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. Neverson

    Romney is not a politician, he is a business guy who think of makin profit and nothing else . Thats why he had to be reminded that he have to spend time explain his policies to voters than raising funds. He cant lead the nation.

    September 26, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  2. Tom

    Some horses are so far behind in the race they actually beleive they are in the lead! Obama is toast! You liberals can cook the books (polls) all you like! Come game day Democrats will look at their kids "National Debt" and Romney will win!

    September 26, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Bob

    Gingrich should be an expert on message failure. He has a lot of experience.

    September 26, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. bailee

    I just LOVE how the Republicans throw each other under the bus!!

    September 26, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  5. Squigman

    Here's a prime example of why republicans, have little or no dignity. The only thing that matters, money. By the way Newt: Did you get your bill paid at the jewelers.

    September 27, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  6. Fortinbras

    It was agreed by both campaigns that if the election is about Obama, Obama would lose. I think we know by now that it has increasingly been about Romney since May. And there is now intense negative focus on Romney and his mismanaged campaign that will not likely subside in time to make up lost ground with increasingly few undecided voters left.

    September 27, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  7. Zwei Stein

    Newt...you're wasting your time trying to give advice to Mitt. He only listens to Ann and to his advisers. And it shows.

    September 27, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Romney when the public is listening: "Obama and I both care about the poor and middle class"

    Romney when he is speaking to annointed few who have enough money to matter: "There are 47% of the people who think they are victems and I will not help them"

    September 27, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  9. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Both Romney and the Newt would attend the opening of a refrigerator if they thought threre was a camera there. Either one of them claiming the moral high ground is enough to sicken the average maggot. I've seen more class in a third world cathouse than the Republican Party this Preidential Race.

    September 27, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  10. dr robert

    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

    September 27, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  11. Tony in ST. Louis

    Wow! Newt's hammering those last few nails into the coffin of Romney's campaign! There's a bitter irony here! I just can't stomch Newt or Romney long enough to revel in it.

    September 27, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  12. Adam RMD

    "If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"
    Because Obama went to war in Iraq, and used unilateral, strong arm policies in the Middle East, causing unrest and a geopolitical premium.
    Oh wait, that was Bush, and crude oil went to an all time high of $147 during Bush's term and hasn't returned and will not return to its Clinton days.

    September 27, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  13. Golden Wolf

    Mittens would be a great president, HE WOULD CREATE 12 million jobs during his first term... for China and India!

    September 27, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. bananaspy

    I am part of the 47% Mitt can't win over. I don't consider myself a victim of anything. I make low wages. I work nearly full time and go to school full time. I have to take out student loans to afford this, otherwise I'll be working into my 40s before I can get a real degree. I've also hardly touched a dime of this money outside of school expenses. I would love to go to school without this assistance, but it's just not realistic at my age. So by Romney's views I can either suck it up and be poor all my life in exchange for his version of pride or take a little help, hopefully contribute more to society once I'm out of school, and free up my job for the next person who needs it.

    September 27, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. ZIZEWITZ

    """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""

    The "problem is that there is nothing useful to be laid ot

    - There is no nearly program except platitudes, as I will do things betterthan OBAMA"

    – The only partially info as that tax rates for the rich would be not only NOT reverted to Pre-Bush, but further reduced, nd that some deductions (unspecified) will be closed for rich and middle class

    – the only achievements of ROMNEY, as ROMNEYCARE and some other good things he did in MA are now defined as negative and OBAMACARE = ROMNEYCARE would be nullified, MEDICARE castrated and MEDICAID reduced

    September 27, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  16. Ramon

    Well, we all know that Gingrich was a clear victim of Romney negative ads during primaries, and he was unable to overcome those attacks, even with his enormous expertice, now he wants to be Romney adviser, without taking into account that was not Romney negative adds who make him to lose the primaries, but in reality it was his own record of no credibility who defeat him; the same principle apply to Romney before the voter Eyes, Romney has no credibility at all, no matter what he try to do to improuve his connection to voters, he will not make it; it is to late to fix credibility, not Gingrich, not even the entire Republican party might fix the hypocresy of Mitt Romney is so obvious.

    September 27, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  17. Ramon

    No Romney, No Ryan, No Gingrich, No Republicans. Amerca wants OBAMA

    September 27, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  18. joepac

    Nice words to put across the GOP Heads Newt.

    September 27, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  19. Jay

    Funny, I saw "Newt" in the headline and thought it was a story about how he DESTROYED Obama's UN speech today.
    Sadly it's just more CNN spin drivel.

    September 27, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  20. Dude in Colorado

    As a matter of fact, Newt, the Romney Campaign has communicated the difference between Romney and Obama in a clear, crisp way... That's why Obama is ahead in the polls! A lot of people just dislike Mitt, and even more hate Ryan.

    September 27, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  21. bbrooker88

    Newt said: "If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"

    Maybe because he's not a socialist dictator who can dial the price of gas to whatever he wants. OR, maybe it's because the world economy is recovering as America recovers, sending the demand way up. YOU CHOOSE, IMBECILIC DOUGH BOY!

    September 27, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  22. Ambrose Smith

    Why do Republicans think gas was 2 bucks a gallon at the end of Bush's term? It was well over 3 bucks a gallon. Selective memory I guess. And why is Newt giving Romney advice? Romney thrashed Newt in the primaries! Anyway, Obama has the momentum while Mitt is floundering.

    September 27, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  23. GOP Canadates are a bunch of DINOSAURS...

    Lmao! That's awesome!!! So let me get this straight Obama not caring for the middle-class is a direct result of gas prices being the highest they have ever been in America? Hahahahaha! Wow! Now I know why you'll NEVER be president Newt (like, Shoot! Your name is bad enough) Who made him Speaker of the House again?

    September 27, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  24. Kevin

    Newt, you crack me up. Oh if you had only been a comedian instead of a politician. Perhaps then, I wouldn't so despise you.

    September 27, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  25. scallions1

    Good ol' Newt. He'll never change. Great news that he is helping Mitt. That will add even more points to the Obama team.

    September 27, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
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