March 5th, 2012
09:53 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: Romney can't 'close the deal'

(CNN) – Presidential contender Newt Gingrich took harsh aim at rival Mitt Romney Monday, suggesting the former Massachusetts governor couldn't rally Republican support because he was being dishonest with voters.

"He can't close the deal. And he can't close the deal in part because people inherently don't trust what he's saying and think that he isn't always very candid with them. And sometimes frankly isn't straight," Gingrich said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

CNN LIVE:Go to, and CNN Mobile for the CNN Election Roundtable, a live video chat hosted by Wolf Blitzer and the CNN political team, on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET. Tune in this week for live coverage of the primaries on Super Tuesday on, on the CNN apps and on the CNN mobile web site. Follow CNN Politics on Facebook and on Twitter at #cnnelections.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The former House speaker said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who endorsed Romney Sunday, was another Washington insider falling in line for the GOP establishment pick.

"We would all like to have endorsements. But the fact is Romney is the Washington establishment candidate," Gingrich said. "It's true. If you look at where his money comes from, where most of the lobbyists lined up. So I think he goes around the country and he's legitimately collected most of the insiders. I like Eric Cantor, but he is sort of quintessentially part of the same group."

Romney's success thus far has been bolstered by his robust fundraising, Gingrich said, but he predicted an eventual drying up of campaign cash.

"I think the challenge is that Gov. Romney has had a huge amount of money, most from Wall Street and a great deal from companies that were bailed out by the taxpayer," Gingrich said. "But he has used that money very effectively first against me and then against Santorum. But he can't close the deal."

He continued, "It's not at all clear to me right now that Romney can get above a certain ceiling," he said. "And the question is whether or not ultimately his money starts to run out. It's very clear in any kind of relatively evenly-financed campaign Romney would not win."

Also see:

Poll: All tied up in Tennessee

Romney gets backing from key Republicans

Barbara Bush robo calls for Romney

Romney, Santorum tied in Ohio

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. The Left Wing

    Romney may or may not close the deal, but he is, at least, still negotiating. Most of the players won't even negotiate with Gingrich anymore.

    March 5, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Rick

    Romney hasn't closed the deal because the delegates are being assigned proportionally this year. The system was designed with the intent that no one would be able to close the deal early; this is just spin from Newt.

    March 5, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. ourjungle

    Tea Party folks, do you really believe a lifer politician can honestly fix our Nation's broken economy.....if so, I have a bridge to no where for sale.

    March 5, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. ROFL...

    Gingrich... the guy who has only won a single state thus far is saying that Romney "Can't close the Deal." Sincerely laughable.

    March 5, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Mark

    Romney can't close the deal? Are you kidding me? Newt is lucky to receive 11% of the vote. Of course now we have the south states coming up and Newt will surely do better. Or will he? My prediction. Obama is going to win in 2012.

    March 5, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Paul1st

    Newt's observation that Romney is having difficulty closing the deal is correct. It also ignores the fact that Newt has absolutely no chance of closing the deal. Newt needs to ponder whether he wants the GOP to have a difficult but possibly winnable change at reclaiming the White House or whether he wants to concede the election. If he goes for the less egotistical choice and puts party first, he will drop out of the race and endorse Romney.

    March 5, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Daph1

    What office is Newt running for and in what country?

    March 5, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. georgiaman

    Newt, you are just mad that you will never beat romney or santorum..... Drop out already.......

    March 5, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. R U Token

    What does it say about Romeny's weakeness as a canidate and his party"s ridicoulos standards for a potentional nominee that in the family values patry he couldn't quash three times married and scandal ridden Gingrech. Or that in the patry of crutaled spending and small goverment he as a (percviable) Washington outsider he hasn't been able to defeat Santorum, who's voting record in the senate should be open fouder for Romeny's smear team in terms of "Pork Barrel Spending". The fact is that Romeny at one point offered the GOP a real chance to deny Obama a second term by doing what they have failed to do in recent years and gaiing ground among moderates and independants. But as time goes on in this race and the republican infighting becomes more rederaict driven and vicous, it becomes less likely that Romney or any other Rebuplican for that matter will be moving into the White house in 2013.

