February 8th, 2012
04:13 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney: Rivals are 'Republicans who acted like Democrats'

Atlanta (CNN) - The day after an embarrassing defeat in a trio of early voting states, Mitt Romney painted his GOP rivals as standard bearers of a Republican party that "lost its way" in recent years in Washington.

The GOP candidate, faced with a pair of doggedly persistent opponents in former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pointed to both men's experience in the nation's capital as a disqualifying factor.

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"I think a lot of us feel that the Republican party lost its way in the past," Romney said, making reference to the tea party movement, which he said was fueled by a frustration with over-spending in Washington. "Republicans spent too much money, borrowed too much money, earmarked too much, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have to be held accountable."

Romney said he was the only Republican candidate who could satisfy voters' desire for change in the nation's capital, charging his rivals had "acted like Democrats" by spending too many federal dollars.

"In this race, I'm the only guy that hasn't spent time in Washington," he told reporters on an airport tarmac in Atlanta. "And Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich, they are the very Republicans who acted like Democrats. And when Republicans act like Democrats, they lose."

The proof, he said, was evident in both men's records. Santorum lost his seat in a double-digit defeat in Pennsylvania, while Romney said Gingrich "had to resign" his post as House speaker.

Romney was speaking to the press corps covering his campaign for the first time in week after his stunning losses to Santorum in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado Tuesday night.

He insisted throughout the "long process" of the GOP primary campaign, he would accumulate enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Asked whether the Tuesday losses meant Romney had not won over the conservative bloc so crucial to his success, Romney said his wins in Florida, Nevada and New Hampshire proved he had conservative support.

The former Massachusetts governor also fought back against charges from both his Democratic and Republican opponents on his stance on mandating emergency contraception in Massachusetts.

Romney said he had "fought to remove" a law that required all hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to women who were raped.

"I have steadfastly tried to honor and respect religious conscience," he said.

Also see:

Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says

Gingrich touts nationwide campaign

Paul, on quests for delegates, looks past Tuesday contests

Obama's fashion fundraiser

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (159 Responses)

    No Willard!!! You're the democrat portraying a right wing republican. The jokes on you!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 8, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Glenn Doty

    How is dishonoring a raped woman in any way related to "honoring religious conscience".

    Some people are disgraceful. They seem to be concentrated in the republican party.

    February 8, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. walt

    With this type of rhetoric how is he going to bring both parties together

    February 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. WiredweirdinSF

    Oh come on now Mitt, there is no Republican that bad.

    February 8, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Yes , however Mitt has five sons who avoided military service.

    True Patriots.

    February 8, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Joseph Smith

    Mittens – you still have a planet with your name on it...bless you my son.

    February 8, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. diridi

    His public comprehension is ZERO. He cries on Obama when he wins, He cries on either Newt, Ron, or Santorum when he loses. What a "Flip-Flopper", Mormon....I pity this idiot.....Obama2012.

    February 8, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. DenverJ

    Romney doesn't care about Republicans or Democrats; he has no core and denies his past deeds. He'll say anything and pander to anyone who will listen. Willard's only goal is to protect those in his own income bracket.

    February 8, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think that Mittens should learn the lesson, when you lie, flip flop, use off shore accounts to evade taxes, want to start a war, think that corporations are people, put people put of work for your own greed,think that consumer safety regulations are bad, this is when you lose.

    February 8, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    Romoney just starts with the circular ranting trying to fling mud in all directions – like a wet hairy dog shaking as he comes in the door.
    Does Romoney think this weak tactic will work with the President of the United States?!

    It's half time in America – time to kick some GOPit butt Mr President.

    February 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. MTATL67

    OH, That is a laugh. I know of any GOP candidate current or former that embraced the diversity the Democratic party embraces. These candidates are extremist trying to lead a party in crisis.

    February 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. jdh

    So when is this guy going to talk about real issues? Seems like the GOP candidates are in a name calling contest, Newt calls Mitt a democrat so Mitt calls both his rivals democrats?

    February 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Rosslaw

    There are not a lot of candidates to stand up for the paternity rights of rapists. At last they have someone who will stand up and kick a rape victim down again for them.

    February 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Sorensen

    Here is the old flip-flopper complaining about other people doing the same!!
    Every time Romney flipped, he was a democrat. Every time he flopped, he was a republican.
    His real problem is that he is nothing. No ideas, no backbone, no style, no class, no guts, no personality.
    The classic management consultant from Bain. Asset stripping, take other peoples ideas, fire a bunch of people and
    collect the cash left over. He should go back to being a "bishop'.

    February 8, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Dave

    Typical coward, blame it on everybody else. The truth is this guy has the personality of a table. The fact that he is an old filthy rich mormon racist doesnt help either. Yea I said it. He was a very high ranking leader in the Lds cult in Mass. He has clout in this so called religion, but yet to this day inthe year 2012 the count on elders of this racist organization that are of color are 0. Yea 0 AGAIN 0. LOOK IT UP & TRY TO FIND 1. 0 BROTHERS OUT OF 14 MILLION MEMBERS are of the Elite in this gang. 0 EXEMPT, YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME. REVOKE this and tax them unless they get a brother all up in there with these horrible racist! CAN A BROTHER BE AN ELDER IN THE LDS? Not if the WHITE, WHITER & WHITEST can help it. Shame on you SALT LAKE, what would MLK think?????

    February 8, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. A Repulbican

    I feel sorry for my party. The pandering, it's just so obvious that this man will say anything to be President. I will stay home if he's the nominee before I vote for Mitt. So now, a women that is raped is not allowed to make a decision about her own body becasue some rich guy from mass decides what she can and cant do. I don't think so!!!

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Lauren

    Talk about sour grapes. At least, he will always have his "sweet-heart" Ann.

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. San

    Romney said he had "fought to remove" a law that required all hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to women who were raped.

    Rosslaw above, you are right. It is not something to be paraded around with pride, forcing women to bear children born of rape. He is a monster.

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Stacey

    No, Mr. Flip-Flopping One Percenter, you will lose. Obama's gonna mop the floor with you and your no-ideas candidacy. The only thing Mr. Mittens is good for is trashing Obama while offering no solutions other than "I can fix things." Yeah, right. LOL!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 8, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. us1776

    Popcorn anybody?


    February 8, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Myth Romney is soo Plastic and FAKE he makes Callista Gingrinch looks REAL

    Mitt MorNEY is losing his mind! – the guy is going bunkum!!!

    February 8, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Hammerer

    when you lie,flip flop, evade taxes, ect, ect is when you lose.
    I agree with you fully and those are only a few of the many problems with obama and the reasons that he is a one term pres.

    February 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. diridi

    @stacey, I told long time ago, Obama wins landslide...

    February 8, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Boy, I can't wait to see him a real real crisis- oh that's right, he'll never experience one since he won't get elected with abysmal turnout like what we've seen. Yep, he's definitely got the base pumped up...against him.

    February 8, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. F-Gingrich

    Boy, Mittens just continues to show everyone how clueless he really is. He has as much chance at becoming POTUS as his girlfriend Trump.

    February 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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