September 22nd, 2012
01:45 AM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich on Friday urged Mitt Romney to go after President Barack Obama in next month's debates with a gusto the former House speaker knows well.

"When he walks in to debate Obama, he's got to be as tough with Obama as he was with me in Florida," Gingrich said in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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After all, Gingrich said, Romney "is not in a competition to be likeable."

At two debates in Florida last January amidst their bitter struggle for the GOP presidential nomination, Romney lit into Gingrich.

The two entered the Florida primary locked up in the polls. But after some heavy stumping - and arguably some debate thumping - Romney emerged on top in the vote count, beating Gingrich by 14 points and claiming the state's delegate haul.

With Romney trailing Obama in favorability, Gingrich encouraged Romney to play aggressively on the debate stage. The most recent CNN/ORC International Poll of likely voters, conducted earlier this month after the conclusion of both conventions, showed Obama with a 9 point advantage over Romney in their respective favorability ratings.

"He's in a competition to be capable," Gingrich said. "We need somebody who can turn America around. We need him to convince us that a Romney recovery is better than an Obama stagnation. Unless he can do that, I don't care how much effort they spend trying to make him likeable - it won't work.

Appearing separately on the program, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley argued that Obama has produced more than stagnation.

"I think the polls show overwhelmingly that most of us understand that the wrecking of our economy was the result of policies that were inflicted upon us during the Bush years," he said. "We've now had 30 months in a row of positive private sector job growth. Foreclosures are now lower than they were before President Obama took office. And while we still have a lot of work to do, we are headed in a much better direction than we were the day he took that oath."

In the interview, Gingrich also responded an apparent contrast between Romney's comments that he had not - and would be disqualified from the presidency if - he paid more in his taxes than he owed, and his campaign's acknowledgement that he could have paid less had he reported all of his charitable giving.

"I don't pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due, I don't think I'd be qualified to become president," Romney said in a July interview. "I'd think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires."

But documents released Friday showed the Republican presidential nominee reported on his 2011 tax return that approximately 16% of his income went to charity, while his campaign said the actual amount was 30%.

Gingrich initially laughed and took a swipe at Vice President Joe Biden, charging that the vice president ought to then "resign this evening because he has said enough different goofy things over time that you couldn't possibly remain vice president."

Then, Gingrich described Romney's charitable giving as a credit to the GOP candidate.

"I think it is a good thing for Romney," Gingrich said. "Apparently he's done this his whole life, to have a very substantial donation process for charities, for his church, and for things he wants to do voluntarily as a citizen. That's also a kind of self-tax to keep civilized society moving."

Also see:

– Rubio tweets his airline woes

– Ryan 'very comfortable' as Romney's V.P. candidate

– Litigating Capitol Hill recess in weekly addresses

– Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me

– Biden: Romney tape, demeanor shows he 'does not understand' middle class

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


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. Alli

    I agree completely. Romney has to go out hitting Obama on the economy, the Middle East meltdown, questions as to why our Ambassador is dead, why Obama was in Vegas, doing Letterman, partying with Jay-z/Beyonce, and doing the View before his body was barely even cold, questions about the $1200 fee/tax some 6 million Americans will pay in relation to ObamaCare, the fact that Obama swore from day one that Obamacare was NOT a tax, yet the only way it could be pushed through was as a tax, questions about his negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood for the release of the Blind Sheikh after he's elected, how he promised he would fix things in 4 years or we could fire him....I could seriously go on and on and on here all day. Romney HAS to back Obama into the corner – IF THE BIASED MEDIA WON'T ASK THESE QUESTIONS AND SO MANY MORE, ROMNEY HAS TO – RIGHT IN FRONT OF MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING. He has got to be put on the defensive for a change, rather than having the media guard him.

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. zutux

    Yup..That's right....Poor guy still walks funny because of it

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. NativeUSA

    Actually he pretty much speaks the truth just talk about Obama broken promises and lies and every time Obama says taxes just say bring us together end partisan poltiics who is the liar that said that? Oh the guy that accuses Romney of killing some moron liars wife........with cancer.

