In wake of Romney attacks, Gingrich vows to 'stay positive'
December 8th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
11 years ago

In wake of Romney attacks, Gingrich vows to 'stay positive'

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) – Newt Gingrich refused to comment on Mitt Romney's stepped-up campaign efforts to directly attack the former House speaker.

After speaking to business leaders in South Carolina's upstate, Gingrich was asked about two high-profile Romney surrogates calling him a "self-aggrandizing," unreliable and untrustworthy leader.

Gingrich, surrounded by a gaggle of reporters, would only say, "We're going to stay positive."

Romney's campaign arranged a conference call between former Sen. Jim Talent, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and reporters Thursday to discuss Gingrich's stance on a conservative plan to overhaul Medicare.

They also challenged the former House speaker's conservative credentials and warned his lack of discipline would aid Democrats as they worked to re-elect President Barack Obama next fall.

Talent, who served under Gingrich in the House of Representatives, said Gingrich was not a trustworthy standard-bearer for the GOP.

"The speaker's running as a reliable and trusted conservative leader," Talent said. "And what we're here to say with reluctance but clearly is that he is not a reliable and trusted leader because he's not a reliable or trustworthy leader."

Sununu embarked on a media tour Thursday to take on the growing threat. On the conference call with reporters Sununu said Gingrich was "self-serving," "self-aggrandizing," and displayed "irrational behavior."

"The off-the-cuff comments for example that Gingrich throws out on occasion is a reflection of the off-the-cuff thinking that he goes through to deal with issues," he said.

Gingrich Press Secretary R.C. Hammond dismissed Sununu's assault on his boss, saying he found it "a little ironic coming from Governor Sununu."

Hammond reiterated their campaign's message of staying positive and said of Gingrich, "I think the American people are getting a very good look at his temperament, his style of leadership, the kind of president he would be, and we'll let that stand for its own judgment."

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign promised to hold more calls contrasting Gingrich and Romney's records in the future.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • South Carolina
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Gloves come off as Romney camp attacks Gingrich"

    Mittens come off as Romney camp attacks Gingrich


    December 8, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. A disgusted former Republican

    Newt is morally and ethically bankrupt and Romney is a corporate raider who exported American jobs. Both are a joke in the republican side show.

    December 8, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Jariv

    ROMNEY 2012 !!!

    December 8, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh goody! More bathtub splashing from the man who exemplifies "I can't remember what I stand for one day from the next". All things being equal, calling out Newt Gingrich as not being a true conservative probably isn't going to get much radar attention. Reading into the article, I see Romney wants the media to do his dirty work for him by digging up Newt's past little "inconsistencies". All in all, it looks as Mitt has a problem in more ways than just Newt Gingrich. The guy simply can't seem to get a message out.

    Mitt Romney = good ... all others = bad

    Just. Isn't. Working.

    December 8, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I rarely agree with Newt, but as least he seems to think for himself and says it. Then retracts it later, of course... Mittens waits for the political winds to blow to determine "his" opinion. So what's your pleasure, Pubs? Or are you still waiting for Sarah Palin to save you? Maybe the NJ gov. or even Rush?

    December 8, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    In contrast to that, you have Romney, who has turned noblesse oblige into an art form. Romney would have blended perfectly with the British aristocracy in his talent to be condescending. Watching Romney attempt to act like a regular person is like watching a paraplegic attmpt to do the floor exercises in the Olympic gymnastics competition: he just does not have the equipment to pull it off. Couple that with his attempting to inflate his job creation record in MA into something beyond the 46th-place ranking he enjoyed, and you have 2 badly-flawed front-runners with no compelling explanation as to why they should replace a sitting president.

    December 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Finally the day has come

    December 8, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Jules

    I hope the GOP right listens to what those who have worked with Newt say about him. This many people cannot be wrong. Newt is out of touch with reality – he lives in his own little world where he thinks he knows everything. Amercians deserve a legitimate choice. With Newt as the nominee, we don't have one. I support Obama, but would really like to see someone who has some integrity nominated from the other side.

    December 8, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Gingrich has postured himself as well as he can for these attacks by making seemiingly kind remarks about Romney, suggesting that Gov. Romney would make a fine VP running mate. Newt is trying to paint himself to be the victim when the rounds of blistering attacks start hitting from all sides.

    December 8, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |

    Hey guys, the person you need to targeting with your remarks is the dolt in the Whitehouse. Keep your eyes on the prize!

    December 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Riley

    Romney will make a better president. our country needs him. Obama has beed a disaster.

    December 8, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Dave Harris

    Being a "true conservative" in today's lunatic Republican party means never having done anything good for anybody, never having used the government to fix something, never shown compassion or generosity, never seemed to knowing anything about science or history, never having been reasonable or willing to compromise about anything. It's hard for even a Republican to meet these rigorous standards, but they try their best.

    December 8, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Woman In California

    Willard is so jealous of Obama, Cain, Gingrich and Perry because they can all keep an audience awake and energized. Mitt on the other hand – only appeals to himself. What a loser this guy is. He'll be RUNNING for POTUS for the rest of his life never securing the nomination. His only hope is to paint himself as a "family man" because he knows he has absolutely NO record worthwhile to run on and his personality certainly doesn't help matters.

    December 8, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Woman In California

    Willard might as well give up because he will never get the full support and trust of true Christians and the right wing extremists. Never.

    December 8, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    meanwhile President Obama and the rest of the DNC sit back and soak it up. This might be better than Clinton/Obama in 2008.

    December 8, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Dave

    Yeah... The words "reliable" and "trustworthy" can certainly apply to Romney who would sell out his own mother to win the election....

    December 8, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:
    Hey guys, the person you need to targeting with your remarks is the dolt in the Whitehouse. Keep your eyes on the prize!
    Go Gingrich/2012. Even former President Bill Clinton has been singing Newt Gingrich praises lately. Bill's stirring the pot.

    December 8, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. sammieb51

    Newt's "Rise" is really more symbolic of the collapse of the GOP and its morphing into the BAG party, which is also collapsing. Entirely appropriate Newt should oversee this collapse since he engineered it in the early-mid 80's when he was the "new" guy in the House, leading with his vitriol and hate. He got what he wanted alright, how about the rest of you decent hard working GOP members, did you get what you wanted? This is pitiful. The BAG party is willing to "settle" for anything as witnessed by prior candidates with little regard for the consequences the country will pay.

    December 8, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. diridi

    Romney is a disaster to this nation, exported all the jobs, you see every thing made in China/India, Korea, or Vietnam...that's it.

    December 8, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Simple rebuttal to something someone said earlier:

    Reagan: Recognized his initial tax cuts were blowing up the deficit and debt so he raised taxes OVER TEN TIMES.

    Current GOP: Insists that their initial tax cuts that are blowing up the deficit and debt (the Bush tax cuts) need to be made permanent and the only acceptable fix is to take all sorts of regulations, agencies, programs and services that benefit the non-rich and throw them all out (and, in fact, this is what they demanded in exchange for their offer to raise revenue, effectively placing most of the burden for their revenue increase on the middle-class and poor).

    Any questions?

    December 8, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |