March 22nd, 2012
10:43 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney primary tactics insufficient for general election, Gingrich says

(CNN) – As some Republicans look for an end to their party's presidential primary, candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday he continues to campaign because there is no suitable alternative in the Republican field.

"I'm staying in the race because I believe we ought to have a conservative who's serious, who's had national achievements and who doesn't write his policy on an Etch A Sketch and zig-zag back and forth wildly," Gingrich said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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"There may be a morning Governor Romney has a majority of the delegates," he said. "That morning isn't here."

Gingrich argued that his supporters encourage him to remain in the hunt for delegates, which Romney leads by a significant margin. But those wins, Gingrich said, can't be expected in November, when the Republican nominee would face President Barack Obama.

"Every Republican who wants to beat Obama should be worried by the fact the Romney victories come by drowning them out with negative advertising," Gingrich said. "He will not be able to do this to Obama and it makes me worry about what kind of a general election candidate he will be."

Fellow presidential hopeful Ron Paul also disputed on Thursday the notion that a continued primary brawl would hurt the Republican Party.

Romney's buoyancy at the top of the Republican field has come at a heavy price, Gingrich said, as he, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul "split Romney's attention."

"He has always had an ability to drown us with negative advertising," Gingrich said of Romney. "You'll remember I was actually in first place until we got drowned first in Iowa. Then, I came back and was in first place after winning South Carolina and then they spent $20 million in three weeks in Florida to re-drown me.

"That was the process in which Rick emerged," he said of Santorum, "because he was the guy running fourth, and Romney wasn't paying any attention to him."

At a campaign event Thursday evening, Gingrich acknowledged his "very substantial disagreements" with Romney, but called on his rivals to "all agree that whoever becomes the Republican nominee, we have one common goal and that is to defeat Barack Obama."

Gingrich said that a joke made by actor Robert De Niro at an Obama fundraiser – asking if "our country is ready for a white first lady" – was inappropriate, and that a standard is put on Republicans which is not applied to Democrats. De Niro initially apologized for the joke, and the Obama campaign has distanced itself from the line.

"This campaign isn't about first ladies. I'm not running against Michelle Obama," Gingrich said.

– CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

Who does Jeb Bush want for vice president?

Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

New Democratic super PAC looks beyond 2012

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Satberry

    Santorum and Newt are absolutely correct.Willard is lying and they are stating their concerns.When and if Willard is the nominee the DNC will have a treasure trove of ammunition against Milton.He will not be able to reinvent himself.Willard has told to many lies and they are all on film.Willard is a liberal not a moderate and severly not a conservative.

    March 22, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  2. Levi

    When will Newt wake up and realize that he doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades to get the nomination. The longer he stays in, the easier he makes it for Mitt to win the nomination. Even if it goes to a contested convention, he won't be eligible to be the nominee because he has to win 5 states. He's still got 3 states to go and he isn't raising any more money. Get over yourself Newt. Nobody likes you. Just shut up and get out of the race.

    March 22, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  3. Karen2

    Newt has a positive vision for the USA. He wants to get trillions in royaltees from drilling off shore and appropriate federal lands. This will not ony balance the budget, but also eventually pay off the entire debt. On the other hand Romney has no core. He says that he is a conservative like he was as governor. As governor he mandated RomneyCare, imposed tax payer funding of killing babies, and raised taxes on guns. If he slithers like a snake and hisses like a snake, then he is a snake. Newt =2.50 gas.

    March 22, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Gingrich is correct in his analysis of the process. The fat-cat Republicans do in fact control the outcome of the primary election. Ironically he's missing the "bottom line". In a completely free market the dollar gets to do the talking. Isn't this the foundation for the whole free enterprise concept? Why shouldn't Romney's fat-cats get to pick our leadership? Shouldn't all of the working class bow-down and accept this concept?

    March 22, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  5. Lillith Goby

    Duh, that is why they reset for the general, Naaty Newt. And Newt is still running but is not in the running. What a joke Newt is. The dance is almost over and he is just starting to dance?

    If he had more money, which equals support of freedom of speech issue, he would be bragging of his many millions and millionaires support.

    A buffoon and a by word is all Newt can be if he keeps on. It was Ron Paul who made the really sharply pointed attack ads. Newt is a whiner and a crybaby in this race just as he waas in Clintonian Washington. Made his mark in Congress and with the young GOP freshmen (thanks Newt for Boehner) then killed hid own legacy with his own narcissism.

    Romney is the man for this season, though in truth, only God can save us from obama's socialist dream or from ourselves.

    March 22, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  6. julien vergara

    Why is newt still fighting against romney. He is a loser. He cannot stop quaking against hes fellow republikan.

    March 22, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. 12genamerican

    Has Newt ever succeeded at anything why his he giving advice to the frontrunner

    March 22, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. 12genamerican

    Has Newt ever succeeded at anything why is he giving advice to the frontrunner

    March 22, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  9. Romney 2012

    Romney will win the GOP primary and will be elected 45th president of the United States in November – God Bless America.

    March 22, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. fandancy


    Newt's simmering anger is a sight to see. He has no chance to get the nomination but he stays in the "race" to try to hurt Romney's chances. He is totally irrelevant now.

    March 22, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  11. jocko

    I think Newt loses to Michele Obama in most any election outside Georgia.

    March 22, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  12. Indy

    At a campaign event Thursday evening, Gingrich acknowledged his "very substantial disagreements" with Romney, but called on his rivals to "all agree that whoever becomes the Republican nominee, we have one common goal and that is to defeat Barack Obama."

    And this is the entire agenda for Republicans, to defeat Obama. They have no real solutions to fix the problem that started the mess which was tax breaks for the rich and making the middle class pay dearly.Republicans don't care about people as long as they have power and can defeat Obama so they can help their rich friends

    March 22, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  13. LouAZ

    Sort of wish Snooki Palin would get back into the Repub/TP Circular Firing Squad. She was a better shot than the four remaining. In any case, this Republican Party disaster could not happen to a nicer, more deserving group of people.

    March 23, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |

    Romney is a pathological liar,.. and he proves it every time he opens his mouth.

    March 23, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. bluemax77

    Fat boy still thinks he’s in with a chance – what a laugh..! He must seriously be the last to know...

    March 23, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  16. Jim

    Romney 2012 – we need a real America and we need it now.

    March 23, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    It makes sense the GOP would have delusional candidates like Newt Gingrich: you have to been a bit unbalanced to still believe that tax cuts for the rich result in job creation here in the US and that trickle-down economics works – ALL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY!

    Vote sane, vote Democratic!
    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 23, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. Stephen Cox

    Earth to Newt – No one cares because you have zero chance of winning. Stop embarrassing yourself.

    March 23, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  19. Independent from NH

    Hint to Gingrich: you really are not running against ANYbody. Get the hint. Drop out. Only your pathetic pride is keeping you in this race; NOT your 'supporters.'

    March 23, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. lev nicholayavich

    Jeb Bush and Demint endorse Romney...Santorum endorses Obama. Weird. I salute Gingrich on a lot of issues but he looks like a sore loser. I used to be for Gingrich...the negative ads use his logic...does he not think Obama would showcase the skeletons in Newt's closet during the general? Double standards.

    March 23, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. John W. Mahoney

    "... Newt Gingrich said Thursday he continues to campaign because there is no suitable alternative in the Republican field"

    Sometimes, Newt gets it just right.

    March 23, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  22. Thomas

    How true , yet Mitt has the money and Newt dosn't , money TALKS !

    Mr. Romney expressed appreciation for the country's “volunteer army” and said “that's the way we're going to keep it.

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons' decision not to enlist in the military,

    Not one of Mitt Romney's healthy, grown sons chose to serve in the military, not the Gulf War or Iraq or Afghanistan.


    March 23, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |

    ROMNEY 2012, ROMNEY 2012, ROMNEY 2012 – because America needs a real leader.

    March 23, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  24. Jim Colyer

    Gingrich and Santorum are egomaniacs.

    March 23, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  25. HAHAHA

    Romney 2012 – now what do you want to say about that Marxists?

    March 23, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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