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

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

    Mr. Romney really needs to cut out the tautologous rants. Isn't he aware how transparent he is? He must think we are as dumb as he looks. The joke's on him.

    February 8, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. longtooth

    How many women does he think would want to give birth to a child of the man who raped her? What a mindless idiot.

    February 8, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. hingedlwnb

    Romney: WAH!!!!! It's MY TURN! That's the Republican way! Quit trying to take away what is rightfully mine!!! WAH!!!!

    February 8, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Tom

    And Romney always governed like a Republican in Massachusetts?

    Running for President requires (a) money, (b) a huge ego, (c) selective memory, and (d) a willingness to say absolutely anything to get elected. Romney, Obama, McCain, all of them... it's just the nature of the beast.

    February 8, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    Acting like Democrats? Coming from Mr. Pro-Choice, I'm-Not-a-Reagan-Republican circa 1994, that's rich.

    Meanwhile, millions of American women would like to know if Romney has any honor and respect to vouchsafe rape victims who don't want to bring to term children whose faces resemble those of the men who assaulted them.

    February 8, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    The fact is All GOP candidates "acted like Democrats" except Ron Paul

    February 8, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. CoJo

    A Repulbican: Santorum totally agrees with Ronmey on that issue. So it is NOT just Romney. In fact, I think only Ron Paul has kept quiet about that issue.

    February 8, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Debra from Georgia

    This come from the man that says corporation are people too, my dear friend, and he is not concern about the poor. Shut up you idiot./

    February 8, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. jesseballew

    Nuff Said!!

    February 8, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. John Henson

    You know, bud, whenever you point at someone, you've got three fingers pointing back.

    You won't win this race, anyway, so why don't you just chill, man?

    February 8, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Ezra

    Man, poor Mitt must really be confused when he looks in the mirror.

    February 8, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We feel you Dave. How can this man aspire to be President to ALL of us when the religion that he is so beholden to relegates a certain percentage of American voters to the level of "filthy animals"? Something horribly wrong with that, and we're just supposed to look away and act like it's something irrelevant. It is NOT. It is not irrelevant to Blacks, Whites, Asians or Latinos of good conscience.
    By the way, nice plane in the background Mittens. Is it yours? Or are you trying to act like one of us and are flying, choke, coach?

    February 8, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Namejkane fl

    What a loser and clown who Will lie and say anything to get a vote, but all your money won't buy this election romney! All you teapublican clowns will be out in Nov. Your religious card failed. Nobody cares what catholic church says anymore. They lost all credibility a long time ago, just like the republican party. All lies all the time.

    February 8, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. max

    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 |
    Never did look at it that way but you are so correct. I guess because I am in no way religious I can just feel my blood boiling. These men who will never ever get pregnant is dictating that you should carry the result of some creep sp3rm in your body for nine months and then care for it forever. A constant reminder that you were a victim. Do they think that this is going to make for a healthy relationship with mother and child? What if the female suffered depression after giving birth...still a good idea? These people are frightening and ill-equipped to rule.

    February 8, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Hair bear

    Willards mouth will continue to get him in trouble! The jury is still out on this guy, he hasn't clinched my vote yet! Hang in there Newt! Your not my guy but you have a lot to say! We still have a long way to go! This is like being at the race track and a long shot comes in at the end! Heck it could be Ron Paul, heaven forbid'!

    February 8, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. keeth

    Wow! Did he really say that? Hilarious! Pot, meet kettle.

    February 8, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Mikey

    This guy just makes it up as he goes along... and he seems to have no problem telling whopper after whopper.

    He says he will repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act – What would he replace it with? (no more insuring up to age 26, back to "preexisting conditions", back to lifetime caps and the resulting bankruptcies, millions more uninsured adding costs for the rest of us to pay?)
    He says he will repeal Wall Street reforms – How will we prevent another financial sector meltdown and bailout?
    He says he will repeal Sarbanes-Oxley – What will protect shareholders in the future? (Remember Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco?)
    How will he reduce taxes, increase military spending, AND balance the budget? (he has promised to do all three)

    It's easy to criticise those who are working to solve problems. It's a lot harder to come up with solutions yourself.

    February 8, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Keyser Soze

    Mitt and his "mom jeans" trying to appear like he can relate to the 99%. He'll continue to flip-flop so he can be on all sides of every issue. Spineless wonder.

    February 8, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Texas Doc

    That is so lame, even from him. What a moron. Best the GOP can do. Obama 2012 in landslide.

    February 8, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Rationalintn

    Mittens, did you notice that this slap down happened after you kissed donald's ring?????? You should have declined Trumps endorsement.

    February 8, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Pete

    Telling the girl you want to go out with, You're Stupid, is not going to get you a date. Mitt, if you want to win over voters you got to start by giving them a message that is meaningful, selling you position for change, demonstrating why your way is the best way.

    Until that happens you will be spending your election evenings alone with the same old supporters that work on your campaign.

    February 8, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. george of the jungle

    Back to name calling I see. If the worst you can do is call your opponant a democrate thats not so bad. The democrates are the only ones not acting like clowns at this point. What a shambles the repo party has become. Obama /Biden 2012 lets move forward.

    February 8, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Griffin

    There's a larger problem here than how Mitt Romney perceives his own party.

    It's the fact that "Democrat" and "liberal" have essentially become "swear words" in politics. Want to insult someone? Call them a Democrat. Trying to show how their policies are dangerous? Call them a Liberal. Take a look; nobody uses "Republican" or "Conservative" as an insult (and as well they shouldn't) but anything left of center is fair game for name-calling (and it shouldn't be).

    The fact is, Romney goes on and on about how President Obama's been divisive and polarizing, and here he is setting up an entire half of the political spectrum as dangerous. That's not going to unite the country, Mr. Romney. It's just going to make things worse.

    Now did Obama go on the offensive during his campaign? Yes, but he specifically went after policies of the Bush administration and statements made by the McCain/Palin camp. He didn't repeatedly lash out at the entire right wing.

    February 8, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. patrick

    to mr. flip flop it time he tell the american people it took a so call tax & spend libral demorcat president to give us a surplus world first class economy. it took a so call fiscal conservatism republican president,congress&seneate to ruin our country& set us back so many years. of corse he cant do that with all those tax break he and his kind got and expect the poor & middle must pay for it. its time he and kind stop taking from us.

    February 8, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "Republicans who acted like Democrats"??? LOL! What's next, dogs and cats living with each other? Seriously, this GOBP deathcult circus is rapidly devolving into post-modern nonsense, and possibly even political deconstruction.

    February 8, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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