September 26th, 2012
05:13 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich hits Romney in frank assessment

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's former rival Newt Gingrich issued a harsh assessment of the GOP nominee's campaign strategy Wednesday, saying Romney's presidential bid was struggling in key battlegrounds against President Barack Obama because of a messaging failure.

"The Romney campaign has yet to find a thematic way of explaining itself and laying out in a clear, crisp way the difference between Romney and Obama. And I think that frankly is a problem," Gingrich said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

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The former House speaker's remarks came after a question about why polls show Romney struggling in key electoral battlegrounds like Florida and Ohio. The latest CNN Poll of Polls in Florida shows Romney trailing Obama, 50%-45%, while in Ohio the president is up by seven, 51%-44%.

Gingrich also attributed the president's lead in some states to a massive spending push on the part of the Obama campaign, which he said allowed Democrats to define Romney at an early stage in the campaign.

Not embracing the records of Republican governors like John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida is also a mistake, Gingrich said, since those states have economies that appear to be rebounding. In publically hailing the two states' economies, however, Romney runs the risk of appearing to praise Obama for his own policies, like bailing out to auto industry, that have played a part in stemming job losses in each state.

The conundrum, Gingrich said, was not being met with the proper flexibility by Romney's campaign.

"The campaign doesn't seem to be able to pivot and say, you know, John Kasich's doing the right stuff here in Ohio and I want to take John Kasich's model to Washington because Kasich is for a smaller government, less regulation, more American energy, pro-jobs."

"They seem to have this overly methodical model where they go out and keep saying the same thing, and the world's too fluid," Gingrich said. "The world's too sophisticated for that."

"There's plenty of ammunition," he concluded, adding he thought "a campaign which made that case clearly enough would carry Ohio and Florida by big margins."

Gingrich, who at one point was Romney's top rival for the GOP presidential nomination, also took issue with the latest ad from Romney's campaign, in which the candidate looks directly into the camera to deliver an assessment of the economy.

In the ad, Romney acknowledges that "President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families," but goes on to suggest the president's policies have made it harder for Americans to find work and rely less on the federal government for assistance.

Gingrich said he was "frankly startled" by Romney's acknowledgment of Obama's compassion for the middle class.

"I don't know why he's saying that," he said. If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. v_mag

    Easy for Newt to say. His career is over, except for the occasional "nostalgia" call from Fox Noise. He at least sees the writing on the wall for W-omney, and he can always gloat and say "I told you so" when the election is over. That way, he can claim to be a realist, and maybe we'll forget his plans for colonizing Mars and all the other doubtful schemes he's come up with over the years.

    September 26, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Wes B.

    Who's Newt?

    September 26, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Maxx

    Why is it that people say Newt is so smart?

    September 26, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. rs

    Newt Gingrich looks more and more like Sydney Greenstreet (Casablanca, maltese Falcon, etc.) everyday- even kind of acts like his characters. A good metaphor for the GOP. All the morals of movie bad guys, all the reality of Hollywood.

    September 26, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. sayer

    He forgot the biggest reason why Romney's campaign is struggling...Romney calling half the nation losers that will never amount to anything.

    September 26, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. clarke

    The President doesn't put a price on gasoline. Gingrich himself said that once, know he is using it against Obama. Mitt is losing because he really is not very bright and people have caught on. They realize he is not a leader and never will be. Obama does have compassion for all the people and the United States. I am still trying to figure out why Mitt wants to be President, he does not have the fire in his belly, to make me feel he even cares about others, let alone the United States.

    September 26, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. neil

    Since Newt is such an expert can he tell us why gas prices were at their highest in July of 2008?That was during the shrubs administration.So Newt since you think the president controls gas prices perhaps you can explain that.I'll be waiting there Mr. Gasbag.

    September 26, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Joe

    Newt Throwing King Tabby Nackle Bishop Romney under da Bus.

    September 26, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Hillcrester

    Please note that political realist accepts rather than challenging the validity of the polling data. Unlike the persistent deniers who flood CNN comment sites, Gingrich knows Romney is actually trailing badly in the key swing states.

    September 26, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. BigTBone

    We know the difference, Newt.

