Gingrich too 'zany' for White House, says Romney
December 14th, 2011
03:14 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich too 'zany' for White House, says Romney

(CNN) - Mitt Romney escalated his criticism of Newt Gingrich's temperament Wednesday, calling the former House speaker "zany" in an interview with The New York Times.

"Zany is not what we need in a president," Romney said, two days after he blasted Gingrich for his "erratic outspokenness."

In his sit-down with the newspaper, Romney said Gingrich's behavior served him well on the campaign trail, but would be disastrous in the White House.

"Zany is great in a campaign. It's great on talk radio. It's great in print, it makes for fun reading," Romney said. "But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together."

Romney said his own nature would be better suited for a commander-in-chief.

"A leader needs to be someone of sobriety and stability and patience and temperance, to think through issues, to be careful in the choice of words he or she might express, because the world listens. The president of the United States is the leader of the free world, and our current president has been an enormous failure," Romney said.

Romney's "zany" appraisal is the latest ding on Gingrich's personality, which began in earnest Monday when the former Massachusetts governor called his slammed his rival's "erratic outspokenness" on Fox News. He was referring to Gingrich's remark that Palestinians were an "invented" people.

As the week progressed, Romney called Gingrich an "extraordinarily unreliable" conservative, pointing out inconsistencies in his record on Medicare and climate change.

Romney also hammered Gingrich for his role with mortgage giant Freddie Mac, demanding his competitor return the money he earned consulting for the company.

Gingrich returned fire, insisting Romney return money he made as an executive at Bain Capital, saying the company's work was responsible for "bankrupting companies and laying off employees.

Earlier Wednesday, Romney said Gingrich's claim revealed a certain degree of economic ignorance, saying on Fox News the former speaker "doesn't understand the economy if he doesn't understand that sometimes businesses succeed and sometimes fail."

Romney's campaign also circulated a video Wednesday of Gingrich saying in 2008 that anyone who profited from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's failure should return the profits.

"Everybody who was profiting from them should pay the cost of having failed. And the general taxpayer should not bear that burden," Gingrich is shown saying.

Romney said on Fox that Gingrich should abide by his own words.

"He said anyone who profited from Freddie Mac should give the money back. Well, he profited $1.6 million from an agency that helped bring down the entire economy; he ought to give it back," Romney said.

A second video Wednesday, produced by Romney's campaign, slams Gingrich for collaborating with fellow former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on climate change solutions.

The video, which also tied Gingrich to former Democratic vice president Al Gore, underscores the campaign's message that Gingrich is an "unreliable leader."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New York Times
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Mitt is desperate!

    December 14, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Now can we call Mittens weird?

    December 14, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The photo says it all: you can see the desperation in Mitt the Flipwit Hypocrite's eyes as his dream of being Karl Rove's next ne(cr)ocon deathcult puppet crumbles into dust. "Zany" may be the first time that word has ever been used in a political critique.

    December 14, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens' foreign policy will become, "I know you are, but what am I?" replacing the outdated Bush doctrine.

    December 14, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Roger

    How screwed up does an agency have to be to be told to accept sub-prime mortgages and be so lost in your leadership that you have to pay $1.6 million to a group of some of the smartest guys in America to give you advice on doing your job? They still collapse and now you are asking the people who tried to help to give up their pay? It makes good press but you are going at the wrong crowd. As president tell us how would you fix it? Washington needs house cleaning and more prison time for white collar crimes.

    December 14, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Scott in Atlanta

    How does this dude end up begging for people to like him, elections after election? It's so unattractive that it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. It becomes obvious that his desire to be accepted comes from a deep, deep place. A place that he attempts to escape from every election, but as soon as he finally gets to a place where he has a chance to move past it, he always finds "himself" there.

    December 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Norm

    This whole GOP line up has to be the "zaniest" bunch of people I've ever seen running for the highest office in the land.
    If you go over to Fox....they all agree but in their twisted minds, anyone is better than President Obama.
    Very Sad...........
    Very dangerous....

    December 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Who uses words like "Zany"?
    I guess the same clowns who keep repeating the lies Freddie & Fannie are responsible for the economic melt down? Instead of the reality that deregulation and un-checked greed was the cause. fox sux.

