Ahead of South Carolina, Romney hits back against rivals
January 11th, 2012
09:27 AM ET
11 years ago

Ahead of South Carolina, Romney hits back against rivals

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, following his first place finish in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary, responded Wednesday to a new ad by rival Newt Gingrich that targets Romney's changing position on abortion.

"Speaker Gingrich is going to try and throw everything he can at me," Romney said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien." "He tried here in New Hampshire. It didn't work."

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Gingrich's campaign began airing a 30-second television spot in South Carolina Tuesday claiming Romney allowed taxpayer money to fund abortions during his time in the Massachusetts statehouse.

The ad comes 10 days before the candidates compete in South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary, a contest known for focusing on social issues.

Romney repeated a line he's often used on the campaign trail, admitting that he had switched his stance on abortion over the years but added his actions weren't unique.

"Like Ronald Reagan before me, many years ago I changed from being pro-choice to pro-life. I'm pleased with having been a pro-life governor," Romney said. "Conservatives and evangelicals got behind me in record numbers."

The Republican presidential frontrunner also hit back against recent charges from another GOP rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who on Tuesday compared Romney's former private equity firm to a group of "vulture capitalists."

Perry's comments followed rounds of attacks from Democrats, including President Obama's re-election team, who hit hard against Romney's corporate history, saying his company, Bain Capital, was responsible for laying off thousands as it bought and sold companies.

But Romney said he's unconcerned the criticism will taint his presidential bid.

"It's been brought up every time I've run," Romney said, adding that Democrats are trying to put "free enterprise on trial."

"But, you know, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are going to be the witnesses for the prosecution. I'm not worried about that. They can take it as they like," he said. "You saw last night that approach didn't work very well for (them). And so we'll take it to the next level."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • South Carolina
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Don't worry, he'll change his mind again. And again. And again.

    January 11, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. diridi

    corporate Greed, Fascism will never win.....Only wins is shipping jobs overseas, Bankrupting companies and pulling money way ahead of time, getting into "Private-Equity-Capitalist" Position, and selling the nation, USA to China....that's it.

    January 11, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Romney still has questions.......many questions.

    January 11, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Just think, people. If Mitt wins, we can be 47th in Job Creation in the world.

    January 11, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. GI Joe

    I'm not jealous of Mitt, or the wealthy - I'm mad that they get all the breaks and we get the leftovers, if there are any.

    January 11, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Joan

    Romney is running the best campaign money can buy.

    January 11, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Puddin

    These candidates for the Rebub. nomination should watch the kind of mud they throw at each other. Remember this: You'll have to "kiss-and-make-up" eventually. Politicians....the most superficial people there is!!

    January 11, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. danR

    The thing is that Mitt Wrong-money is stepping up his game, and doesn't miss a trick to make his rivals look bad and himself look good. He will have no trouble in S. Carolina

    Now he's talking about the 'bitter politics of envy', making the battered remains of Gingrich sound like a petulant jealous little brat who can't take a thrashing (from Wrong-money's super PAC thugs.)

    Playing the green-monster card.

    Wrong-money could make a rape complainant sound like a vindictive whiner.

    January 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Beth Myers!!

    Did you say the other day what is good for geese is good for the brahhha. Well Mitts, you haven't manned-up yet your puppets just knocked Gingrich campaign and here you come whining? He just copied your evil skims!

    January 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. ST

    Can't people figure out that Romney is telling people what they want to hear!!! For example in his speech last night he said: Let us go back to the 90s when everybody had everything they wanted". Really Romney! can this happen again. The world has changed completely. The economy is going south to every corner of the world. America is also part of the world, if the economy changes in other side of the world it affects America's economy as well. People should not buy all these lies!

    January 11, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Jariv

    The only thing I don't like about Romney is that he says " If you want free stuff, then I am not your President! ". I like free stuff. Hhhmmmm.... We have to work for it I guess.

    Romney 2012 !!

    January 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Independent from Vermont

    I love how liberals are scared of Mitt Romney! Hahahahaha The funny thing is that if Obama is so great and has a done such a good job with the country as president then why is he tied with Romney in the National polls for the whole year? Exactly because he is a weak as Romney is so we will see who wins in Nov but I am willing to bet it will be Romney! Obama=Worst president ever...

    January 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Bill, NY

    Its funny how people will overlook how truly flawed and elitist Mitt Romney is. The presumed nominee is so out of touch with what the average citizen is going through that I can't help but wonder if his supporters are addicted to drugs. Elect this guy and afterwards it will have the same effect of the lights going on in a bar after last call, but it will be too late as you have already brought that ugly, ugly person home with you.

    January 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Jack

    Someone better tell HUSSEIN OBAMA to start packing up his prayer rug, his time is up.

    January 11, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Romney is a salesman, folks. Buyers Beware. He sells money to unsuspecting or vulnerable buyers. If he were a real estate broker, or worked in home mortgages, he would have been they guy making the predatory loands that bankrupted so many families. Buyers Beware. Now Gov. Romney is trying to sell us on the idea that he would make a good POTUS. Buyers Beware.

    January 11, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Nanci

    First let me say that I am no fan of Mitts but, at least his wife could be called a lady.

    January 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. diridi

    WE know Obama's middle name, you can not trick this time, just like you sent DVDs linking him to Terrorism, and also played Jeremiah Drama of Church. GOP plays dramas too....ha....People are not stupid, they are aware of the facts of Bain Capital.
    Of 77 businesses Bain Capital invested 17 filed bankruptcy closed doors by 8th year, drew money way ahead. Moved all 1900 jobs to China. Learn and Read. WSJ-dated 1/9/12. God bless.

    January 11, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |