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. gino

    One more rat deserting the sinking ship.

    September 27, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. HEHE

    LOL @ sharon the media painted nothing Romney's own words painted him that way.

    September 27, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Realityblowz

    When Bush was in office, the price of gas was constantly being blamed on him in nearly every aspect of the media. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. Even Senator Debbie Stabenaw had a big ad in the paper blaming Bush for high gas prices. Well, now it has to be Obama's fault based on your own logic. End of story. If you think otherwise, then congradulations, you are indeed a tool.

    September 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Duane Allen

    This assessment and the remarks go to show the craven persona of a twisted "Republican" Party that's driven by the egos and personal agendas of a GOP that's eager to eat their own. Gingrich is kidding himself if he thinks he has any substantive creds within the ranks of the Tea Bag zealots, much less the mainstream of the American electorate. Aside from his hubris driven armchair quarterbacking of the Romney campaign – its amazing that he feels he'd be doing better after losing dramatically in the primaries (he definitely possesses a classic over-inflated, self-delusional personality) – his absurd remark suggesting if Obama cared "why did he let the price of gasoline..." shows how out of touch, clouded and idiotic his thinking truly is. That said, he is the crackpot whose grand vision in the Florida primary was building a base on the Moon!

    September 27, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Lyla M

    It is way more than the message....it's the man himself. Romney is simply a pandering puppet who doesn't even know where he stands on an issue. His blatant "etch-a-sketch" moments are not what good leaders are made of. The fact that he shelters his money in overseas accounts and is not forthcoming with his tax records is very questionable with respect to integrity coming from a party that chants "patriotism" at every opportunity. His business record does not impress me one bit. He made money in a very ugly way. If Staples is his flagship success story, why are they closing so many stores this year? Obama all the way!

    September 27, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. snods-are-us

    Romney was given amnesty for the tax evasion scandle at UBS back in 09. That is why he will not release his taxes. He wants to hide the fines and back taxes he had to pay or go to jail. If not for the manesty, he is a federal criminal.

    September 27, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Kirk in michigan

    Newt knows the pres has zero control, he just thinks your stupid enough to belive him, mitts no different, and theywonder why they cant win. younguys are going to have your arses hnded to you in nov. your trying to buy this election, organize voter supression, and corralated defensive responses, the fact that you think we will belive your garbage, is why your party will be shown the door this year. just an american auto workers honest assesment of this election, if you dont loose bigtime i will bbe concerned as your backers, like koch brothers will be inspired to go bigger next time. time to stand up or get rundown. no romney plan for me, thank you, and see ya mittens, take your mini me with you.

    September 27, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. MBW

    Romney is now getting advice from Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Obviously they recognize a kindred spirit. As the campaign wears on, Romney is becoming more of a caricature. He deserves to be in the company of losers like Gingrich and Palin. His flip-flopping, lies, misrepresentations, elitism, arrogance, disdain for most Americans and gaffs make him more and more unelectable. It took George Bush four years to sink to 28% popularity, Romney may get there before the election.

    September 27, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. The REAL Truth...

    Where are some of these posters coming up with blaming ANY President (or Newt) for 5 and $6 gas ?????
    The highest National Average price for gas per gallon was $4.11 in July 2008.
    The 4-yr average price under Dubya was $3.76.
    The 4-yr average under Obama is $3.74 !!!
    Check the FACTS people.. and quit parroting what you hear on some so-called "news" channel. It only goes to prove that the average American voter – who believes they are intelligent and educated – is dumber than mud!

    September 27, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. jpip

    Funniest thing about this article is the last line where Newt offers up the fact that gas prices hit an all-time high as proof of Obama's not caring about the middle class. So wait... you want the president to mandate the price of gas in a free market? Ok, so you villify him for being an evil socialist but then you want him to be an evil socialist??? Talk about mis-messaging...

    September 27, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. mommytwice

    that's the stupidest thing I have EVER heard. Does Newt REALLY think the president sits in his office and controls gas prices? What, does he think the oval office is equipped with little knobs and levers that the president pulls and turns based on his whim? This man is as stupid and inept as Romney.

    September 27, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Kent

    The real problem is that he has explained himself. His true colors came through and it is sinking him like a rock.

    September 27, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Grinning Libber

    Thank you Newt for all you do...
    Mitt's REAL problem is that he is Nowhere man and has no idea how to communicate with humanoids.

