January 27th, 2012
10:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney: Gingrich debate complaints like 'Goldilocks'

(CNN) - Mitt Romney compared rival Newt Gingrich to the indecisive character Goldilocks Friday, saying the former House speaker couldn’t decide whether he wanted debates with silent audiences or rowdy crowds.

“Speaker Gingrich said the debate before last night that the crowd wasn’t allowed to cheer, and so he couldn’t do so well because the crowd was too quiet,” Romney said in Orlando Friday. “Then last night he thought the crowd was too loud. It’s like Goldilocks, you know, the porridge is too hot, the porridge is too cold.”

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On Friday, one of Gingrich’s campaign advisers told The Huffington Post he thought the debate crowd at Thursday’s CNN Florida debate was stacked in Romney’s favor, saying the Romney campaign “definitely packed the room.”

On Tuesday, Gingrich said in an interview on Fox News he would protest if debate moderators required audiences to be silent. Gingrich participated in an NBC News debate Monday in which the audience was nearly silent.

"I wish, in retrospect, I'd protested when Brian Williams took them out of the debate. It's wrong," Gingrich said on Fox News.

At the CNN Southern Republican Debate ahead of the South Carolina primary, many of Gingrich's responses drew long applause lines from the audience of Republicans. Other candidates also produced reaction from the audience, both positive and negative.

On Friday, Romney dismissed the debate-crowd discussion, saying he was focused solely on defeating the incumbent.

“I’m looking forward to debating Barack Obama,” Romney said. “I’m not going to worry about the crowd. I’m going to make sure we tell the truth to Barack Obama and we get him out of the White House.”

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Gingrich wants a crowd stupid enough to accept his simplistic message yet sufficiently lacking in honesty and character to forgive his past transgressions. Florida is the right location for those requirements.

    January 27, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. Debbie

    Mitt heads up...you change positions daily as well. The FlipFlopper in Chief! Best to not pick on this one as you are very guilty yourself.

    January 27, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. ToughUSA

    Breaking News Ron Paul Initiates Global Debate
    'Endorse Liberty' Super PAC to Broadcast 30 Minute Ron Paul TV Special in Florida
    Pacs buying 30 min time slots in florida
    Google It (EndorseLiberty) UNBELIEVABLE !!!!!!

    January 27, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. george of the jungle

    the repo party is made up of fairy tales. newt looks more like a troll than goldielocks but hey mitt with his grandma jeans is not any better. He is like a used car salesman slick and greasey. Love how the party of family vales treats each other.

    January 27, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. Truthiness

    Let's get Newt Gingrich in office this guy is great. A man in 96' said that anyone who posses 2 oz of marijuana should get the death penality and were going to populate the moon and make it the 51st state.

    January 27, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  6. DENNA

    Newt is quite the whiner when he doesn't get his way. He's like the fat, loud bully who get his strength from being backed up by his stupid friends. But boy, let those stupid friends leave him on his own, and he can't handle it. Wuss!

    January 27, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Rmoney is the princess in the princess in the pea. He can't stand any inconvenience.

    January 27, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. The Middle

    Like one of the commentator said, "live by the debate, die by the debate." I think need CNN needs to get rid of Donna Brazile (Democrat strategist) from commenting on the debates. She just bad mouths the candidates, in effect poisining the candidates for independent voters to get them to lean to President Obama.

    January 27, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  9. J.V.Hodgson

    In general terms all the current hopefuls except R. Paul posit the same republican mantra of debt reductionall thru spending cuts and repeal health care, and repeal Dodd Franks and lower all taxes.
    If they keep that up and they will they will lose big time in November.

    January 27, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  10. tim12

    there is not another debate for a month, so now after the candidates get tired of insulting each other. maybe we can hear some issues.

    January 27, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  11. Two Rivers

    I can't help but wonder if Gingrich didn't get suckered by someone in the GOP who told him to tone it down in Florida so Romney would look stronger in the debates.

    January 27, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  12. enuff

    Every sport has rules. Even students know that a spelling bee or debate tournament has rules. Why can't these politicians follow the rules that have been set for these debates instead of throwing fits like spoiled brats? Be professional.

    January 28, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. donna

    These Romney one-liners are coming straight from his well-paid coaches, not from himself. They are too calculated. Here is a man who has been raised by politician-parents to prepare for a life in politics. Always told what to think and what to say. Because of this, he has an outer shell but lacks an inner self.

    I don't want a president like that.

    January 28, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  14. Thomas

    How dose Mitt Romney compare those who served in the military to his five sons who did not ?

    And the three bears.

    January 28, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  15. T'sah From Virginia

    ►“I’m looking forward to debating Barack Obama,” Romney said. “I’m not going to worry about the crowd. I’m going to make sure we tell the truth to Barack Obama and we get him out of the White House.”◄

    First of all, you have to win the primary. Second, I am sure President Obama will be the one telling the truth not you, because you have enough lies that could go around the world twice. So we all are looking forward to the debate – no matter who wins!

    Obama 2012!!!

    January 28, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  16. 00HillBilly

    Newt Gingrich thank you for being a real American and thinking like one. It has been a long time since anyone proposed real steps to make our country a great place like it once was. There is not a thing wrong with going back to the moon before the Chinese take it over, or building a much needed bridge. These ideas are sound and would create jobs and wealth. There is proof of the space program doing that in a big way. So just being a downsizer and a money grubber like Romney is not enough for our country! And even Ron Paul, who I like, is lackluster when it comes to a plan for real growth. Simply put, cutting costs and downsizing has been around since the '70s. That is why we are where we are at. Boldness and growth are needed – that will save the country. We have seen that smooth talking like Romney and Obama is just more of the same.

    January 28, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  17. Shelby

    gingrich always has an excuse for his failures. What a whiny baby he is.

    January 28, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  18. chuck weidemann

    Please tell the truth to the American people...we are the ones who elect you. Romney feeling better about himself ...confident because he has done better against Newt but Newt is on the moon...and Obama is sooo much more eloquent than moon man. Not to mention intelligent !

    January 28, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens you are an idiot. Florida will have a higher average IQ, when you leave the state.

    January 28, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is refreshing to hear that Mittens will start telling the truth. So far he has really dropped the ball on that.

    January 28, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It appears that Romney's crowd is paid to cheer when he says that corporations, wall street, big banks, and big oil are people too. They cheer when he is found to be a tax evader, corporate raider, and a vulture capitalist.

    January 28, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  22. Anonymous

    And Mitt Rmoney is a spoiled little princess.

    January 28, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  23. diridi

    with 13.7% taxes paid, stashed money like third world leaders in Cayman Island, Bermuda, Swiss banks, Shipped jobs to China, India, etc, this idiot does not have any kind of locus standi to speak further.....what a Moran...

    January 28, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. NDblue

    Mr. Blind Trust will probably be the canidate and he can spend his time explaining the terminology of the super rich! Can't wait.

    January 28, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Ron

    For once I agree with you Willard. Other than the lies you told with a straight face – to the people you want to trust you enough to vote you into the office of the presidency – Newt has no argument with you.

    January 28, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |