In shift, Romney campaign targets Gingrich
January 18th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
11 years ago

In shift, Romney campaign targets Gingrich

Spartanburg, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney hit Newt Gingrich over job creation claims Wednesday, the latest in a sudden escalation of attacks by Romney's campaign on the former House speaker.

"The Speaker the other day at the debate was talking about how he created millions of jobs when he was working with the Reagan administration," Romney told an audience standing outdoors at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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"Well, he had been in Congress two years when Ronald Reagan came to office."

Romney said jobs are created by the private sector, not government.

"Congressman taking credit for creating jobs is sort of like Al Gore taking credit for creating the Internet," Romney said.

The direct hit was the latest in a torrent of coordinated criticism unleashed by Romney's campaign Wednesday, perhaps a sign the campaign sees the former speaker as a growing threat in the days before South Carolina's primary.

In contrast, Romney complimented Gingrich in a Republican debate two days earlier.

"I appreciate the speaker's work working in the Reagan years and in the Clinton years," he said during the Myrtle Beach forum. "We did see good growth in this country. I want to see that come back again."

The campaign seemed to shift tactics Wednesday, releasing a pair of web videos that featured two of Gingrich's former congressional colleagues, Rep. Susan Molinari and Sen. Jim Talent, who charged the GOP candidate was an "undisciplined" and "unreliable leader."

On a morning conference call for reporters organized by the Romney campaign, the legislators - both Romney supporters - took another opportunity to hit Gingrich's leadership record as House speaker.

The Romney campaign held a similar conference call in Iowa in early December, when Gingrich was leading in many state polls.

Molinari told reporters Gingrich lacked the "temperament" to lead the Republican party, and both legislators charged the speaker was a lone operator who did not always act in the party's best interest.

"If the speaker's the nominee, he's going to be the issue," Talent said.

In a statement, Gingrich's campaign released a list of current and retired Congressional supporters who they said stood firmly behind the former speaker's record.

"With several former and current members endorsing him, Gingrich has already proven his leadership skills during his time as Speaker, creating 11 million new jobs, balancing the budget, controlling spending, and reducing poverty levels," Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said in a statement.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Jenna NYC

    Gingrich deserves both barrels at him...what a narcissistic jerk. Watching him with his condescending smirk...he has always had delusions of the background in the WSJ today. Why would anyone vote for him when he was run out of Congress in disgrace by none other than South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham leading the charge? I have the utmost respect for Senator of my fave Senators.

    January 18, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Gurgi

    @laughing, no reading and comprehension skills, thus, no credibility and not worth a response.

    January 18, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Gurgi

    @tateratoo, typical liberal, resorting to name calling and insults when you know you are wrong.

    January 18, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Gurgi

    @marie md, you obviously don't know what you are talking about. see my response @laughing.

    January 18, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. RD44

    The Federal government can have good policy that allows private sector create jobs, but the government doesn't
    create jobs, he just takes your money and moves it around. Newt got caught in more outrageous claims. As far
    as making outrageous and purely false claims, Newt wins. Romney wins when the facts are known. Like Ronald
    Reagan said: The facts are stubborn things.

    January 18, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. jamison

    Only the IGNORANT watch Fox News. Why do I say that? Because if that is the ONLY place where you get your information from then you truly are ignorant. Go to the Internet and do some research, watch PBS, read the newspaper. Don't just get your info from one source and believe it to be true. After doing all your homework (instead of watching it from one bigoted source) then FORM YOUR OWN OPINION based on the homework you did.

    January 18, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. John

    Why is nobody mentioning the $80,000,000 that Bill Clinton has made in speaking appearances?

    January 18, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. shoegazer

    The whole GOP field is laughable.Surely the conservative voter has to ask themselves: In a country this size,with so much to offer,this is the best the Republicans can offer up? Be true to yourself and your answer will be,NO.

    January 18, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. anagram_kid

    Gurgi wrote – @tateratoo, typical liberal, resorting to name calling and insults…
    Your use of the word liberal in the pejorative sense is no different than name calling.

    Then there is this one…

    Gurgi wore – @laughing, no reading and comprehension skills, thus, no credibility and not worth a response.

    So just to clarify your response is that you have no response. Logic is a wonderful tool; you should look into it.
    Obama 2012

    January 18, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. roadwarrior

    gurgi if you know as much as you claim name some of the great things obama has done for this country and dont say he got bin laden and has the terriosts on the run he trying to make a deal with them your the one we are all laughing at

    January 18, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. mdn

    If you can't credit government for creating jobs, then how can you blame it for losing jobs?