    September 27, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. th

    Rein, what world are you in? Mitt is no ordinary person. Anyone not a millionaire and votes for Mitt needs their head examined. He only cares for the rich.

    September 27, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Wake up people!

    @Sharon.....come on girl where have you been? How is it hard to get Willards message out? He has Fox News and if I'm not mistaken, that is the only network that he would talk to up til about a month ago. The problem with Willard is he has no message, he flip flops worse than a fish out of water.

    No one thinks President Obama is a savior or messiah except the right. You are the ones expecting miracles, we know President Obama is simply a man, a good, honest man with character and integrity, something Willard is sorely lacking.

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 27, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Sodapophead

    So Romney's message of give rich people more money so they'll invest it in America is failing. Not sure why, just because he hides his money in foreign accounts instead of investing in America, doesn't mean we shouldn't believe him. He's such a bad liar.

    September 27, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. simp

    Who in the hell is listening to newt? This lying nasty piece of crap. He won ONE primary why is he on all the news channels now? He really thinks he knows what romney needs to do if so why didnt the people want him to be the nominee? Newt let me tell your ignorant self something, the President has no control over the gas prices, how many times does that have to be announced? What a big wind bag he is.

    September 27, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What a racist remark mama....oh wait....only white men can be racist!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Not racist at all just truthful.
    As a BI-RACIAL observer, I've had four years of seeing "what's up" with how THIS President has been SINGULARLY treated.
    Take that overplayed claim of yours to the bank and try to cash it. It is just another way trying to keep people like myself from speaking the truth.
    Not going for it.
    Obama 2012.

    September 27, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Save the Rich, Vote GOP

    NO he has actually explained himself very well – he is for saving the rich, screwing the middle class and forgetting the poor as they can fend for themselves. He also believes big business is in a better position to police itself then outside regulators, and he believes he needs to control women's rights as well as gays. Oh almost forgot, he believes war is good and we need more of them.

    September 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Mk54

    Gingrich clearly believes the polls....finally a Republican that doesn't construct a false reality when confronted with unwelcome facts.

    September 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. jpmichigan

    Republicans are their own worst enemy. There are many reasons not to vote for Obama, he gives the American a NEW reason everyday. Unfulfilled Obama promise--- CHANGE.. With a 60- vote supermajority in the Senate and a solid Democrtic majority in the House in 2009 and 2010, Obama could have pushed for an immigration bill, instead he acquiesced in Speaker Pelosi not to bring such a measure to the floor. Now he promises to do so in his second term. LOL He lew up the summer of 2011 grand bargain negotisations with Boehner by raising his demands. Boehner agreed to increased revenues through tax reforms on high earners that would eliminate or limit deductions . Tax reform recommended by Obama's Simpson-Bowles Commission, whose report ended up in the round file. Obama insisted on higher tas rate for high earners, trend tht would bring in less revenue, this to satisfy Obama's obsession with re-distribution thinging.

    September 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. rightwingrick

    No, Newt. It's that the message...yours and the Republican party's...is vaccuous, empty. OF COURSE the price of gas went up, even though we are drilling more and refining more than during the Bush years. It was driven by WORLD DEMAND, not by something Obama did. And OF COURSE the deficit is higher, we had to stimulate an economy that had gone down the tubes and was LOSING 750,000 jobs a month as he began his term in '09 (we've had 30 straight months now of job growth, 4 million new jobs...not perfect, but a lot better than four years ago). Your message doesn't sell, it is not logical. You want us to believe that cutting taxes for the wealthy AGAIN (after nine different tax-cut bills during the disastrous Bush years) will really work well for the poor, AND that we should DEREGULATE the banks and finance industries and others that ran roughshod over everyone. Really, Newt???? The news for the Republicans should be that the electorate is not as dumb as they keep treating us.

    September 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Steve

    Gingrich is wrong. It's the message not necessarily the messenger. The majority of Americans don't believe that tax cuts for rich people create jobs. The trickle down economic theory hasn't worked, and in fact has increased the national debt. The GOP has more problems than just messaging. They have a message problem.

    September 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Mark

    Newt didn't do such a great job in communicating when he was running. He ought to keep his mouth shut.

    September 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. larry

    Where is Ron Paul when you need him? He was the only one that would have won from the GOP because he appeals to independents, youth, and democrats.

    September 27, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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