Gingrich remains mild on Romney
May 24th, 2012
06:14 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich remains mild on Romney

(CNN) – While Newt Gingrich may have joined Mitt Romney's campaign as a surrogate, the former House speaker and presidential candidate still isn't afraid to speak his mind about his recent opponent.

Gingrich on Thursday stood by some of his earlier criticisms of Romney from the Republican primary, including his argument that the former Massachusetts governor is a career politician.

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"This is a guy who has thought about this, at least, since his father ran in 1968," Gingrich said in an interview on MSNBC, referring to the late George Romney, the former Michigan governor who ran for president in the 1960s but failed to capture the GOP nomination.

In a wide ranging interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Gingrich defended his line of attack during the primary that the only reason Romney advanced in the private sector was because he lost his first big political campaign in 1994, when he ran for a Massachusetts Senate seat.

Gingrich agreed with Matthews' assessment that Romney's business career "was forced upon him by defeat."

"He wasn't a volunteer (citizen) after '94," Gingrich said, smiling.

Romney later went on to become a one-term governor of the state and ran for president in 2008.

Gingrich, however, did offer praise for the candidate he now stumps for on the campaign trail, although his enthusiasm could be characterized as mild at best.

"He is a good organizer. He is a very methodical person. He has prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country," Gingrich said. "And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president."

Gingrich took heat when he first offered an endorsement of Romney after ending his presidential run earlier this month. Critics argued his choice of words were less than enthusiastic. At the time he simply said Romney would make a better president than President Barack Obama.

"I thought, compared to me, I thought I was a better choice," Gingrich said Thursday. "Compared to Obama, I think Romney's a better choice."

Gingrich took the stage for the candidate at the Georgia GOP convention this weekend, and he's scheduled to appear with Romney at a Las Vegas event at the end of the month.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Natalie in MN

    Join the crowd Newt. It's because Romney is not Presidential material; he's a pandering professional politician and a pawn to his corporate handlers. We heard Norquist say, "We just need a guy who can hold a pen." If you think Romney has your back, middle class, you are total fools. Sadly we have a lot of fools in this country as evidenced by a 2nd term for Bush.

    May 25, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. George

    Gingrich said, "He is a good organizer"
    Is he talking about Romney or Obama?

    May 25, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    I am not a Newt fan by any stretch, but, yeah, I agree that Mitt demonized him. I guess Newt is willing to forgive and forget as long as Mitt covers his "expenses" going forward.

    Best thing I can say about Mitt Romney is that he exemplifies all that is wrong in American politics. It's not who you are, it's who you can buy. Mitt is a player when it comes to buying votes. Big time. He's a player when it comes to buying the media as well. So, to answer the question "would a Mitt Romney presidency change anything" the answer is a resounding NO ... Hell, no. We'll be right back where we were in 2000. Same decisions, same mistakes, same war mongering - different country.


    May 25, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Tony

    Romney is not a career politician. Other than winning one term as Massachusetts governor, Romney could not get elected. He is more like Christine O'Donnell, a career candidate.

    May 25, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Are these guys for USA presidency??????!?!!!I bet America better get is ok if education is expensive here, go to India and get, they have all English Education....

    May 25, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. anagram_kid

    "And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president."

    Tell you what Spkr. Gingrich, I will contribute $100 to pay off your campaign debt if you will stand on a stage with Gov, Romney and repeat that he MIGHT be a SURPRISINGLY good president. Not that you are certain of his abilities, but that he may surprise you and not be a complete failure. With friends like theseā€¦.

    May 25, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. once upon a horse

    I think once you call a person a LIAR on national television it means that you're not really ready to warm up to him. Both he and Trump in the past have said some rather unflattery things about Mitt so that trio having a fund raiser together makes strange bedfellows.

    May 25, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Amazing

    This is just further proof that Newt has no integrity.He is supporting someone who he is not fully align with. What a hypocrite! I do not like Ron Paul's political leanings but I respect him for staying true to his values and principles. Newt could use a lesson from Paul!

    May 25, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. steve

    Newt just doesn't want to be associated with an obvious loser. He knows what's coming.

    May 25, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Niuhc

    @Anonymous from yesterday-"* Some key Democrats say they have been dismayed watching Obama become a divider not a uniter, trying to incite anger among women, students and older voters."
    and you were saying???? So much for your credibility.

    May 25, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mild beats stone-cold which is how the rest of the country, with the POSSIBLE exception of the Koch Brothers, feels about Mittens. The more we hear him talk the lower the temperature drops.
    Romney is the political personification of "settling" and "making the best of a bad situation".
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    May 25, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. FLIndpendent

    For someone whose campaign ended millions in debt, I don't think his opinion holds much water as to who will be a better president. Why would we want a guy, who just like Bush Jr., wants the Presidency to outdo his Daddy – that is the reason why Mittens has been running for so many years. In order to get there he's going to have to pay off a lot of people, just like Bush, and we know how that turned out. Also, he will have all of the same Bush advisors in his administration and that is beyond scary. Obama/Biden 2012 for the sake of America!!

    May 25, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. PulTab

    Mittens may as well give it up. He doesn't stand a chance without nooties whole hearted support.

    May 25, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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