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. Steve

    The more Romney talks, the better Gingrich looks...

    December 14, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    To evaluate Newt Gingrich one only has to look at his tax proposal which clearly identifies him. Like all of the Republican / Tea Party tax proposals his is really designed to solicit the support of “the few” and to again literally take the majority for granted. His is even more weighted to favor the very wealthy, while totally neglecting to ever responsibly consider needed revenue and just gives the vast majority only token consideration. Like the others, he is completely focused on getting the strong support of the influential, powerful and extremely wealthy few and then, with that aggressive overt and covert help, simply assumes they can continue to con the people and manipulate public opinion. They again insultingly take the majority for granted and simply expect to use them as “pawns” in their game of politics, (being emboldened by past successes like in swaying the Evangelistic Christian, with the Swift-boat propaganda and the Tea Party movement, all being well designed, well directed and well funded manipulations in the same single direction) always with their actions continuing to move this country more towards being a two-class society with “the few” (1%) competing in having it all and the majority (99%) struggling to survive. Newt Gingrich clearly establishes himself as just another willing “puppet” for “the money”.

    December 14, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Just newterman? The whole bunch of clowns are idiots by themselves and the biggest joke in the world when on a stage together.
    How many millions of Americans and the teapublikans only have this bunch to choose from? Sad, so sad.

    December 14, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Dennis

    Time Magazine had a great chart on Mitt's infamous flip flops. I am a Democrat and not a fan of either Mitt or Newt, but at least Newt has always been a conservative.

    December 14, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Bill in Florida

    "...our current president has been an enormous failure."

    Right, Mitt. Tell that to bin Ladin, al-Awlaki, Gadhaffi, and all the world leaders who embrace the President when he visits their countries. Hey Mitt, I thi8nk you're confusing the PREVIOUS President with the current one. Bush II was a monumental failure in so many ways.

    December 14, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Debra from Georgia

    I think this guy is getting nervous that the likes of Newt Gingrich will beat him,

    December 14, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Deb

    Gingrich is so pathetic

    December 14, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. JohnT

    Wake up America, if you vote Newt over Mitt you're not reading the fine print. Mitt is the only one who can beat Obama, and even then, its gonna be a tough race!

    December 14, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Derrel Walters

    If Newt Gingrich were to be elected, pants manufacturers would save a lot of money because they could leave off the pockets. With Newt in office, we wouldn't have anything to put in them. The same holds true for Obamanomics.

    December 14, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Mike

    I strongly disagree with Gingrich's ideas for this country. He's more about making himself wealthy than concern for the average Joe.

    December 14, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. JohnRJ08

    "Zany"? So now Romney is resorting to non-words to attack Gingrich. Come on, Willard! You know that Gingrich isn't zany. He's nasty, arrogant, dishonest, and just plain mean, but he's not zany.

    December 14, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Romney's "zany" appraisal is the latest ding on Gingrich's personality, which began in earnest Monday"

    Zany, huh? Romney's really upped the ante this time. Can't wait for Newt's response. Well, actually, I can wait ... just thought I'd make sound as if I really care. You know, for the reporter Kevin Liptak. He did spend a bit of time writing the article.

    December 14, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    I gotta say – President Obama is nothing like Newt-Romney, or any of the traveling clown show that is the GOP "contenders". He's not perfect but he does use the brain he has while trying to get things done that benefit the majority of Americans – which is the exact opposite of what GOPs do.
    Denying facts & history to promote for-profit-fiction is not being faithful – it's just being stupid.

    December 14, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Bigwilliestyles

    Zany is offering a 10,000 bet during a debate in pursuit of the republican nomination for president. That being said, the republicans support a serial adulterer and his latest squeeze for POTUS. Talk about decline. The republican party is ONE BIG JOKE.

    December 14, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Dave

    Newt Gingrich would destroy this country within two years if he were elected president.

    Mitt might manage to keep it going for 3, perhaps even 3 1/2 years if he were elected.

    The more I see of the Republicans, the happier I am about Obama being re-elected. He's not perfect, but compared to what the other team's put, it's no contest. The Republican party has been hijacked by extremist lunatics, and it's never coming back.

    December 14, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    "This picture was taken back on October 13th when giving the Microsoft Speech."

    Sorry, if CNN is posting misleading or outdated pix, you need to take it up with them. I notice, though, that you have yet to rebut the facts I've posted about Romney. Instead of researching photo dates, perhaps you should focus on facts.

    December 14, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. argue_dis

    Romney has to refer to Freddie Mac as an agency....btw, the C in Mac refers to "corporation" (aka to Romney as a person). As a corporation it tried to get Warren B. to buy it when it got into trouble during the Bush administration. The reason Romney, aka as the second in the polls hypocrite, wants to call it an agency is to demean the government and protect corporate interests. If Freddie Mac paid the blow-hard 1.5 mil, that was its right as a citizen "person".

    December 14, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. PR

    You know how to tell when Newt is lying? His mouth is moving.

    December 14, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Andre

    No we don't need "zany". We don't need "stiff" Frankly, I think "kooky", "old" and "unelectable" is what we need. You know what I mean.....the candidate who shall not be named.....he's the man!

    December 14, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Harry Baxter

    Mitt is being kind. "Zany" describes a person who doesn't march with the crowd. Newt wants to abolish child labor laws. Tell the truth, Mitt. Gingrich is crazy as a loon.

    December 14, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. tykl

    @ Sniffit -i love you saying conservatives listen to fox news to hear their point of view. i imagine you take a few hours a day off from 'sniffing' glue to listen to your beloved chris matthews, jon stewart and james carville to get a non-glue fix before hitting your bag again. your hypocrisy is obvious.

    December 14, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Huffackis

    Tell it like it is, Mitt.
    Gingrich is fading fast.

    December 14, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Dave

    Replace "Gingrich" with "ALL of the 2012 GOP candidates" and replace "zany" with "moronic, out of touch, hypocrites" and you're right on target.

    December 14, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. RIcky Bobby

    People, and politicians in particular, are so fickle! First, Romney is criticized for not capitalizing enough on tearing down Newt. When he does, he's seen as a total nutcase. Of course, the media posts the picture above to demonstrate a certain sternness to validate the author's point.

    December 14, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Terry Gloege

    The Newster is beyond Zany but the real problem is the millions of people who seen not to notice.

    December 14, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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