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:

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Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates

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

    "I bet they are sour grapes anyways".

    February 3, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Romney is not My Hero

    Romney is not My Hero - and neither is Newter "crybaby, soiled pants" Gangrene. Can the GOP find any adults to run for office?

    February 3, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. RKN

    How is it that Newt could be so nasty to opponents in the past and now call for a "positive" campaign?
    Maybe he realized that he was an easy target for a negative campaign and the only way he could hope to win was to focus on his "big ideas". Ideas like a colony on the moon that might become the 51st state, or mirrors in space to provide day light so farmers could plant crops earlier, or hiring children from poor families as janitors, or... wait a minute, these things are really stupid.
    Newt is really pathetic. So is the rest of the GOP ... but Newt wants to be the most pathetic and he has won that one.

    February 3, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. William dodge

    What a joke

    February 3, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Trask

    Newt Gingrich feels comfy not being cordial given Romney's allegedly reprehensible Flordia campaign of airing ads pointing out the disconnect between the Speaker's rhetoric and his record? If that's his explanation for not giving him a congrats call after that state, then fine; but, it doesn't excuse the fact that the Speaker Gingrich didn't phone Romney after New Hampshire or his original victory in Iowa (recall that it took 3 weeks for Iowa to find more Santorum votes).

    But this is good since everything we're seeing from Newt now when the cards are down for him is exactly why he cannot be President: no matter who is in the Oval Office, things go wrong, the unforseen happens, criticisms wrongly fall at your feet, and then of course you have everyone from the other party trying to ruin you....Newt Gingrich cannot handle anything that doesn't laud praise at his belly.

    February 3, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. Sophistry

    Isn't that the classic definition of a narcissist, quick to criticize but can't take a punch?

    February 3, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Steve King

    Awwwww, The Penguin is mad that he lost.

    February 3, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Len Smith

    What would you expect from a nasty horses ass like Gingrich. The man that has been the worse thing that has ever come to the Congress of the US. There have been congresses in the past that have had issues between parties, but compromised prevailed, but not when you have a Gingrich.

    February 3, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. Dan5404

    Romney got a little more than 40% of the 50% of the 38% Republican voters in Florida that voted.. The majority voted for someone else. Not as impressive as they would have you believe.

    February 3, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Thomas

    The repeal of gun laws is necessary if 2012 candidates NEWT AND MITT can take up dulling .

    February 3, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. locohoya

    Newtie, go home. No one wants a child in the White House, unless they are the president's offspring. Last time I looked, you weren't black enough to qualify. Moreover, you are less mature than Malia or Sasha.
    What I don't understand is why ANYONE would vote for this man-child!

    February 3, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    R-money;s negative sentiment rating among voters continues to be down - as more people understand the horror story of Bain and his disproportionate wealth (forging a distant ELITE view of the world)...it will only go further down.

    February 3, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. mirrorlogic

    Say NO to R-money...we don't need money and establishment trying to buy our votes! Imagine the match made in heaven:
    R-money the Independent that became a Republican (today at least)...and Trump the Republican that became an Independent (yesterday at least)...what a duo!!!

    February 3, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  14. Sonnie 2

    I would not shake the hand of congrats of Romney with all the dirty, negative ads he put out. I want to know about mittens and not what trash he can put on another human being. It is discusting the way those runing for high office do their advertisement for themselves by tearing down other people

    February 3, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. gutstycall@yahoo.com

    Romney is nothing more than the Establishment candidate. The back room mega rich Republicans are trying to throw the Tea Party candidates out before they get going. They claim to be taking back the party from the fringe. So, they just wanted their heart and voice, but to own their soul. Well, now the Tea Party is going to be stuck with the cigar smoke filled room puppet Romney. Millionaires win. tea party – LOSS.

    February 3, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Jo

    This man has NO CLASS....A person No One in this country should be remotely in line with...I am totally discouraged with this kind of Classless person that some people even respond to...He is NOT worth the Salt in my food. Time to leave this country if this is the Best we can offer to represent ro the world. Yikes!

    February 3, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  17. Rex Hump

    I'm for Romney, and therefore this opinion is purely expressing the belief that Newt is sensing he can play the role of a spoiler and gain free publicity. Newt is not a serious candidate for President, his disingenuous motives are to raise his profile and fill his multiple foundation coffers. He's feeding on the anti-Romney consensus, and fooling people into thinking he will take on Romney all the way to the nomination. He knows his prior record will never allow him, but that doesn't stop him from taking it as far as he can. If you support Newt then you are not getting a candidate with your interests seriously, if you are looking for an Anti-Romney Candidate you would be better served by throwing your support behind Santorum who at least has some sincerity for still being in the GOP race. If Gingrich wanted to win this nomination, he wouldn't be paying directing so many of his campaign funds into his own foundations to increase ad spends, and try to squeeze as much free publicity from debates and playing the press for cheap tricks. He cannot spend only spend 25 Cents to Romney's $1 on a losing campaign, then blame Romney for out spending him as to why he won. The real spending is taking place via the Newt Super PAC which is gathering just as much donations as Romney campaign, yet he still pretends to be low on funds. If anyone is still fooled by Newt's Medicine Show, then let me spoil it for you, and tell you what he is selling isn't going to cure you.

    February 3, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. gammay

    I don't like Newt but he does have a point. Romney's superpac literally flooded the ad market in Fl with negative ads. Romney didn't have too do a thing, hence he didn't deserve the credit, the superpac did. Newt should have said it that way.

    February 3, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  19. klet

    At least he tells it how it is. I thought we Americans didn't want to be lied to by our politicians. GO NEWT!!!

    February 4, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. George Robson

    Newt reminds me of a selfish, self-centered adolescent who fails to acknowledge the acheivements of others and whose only interested in painting a picture of the universe in which he and only he is the self-declared center and the only reason the universe exists is to laud his delusions of grandeur before his admirers and to educate those who doubt his omnipotence in the the most degrading,humiliating, and ridiculous idea that they become janitors or footmen waiting on his highness as he trapeses from elegant ballroom to elegant ballroom on the eve of his coronation.

    February 4, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  21. My name is Jose Jimenez

    Poor little newtie is just upset he got his plow cleaned. The Democrats are going to have a treasure trove of stuff to throw at whoever is the Republican nominee. One of the reasons the campaign has turned so negative is they really have no original ideas to present to the voters. All of their ideas have been tried before with varying degrees of failure so why should anyone expect a different path now?

    February 4, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  22. say it ain't so

    "By their own admission they set out to destroy me in Florida." Wow Newt, and it was not you and your campaigns goal to destroy Mitt in Florida? Newt is just the school bully who pouts when people catch onto his tactics and use them against him. Does he care that he looks like he want to be chief whiner instead of commander and chief?

    February 4, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. DixonIV

    Poor Newt...someone is saying bad things about hm again. Poor, poor Newt. Maybe he could meet with Palin and compare how terrible the world is to them.

    February 4, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  24. DixonIV

    @Steven Colo since Palin ran last time.

    February 4, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  25. ThinkAgain

    Newtmare accusing others of reprehensible, shameful, dishonest behavior? How does he do that without his head exploding? The hypocrisy is pretty amazing!

    February 4, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
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