January 26th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich unleashes on Romney

Mount Dora, Florida (CNN) –Newt Gingrich offered a strong rebuke to Mitt Romney Thursday, calling his campaign "dishonest" and "grotesquely hypocritical" for pointing out his ties to the housing market crisis.

The former House speaker seized on information from Romney's 2011 financial disclosure form that reveals the former governor and businessman had his own connection to the crisis.

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"I think someone who owns stock in a place that forecloses on Floridians has a lot of gall to start raising the issue," said Gingrich of Romney, who had money invested in a Goldman Sachs fund that owned mortgage backed securities, considered to be central to the foreclosures that had a major impact in the Jan. 31 primary state.

Gingrich also took aim at Romney donors who hail from financial institutions. "He wants to run a campaign where he drowns me in mud with money he raises from people who are foreclosing on Floridians. I want to cut through the mud," Gingrich said.

The Romney campaign released an ad Monday that zeroes in on Gingrich as a lobbyist and Washington insider pointing to his consulting work at Freddie Mac.

"While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in," the narrator says, referring to the $1.6 million his company brought in during two different time periods.

At a robust tea party rally, and speaking to reporters afterwards, the former speaker launched a full-throated attack at Romney – just hours before the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate. He was quick to point out that the former Massachusetts governor has holdings in a mutual fund that invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and referred to a recent report that alleges Romney advisers lobbied on behalf the federally-backed mortgage giant.

"And on that front he decides to lie about my career? There's something about the hypocrisy that should make every Americas angry," Gingrich said during the press availability. "I mean at some level, there ought to be a sense of shame that a person would be this fundamentally dishonest." Gingrich said during the press availability.

Responding to Gingrich's claims, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said the former speaker is borrowing talking points from President Barack Obama to attack the candidate's private sector career.

"Gingrich has been rebuked by conservatives who served under him as Speaker, while the Democrats cheer him on. This is who Newt Gingrich is: an unreliable leader who undermines conservatives, hurts our party, and emboldens President Obama and his liberal allies," said Saul.

In his Mount Dora speech he said Romney was a "moneymaking independent" while the former speaker was working in Congress in the '80s and '90s.

"There's nothing wrong with making money but he had no interest in politics. He wasn't involved in helping save the country and he was an independent," Gingrich said. "This is the man who stood up the other night and questioned my credentials as a 'Reaganite'? This is the kind of gall they have to think we are so stupid, and we are so timid."

With the Florida primary on Tuesday, Gingrich and Romney have escalated their attacks this week. Recent polls show the two candidates are in a dead heat for first place in the state.

Gingrich argued Romney tries to hide his political history in which he campaigned with a more moderate platform during his Senate and gubernatorial campaigns.

"He is counting on us not having YouTube. That's how much he thinks we're stupid, and we're not stupid," Gingrich said. "The message we should give Mitt Romney is you know, `We aren't that stupid and you aren't that clever'."

The former speaker conceded the weight of the ads coming from the Romney campaign has hurt his campaign, but sought to remind voters of Romney's ties to Wall Street.

"Let's be really clear, you're watching ads paid for with the money taken from the people of Florida by companies like Goldman Sachs, recycled back into ads to try to stop you from having a choice in this election," Gingrich said. "That's what this is all about."

"Rallying the tea party crowd he said, "Remember the Republican establishment is just as much as an establishment as the Democratic establishment and they are just as determined to stop us. Make no bones about it This is a campaign for the very nature of the Republican Party and the very opportunity for a citizen conservatism to defeat the power of money and to prove that people matter more than Wall Street and that people matter more than all the big companies that are pouring the cash in to run the ads that are false."

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Also see:

Obama shares intense encounter with Arizona governor

Gingrich shoots for the moon

Bachmann will run for reelection

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. LizInStl

    ....and Gingrich is a money-making lobbyist.

    January 26, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Reggie from LA

    Newt has something there. In my time, I have known men of position who "believed" that they were clever; that they were operating above the intellectual level of "common folks". They were wrong and basically painted images of themselves that were pictures of their arrogance and self love. Both these candiates are that way. That's why they both want to win the Presidency. They've only mentioned the working class and the poor because it improves their vote drawing capacity. Research and find out how many common folk they associate with then not seeking votes.

    January 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Dave

    Newt needs to get over himself and realize that neither he nor Romney are that clever. Both of these bozos are offering up out-tight lies and slander and either one will do and say anything to get elected.

    At first, I was skeptical that Obama would win re-election. However, after listening to these two sanctimonious clowns, I'm starting to really believe that Obama will mop the floor with either one.

    January 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Gotta hand it to Newt.. they were all thinking this and it took guts to come out and say it.

    January 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rudy NYC - How many successful Presidents have we had that were successful CEOs? None.
    How many bad Presidents have we had that were successful CEOs? Several.
    OK Rudy... Let's hear it. Names please. And are you talking successful by YOUR standards, or normal business standards? Two VERY different things.

    January 26, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Sue

    Romney may not be "that clever" Mr. Gingrich, but you have always been "too clever" when it comes to politics and that is why you have never been nor will you ever be the GOP nominee for President. It's about time we had a skilled business person run this company so that the government can be run as a business instead of the "who can scratch who's back" the most.

