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. jj19549696

    Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
    In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
    Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal”

    September 27, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Pink slip for Obama

    If Obama is up in the polls as much as 10 pts in Ohio why does he spend so much time and money there. Go back and do your job or were going to have to "Let you Go".

    September 27, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. ThinkAgain: Mittens' 47% ... Veterans, grandma and the disabled are all moochers!

    Look, the bottom line is the GOP (specifically Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers) are looking for a puppet to say and do what they want them to:

    Don't believe me? Here's Norquist at CPAC earlier this year listing his "qualifications" for president:

    "We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

    "Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."

    They want Mittens because, like GW Bush, he'll do as he's told by the REAL power behind the presidency.

    So the choice is simple: Do you want a leader who thinks for himself and works for 100% of Americans or another GW Bush puppet doing the bidding of unelected officials representing corporate interests, regardless of the cost to our country and her people?

    Don't let this happen to our country. Vote Obama/Biden on November 6, 2012

    September 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. danita

    Romney 2012
    Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser? Three years ago his administration invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth less than $34 billion. By anyone’s definition, that investment is a glaring failure. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success.

    September 27, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. RoyBatty

    If only the GOP would select a true moderate that was willing to work with BOTH parties and not be a puppet for the right wing religious nuts I would support them. As it is, extremist like the teabaggers and morons like Akin and Romney will insure that I can not vote for the GOP. A REAL canidate for ALL Americans is what we need. Not just the most wealthy or the furtherest to the right.

    September 27, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. ghostriter

    "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."

    Kasich's model was to invest Ohio pension funds on Wall St, then blame the union employees for not paying enough into the pension. Sounds like another Wall St. guy.....oh wait....he is.....

    Of course, not mentioning the jobs saved by the auto bailout in a state that has 1 in 8 jobs tied to the auto industry doesn't help paint a clear picture of the economy in Ohio. But it does paint a picture of republican thinking.

    September 27, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. felix el gato

    Romney's message du jour keeps changing. His actual message is: Supply Side Economics is the way to make wealth trickle down to the idiots in the middle class. So, let's reduce the taxes of the upper class so they can create more jobs overseas where there are no minimum wages.

    September 27, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Mark

    Newt, the message has been clear, just not well received.

    September 27, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Mike

    Did Newt ever wonder why he lost to Mitt? It's because his ideas are less popular than Mitt...and scarier.

    September 27, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. jean2009

    To be frank Romney can't bragg about John Kasich's achievements since those are due to policies put in place byTed Stickland...that and the fact they make Obama look good.

    FACT IS: The mess we find ourselves in is due to Republican policies set in place during 2001-2050 when there was a Republican president and both houses of congress. Government policies take several years to have impact. The EPA Act of 2005 is the legislation that brought about the DOE loan guarantee for Solyndra.The final go ahead for the Solyndra loan approval was January 15, 2009 four days before President Obama took office.

    September 27, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. news this morning out of washington....

    its being reported that the white house knew the day of the libya attack that it was a terrorist operation from al qaeda...but the white house covered this up and sent out susan rice to say it was a flash mob...

    what is going on in the white house?????? they said the FBI was being dispatched to libya 2 weeks ago...and they are still not there... why is the WH outright lying to the "folks" as obama likes to call us.....

    September 27, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. danita

    Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser? Three years ago his administration invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth less than $34 billion. By anyone’s definition, that investment is a glaring failure. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success.

    September 27, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. fiftyfive55

    Might Rob me is just another George Bush and America has had all the Bushes we can stomach for our lifetime and our children's

    September 27, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. tara

    What is it with people thinking the president can control the price of gas?

    September 27, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Name mary myers

    The GOP cant put together a strong platform to elect there candidate because they have spent the last two years working to ensure Obama loses his joB that they forget to do the job that the American people elected them to do. By making a man who thinks 47 percent of the population are freeloader. The GOP has to take ownership of his platform as their own

    September 27, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. carlos

    If I had the money, I would buy the willard a plane with roll down windows, because he is so surprised that the manufacturers actually do not build one......and he was not joking.......Phew!

    September 27, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Laurie in Spokane

    Newt who? Oh yeah, the guy that won ONE primary, so he's obviously the person to listen to.
    There's a two-fold problem with Romney's run for the Presidency – first of all, he's not well liked even in his own partty, and keeps finding more feet to put in hiw mouth.

    Secondly, the republican message, such as it is, doesn't have any substance. It's hard to make a valid attack against Obama over the economy, when the economy is picking up, unemployment rate is going down, and, don't forget, this isn't just a US economic crisis – but worldwide.

    September 27, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. snt2

    Big time Loser Gingrich giving Winner Romney campaign advice... priceless. He loves to hear himself talk. He loves the attention. I dislike him very much and wish he would go away like Santorum did...

    September 27, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. S

    It's not his messaging. It's all the viral videos of him during his Bain Capital days, being smug, rich, and oblivious.

    September 27, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. kendra

    and the Newtster knows failure.

    September 27, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. fidgepiddy

    With widespread disapproval of the President's performance, the GOP paraded an abysmal assortment of potential contenders. We had bombastic blowhards (like the subject of this article) through blithering idiots (seems to be a token one or two of those by rule with the GOP).

    In the end, we elevated a guy that's probably to the left of the current President, left to his own devices. Meanwhile, the right wing of the party all have their arms up his back trying to make him act like someone he's not. It seems the only thing Republican voters like about Romney is that he's not Obama. The party itself never really liked him, because they know he's not their brand of conservative.

    The real failure has been the GOP's insistence on believing its own partisan bullshit, at the expense of selecting a candidate who might have widespread appeal to the voters of all parties.

    September 27, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. The Dude

    Hey GinGRINCH – Don't you have yet another wife to cheat on? You lost to Romney, so go away. No one cares, no one takes you seriously. Stay out of this election.

    September 27, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Mike

    With the debates coming up, this election is over. There is no way, Romney is going to make it through the debates without saying something incredibly stupid.

    September 27, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. once upon a horse

    If Obama really cared about the middle class why did he allow a hurricane to hit the gulf coast, closing fuel derricks and driving the price of gas so high? You know what is really sad is that there are some people out there that are dense enough to believe what I just posted.

    September 27, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. truth

    If Romney wins we will be involved in another major war by the end of his first term.
    That will be the result of his intelligence and the greed of his supporters.

    September 27, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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