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Brian from DC

    Taking advice from someone who lost the Presidential candidate nomination is always best, don't you think?

    September 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. GoodyGoody

    Seriously? Is Romney even still running? These republicans are just sad. They allowed this guy who has displayed for all to see that he does not genuinely care about the vast majority of people in this country (that, by the way, was the problem with his 47% comment, not an issue of statistics). He HIMSELF stated repeatedly in the past that he was a moderate, but now claims to be "severely conservative." He alters his position on issues depending on the crowd he's talking to. He has no moral compass. At least with Obama you know what you're getting – he may not be perfect, but things are certainly not worse than they were 4 years ago, whatever these republicans would have you believe. Nor will allowing Romney to increase the causes of the economic trouble in this country – unfunded wars, terrible regulation of the financial sector, the lowest taxes on the wealthy since the 1920's, and thousands of people dying every single year due to lack of health care – fix the recession.

    To be clear, I'm not even a democrat – I'd happily vote libertarian, actually. I'd even vote for a REAL fiscal conservative republican with common sense ideas – like Buddy Roemer. But it has been absolutely shocking to watch supposed "conservatives" rally around this guy who has no moral spine whatsoever and whose irresponsible economic plans would only wreck the middle class even more. We already have the biggest gap between rich and poor that we've seen in about 70 years. We should increase that? Here's an idea – how about if Mittens and the rest of these taxcutting millionaires go live in the country they really want to live in – Russia. Because that's what they're trying to turn us into – an oppressive oligarchy controlled, essentially, by organized crime, where a tiny minority is fabulously wealthy, and everyone else is scraping by on trash. Dasvidania, Mittens! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

    September 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Randy

    Mr Gingrich flatters himself. (what else is new?!?) It's like a Little League pitcher giving his buddy advice on how to hit a home run against CC Sabathia.

    "Hey, golly Beaver, you killed my fastball. Just do that."

    September 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. FoundingFather

    Such divisiveness is unAmerican.

    September 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Brad

    The difference Gingrich is that Obama "didn't cheat on two sick wives" like you did!!! Family Values Gingrich, what a joke!!!

    September 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. yogi

    Funny how the incarnation of Napoleon is giving advice to the wannabe king. The republicans are getting very nervous, even Palin is advising Romney not realizing that even Jesus, who is for the 100%, has his reservations about this candidate.

    September 22, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. smknbluebear

    gingrich can take his white wig and go shopping at tiffany's with his 8th wife.

    September 22, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. SPQR

    President Obama 2012 !

    Not because Mitt Romney is a bad man.

    But because Barack Obama is a better one !

    September 22, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. GoodyGoody

    Seriously? Is Romney even still running? These republicans are just sad. They allowed this guy who has displayed for all to see that he does not genuinely care about the vast majority of people in this country (that, by the way, was the problem with his 47% comment, not an issue of statistics). He stated repeatedly in the past that he was a moderate, but now claims to be "severely conservative." He alters his position on issues depending on the crowd he's talking to. He has no moral compass. At least with Obama you know what you're getting – he may not be perfect, but things are certainly not worse than they were 4 years ago, whatever these republicans would have you believe. Nor will allowing Romney to increase the causes of the economic trouble in this country – unfunded wars, terrible regulation of the financial sector, the lowest taxes on the wealthy since the 1920's, and thousands dying every single year due to lack of health care – fix the recession.

    To be clear, I'm not even a democrat – I'd happily vote libertarian, actually. I'd even vote for a REAL fiscal conservative republican with common sense ideas – like Buddy Roemer. But it has been absolutely shocking to watch supposed "conservatives" rally around this guy who has no moral spine whatsoever and whose irresponsible economic plans would only wreck the middle class even more. We already have the biggest gap between rich and poor that we've seen in about 70 years. We should increase that? Here's an idea – how about if Mittens and the rest of these taxcutting millionaires go live in the country they really want to live in – Russia. Because that's what they're trying to turn us into – an oppressive oligarchy controlled by organized crime. Dasvidania, Mittens!

    September 22, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. revolting peasant

    When does Newt go away?