    January 18, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. madmaninthemiddle

    So, if the government can't create jobs, then you are saying when you are elected President, there is nothing you will be able to do to help job creation. Ok, help us out then, and go back to Bain so we can have more jobs.

    And Newt – YOU balanced the budget for four years. Funny thing about that, two of the four years where we had surplus budgets, you were NO LONGER IN CONGRESS. But if Obama blames the job losses that occurred in the first 6 mos of his administration, he is blaming Bush. So, the logicial conclusion – if you are a Republican you get credit for everything good that happens for two years after you leave office. But if you are a Democrat you are responsible for everything bad that happens beginning on Day 1.

    Just want to make sure I have the rules straight ....

    January 18, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. madmaninthemiddle

    At the 1988 Republican Convention, Reagan said "Facts are stupid things." It is generally thought that he was attempting to quote John Adams who wrote (when defending British Solidiers in the Boston Massacre) that "Facts are stubborn things."

    Now those who worship Reagan not only give him credit for getting the quote right, he is credited with INVENTING the quote.

    Unfortunately for them, FACTS ARE STU.... oh never mind.

    January 18, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Larry L


    "The russian paper "pravda" had an editorial some months back that posed the question, "didn't america learn from our 70 years mistake?" It was referencing policies enacted/posed by the liberal president, senate, and congress."
    I'd wager you couldn't define "socialism" to save your life. Before Fox News makes you too ready to accept the modern conservatism you see in the Republican Party you might want to look up another term – "fascism".

    You might also look up the top ten nations for standard of living in the entire world and see how many of them have extensive programs managed by the central government. That would be all of them. You might also take a look at the nations of the world with small central governments and wealth narrowly distributed to only a small percentage of the people. The only thing history tells us that is certain for these countries is revolution – it's not "if" but rather "when". Why would our experiment turn out differently?

    January 18, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Terry

    The more I listen to Romney, and the more I watch him, the more I fear that electing him would be a big mistake. I fear that Romney may be the anti-Christ. Sorry, I really feel this way.

    January 18, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. logicnLA

    Using Romney's own logic- we do not need to lower taxes for businesses. Todays report showing manufacturing up without job creation also points to this. Time to wake up to big businesses agenda- all profit, no liability to the country.
    Demand creates jobs, not tax reductions or government handouts to corporations.

    January 18, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. FactCheck

    FACT: George Romney (Mitt's dad) launched a serious presidential campaign in 1968 despite the fact that he wasn't even (get ready for it) BORN IN THIS COUNTRY.

    January 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. quinLee

    John:Why is nobody mentioning the $80,000,000 that Bill Clinton has made in speaking appearances?

    Because most people with a working brain realize that it’s irrelevant to the equation. But since you mentioned it, I would like to remind everyone that when Clinton left office we had a SURPLUS. Eight years later we were screwed. Like 700,000+ jobs loss/month screwed. But go ahead blame Obama and govt. if it makes you feel better. Those of us with working brains will carry your load.

    January 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. carlos

    the MIXED MEX MITT....the VOLTURE who claims that WE THE PEOPLE are envious of the rich..that bloated head does not hold enough cranial matter and now flipper is telling his numbskull followers that the government does not create JOBS, well, he should know because he sent the jobs to India and China and then told its leders to go ahead and create them in their country. And then, laid off hundreds if not thousands here in the U.S. of A.
    He is not presidential he is a big P.O.S.

    January 18, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. ShawnDH

    I DEMAND to see Mittens' BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!!

    January 18, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. greenaxe

    If Romney REALLY wants to show Newt who's boss, he ought to strap him on the roof of the Romneymobile on his way to the next campaign.

    January 18, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Wylie-Mike

    Government cannot be credited for creating jobs because using tax dollars to pay wages expands its 'Cost' against the private sector tax payers.
    Government can be blamed for losing jobs because of its burdensome regulations and leaching of operating capital from private sector 'employers' through taxes and regulator cost.
    Government expenditure is a 'Cost' to the American People. Income taxes on government workers does not recover the cost of paying and providing benefits to public sector employees. The deficit for that has to come from a thriving private sector.
    A positive Business cash flow enables expansion and research and development that increases the government tax revenue base through taxes on 'living' wages, products, and services.

    January 19, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  23. andrew

    A 10% spread in the polls is not a tight race. ROMNEY will crush GingRICH come Saturday morning.

    January 19, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  24. RPFP

    I'm waiting for a repub candidate that waits too long to "turn his campaign back on course", hits the rocks, does an about face to try to "save the campaign" and then "accidentally" falls into a political life boat and abandons his supporters – and leaves a political mess in his wake that costs milllions of dollars. The repub candidates are heading for the rocks, but are too busy attacking each other to notice. Obama is on the island grinning.

    January 19, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
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