February 3, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Kris Craig

    Newt has alwyas been childish like that. It's funny how he whines about attacks now, whereas during the Clinton administration he was notorious for his vitriolic rhetoric.

    That being said, he does have a point about the spending at least. Personally, I don't think Romney deserves congrats for buying an election victory in Florida, either. But what Newt doesn't get is that that is not the point. Congratulating your opponent after a loss is expected, regardless of whether you think your opponent's victory was "earned" or not. In 2000, Al Gore congratulated George W. Bush despite the fact that Al Gore won the election. Why? Because he was a good sport and that's just what civil, mature people do.

    With regard to @TheOtherRosie, technically Newt is actually correct in contending that the Florida delegates are supposed to be distributed proportionately according to RNC rules. Florida decided to violate those rules because the RNC had already given out its maximum penalty after Florida moved its primary to earlier on the calendar. In other words, Florida is violating the rules but the RNC can't do anything to enforce it. So I don't think it would be fair to say he's trying to "steal" delegates. He's well within his rights under RNC rules to file a complaint and seek arbitration, though I'm not sure it'll do him any good.

    All that being said, all the Republican candidates are clowns. It's all really moot anyway since President Obama will defeat whomever becomes the Republican nominee.

    February 3, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Jake

    Newt Gingrich calling someone else dishonest and shameful?

    February 3, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Ron Paul

    Seems to me that the Gingrich clan new before hand of that the conditions of the FL primary did not follow the rules set up and established long before it Mitt and Newt were even running for president (or at least publicly, sure they have both been running in their heads for decades). Knowing that the FL-GOP could be called out on not sticking to its own policies [they really do seem to think this is a game:

    Their excuse, that the penalty for the early date that was exercised (halve delegates) was the strictest allowed, is a lot more in line with football, where only the most sever penalty is enforced, vs a court of law, or even the majority of society and logical thinking, where each penalty is corrected for by it own reprimand.

    Why would Team Newt want to question it before the election. They would not want to take away delegates from Newt if he wins. And even after Newt knew Mitt would win, he could not call it out then, for fear that the negative publicity that obviously ensues would drive his votes down and Mitt's up. So why not call out the FL-GOP on the fact that their delegate awarding system is not inline with their own rules? Who cares if it was known that the FL-GOP decided not to follow it own rules, the rule is still in place and should be followed – no matter the winner.

    February 3, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. politics as usual

    Sounds like Newt is having a brat-attack!

    February 3, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. unsub

    Noot's comments clearly explain why there is "hand wringing" amongst the republican establishment.

    February 3, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Penobscot

    Gingrich vows to stay positive, then goes negative in SC and FL to beat Romney, and then says Romney going negative is reprehensible. Newt is out of touch with himself. And he is a poor loser. Romney beat Gingrich at his own game and Newt can't take it. Newt is the Bobby Fischer of politics.

    February 3, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Oops

    BOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!! Do you people really want this cry baby as your President???
    Your just mad because you didn't think of it 1st.

    February 3, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Penobscot

    Newt Gingrich = Bobby Fischer.

    February 3, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. politics as usual

    And just when I thought he couldn't get any uglier...

    February 3, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. SecedingfromTexas

    Guess its time for Newt to reflect on his own "reprehensible, dishonest and shameful" verbal attacks he has
    inflicted on people in the past. Chickens coming home to roost, wouldn't you say?
    Also, I presume he won't be joining Trump with an endorsement for Romney, unless, of course, there is money
    in it.

    February 3, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. JAKZ

    He's just mad he didn't have as much money to carpet bomb Romney. Do you think he wouldn't have reciprocated if he'd had the war chest that Romney does? So much for his "unconventional campaign." He doesn't need any help cratering his campaign. He's doing just fine all by himself. His big mouth is his gift to Romney that just keeps on giving.

    February 3, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Stanlie

    Newt is mean and intolerant. Fits the GOP to a T.

    February 3, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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