    September 22, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. MaryTrololo

    Seriously? Is Romney even still running? These republicans are just sad. They allowed this guy who has displayed for all to see that he does not genuinely care about the vast majority of people in this country (that, by the way, was the problem with his 47% comment, not an issue of statistics). He stated repeatedly in the past that he was a moderate, but now claims to be "severely conservative." He alters his position on issues depending on the crowd he's talking to. He has no moral compass. At least with Obama you know what you're getting – he may not be perfect, but things are certainly not worse than they were 4 years ago, whatever these republicans would have you believe. Nor will allowing Romney to increase the causes of the economic trouble in this country – unfunded wars, terrible regulation of the financial sector, the lowest taxes on the wealthy since the 1920's, and thousands dying every single year due to lack of health care – fix the recession.

    To be clear, I'm not even a democrat – I'd happily vote libertarian, actually. I'd even vote for a REAL fiscal conservative republican with common sense ideas – like Buddy Roemer. But it has been absolutely shocking to watch supposed "conservatives" rally around this guy who has no moral spine whatsoever and whose irresponsible economic plans would only wreck the middle class even more. We already have the biggest gap between rich and poor that we've seen in about 70 years. We should increase that? Here's an idea – how about if Mittens and the rest of these taxcutting millionaires go live in the country they really want to live in – Russia. Because that's what they're trying to turn us into – an oppressive oligarchy controlled by organized crime.

    September 22, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. John

    Let's see how Newt is different from President Obama. The President has never been kicked out of the Speaker of the House seat because of his public corruption. The President has had only one wife not mutiple wives like Newt. Newt current wife (Calista) is most similar to a French lady of the evening. Newt's political bagage was huge.

    September 22, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. MaryTrololo

    I'd love to know why my posts are always "awaiting moderation." I don't curse, I've tried removing any words that could be "bad" like "crime" or even foreign words... But nothing is good enough. Does CNN flag certain people because they don't like what they say?

    September 22, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. JohnRJohnson

    Romney was terrible in the debates. It's just that all the other people on the stage were so much worse.

    September 22, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. SS

    Were it between Gingrich or Romney, I'd have gone with Gingrich, at least the man answer's questions and had some good ideas (e.g. implementing six sigma to make govt more efficient). Originally backed Ron Paul but obviously that's not happening, the Repubs went with Bush lite so scrw the Repub party, my vote goes to your opposition now, rather have Obama in than Romney.

    September 22, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Jake

    Loser 1 giving advice to loser 2.

    September 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Dahlia

    Gingrich is a loser. He has never had credibility. Romney should welcome his advice...since he is self-destructing anyway and this will accelerate his demise.

    September 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Katie

    Be tough, be aggressive "go rogue" (and we all know how well that worked for Palin!) – whatever. Just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE answer the questions they give you in the debates. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS!! That's all I want from both candidates.

    September 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. shawn26

    Why would any body especially Mitt listen to Gingrich- he is a loser, a cheater and totally out of bounds for his behaviour runing for President. He knew he would lose but he thought Calista will help him win. Hmn......
    Romneys debating skills will take him to the cleaners. Pres Obama will give him a big kick on the ass- and there goes the GOP! and Romneys debating skills. Maybe he will bet Obama- $ 10,000 ?
    America- we do not need a President whio is not transparent, does not trust Americas economy- so he puts his investements offshore and frankly caters to the rich like himself- Romney.
    Needs to go back to La Jolla , puts their cars in the elevator to keep them safe and watch the water and sunset from thier million dollars home while Queen Ann serves peanut butter sand wich. How about that. !~

    Obama/Biden 2012 !! God bless them! and God bless this wonderful country of America! By the way, Iam Asian and an immigrant and love this country so much.

    September 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. mike

    Ah Gingrich, always the sociopath. Yep, it was about how Romney treated you, not what a terrible candidate you were.

    September 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Roger

    And Obama will do to Romney what Newt did to Romney.. point out that he has 5000 positions per day.

    September 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. rich kaplan

    Yes Mitt, Please take advice from these 2 loser. then you will have even less chance to beat Obama....

    September 22, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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