(CNN) – While Newt Gingrich may have joined Mitt Romney's campaign as a surrogate, the former House speaker and presidential candidate still isn't afraid to speak his mind about his recent opponent.
Gingrich on Thursday stood by some of his earlier criticisms of Romney from the Republican primary, including his argument that the former Massachusetts governor is a career politician.
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"This is a guy who has thought about this, at least, since his father ran in 1968," Gingrich said in an interview on MSNBC, referring to the late George Romney, the former Michigan governor who ran for president in the 1960s but failed to capture the GOP nomination.
In a wide ranging interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Gingrich defended his line of attack during the primary that the only reason Romney advanced in the private sector was because he lost his first big political campaign in 1994, when he ran for a Massachusetts Senate seat.
Gingrich agreed with Matthews' assessment that Romney's business career "was forced upon him by defeat."
"He wasn't a volunteer (citizen) after '94," Gingrich said, smiling.
Romney later went on to become a one-term governor of the state and ran for president in 2008.
Gingrich, however, did offer praise for the candidate he now stumps for on the campaign trail, although his enthusiasm could be characterized as mild at best.
"He is a good organizer. He is a very methodical person. He has prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country," Gingrich said. "And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president."
Gingrich took heat when he first offered an endorsement of Romney after ending his presidential run earlier this month. Critics argued his choice of words were less than enthusiastic. At the time he simply said Romney would make a better president than President Barack Obama.
"I thought, compared to me, I thought I was a better choice," Gingrich said Thursday. "Compared to Obama, I think Romney's a better choice."
Gingrich took the stage for the candidate at the Georgia GOP convention this weekend, and he's scheduled to appear with Romney at a Las Vegas event at the end of the month.
Most republicans are mild on Romney.
Tough to be enthused about someone who spared no expense to demonize you...
Gingrich better watch out or else Romney could stop payment on the check to help retire his campaign debts.
The big Republicans are hoping Romney will lose this election so they can bring out the real Republicans in 2016. Especially the Bush family wants Jeb to run in 2016. If Romney wins Jeb will have to wait until 2020. So they are only luke warm in their endorsement of Romney. If Romney should win and makes a mess out of the country, the people will sweep in the Democrats for another 8 years and then Jeb would have to wait until 2024.
Playing the smallest violin in the world for you Newt.
I don't blame Gingrich. I really, really mild on Romney.
Who cares what he thinks about anything?
Of course Gingrich is mild on Romney because he feels that he'd be better than Romney.
with friends like these.....
Newt is also mild on paying his bills....
even newt knows this guy is a flip flop promise anything to get elected politician
Mitt Romney may be a lot of things, but I can't imagine how Gingrich can justify calling him a "career politician." Has Romney even ever accepted any pay for his public service? He didn't as governor. "Flip-flopper" I can see, or maybe "cut-throat businessman," but not "career politician." That's outrageous, especially coming from a career politician! My respect for Gingrich has hit an all-time low. His endorsement would only hurt Romney in my book.
As a resident of MA I can say Romney was a HALF-Gov ala Palin. He spent his last 2 years wandering about the country running for POTUS.
Newt will warm up to Willard, right after Romney pays off Newt's campaign debts.
rerun or syndicate newt's past bellicose and demonizing..rightfully so.. of wilbur's past business and governing records
and send him a copy
That three-headed dinner monster is gonna look like a Van Halen concert backstage, minus the large crowds in front, of course.
The whole Bain Capital issue was put on the limelight by Gingrich and Perry. Does Romney think these people are supporting him with their heart and thoughts?? I do not think so!
Newt like many of my fellow republicans are holding their noses in regards to MItt, I for one will not , thus not vote Mitt in NOv.
Beats me why everyone says Gingrich is so smart. I'd be more convinced if he quit saying dumb things.
I'm not a fan of Newt, and that's an understatement. I don't like what he *stood* for in his political history – forget how he is trying to reinvent himself for this election.
I must say that I'm impressed by Mr. Gingrich's stand. He had an opinion about Romney and he's sticking to it, regardless of how the rest of his party wants everyone to 'Tow the line" and back *whomever* is running.
Gingrich shows a bit of class. Wow. That's a surprise!
Since his attempts at having a poltical career have been largely unsuccessful, I guess Mitt's interest in politics is more of a hobby than a career. Can anyone actually describe what his political beliefs and philosophy are, even though he's been running for POTUS for 6 years? Nope, and that's why people don't trust him. He will tell people what they want to hear, which is why he cannot and will not defend his record to the one office he was elected to, an office he effectively abandoned after 2 years. POTUS is a resume-builder for him, nothing more.
Newt needs to shut up and keep focused on the objective of removing Obama from office. Park his ego..he was not liked by the Voters..who support Romney
No, he will still have that little smile signaling how little respect he has for MItt.
They make good bed fellows......as long as both stay on their sides.
It is very tough to talk when your lips are forming a vacuum on Mitten's butt cheeks for him to "bail out" the salamander's campaign deficits!