    January 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. gt

    newt is a kamikaze politians who will sink the gop chances to beat obama... this drama queen only lives to feed his fat ego thats bigger than his wasteline....

    January 26, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Can anybody tell me how many POOR people are investing all their money in our economy???? How many POOR PEOPLE are loaning money to build factories and office buildings?

    The simple fact of the matter is that the 99% NEED the 1% FAR more than the 1% need the 99%!! Be careful of what all you leftists ask for and demand, you just might get your wish, abject poverty but don't worry, it'l be fair because everybody else will be poor too. Fools.

    January 26, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Dale

    I understand Gingrich endorsed a Democrat for Congress over a Republican while he was in Congress. Sounds like an independant

    January 26, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Truth asked:

    OK Rudy... Let's hear it. Names please. And are you talking successful by YOUR standards, or normal business standards? Two VERY different things.
    I guess you missed the most recent example that I posted of a bad President who was a CEO. George W. Bush. We have had several CEOs as POTUS, and history has not been kind to any of them. Jimmy Carter was a succesful peanut farmer. Some of the best US Presidents have strong middle class influences in their backgrounds, including the Republican god, Ronald Reagan. He was a former union boss, no less.

    January 26, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. ContrastandCompare

    Florida has one thing in common with rest of US, 75% don't want MITT.

    January 26, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |

    Ok, let's be clear both Newt the Pot and the Mitt The Kettle have made a ton of money and will continue to pay less in taxes than the average or middle class if you will, that to me is just wrong. Hey I don't begrudge anyone who is successful and make a lot of money through investments however, having said that where and how did they get their money in the first place is the question. I also loved when POTUS @ the SOTU speech said, " Me and a lot of us here in Congress make a lot or money" and should pay our fair share or something to that affect. Let's be fair to say that POTUS didn't make his real big money until after elected POTUS unlike POT and KETTLE. I also have a problem with Mitt's 5 sons I repeat 5 sons none of them have ever served in the military not even as reserves, now who is hiding and protecting who.

    January 26, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. ContrastandCompare

    Keep in mind fellow bloggers...

    We must beat BHO and the democrate labor union thugs, left wing nuts, and 99% who are too lazy to work and want government hand outs. That is all that counts.

    NEWT 2012... Taking back America.

    January 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    None of the GOP clowns even qualify to carry President Obama's jock strap. All are clueless on foreign policy, and would send our country back to the near republican depression.

    January 26, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Bring it

    We don't need "clever" in the WH. If Newt thinks that is an insult then he's wildly off his rocker.

    If clever is good, then let's get Billy Crystal as our nominee!


    January 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Justamused

    Face it folks, the GOP are playing us all for suckers.

    January 26, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Robert

    Newt – You're not that clever. You think that people who lived through the 80s and 90s won't remember your mistakes. You think that the people will forget how you were handed the speakership and brought shame and disgrace to the #3 position. You think that people don't have access to wikipedia, google, youtube, or c-span. You're not that clever, Newt. You think because you're old, and the major voting blocs of Florida are also elderly, that they will forgive your sins, and hand you the #1 spot. But you're not that clever, Newt. The people know.

    We saw what happened, and while you may fool a few of the people some of the time, you can't fool all of us at any time. Admit your wrongs, and back away. We're too clever to let you steal our presidency.

    January 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Jilli

    Jeez, gingrichs nastiness and constant negativity really has gotten old. I've about heard all I can tolerate of his sneering and dismissive snark. I find him so distasteful, that the mere sound of his voice invokes involuntary mouth-vomiting.

    January 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Joi Gibson

    OMG, I am soooooo tired of listening to these two children. I live in South Florida and it seems as if every other commercial, sometimes three in a row, are from Willard. Even if I were inclined to vote Republican, seeing these commercials every two minutes would make me not want to vote for him even if- compared to Newton- Williard would be a better choice.

    The First Lady is in Palm Beach. Oh how I wish I get over there to catch a glimpse đŸ™‚

    January 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Well, Newt, we aren't THAT stupid, and YOU aren't that clever either.

    January 26, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    `We aren't that stupid and you aren't that clever'."
    Indeed Newtered. That's EXACTLY the message that we intend to deliver to the GOP in November.
    It's not just Mittens that thinks that Americans are dumb,and amnesiacs its your entire Party. You included.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    January 26, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. anagram_kid

    I guess we can declare that Mr. Gingrich’s promise to run positive campaign is officially rescinded. Although in his defense, that may have been the longest he has upheld any vow he has taken.

    Obama 2012 – Because he is still the only adult in the running

    January 26, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Jake

    the big difference is Newt thinks of himself as the MOST CLEVER! he's scum. and he makes Romney look really clever and great! But luckily they are ALL making Obama the man for FOUR MORE YEARS!!

    January 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    They say "...with age comes wisdom": I would hate to have been around Newt or Mitt as a kid. Neither of these goobs has learned anything, either by oberving others or from their own past mistakes.

    January 26, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Sandy

    No fan of New, but he's right about Romney. Romney's Bain Capital held stock in Fannie and Freddie, meanwhile Ginrich was paid $1 million by Fannie and Freddie. I think Republicans are trying to blame Democrats when they were the ones enabling the Wall Street bankers during the crashing of the economy. Ginrich is right to claim that Romney thinks we are stupid. Of course, Ginrich thinks the same thing.

    January 26, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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