Romney fires back, works to appeal to everyday Americans
December 12th, 2011
03:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney fires back, works to appeal to everyday Americans

Madison, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney swatted back at Newt Gingrich Monday in an escalating back-and-forth playing out across the key primary state of New Hampshire.

The former Massachusetts governor told members of the press at Madison Lumber Mill "there's no whining in politics" and seemed to accuse Gingrich of saying "outrageous or incendiary" things in a short-sighted attempt to build support.

Gingrich, who has maintained he will run a persistently positive campaign, took a swing at Romney at an earlier appearance in Londonderry, betting $10 the former governor would not return the money he'd made at his venture capital firm.

The jibe hit Romney as he tries to combat an impression he is out-of-touch with ordinary Americans, after acknowledging in a Saturday debate he had grown up wealthy and then offering his opponent a $10,000 bet.

At his afternoon event Romney repeated his call from earlier that day for Gingrich to return the seven-figure compensation the former speaker received for his work with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

"If he was working as a spokesman for Freddie Mac, if he was there because of his political connections, and then if Freddie Mac fails, I think a fair question is asked why did he profit if Freddie Mac fails?" Romney asked.

A reporter asked Romney if voters might see Gingrich as better-suited to take on President Obama because of his perceived reputation for throwing sharp elbows.

The former governor suggested he himself would be more likely to unite voters in a general election.

"I know among some folks just saying outrageous or incendiary things will get you a lot of kudos and drive your numbers up," Romney answered. "But it's not going to win us the White House. And it's not going to win us the respect of people on the other side of the aisle that we have to bring together in order to overcome the extraordinary challenges we have."

He would not rule out the possibility of running negative advertisements in the future, despite an insistence by the Gingrich campaign that the former speaker will avoid doing so.

"This is, after all, politics. There's no whining in politics," he said. "You get in a political process and you fight hard and describe the differences between yourself and other candidates."

During his Madison town hall, Romney was asked by a voter if he was out-of-touch with the lives of many Americans.

Romney pointed to the ten years he served as a pastor at his church, where he counseled people and aided those in financial need.

"What impressed me was that we're all the same in the things we aspire for, the things we love - our families, our faith, our country," he said. "When people are out of work, when people don't have a job and they don't feel they're contributing to the betterment of their family and their future, they get pretty depressed."

He continued: "Being out of work for a long period of time is pretty tough. And it's not the fault of the person who is out of work. Overwhelmingly, it's the fault of our economy."

CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls

Huntsman defector faults candidate's N.H. strategy

Gingrich challenges Romney to a bet


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Nice try, Mittens.

    December 12, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "In Milford, Romney repeated his call from earlier that day for Gingrich to return the seven-figure compensation the former speaker received for his work with mortgage giant Freddie Mac. "

    Hey! I told them to do that earlier! That'll be a $500K consulting fee please. Bwahahaha...it's gonna be fun to watch Mittens and Newtered destroy each other...nom nom nom nom nom this shadenfreude is delicious nom nom nom nom nom....

    December 12, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Romney would be better off attacking Newt Gingrich for indefensible position on child labor laws being "stupid".

    I think I have finally figured what a "job creator" actually is. Mitt Romney identifies himself as job creator. So, what is a job creator? Romney is calling the investment specialists who work at places like Bain Capital job creators. Bain Capital specialized in buying up struggling companies.

    They are the ones who look for the "investments" and turn the "investments" into profit centers by trimming and re-selling them at a profit. These are the people who desperately need the tax breaks so that they can create jobs and turn personal profits. They also sound like the type of people who make out like bandits during economic hard times.

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Calvin

    To be honest, I do not think Rommy can take 10% out of Obama. Perry is the worst one too. Someone should check Perry IQ test. All he has is attach Newt on 3 marriages. What do you do iif the lady want a divorce or other men. It is not Newt all mistake, but political incorrect, then he must take it anyway, Perry.
    The democrats are scary now, because Newt is experienced, ideally, policy maker .... he is strong and I am not surprise he raise up quickly. Polesi jumped out of the mud, pointing to corruption but look billion of dollar has slip under the doors for their campaign distribution, from solar reserach, to FCC approval for communication, medical researchs, viccine developements....... ALL ARE FAKE, FAKE, FAKE... corruption and corruption on the U.S> taxpayer money, specially the poor ones.

    December 12, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    sorry Mitt but history shows that you'll flip on this too if you find out that it works for you to do so. Say ANYTHING to get elected.

    December 12, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This is, after all, politics. There's no whining in politics," he said. "You get in a political process and you fight hard and describe the differences between yourself and other candidates."

    So says the ultimate whiner, and, might I add, liar. I'm going to have to ask Mitt to stop with the "church counselor" crap. Not interested in doing the "look how devoted I am" thing with him. His years at Bain prove otherwise.

    December 12, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Keyser Soze

    From the article: The former Massachusetts governor told members of the press at Madison Lumber Mill "there's no whining in politics"

    Anderson!!??? Anderson??!!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Mittfit

    Dang it... I was soooo close. And now its just slipping awaaaaaay....

