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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has spent over $50 million in negative ads, and he is till only half way to the 1144. That is over $100,000 for every delegate, which makes Mittens a lousy candidate or a lousy business man.

    March 23, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  2. Nobodies Pon

    Newt face it you are not a suitable alternative. If you think you are then i suggest you lay off the crack for a bit and come back to reality.

    March 23, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  3. Nobodies Pon

    Prime example of when politicans smoke crack.

    March 23, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  4. Jack V

    A person voting for Romney (or any other GOP) is like a chicken voting for Col Sanders.

    March 23, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  5. Aimleft

    A truly delusional man. And frightening there was even a chance he could be POTUS, what with his ethics history, his hypocrisy, and the never-ending delusions of grandeur.

    March 23, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has campaigned that Obama's deficit is three times Bush's. Bush's last budget had a deficit of $1.37 trillion, and President Obama's is $977 billion this year. Mittens lied again, are you surprised?

    March 23, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  7. IndeePendant

    Though not a supporter of Newt, it makes me wonder how low and hypocritical the establishment (Republicans) can go inspite of knowing very well that Romney is a big flip-flopper.

    March 23, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  8. GI Joe.

    What a sad sad party. That's what happens when they try to put party first (not the country).

    March 23, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  9. Cfrench

    Gingrich's base which is composed almost entirely of white neo-con bigot's will believe his lies but anyone with half a brain knows the only reason Gingrich is still in the race is his monstrous ego.

    March 23, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. rob

    Newt is thick as a brick...

    March 23, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Go Newt GO AND SHOW HOW DIVIDED REPUBLICANS ACTUALLY ARE!!
    Romney is a Republican liberal or the equivalent of a Blue dog democrat
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    March 23, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  12. diridi

    .................Yes, I won, mine is sufficient in General Election. Stupid Idiot. Now you know GOP idiots where they stand. None are worth your dime. Harald Simmons is crazy SOB to spend 36 million before November General Election on these Rich Pigs. Nation needs to say "NO" in November to these GOP loots.

    March 23, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    "all agree that whoever becomes the Republican nominee, we have one common goal and that is to defeat Barack Obama."
    -----------------------
    When was the last time that you heard any of the GOP candidates use the term "middle class"?

    March 23, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Ike524

    It's true, Newt does not zig-zag. He is consistently insane. Moonbases and $2 gas make about as much sense as his remaining in the race, at this point. He has one thing right, though. He was in first place until the campaign actually got under way. Ever since...not so much.

    March 23, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. HillBilly

    The only goal of the Repubs is to beat the President. Not one of these Repub candidates talk about how to restore the American dream, how to lift the common man, how end mindless wars, how to end our lust of oil, etc.. The only rally cry for Repubs is to oust the President. Is this what you want from the next President, no real vision of the future?

    March 23, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. Carol

    Oh Newt and Callista..it's always someone else's fault you can't be the powerful man you want to be! If your goal is to beat Obama, your decisions to turn on every American except the rich was a poor strategy.A cheater and his mistress preaching morally and ethics isn't going to capture the heart of the people either. You'll soon be buying something sparkly at Tiffany's for Callista to keep her busy, and writing another angry hate-filled book about how you failed AGAIN but it isn't your fault!

    March 23, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. travis

    I would say.....stop now Newt before you lose all credibility....but he crossed that line months ago.

    Maybe Freddie Mac is looking for a historian again?

    March 23, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. tv22

    Judging by the results, Gingrich's tactics aren't even suitable for the primaries.

    March 23, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  19. maggie

    Perhaps he hasn't but Gingrich is utterly delusional if he thinks he is still a serious consideration for the nomination.

    March 23, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. Andrew

    Waaaaaaaaa. Newt needs to stop complaining about Romney spending. This is part of campaigning. If Newt was a better candidate, people would give him money too... If he is concerned about drowning him out to win, wait until he would see what Obama would do to him. And newt, the $2.50 gas thing isnt working because Americans are mad but also realistic. Move along....

    March 23, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Vince

    How about a third party run News? tee hee hee hee hee......

    March 23, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Auntie Rose from Iowa

    Shame on Newt Gingrich and Shame Shame on Mr Santorum

    Mr Gingrich cannot win the nomination – it is impossible. He cannot get the delegates before the convention if he won 100% of the remainin contests and right now Ron Paul is beasting him. Second. by Convention rules, Mr Gingrich's name cannot be placed into nomination as GOP Convention rules require a candidate to have won 5 states – Newt has just 2

    Mr Santorum is absolutely runining his career in the GOP and acting like a spoiled child. Imagine saying that Obama would be better than Romney - for that comment alone Mr Santorum should be barred from the Convention. Mr Santorum has a history of caving in to others - he did it when he voted against a right to work bill in PA as Senator siding with the unions; he did it when he supported Spector over a conservative Republican (Spector was the deciding vote in Obamacare), and his agenda is more appropriate for a church election than for the office of the President. Also Mr Santorum has NO fiscal responsilility and no experience creating jobs.

    It is obvious that Mr Gingrich and Mr Santorum would rather sabotage the Republicans' chances at the White Office rather than support Mr Romney -- these two should be barred from the Convention for their actions – and the GOP Leadership should censure both of them SHAME

    March 23, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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