    March 5, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Orchid333

    When it comes to "shaking up Washington" I do think the only two candidates who can really do it are Newt or Ron Paul, and for very different reasons, but neither has a chance at winning the GOP nod, so even if we see Romney or Santorum get the nomination I just can't see either of them having a real shot at winning the White House.

    March 5, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Pat in IL

    Every time Gingrich opens his mouth, I have to wonder again what planet he is living on. This guy with years of ethics violations, some of which were while he was speaker has the gall to "accuse" someone else of being a Washington insider?? He is so disparate at this point that he just throws anything out there, whether it's true or relevant at all.

    March 5, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. pitdownman

    With all the GOP leaders jumping on the "endorse Mitt" wagon, he must be getting close.

    March 5, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Mark C

    Well if Romney can't close the deal, where does that leave Newt, who has won a grand total one one small state?

    March 5, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Daniel

    If Romney can't close the deal, Gingrich can't even get in the door for an interview. I find it funny this guy commenting on how poorly Romney is doing and yet Romney is doing much better than Gingrich.

    March 5, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Pat

    Republicans say dont we should give bigger tax breaks to the top 1% bcoz we should not envy sucessful people. Okay then why are Newt & Santorum complaining about Mitt outspending them 20 to 1. Mitt is sucessfull and has more resources they should lead by example by not complaining bcoz it is class warfare.

    March 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Jake

    and Gingrich is losing to the man that can't close the deal, so what an embarrassing thing to point out!

    March 5, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Pat

    Republicans say we should give bigger tax breaks to the top 1% bcoz we should not envy sucessful people. Okay then why are Newt & Santorum complaining about Mitt outspending them 20 to 1. Mitt is sucessfull and has more resources they (Santorum & Newt) should lead by example by not complaining bcoz it is class warfare. Do the conservtards realise the edge that money/wealth gives u?

    March 5, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Jackie Yates

    $26,000,000 in a smear campaign against Gingrich, that's why Romney is the front runner. SC didn't fall for it and should tell you something about the Speaker-he doesn't quit. As for those ethics violations-he was cleared of all of them-due to the fact that they were trumped up by the Dems (Nancy Pelosi, surprise, surprise). Romney can't beat Obama because he's Obamalite, even Soros said there was not much difference between them. As for Ohio, I can't understand why the Tea Party would back Santorum, who actually was against the movement and who is a fiscal liberal.

    March 5, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Peter

    Romney can't close the deal? Well ... Newt can't close his mouth.

    March 5, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Irene Clark

    Newt is wrong, Romney is primed to close the deal and the Presidency. Newt is a very intelligent man and has some good ideas. Newt cut off his own foot when he lost his temper and with it his focus. We don't want a President who is led by his "emotions". Santorum has this emotional stuff going on, too...YUK. He almost appears unbalanced. Me thinks he protests, too, much for certain. Mention what he voted for in the past and he goes bonkers. oooie gooey.

    March 5, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Ambrose Smith

    It will be hilarious to see Newt throw his support behind Mitt once he does "close the deal". No matter. Obama will beat any clown the GOP parades out. Count on it!

    March 5, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Newt's words will prove prophetic in the November election.

    March 5, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. j mann

    Why is he still talking?

    March 5, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Indy

    Romney can't stand up to Rush Limbaugh so Obama will crush him.Romey gets all weak knee'd when he is confronted with facts by his own party so how would you expect he can stand up to anyone in power. Romney gets all flustered and pee's his pants when he gets asked tough questions. He will leave a puddle on the floor when Obama asks him about his 100 million dollar trust fund and all his bank accounts outside of the country. Let Romeny win the Republican nomination, there is no way the majority is putting an elitest in the Whitehouse

    March 5, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. TJ

    Gingrich give it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!you're the one that can't be trusted.

    March 5, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6