    December 12, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. harvey 60

    Hey, Mitt, appeal to everyday Americans? Is that why you trot out disgraced former H. W. Bush Chief of Staff John Sununu, who used government planes and limos as his private transportation service between DC and NYC and never paid the US Treasury a dime? How about the remodeling you're doing to that beach house in La Jolla? Quite the cottage, just how many rooms does it have? How about your other homes, in Belmont Massachusetts, Utah, and Wolfeboro NH? Sure, great appeal to the average American who has credit card debt up the ying-yang, heating oil prices that were 75 cents a gallon when Clinton was President and after 8 years of Bush-Cheney went over $4. You yell about Newt's ties to Fannie and Freddie. What about your ties to Raytheon and the defense industry amid your calls to raise troop levels by 100,000 after you're elected? Just Mr. Average Mitt American, sending our boys off to fight another war on behalf of the GOP and their corporate donors who profit off it.

    December 12, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Handofdoom

    We all have to say it like it is , it's the " career politician " that has got our country where it is !

    Career politician have way too much time to be taken in by all the " special interest groups ", then there is the "foreign and domestic ". Not working for the Citizens of the U.S. !

    This a problem we the " Citizens can fix " ! To take " control " by picking up
    your phone also sending emails then there is letters Not by asking but telling your reps
    what you know should be done !
    Tell them flat out You will no longer sit at home yelling at the morning paper or evening news broadcast!

    Put it like this , if nothing has changed soon . Then he or she should start looking for work !

    This also goes for Obama !

    December 12, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. RINO Bil

    Did Romey actually respond to Gingrich's challenge? It strikes me that Mitt could afford to return all that money and not be seriously hurt, financially speaking, while if Newt had to give his money back he would find himself in a financial hurt locker.

    December 12, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. v_mag

    Instead of all the bogus betting, I'd like to see one of them challenge the other to a wrestling match. They've decended to that level of discourse anyway, so they might as well provide the entertainment as well. And in the general election, I'd be willing to have that decided by best 2 out of 3 falls, since my vote doesn't count due to the electoral college system. Why people believe they actually have a vote is beyond me.

    December 12, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Cynthia C

    All I know is that I can't stop betting people 10K. Jeeze, I'm going to be rich!

    December 12, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Just Say No To Flipper

    Flipper's disgust and dislike for average Americans is readily apparent to all who pay attention. "Corporations are people, too, my friend." Yeah, and they're the kind of "people" he prefers.

    December 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Nick

    I did not hear what you said. But what we need is jobs, Romney. Both parties new then, What did they do nothing, Instead i have too hear how Nancy Policy get Rich.. What about the Rest of america, Who can't even afford the price of gas. What about us... I want too hear every issue. On Jobs. Wages.. Etc...

    December 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. nuser

    Hopefully Gingrich's retort will include all the jobs Romney caused Americans to lose. Go for it!

    December 12, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. The Publicans are Crazy

    $10,000 would set me straight, I'm scared to bet $10.

    December 12, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    All I know is that you Rethugs are going to have to scale back your atacks on each other because at the rate of character assasination that you're going there won't be ANY mud to sling around during the general election......and what fun would THAT be?! wink!

    December 12, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    As difficult as it may be to do, Mitt Romney is probably better off working the issues as he is so good at. This is what we want to see in this race. Do not compromise that Romney confidence or get pulled into a battle of politics. Obama has shown us the damage a focus on politics can have on a country. We would rather see a strategy, confidence and leadership.

    December 12, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Four and The Door, he's a patronising man with aristocratic airs. I think he inhaled the air too deeply when he was in France, cycling past the chateaus. He's an arrogant elitist who can't keep track of his homes, his illegal landscapers, and has told the unemployed that corporations are people. How clueless and tone-deaf can you be? This ranks up there with Dukakis riding in a tank for laughable imagery.

    December 12, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Jariv

    Romney 2012 !!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    Again, he is trying to be ALL things to ALL people. It won't work Willard. I still believe he will NEVER be the nominee of his party (who knows which party he really belongs to) and most people by now know what I've known all along and that is you will fall apart in the GE when President Obama STICKS IT TO YOU.
    Goodbye and again good riddance.

    December 12, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    nuser
    Hopefully Gingrich's retort will include all the jobs Romney caused Americans to lose. Go for it!
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    Ever wonder how cutting a bunch of jobs can keep the unemployment rate from going up? Impossible, right? Not so. If you have 10 people in a failing organization working to do the job 6 people could do in a better-run organization,then if you reorganize and keep only 6 people, you have saved 6 jobs. This is a lot of time what happens in corporate turnarounds and it is critical for the nation's economy to be able to do this when it is needed.

    December 12, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    The $250M flip flopper should have said something about the child labor ideas that newter man has. That might have made him more "like the rest of us" than the millionaires/billionaires running the country from their big plush offices!

    December 12, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Four and The Door, ever been one of those people laid off that you just described? Your explanation would not provide food for someone's table. Comments like your are why Romney can't break 25% amongst the GOP. He's cold and patronising, rather like your explanation.

    December 12, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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