Gingrich remains mild on Romney
May 24th, 2012
06:14 PM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich remains mild on Romney

(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.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Most republicans are mild on Romney.

    May 24, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Grow up already...

    Tough to be enthused about someone who spared no expense to demonize you...

    May 24, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. LCSWquilter

    Gingrich better watch out or else Romney could stop payment on the check to help retire his campaign debts.

    May 24, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Cindy

    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.

    May 24, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Crickets

    Playing the smallest violin in the world for you Newt.

    May 24, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. A not-so-stupid former republican

    I don't blame Gingrich. I really, really mild on Romney.

    May 24, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. Tam

    Who cares what he thinks about anything?

    May 24, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Of course Gingrich is mild on Romney because he feels that he'd be better than Romney.

    May 24, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. skdrives

    with friends like these.....

    May 24, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Newt is also mild on paying his bills....

    May 24, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. judy

    even newt knows this guy is a flip flop promise anything to get elected politician

    May 25, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  12. TJ

    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.

    May 25, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  13. cmh1015

    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.

    May 25, 2012 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  14. TM

    Newt will warm up to Willard, right after Romney pays off Newt's campaign debts.

    May 25, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  15. Louisiana Man

    to Obama..

    rerun or syndicate newt's past bellicose and demonizing..rightfully so.. of wilbur's past business and governing records

    and send him a copy

    May 25, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  16. Anonymous

    That three-headed dinner monster is gonna look like a Van Halen concert backstage, minus the large crowds in front, of course.

    May 25, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  17. ST

    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!

    May 25, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  18. griffbos

    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.

    May 25, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. Steven Colo

    Beats me why everyone says Gingrich is so smart. I'd be more convinced if he quit saying dumb things.

    May 25, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. Snake

    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!

    May 25, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    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.

    May 25, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. Ron in California

    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

    May 25, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  23. A little sad


    Newt will warm up to Willard, right after Romney pays off Newt's campaign debts.

    No, he will still have that little smile signaling how little respect he has for MItt.

    May 25, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. TJeff1776

    They make good bed long as both stay on their sides.

    May 25, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    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!

    May 25, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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