Romney camp: Gingrich isn't that special
December 28th, 2011
12:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney camp: Gingrich isn't that special

Washington (CNN) – In the wake of a CNN interview Tuesday where former House Speaker Newt Gingrich unloaded on fellow candidate Mitt Romney, Romney's campaign was quick to call the fusillade a "drive-by shooting." In what may well be the next chapter, Romney will also sit down on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" Wednesday.

Russ Schriefer, one of Romney's top campaign advisers, appeared on "John King, USA" Tuesday to respond to the earlier Gingrich interview.

"I'm not sure this was the happy warrior Gingrich or a candidate who was lashing out because he was having a really bad week. He's had sinking poll numbers across the country; he wasn't able to make the Virginia ballot," Schriefer said. "He had to cancel half his schedule in Iowa this week…and he's lashing out in a way that shows he doesn't have a real campaign message other than that he doesn't like the campaign ads that are being shown."

After Gingrich challenged the former Massachusetts governor to a one-on-one debate in Iowa before next week's caucuses Schriefer made clear the campaign has no intention of taking him up on that offer.

"Newt Gingrich just isn't special, and shouldn't have a one-on-one debate," said Schriefer. He pointed out that Romney has appeared in more than 10 debates with Gingrich and is scheduled to participate in two more in New Hampshire.

Schriefer dismissed as "disingenuous" Gingrich's demand that Romney be "man enough" to tell his super PAC to take down negative ads attacking Gingrich. By law it's illegal for a candidate to coordinate with the PACs that advertise on their behalf, but a candidate can make public statements commenting on the ads.

Pointing to Gingrich's history of running negative campaigns Schriefer said, "I think that the problem here is not that he doesn't like these kinds of ads, he just doesn't like when these kinds of ads are used against him."

Gingrich has recently been calling Mitt Romney a "Massachusetts moderate," a description Romney used himself during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Schriefer defended that language from 2002 suggesting it was necessary in Massachusetts–"one of the bluest states"–but insists Romney governed as a conservative.

He also turned the tables and accused Gingrich of "moving to the left."

"The problem is that Newt Gingrich, the longer he's been in Washington he's become more liberal," said Schriefer, "He's the guy who sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi at the invitation of Al Gore. He's the guy who threw the Paul Ryan spending Medicare reform plan under the bus calling it right-wing social engineering."

Gingrich has said he plans to run a positive campaign and repeated that claim to Wolf Blitzer. When asked about "The Situation Room" interview, Schriefer responded, "you call that positive?"

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Let's see. He shuts down the Government because he wanted to leave AF1 by the front door. He lied about the first divorce. He prosecuted Clinton for lying about an affair all the while cheating on wife #2 with future wife #3. He engineered the downfall of Speaker Jim Wright based on corruption charges, then went on to have the most corrupt term as Speaker since the Grant administration. He denounced Freddie Mac and Fannie May while receiving a $1Million fee as a "historian". No, I think Newt is pretty special. Just don't think he is very Presidential. I would still prefer him as the Republican candidate, though. President Obama will have a much easier time keeping his job if he has to deal with Newt instead of Mitt.

    December 28, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Thad

    Romneys a wuss he lets the super pac ad money do all the dirty work. The man just wants a one on one at the playground with major media in the stands. Romney knows he would get his whole presidential run destoryed within the first five minutes by the newtwred one. I wish he wasnt such a yellow bellied jerk that would have been better than the many pointless bowl games

    December 28, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    As much as both of them flip flop, they should be running mates. But here's some bad news for the TEApublican party and for you Willard. Here in Virginia, democrats and independants can vote in the republican primary and we get to choose between Willard and Ron Paul. One guy has a small chance to win in the general election and the other guy doesn't stand a chane in hell of getting the TEApublican nomination. So who do you think we'll be voting for???

    December 28, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Thad wrote:

    Romney's a wuss he lets the super pac ad money do all the dirty work.
    Romeny, no he isn't. Romney's a Republican, taking advantage of Republican legislation, which has been endorsed by a Republican leaning Supreme Court. Why doesn't Newt attack Mitt, instead of whining about the whelp marks?

    December 28, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. ScottEDowner

    Newt Gingrich does not even believe in the Constitution .wrote a book to create a new Civilization ! And will have us in a war ! Mitt Romney should be in Jail for making a health care a law for inside trading and Stealing computers and deleting files in as Governor in Massachusetts . they both would be an easy victory for Obama .Ron aul or no one at all

    December 28, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. DB

    Gingrich thinks he can out-BS an opponent one-on-one, maybe so but running the Country doesn't work that way. Save yourself the embarrassment of a failed campaign Newt and go back to your government access peddling, er I mean Historian Services.

    December 28, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. unsub

    i luv it!

    December 28, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Dose America really want ether of these spoiled rotten children impersonating Men leading this nation ?

    The only thing that will sell more tickets is if they both dressed in drag.

    December 28, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |