Gibbs: Kansas was 'instructive' for Romney
March 11th, 2012
02:16 PM ET
11 years ago

Gibbs: Kansas was 'instructive' for Romney

(CNN) – Robert Gibbs, a top strategist for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, on Sunday chided Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his second place finish in the Kansas caucuses.

"I think yesterday was instructive," Gibbs said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "I think it shows you've got some, some real problems on the road to this nomination."

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania captured the Kansas caucuses on Saturday, beating Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Gibbs predicted the Republican race will continue for "a matter of months," and said it was unclear if a nominee will be decided before the GOP convention in August.

"I think probably anything is possible," Gibbs said, adding that the longer the campaign goes, the better it likely will be for Obama. "If you look at what these candidates have been saying, tearing each other apart with negative ads, it is a process that in many ways has torn each of them down and I think has weakened them for a fall election."

The Alabama native also offered some advice to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has recently taken to saying "y'all" and referencing his love of grits while on the campaign trail in the South.

"As a Southerner, I would tell him that kind of stuff doesn't really go over well in the Deep South," Gibbs said. "I will tell him this. He might not have heard this. But if somebody says they love the SEC, it's not the investigative body that looks into offshore Cayman bank accounts. In fact, it's the world's greatest college football conference."

Also see:

Gingrich pins hopes on hashtags

Santorum blasts Gingrich over 'Romneycare'

Santorum wins Kansas caucuses; Romney touts delegate gains

Gingrich calls for Panetta resignation

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Republicans • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. AzRose

    How quickly Gibbs has forgotten all of the negative ads Obama ran against Hillary Clinton and John McCain and even Sarah Palin. It is okay for the left to run negative ads but not the right.

    March 11, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. john

    what can you say?? Willard is just one of the matter which face he is wearing today!!

    March 11, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. 4merRepubCT

    As soon as Romney dropped a "y'all" it was obvious that the level of honest sincerity had dropped to the basement. Does he think the Southern voters are that naive? Why is his campaign staff allowing him to insult the intelligence of the voters?

    March 11, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. out of step

    Might tell Romney that in the south, northerners are called yankee's... and those who drive into their state with a moving van are called Damn Yankee's.

    March 11, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. GI Joe.

    Romney is incapable of learning - all he'll do is more flip-flops. Whatever it takes to gain power and $$$$$$$$$.

    March 11, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. cali girl

    Robmey is as fake as he comes. We can all see right thru the fascade.

    March 11, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. JayJ7

    Romney's problem is that he is not superstitious, or ignorant enough to please the base. It wouldn't hurt to actually stand for something either.

    March 11, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. yem

    I haven't heard one speech from Romney that is inclusive and inspiring. I wish he talks about his job creating plans that will move the country forward. It is very hard to tell where he stands on issues as I write this comment. He might have changed his position on various issues already.It is so boring to hear him talk negative about Obama all the time.

    March 11, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Charlie from the North

    Well I don't want to sound too regionalistic but If the GOPers of Kansas have something to tech you how smart can you be to start with?

    March 11, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Bill

    Gibbs is really special. He's too sour to be a press secretary and is now an advisor to the GOP. Is there nothing the man can't do?

    March 11, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Dave

    I wonder if he learned that Santorum teamed up again with the unions and Michael Moore to get the demoracts to vote against Romney? Or, did he learn that Santorum is bashing Romney for being successful? And, Santorum is supposed to be more conservative? Yeah, right!

    March 11, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    "I wonder if he learned that Santorum teamed up again with the unions and Michael Moore to get the demoracts to vote against Romney?"

    You mean like the way Rmoney himself crossed over to vote in Dem primaries?

    March 11, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Debbie

    I love Romney and his grits and ya'll can't wait to see him and Santorum don doo rags and go to the South Side in Chicago and chat up the voters there! LOL I think what is instructive is when your team is reporting how you took so many US Territory delegate votes. That's telling. Scraping together each and every delegate he can.

    March 11, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Chipster

    Religious fanatics are voting for Santorum; people who constantly claim that the U.S. is a "Christian nation." They either haven't read or refuse to understand the Constitution's protection of freedom of all religions, including atheism. Again, No Sense of Irony! We're fighting religious oppression in the Middle East and forming our very own American Taliban with these extremists in the U.S. who want to dictate their approved medical choices to women and even ban contraception! Bill O'Reilly actually said recently that contraception has no medical purpose but Viagra does! This situation is not a joke. These people are zealots and very, very dangerous.

    March 11, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Kansas is one of the right-wing Teavangelical states. Why would he be unaware of that fact? He's a flip-flopping Mormon and the right-wingers in Kansas want a Bible-thumping, anti-science, anti-minority, anti-women homophobe like Santorum. Fortunately the red states are somewhat limited in number and our country still has a fair population of rational people elsewhere.

    March 11, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Mark

    Yes, because losing Kansas to Huckabee was so very bad for McCain, lol. Kansas has very rarely voted for the person who became the nominee. They are so disconnected from the real world down there in Jesusland. And let's not forget how much Obama and Clinton tore each other down in their 2008 primary race.

    March 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. george of the jungle

    I listened to the interview and did not find Mr Gibbs to be rude just stating facts and his opinion. So why everyone feels the need to bash him i don't know. He is from the south and thought mitts yall was a bit much so did most of us southerners . That along with grits. Which i sure he will not be eating after his southern tour. Obama 2012

    March 11, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Dee

    Flip FRAUDney!

    March 11, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Balls McGhee

    @AZROSE, name one negative ad Obama has put out against the people you mentioned. the dems were even mad at him because he should have, and never did. he is above that nonsense. you on the other hand, make up lies to win arguments.

    March 11, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Steve in texas

    Y'all come back real soon now ya hear?

    March 11, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Nathan

    yem: Romney's financial plan is simple: more $ for rich ppl, screw everyone else.

    March 11, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. katahdin

    Mitt Romney apparently doesn't really understand how to talk to his fellow humans. People don't need you have all the same traditions as them in order to find common ground. All people are the same, and normal people can find that commonality. People working in paper mills in Maine are no different that people working in textile mills in North Carolina. They eat different foods, root for different sports teams, and talk with different accents, but they are still the same. They want to make a good living, be able to see a doctor when they get sick, and have a better future for their children.
    President Obama understands this. He can talk to people anywhere without pandering to them because he doesn't think of them as "Yankeebots" or "Southernbots." He sees them as people with concerns common to all people.
    The whole "guy I'd like have a beer with" construct is a media creation. People don't care if a candidate is just like them. They want to know the candidate understands and shares their concerns.

    March 11, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Donnie

    Gushing over grits? all he needs is the cone hat and floppy shoes. Surprised he did not rave over pop corn in iowa.

    March 11, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Tammy lambert chandler az

    Team Obama should lay low, dont bother going negative. Stay the coarse and continue moving the nation forward. There is no campaign rhetoric that can over shadow Obama's accomplishments. Save the dirt for November but for now I appreciate Obama staying positive.

    March 11, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. John

    Y'all enjoy them thar grits, Willy-Mitts. That's all y'all are gonna git down there.

    March 11, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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