(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?"
Gasoline is not at an all-time high. That was in July 2008.
Everyone knows Newt that the President, Dem or Repuke, has no control over the gas prices. Is this another lie Newt?
Really newt you salamander, you really believe a president has control over gas prices? Really? Sad you ever were elected to represent my state. Sad
well,well. I see the american people are smelling the coffee.Obama are on the right track.#1 he did not follow these people,like mitt and get american into another war.The middle east would be another pearl harbor.American need to get out of these country that costing the country so much.Let those people find ways to economy.Amearican are loseing too much of their young boys,and girl.American war, and I think they should get out and fouces and there economy.What they are fight for,to save the world.I think obama is doing good.stay away from war it cast lifes.
It's easy to forget gasoline is a traded commodity...that the president doesn't control, unless he is one of their prime investors. I love how that seems to be such a valid argument response "well, gas prices!" There is a lot more to it than that.
You're an immoral, pathetic, sleezy person, Newt. Mitt does not need a devious racist supporting him. Campaigning with lyin' Ryan is enough.
Newt Sit down and shut up!
Hey, Mitt! Remember when you carpet-bombed Newt with all those negative ads during the primary campaign? So does Newt.
Gingrich: Romney out debated the lineup of mentally deficient nincompoops the GOP had in the primaries, therefore he will handily defeat someone with an actual functioning brain in the presidential debates.
Sorry Newt, your brain still isn't working.
Gas has not hit an all time high under Obama it was under Halliburton/Cheney that gas was over $4.50 for regular and over $5 for premium and diesel in my state now that was before all the tax breaker corporations and fat cat business people gutted the workforce to insure there profits and bonuses which lead to the decrease in demand for gas which allowed the price to go back down and were the gas price is at now is not bad and cutting a line threw the middle of country for Canada will not lower the price a penny
Gingrich is apparently complicit with the Obama camp.
"If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?" – Why do Republicans keep looping around to contradict themselves? When the price of gas hit a record high under Bush, it wasn't the President's doing at all. Now it's all Obama's fault, and proof that he doesn't care about the middle class?
What a bunch of wackos this party has become.
Romney cannot win because he can't help but show himself as a major flip flopper on everything.
Once when running for governor of MA, he ran as pro-choice. Then later proclaimed himself to be pro-life. He implemented a version similar toObamacare in MA and touted how successful it was, then now promised that he will repeal Obamacare when he is president. He claims to be hopelessly republican, but he "cares about the poor and the middle class (god, what has this world come to!!!) a shocking statement from the mouth of a republican... SO WHO IS ROMNEY? He is everything you want him to be, depending on the day of the week. How can we have such a person as President???
Keep your big fat face in front of the camera, Newtie. You are a pig, plain and simple.
It is amasing that some people beleive that this is business as usual the people of the world are fed up can`t every one see what is happening in Greece, Spain, Egypt, etc. capitalism as we know it is dead we just did not buried it yet this is time of the people for capitalism to suvive it must change it must become social what imean it must have a strong social component and in a system like that Mr.romney cant live because he dont ask what i can do for my country he ask what my country can do for me
Newt deserves credit some credit for beating up and defining Romney during the primaries.
It's not a "messaging" failure, it's a "candidate is an unelectable dipwad" failure.
God bless America and President Obama and first family.
Mitt romney's campaign is just one big turd polishing episode after another. What an embarassment to himself, and the gop!! Losers!!
Take his advise Mitt. It worked for him. Boy Newt is the right name for this guy
One thing making it harder to find jobs is that the republicans in congress have blocked Obama's jobs bill – a million new jobs possible.
Another reason might be that after campaigning in 2010 elections to vote GOP because they were going to create JOBS, JOBS, and more JOBS the GOP has not proposed one bit of legislation to create a single job.
Now they expect us to vote for them because now they might be serious about really creating a job?
Why? Because Romney cheats on his taxes. Case closed.
Gingrich is a has-been hack politician, making big bucks while he can still breathe.
"If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"
Because he's a president, not a dictator. What's he supposed to do, force the oil companies to give up maximum profit? How, nationalize them? That can't be done in a Capitalistic system. I
Romney good, Obama bad. Freedom vs tyranny that simple. A vote for Romney is for freedom, a vote for Obama is for tyranny.