May 21st, 2012
10:35 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich: Bain is fair game, but Democrats best avoid it

(CNN) - Having levied his own criticisms of Mitt Romney's background leading the private equity firm Bain Capital, Newt Gingrich has a warning for President Barack Obama's campaign: the issue is fair game, but be wary.

"We found out when we got in a fight with Mitt Romney over this that it didn't work," he said Monday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," after an Obama surrogate on Sunday called political discourse on both sides of the aisle "nauseating."

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The surrogate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, called out his own party's criticism of Bain's record under and after Romney's tenure at its helm.

Gingrich said Booker "described what I think is a big reality for him as the Mayor of Newark, that that free enterprise system has been creating jobs, paying taxes, improving his city."

Romney's work at Bain is open for inspection as part of his record, Gingrich said, but Democrats may best stay away from it, lest they be seen as critical of the free market.

"There are things you can legitimately look at in Bain Capital," Gingrich said. "I think there are things you can legitimately look at in anyone's record, including Mitt Romney's record."

The former House speaker made Romney's record with the firm central to his campaign's criticism of the former Massachusetts governor, and the super PAC supporting him featured it prominently in television advertisements.

"I would just say that if Governor Romney would like to give back all of the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him," Gingrich said while campaigning.

Gingrich, who now supports Romney as the alternative to reelecting Obama, said he sees no hypocrisy in his support of Romney. In his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, he primarily stuck to his own political analysis of Bain-related criticisms of Romney.

"One thing we discovered we could never make clear an attack on a particular case, and Romney's ability to say no this is about free enterprise" he said. "And the average American looked up and said, 'it's about free enterprise.' And it turned out that particular argument simply doesn't work."

Also see:

Political jabs are 'nauseating,' mayor says

Gingrich is millions in the hole

Boehner and Pelosi say they feel good heading into November

Axelrod: Fund-raising pitch cited Wright threat to combat super PACs


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Flappy

    Fair game for Gingritch but not fair game for Democrats. Typical double standard. You harm your party's credibility.

    May 22, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Oh newterman, first of all you are NOT a worthy opponent. I think in this age of unemployment that telling those (who do NOT live inside the rethug bubble) that jobs were lost in this country thanks to the sociorobully and bain might make them think twice about the flip flopper's ability, as a "businessman", to create jobs when he sent the jobs overseas and bankrupted companies.
    I hope the folks in Michigan and around the country remember the cry to let Detroit go bankrupt themselves. That is NOT made up.

    May 22, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Lizard started the Bain attacks,remember? He and gaffe machine Mitt McCain are the gifts that keep giving.

    May 22, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Gingrich: Bain is fair game, but Democrats best avoid it◄
    Yep – Just like R-Money wants to AVOID talking about Health Care because he FLIPPED?
    It's OKAY for Republicans to point out faults of their own but they THREATEN that others should not go there?
    PAH-Leeeezzzzeee GRINCH – you, Santorum, Perry and Bachmann set the stage and future attacks will be FAIR!!!!!

    THINK ABOUT IT – it's the TRUTH about R-Money and Bain...............PERIOD – Romney's main concern was $$$$$$$ – NOT job creation!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    May 22, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. winky

    If you want to know what Romney did to make millions off of hard working American, for the younger or older generations go rent the movie pretty woman with Richard Gere's character destroying companies! Also the original movie wallstreet starring Michael Douglas. That's how Bain(vulture capitalism)worked! Put yourself in those people shoes! Heartless!

    May 22, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens cannot run on his record as governor of MA, because it was lousy. The only other record he has is Bain, and he made huge profits at the expense of workers. I do not think it is a president;s job to make huge profits, but to make all people share in the American dream.

    May 22, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    “I would just say that if Governor Romney would like to give back all of the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him,”
    -------------------------------------------------
    Tell 'em Newt!
    What a hoot!

    May 22, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens uses his business background of vulture capitalism to make huge profits for the US as a president, I think we will see the southern states sold to China and Mexico, as we redistribute more tax dollars to the red nanny states than they send to Washington in taxes.

    May 22, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "We found out when we got in a fight with Mitt Romney over this that it didn't work,"
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yes, when you fight lies with more lies it usually doesn't work Newt.
    President Obama is employing provable facts to shed light on Romney's claims.

    May 22, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
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