January 26th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
9 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. Rick McDaniel

    Romney is not, what he claims to be.

    January 26, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Melissa

    I would rather have an independant minded person who has worked in the private sector then a toad who only knows washington.
    Go Mitt!

    January 26, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. s

    Let be clear you a not clever, Gingrich you are right out stupid and a lair and a cheat. You will say whatever has to be said to win votes, but the rest of this country is much smarter than SC, backwards hicks. Time for you to go back home to one of our wifes.

    January 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. TomInRochNY

    What choice, Newt? Moe, Curly or Larry? Get over yourself.

    January 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Jariv

    Come one Gingrich. We do not need a Government creature now. We need an Outsider that knows hoe to lead and put things in order. I still don't get why you are still in this race. Please just let real leaders debate. I beg you, go away. You will NEVER be president.

    January 26, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Clinker

    Newt is Eric Cartman all grown up, and still an irresponsible, self-centered baby.

    January 26, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Jariv

    - I ment: "how" ***

    January 26, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Cade

    I much rather have an independent money-maker that could show America how to do the same than someone who has lived in Washington their whole life.

    Go Mitt!

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

    January 26, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Newt has changed lot , now he telling the truth

    January 26, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Go Mitt

    Exactly Newt – Mitt isn't a lifelong politian! He didn't make all of his money in Washington like YOU have since the 1970s. Newt = everything that is wrong with Washington. We need a man who understands business, who has successfully turnaround businesses, the Olympics, as well as government. He also has the character to unite the country, not inflame it. It's also notable that every rising star in the GOP – Christie, Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayotte, Bob McDonnell – have all endorsed Mitt. Speaks VOLUMES.

    January 26, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Latch

    Huh. The GOP, the Sacred Defenders of the Wealthy Elites, now suddenly have a problem with rich people? Who woulda thunk it? Oh right, they're pandering to the middle class again. The candidates are ALL multi-millionaires, so singling MItt out is just blatant hypocrisy.

    January 26, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Mj

    `We aren't that stupid and you aren't that clever'.". come on now Gingrich that's like the pot calling the kettle black. And About Romney's ties to wall street......what about your ties to Freedy Mac and your wife's lofty Tiffaniy's $500k account?
    Oh, my vote will be going to President Obama come this November, but I love watching the GOP tear each other apart. Keep up the good work!

    January 26, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. b0bc@t

    Newt seems to hang on to the idea that it is with us or with them.
    It should be come with us and see what we can do together. Sure, Mitt Romney wasn't in politics when you were disgracing yourself, and he might have voted for and supported Democrats, while earning a living. That certainly does not preclude him from embracing the Republican ideals and working to better this country. Like Winston Churchill said about drunk vs ugly...... "I may be drunk now, but tomorrow I will be sober, while you will still be ugly" .... Mitt can surely embrace the party ideals and work for America today, but you, Newt, will ALWAYS be bitter and ugly, and NOT what this country needs.

    January 26, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Mike Texoma

    On the one hand you have Mitt Romney who strikes me as mostly hat and no cattle. Good at taking care of number one, but no real notion of the courage and purpose and committment and selflessness and intelligence and genuine humility it takes to lead a nation of 350 million people to a better place.

    January 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. v_mag

    With absolutely no evidence, Repugnants continue to parrot the myth that success in business is a good qualification for President. That's like saying a good businessman would make a good fireman. The two jobs are not remotely the same. A CEO's job is to kill the competition, maximize profits, branch out, and get to the top of the heap. Being President is a totally different job.

    January 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. David TX

    "You aren't that clever"!!! A Republican says to another a Republican! Very funny!

    January 26, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Mike Texoma

    And on the other hand you have Newt Gingrich. In my estimation, if you elect New Gingrich you might as well have elected Bernie Madoff president of the United States.

    January 26, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Confedkilla

    The old newt is very clever. Here is a man that is closer to the Mormon religion in his beliefs but lies about it. He's very clever in hiding the fact that he believes having a wife and a mistress is not wrong under the eyes of God. Multiple female life partners for newt and no one else. Clever old newt.

    January 26, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. jpmichigan

    The former Massachusetts governor made more than $20 million income last year and paid out only about 14% in income taxes. But Romney's tax plan calls for all Americans to pay the MINIMUM of 25%. Newt Gingrich calls for a flat tax of 15% for all Americans. Big chunk of Romney's income doesn't come from stock he personally holds. In 2010, he made $7.4 million from CARRIED INTREST. This money wasn't generated from income that he had already jpaid taxes on. Think of it as sort of a TIP (like waitress and taxi cab drivers get and have to pay tax on) this tip is skimmed off the top of all the money that his investment company made for its investors. This carried interest is from Bain and taxed at 15% and not counted as income to be taxed at a higher percent. ( Daily Financial Posted 01/24/12)

    January 26, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. Pam from Iowa

    Neither of them are worth the effort it would take to spit on them!

    January 26, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, my. Republicans are becoming childish to the extreme. This back and forth between Gingrich and Romney serves no useful pupose but to bring attention to just how mentally and emotionally unqualified both these men are for the job they seek. Do either of them ever think before they speak?

    January 26, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Noremalitis

    @ Rudy, you need to add the category: how many bad presidents have we had that were also lousy CEOs – several. One Bush comes to mind right away...

    January 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Mike Texoma

    So, that leaves Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum strikes me as akin to Mr. McGoo. His vision for America is so impaired by passage through his personal array of ideological prisms that it is a wonder he can navigate a parking lot, muchless the fast-changing, challenging, perilously complex, iintellectually demanding, wonderous world America lives in.

    January 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. ST


    "We do not need a Government creature now. We need an Outsider that knows how to lead and put things in order".
    Myself I prefer the Insider who knows what mistakes were made and what to rectify. Outsider will go there stumble and will automatically adapt himself to the system.

    January 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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