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. Andre Linoge

    Mitt should run a comb over those brows. Lately he always looks like he's just been in a tussle.

    December 14, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Val in MA, he's demonstrating why he is not suited for the WH with these petulant tantrums. These fits of his also prove he is thin-skinned, and lacking in the very things he claims we need:
    ""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." He goes on to brand the President a failure, when its Obama who has demonstrated these qualities repeatedly over the last 3 years. Romney could not handle the MA legislatire, who overrode his vetos dozens of times: what makes you think he can handle a Congress that will not listen to him?

    December 14, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. 4 More Years

    I predicited in the Spring, that since the group of candidates the GOP has throwwn together is so pathetic, Sarah will show up at the GOP convention and set the place on fire with her rhetoric against Obama, that Sarah Palin will win the nomination without even having to campaign...then the Kochs and the other Teabag Billionaires will make sure she has the funds for the general election. Remember this post when it happens.

    December 14, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Newt Gingrich

    Ooh, ...."Zany"! Such raunchy language, Mitt!

    December 14, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. scmom

    Still haven't heard what the candidates can do to get the economy going. Only thing I hear is Obama is a failure. No one really wants to help the citizens of the US. These people are rich and somewhat accomplished and the presidency is just another notch on their list of achievements –(especially Newt).

    December 14, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. MWM

    Newt was hired as a "historian" not as a lobbyist. I am willing to bet $10,00 there are thousands of historians who would love to be overpaid that much.

    December 14, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Mike

    “A leader needs to be someone of sobriety”
    Well then I guess Perry’s totally out of the question, if he got elected Jack Daniels would open a distillery in D.C.

    December 14, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Jariv

    @AlaskaPalin - The flip flopping is Newt. Were did Romney say that ? Please, show me, please... Then I will agree with you. I have searched without results.

    December 14, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Mike

    "doesn't understand the economy if he doesn't understand that sometimes businesses succeed and sometimes fail."

    I love that, Romney’s like “I’m not a corporate raider, sometimes things just happen, people get fired, things get sold and I end up with a &*#@load of money, it just naturally works out that way because of complex economic factors you wouldn’t understand.”

    December 14, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. scmom

    The bitter partisanship will end if they get their wish. it's only bitter partisanship because they want President Obama out so bad, he's not causing this divisiveness. His election just brough it out because we have people who don't want him in.

    December 14, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Mit blames the housing crises on Newt, and Newt's the zany one?

    December 14, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Milton K. Wiah

    Did anyone on this board checked the if you haven't please do now and see what this man
    believes. The republicans will make a big mistake to nominate this man. He has plenty to answer for.

    December 14, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. papanez

    Val in MA said...
    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.
    Nobody's hiring as it is. You want Mitt to take over? That means even more jobs moved off-shore for business reasons, more companies going under because some fail, higher unemployment numbers, and more people living in poverty. The last thing we need is a business man in the WH. Bush was a 'business man' and look at the mess he created.
    All of these republicans are orbiting some planet in some galaxy but certainly not anywhere close to earth.
    The government is very polarized because of the republican party's only reason for being, "To make Obama a one-term president, and if the country goes down the tubes so be it." Obama/Biden 2012

    December 14, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Debby

    Repulicans fight eachother. Its like a creep show. I will admit Gingrich is a BAD pick for Pres. candidate.

    December 14, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Is "zany" another word for "dishonest"?

    December 14, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. dumdum21

    Mit thinks Newt caused the housing crises and Newt's the zany one?

    December 14, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Definition of ZANY. 1. : a subordinate clown or acrobat in old comedies who mimics ludicrously.

    Wow ,
    Mitt has his gloves off now !

    Sounds like the two of them are hoping for the repeal of the dueling laws !

    Please John Boehner , 20 paces !

    December 14, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Jules

    Hey – never thought I'd say it, but Mitt's right – Newt is too zany for the white house or any other elected office – he should just take his millions from not peddling influence and access and slink away like the newt that he is.

    December 14, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. papanez

    You tell,'em Sniffit!! Great post.

    December 14, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Drafter31

    A lot of Republicans are saying how Newt will totally shred Obama in a debate...

    Let's say, that Newt gets the nomination...and says, "President Obama, I challenge you to 3 Lincoln/Douglas Style debates"...

    Obama says, I decline. I am not going to be participating in any debates...Obama has just blew out of the water, the biggest reason you wanted Newt to win the Republican nomination...

    Newt can challenge Obama to debate him...But that doesn't mean that Obama has to accept the challenge...

    Obama can just step back and let the Liberal Media assassinate Newt's character...Which is easy to do...

    So, you guys need to vote for a True Conservative...Michele Bachman...

    Newt-Romney are both too much like Obama in:

    1) Healthcare mandates like in Obamacare...

    2) $700 Billion Tarp Bailout..Like Obama...

    3) Immigration...Like Obama...

    4) Global warming and Cap & Trade...Like Obama...

    5) The Current Payroll Tax-Cut Issue...Like Obama...

    Newt-Romney = Big Government RINO's......VOTE BACHMANN...THE CONSISTENT CONSERVATIVE!!!

    December 14, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Bob in Pa

    Rommney, too "Democrat" to be the Prez !

    December 14, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Jariv

    @The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US! – I wrote a post and got deleted. Do not know why. But anyways hope this one doesn't. You have to do research before talking. This picture was taken back on October 13th when giving the Microsoft Speech. So people like you write without knowing. They are all over the CNN Posts. Like @Wire Palladin, S. F. and many others.

    Picture can be found on Getty Images web site, search Mitt Romney.

    Hey @Milton K. Wiah – He has answered most of them and the info is very prejudice. The truth is not there were you seek. You people only think with one side of the brain. That's about <5% . Terrible I tell you...

    December 14, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    Snifit – well said!
    It's disgusting that ALL the supposedly "liberal media" let's these GOPers avoid answering direct questions by repeating political propaganda – everytime! They are lame when they let the GOPers run all over them.
    Is it that the people asking questions are afraid these GOPers might not come back to their TV shows if the hold them to the question? Who cares if all they do is repeat campaign slogans – who wants to hear that anyway?!

    December 14, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Sorensen

    Romney is right on on this. Old Gingrich is just plain crazy. That should be quite obvious to anybody with half a brain.

    December 14, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Drafter31, Bachmann is consistently crazy.

    December 14, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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