March 22nd, 2012
10:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney primary tactics insufficient for general election, Gingrich says

(CNN) – As some Republicans look for an end to their party's presidential primary, candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday he continues to campaign because there is no suitable alternative in the Republican field.

"I'm staying in the race because I believe we ought to have a conservative who's serious, who's had national achievements and who doesn't write his policy on an Etch A Sketch and zig-zag back and forth wildly," Gingrich said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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"There may be a morning Governor Romney has a majority of the delegates," he said. "That morning isn't here."

Gingrich argued that his supporters encourage him to remain in the hunt for delegates, which Romney leads by a significant margin. But those wins, Gingrich said, can't be expected in November, when the Republican nominee would face President Barack Obama.

"Every Republican who wants to beat Obama should be worried by the fact the Romney victories come by drowning them out with negative advertising," Gingrich said. "He will not be able to do this to Obama and it makes me worry about what kind of a general election candidate he will be."

Fellow presidential hopeful Ron Paul also disputed on Thursday the notion that a continued primary brawl would hurt the Republican Party.

Romney's buoyancy at the top of the Republican field has come at a heavy price, Gingrich said, as he, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul "split Romney's attention."

"He has always had an ability to drown us with negative advertising," Gingrich said of Romney. "You'll remember I was actually in first place until we got drowned first in Iowa. Then, I came back and was in first place after winning South Carolina and then they spent $20 million in three weeks in Florida to re-drown me.

"That was the process in which Rick emerged," he said of Santorum, "because he was the guy running fourth, and Romney wasn't paying any attention to him."

At a campaign event Thursday evening, Gingrich acknowledged his "very substantial disagreements" with Romney, but called on his rivals to "all agree that whoever becomes the Republican nominee, we have one common goal and that is to defeat Barack Obama."

Gingrich said that a joke made by actor Robert De Niro at an Obama fundraiser – asking if "our country is ready for a white first lady" – was inappropriate, and that a standard is put on Republicans which is not applied to Democrats. De Niro initially apologized for the joke, and the Obama campaign has distanced itself from the line.

"This campaign isn't about first ladies. I'm not running against Michelle Obama," Gingrich said.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

Who does Jeb Bush want for vice president?

Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

New Democratic super PAC looks beyond 2012

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Susie

    No more marxists, no more communists, no more lies.... ROMNEY 2012

    March 23, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  2. Jerry M

    Romney 2012 – -–>>>>>>>> halleluYah.

    March 23, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. Bill

    Well Mr. Gingrich, if Romney's strategy is not good enough for the general election and he's beating you badly with it....what does that make your campaign strategy? Just like when you said Romney's a weak candidate. If he's weak, and leading you by 400 delegates then how does that make you? Please think before you speak Mr. Speaker. You and your brother from the right, Mr. Santorum shows what you both are willing to say to pander to the right.

    March 23, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  4. Klinger

    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------
    ROMNEY 2012 -----------------------------------

    March 23, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  5. No More Marxists

    ROMNEY 2012..................................................................................................................................................................

    March 23, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. Crytic

    ‘Give Me Liberty’ Money Bomb!

    Donate NOW for your LIBERTY!

    March 23, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. Miley

    How many more ways can we say it.............................ROMNEY 2012.

    March 23, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  8. John W. Mahoney

    "... Newt Gingrich said Thursday he continues to campaign because there is no suitable alternative in the Republican field"

    I appears that Mr. Gingrich has it nearly right.

    March 23, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  9. John W. Mahoney

    "... Newt Gingrich said Thursday ... there is no suitable alternative in the Republican field"

    That appears to be the situation.

    March 23, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  10. Mo

    ROMNEY 2012 – because America needs a real man in charge.

    March 23, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  11. cgs

    Newt has lost! Who cares what he says!

    March 23, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. Margaret

    I love America and it's time for, you guessed it.................ROMNEY 2012.

    March 23, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  13. JC in Western U.S.

    Wouldn't you think that if a lot of conservatives agreed that Newt is the only serious conservative candidate with national achievements and consistent policies that they'd be voting for him? Who does he think voted in all those states for Romney, Santorum, or Paul?

    March 23, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  14. JT

    Gingrich is officially in Ron Paul territory. He can't even get on the first ballot at a contested convention as he does has not won five states. He's living in a fantasy land that somehow its going to get to a brokered convention and there going to pick the third place guy over the front runner. Good luck with that.

    March 23, 2012 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  15. luke

    Newt the Grinch needs to go back to West Georgia college to teach his new history class "The Decline of the Republican Party in the 21st Century"

    March 23, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  16. Lump

    Like him or not, Gingrich has a point. Romney is sabotaging the Republican party (which is just as well as far as I'm concerned). Where Gingrich is deceptive is by merely pointing to the fact that Romney is doing it more because he has more money–not directly mentioning that it is the exact same thing both Gingrich and Santorum are doing, just with less money.

    While I think Gingrich is, as usual, one-sided in his remarks (aren't they all?), he correctly hits on the bigger issue, which is not about Romney but about the influence of money in politics. It is shameful and reflects poorly on the entire nation, not just the yahoos in front of the cameras at the current time.

    March 23, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  17. Shelby

    Absolutely hilarious! gingrich, who has won ONLY two states is trying to tell Mitt Romney how to run a primary!

    Priceless!

    March 23, 2012 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  18. Luiza Warren

    I was watching Romeny's speech last night and I was saying to myself Wow, its about time I knew he had it in him I was just waiting for it. and then Santorum gave his speech and it went on and on and on and on.. someone needs to help him understand you can speak for too long and if you start to loose your audience it's past time to shut up and sit down. It was pretty obvious last night who was presidential and who was not! It is time for the candidates to turn their full attention towards defeating Obama!

    March 23, 2012 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  19. Orange Sunshyne

    Romney has not won, but Newt has lost.

    March 23, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  20. king

    Someone need to ask Romney why he lies so much? I know repubs Bates fact and rather jump on the emotional bandwagon, but if they are willing to live in a delusional world like the bush years, that means every one got to go back to the bush delusional years. Mitten has a character of telling lies, and when the truth comes to the light, he knows the repubs will back him if the lies are about the president, but how much will they take while he's at the helm. What would they do if they put Romney inside the white house and Romney details the recovery, by robbing the poor and middle-class and give to the rich, and the rich take their jobs to China when the spenders don't have enough money left to support their industries.

    March 23, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  21. 66Biker

    Give it up, Newt. The only reason you aren't in last place is because Ron Paul doesn't have enough common sense to quit either. But in the end it doesn't matter who wins the Republicon nomination. None of you can beat Obama. You are all seeing to that with your typical Party of No "If you aren't with us you aren't rich" tactics.

    March 23, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  22. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Get your own Rove,Koch money Lizard. How about that 2.0 right wing social engineering? No comment?

    March 23, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  23. Carl

    2012 GOP CAMPAIGN greatest on-going comedy ever!

    March 23, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So far Mittens has been able to lie like a coward, and the right wingnuts are sucking it up. When he gets 1144 delegates will he stop lying, or will American owned media start fact checking Mittens?

    March 23, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  25. I can see Russia from my house

    He is right. We should elect Newt, who got Fired from his job by his own party over ethics violations and had to pay $300K in fine.

    March 23, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
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