    December 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. AlaskaPalin

    Myth says it, newt is zany but only for the election. Newt is known as a serious even tough leader who gets congress to work. Newt was paid for service rendered, not profit. Romney, under pressure, has flip flop again; by going negative after saying he will not.

    December 14, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Mittens' foreign policy will become, "I know you are, but what am I?" replacing the outdated Bush doctrine."

    That's before it evolves into "I know I am but what are you?" and then finally reaches its end stage of "I don't know what I am or what you are, but I know I'm gonna bomb you."

    December 14, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Indy

    "erratic outspokenness."

    Sounds just like what a corporation would say ! Weird Willard (thanks Snifit) is so un human like he comes up with some zany out of touch sayings that don't fit in with the current century

    December 14, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Logic in LA

    Can't have "zany "when "snoozy" would do!

    December 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Sandy

    I smell desperation! When he should have been attacking his opponents early on, he was attacking President Obama like he was the presumed nominee. LOL

    December 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Val in MA

    Romney – he is exactly the leader we so desperately need right now. I believe, if we are so lucky to have him elected President, he will be able to bring our country together so that we might begin healing from the bitter partisanship from which we have been suffering for far too long now. Romney will make an excellent President – if we gave him the chance.

    ROMNEY 2012!

    December 14, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. yu

    He's a loser

    December 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. NC

    Romney's facial expression reveals a man who appears to be close to the edge. If he can't handle a primary how can he expect to be President. I don't think Romney has ever had a challenge from anyone. I really don't think he is tough enough or has the temperament when he does not get his way.

    December 14, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Dan

    Mittens, you are showing signs of desperation.

    December 14, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Keyser Soze

    Panic is setting in; he's running for office for Pete's sake. Mitt is starting to realize he's boxed in except for Newt's wife problem (unless Newt counters with the polygamy insinuation). Flip-flop? Can't go there. Not "conservative" enough? Pot meet kettle. Too rich and out of touch? Nope, Newt already tipped his hand with Bain. Immigration? Not polling well there either. Conversely, Newt can go with the not-Romney play over and over. Mitt is in deep doo-doo.

    December 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Hard to believe that the turd blossom Rove and the lovable little Koch scamps put all that money into Mittens' campaign.

    December 14, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Rosslaw

    Is magical underwear zany?

    December 14, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens is willing to make $10,000 bets and lie against his opponents, I don't think he is the person who would bring all the right wingnuts together, let alone the country.

    December 14, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Instead of the reality that deregulation and un-checked greed was the cause. fox sux."

    I'm done blamin Faux. The blame rests squarely with the rest of the MSM that refuses to combat the coordinated misinformation campaign from the right. They don't seem to realize that they're never ever ever going to grab up market share from Faux viewers because those viewers go there to get their daily affirmations that the world and reality work exactly the way they want them to and that all the bad things they don't like are a result of everyone not doing everything precisely the way their conservative ideology mandates. So we get wishy-washy, hamfisted, anti-intellectual, fact-avoiding, disingenuous "journalism" from the rest of the MSM pandering to GOPers in hopes they can land a share of the conservative market. Waste of freekin time. Hey, CNN, betya $10K that if you start hammering the GOP for their lies and ideological, fact-ignorant, historical record rewriting economic and policy nonsense, it does you more good than giving them a free pass on EVERYTHING that comes out of their silly partisan pie holes.

    December 14, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. 4 More Years

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, let me get my breath. The more that it appears that Obama will sweep to an easy victory, the more desparate the GOP gets by the day. Can we re-play all of this, after the convention, when all of these idiots are praising whomever "wins" the nomination? Will any of them look into the camera and say how great the GOP nom. is, when we know they are lying? None of this bunch is Presidential material. GOP politics is drawing car salesmen/saleswomen, not intellectual leaders.

    December 14, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. 4 More Years

    Car salespeople tell each customer what they want to hear, to convince you to spend a bunch of money...sound familiar?

    December 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Jamie from Riverside

    Not being a Romney fan i'm surprised that I agree with him that Newt is too zany to be President. He's too fat and ugly as well.

    December 14, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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