    It's not a failure of message. It's the benefit of information being available without skew.

    The voting record of the GOP/TP Congress is forever etched in history along with the junk legislation they did put forth.

    Sorry if most of us are savvy enough to realize that when you propose failed solutions from a failed candidate, there's no amount of polish and shine to put on it.

    Now ride off into the sunset you fat, disgusting bag of worm infested manure.

    September 26, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Name claire

    Go Obama. Go Go. 4 more years. If God. Want something No one can change it.
    It is God's will, guys.

    September 26, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The conundrum, Gingrich said,
    -------------------------------------------------The Conundrum. I like the sound of that. I think that should be the GOP's new name for President Obama.

    Conundrum: a riddle. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma.

    Our first Black President has made the good ole' white boys of the GOP pull their hairs out and go screaming into the night. He has shattered all of their stereotypes. He has out worked them. Out maneuvered them. Out shone them. OUTSMARTED them and they hate it. And him.
    And what they hate more than anything is that the country, this country, their country LOVES HIM.

    I couldn't be prouder.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    September 26, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. TG

    No, Romney isn't struggling because his message isn't getting across; it's because his message IS getting across. To over half the people in this country it's become crystal clear what Romney's message is– and they don't like it.

    September 26, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. seebs

    Nonsense. They have done a wonderful job of illustrating the difference. This is their problem.

    September 26, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There you go talking drivel about that fallacy that the President, any President, can determine gas prices.
    You know better Neutered, yet you subscribe to your Party's new slogan Be As Stupid As You Can Be.

    Obama 2012. Because America deserves the very BEST.

    September 26, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    I think romney the tax cheat should campaign in China ,I'm sure the pla would vote for him and he could winn in a landslide, oh ,I'm sorry , they don't have picture ids,but I'm sure they contributed to his super pac.

    September 26, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    Newt will go to a letter opening if it will get him into the news somehow. Another of the clowns the GOP put up for POTUS. Any wonder the bagger party is in the crapper?

    September 26, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. California Gary

    It appears that the Newtster still bears malice towards the Mittster for the way he was treated during the primary campaign. Newt never shies away from a cheap shot when one presents itself.......and Mitt presents a really big target for it.

    September 26, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Jeetu

    Newt like Romney has no idea about the price of Gasoline and POTUS. He should know that the President has nothing to do with the price of Gasoline and no once can promise cheaprt gasoline when they are POTUS. Further, if Mitt or Newt beileve in the free market system, then why are they criticizing the President about the price of Gasoline as that price is determined by the free market. Thus, it appears to me that they are using double standards: on one hand they want no hand of government in free market, on the other, they want to blame the President when the free market does not produce the results they want. Furthermore, they don't want the President to use the free market system in healthcare to provide coverage to 30+ million uninsured.

    Clearly, we can have Romney in the WH as POTUS and hence must vote democratic this November and make sure that Romney and his friends stay out the WH, the House and the Senate.

    September 26, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Winning

    It's not the messaging, it's the message.

    September 26, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    there he goes again with his moronic gas price argument. Of course if HE were president, he'd wave his magic wand and voila $2.50 a gallon. Get over yourself you lying toad. Mitts message IS getting across and people don't like it. That is why he's trailing.

    September 26, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Name

    Wake up people. We are in real scary times right now. It's pathetic that our politicians fight ruthlessly and with so many of us cheering them on instead of demanding that we come together for a change and work together at getting this country back on top. We've made ourselves a target for the extremists who want nothing more than to see us become a cloud of dust.

    September 26, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Newt is so intelligent that he lost the primary to a less intelligent doomy. Ride on Newt.

    September 26, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Jules

    Romney is losing because he has no message at all.

    September 26, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Pete

    Do anyone out there think Gingrich would really help him,Romneys going down hey throw him an anchor he'd say.Romney destroying his challengers not with his political prowess but his fat wallet from corporate handlers knowing if Romney won they'd be set at least with deregulations and futher tax changes for 4 years,better than nothing right!!But now STENCH isn't looking good and most campaigning republican reps tell Romney stay away they're trying to win or keep the job they have,leave them alone you're toxic buddy,your mouths even worse...

    September 26, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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