Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney
December 12th, 2011
10:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

(CNN) - When it comes down to the battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Monday he thought Gingrich might have an edge.

Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan, Giuliani said the former House speaker’s appeal to a wide array of voters would help him, as opposed to potential problems Romney may have in relating to average Americans.

“My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

He continued, “You won't have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”

Giuliani said elitism was a charge Democrats would have a hard time lobbing at Gingrich.

“One of the strengths he has is he's got a common touch, he's able to talk to people, he comes from a poor family, understands poverty from that point of view,” Giuliani said. “He doesn't come from the American elite. It's going to be hard to paint him that way. There are a lot of other ways you can paint him, but you can't paint him that way.”

Giuliani was frank in his assessment of Romney, who he said was having trouble connecting with voters despite his varied career experience.

“Gov. Romney has almost a perfect record for a person to be running right now,” Giuliani said. “Experience in government, experience in business. Understands the economy. But there is something missing. You're absolutely right. There's some kind of personal connection that doesn't get made that the other candidates probably do a better job at.”

Giuliani said the current state of the 2012 GOP field reminded him of his own race in 2008, in which Arizona Sen. John McCain overcame low polling numbers to emerge as the nominee.

“It is history repeating itself,” Giuliani said. “This is what happened to me. This is what happened to John McCain. I thought John McCain was out of it. In one debate I said if I weren't running I would be supporting John McCain.”

He continued, “Then John rose from the ashes, took the nomination from (Mike) Huckabee, from me, Romney. And did it in a four-week period. We kind of have a tendency to do this as Republicans. So what Newt has to do now, he's got to build an organization for himself so that he can take this popular enthusiasm he has and then he can convert it into wins when you get even past Florida.”

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. ChrisM

    Newt is also alot more corupt the Romney

    December 12, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. Tusker

    Gingrich is a strong leader, far from perfect, but has an intangible that goes beyond ordinary logic. His ability to call a spade a spade, to look you i the eye and speak his truth, his convictions, and people want to listen

    December 12, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. no spam

    Yea, if Gingrich wins the GOP, everyone knows it'll sure be Obama in 2012.

    December 12, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. Name Withheld

    While it's true that Gingrich is a scrappy puncher and might fare better in tough New York City politics, Guilani would be the first to admit that Guiliani doesn't know what it takes to win a national election. Giuliani also criticizes Obama for being what he considers a soft, pampered intellectual. Obama is anything but that when it comes to elections. Giuliani is right about one thing – Romney has the perfect resume, but is overall a relatively weak retail politician. As for Gingrich being more electable, he has way too much baggage.

    December 13, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  5. Irene

    You know, most of the time Giuliani knows what he's talking about, and sometimes he doesn't. He's calling it wrong here. He blew it for himself in '08 by putting all his eggs in the Florida basket. Now he wants the GOP to blow it in '12 by putting it all on Newt?

    December 13, 2011 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  6. BeverlyNC

    No Republican candidate is strong, credible, or leadership material. It just is down to the least of the worst for Republicans at this point. Why don't they just admit they have no candidates, save the billions they would waste on a losing campaign and donate it to reducing the debt they ran up with Bush or perhaps they could become human and donate money to the poor, honeless, or to saving homes from foreclosures.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  7. Stella

    Gingrich has no chance whatsoever of winning the general election. Democrats will not vote for him because of his behavior during the Clinton impeachment. If you want another 4 years of Obama, vote for Newt in the primary.

    December 13, 2011 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  8. AlaskaPalin

    A fair assessment. Newt has already reached out to latinos on immigration; he, because of his relaxed image can reach the youths and with his record of job creation; he will be able to reach the blacks who have suffered high unemployment under obama whom they supported. By doing this newt will eat into obamas base thus building a grand coalition for the presidency. New newt is good Newt!

    December 13, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  9. Indy

    The Romney verses Newt situation helps Obama the most and either way Obama wins. Romney cant get past the 25% mark and Newt maxes out because of his record, and lets not forget they both are only going to work for the rich and the majority is not rich so Obama is setting up nicely to win another term.

    December 13, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  10. Seattle Sue

    Does anyone really care what Giuliani thinks? I don't think so.

    December 13, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |