September 22nd, 2012
01:45 AM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich on Friday urged Mitt Romney to go after President Barack Obama in next month's debates with a gusto the former House speaker knows well.

"When he walks in to debate Obama, he's got to be as tough with Obama as he was with me in Florida," Gingrich said in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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After all, Gingrich said, Romney "is not in a competition to be likeable."

At two debates in Florida last January amidst their bitter struggle for the GOP presidential nomination, Romney lit into Gingrich.

The two entered the Florida primary locked up in the polls. But after some heavy stumping - and arguably some debate thumping - Romney emerged on top in the vote count, beating Gingrich by 14 points and claiming the state's delegate haul.

With Romney trailing Obama in favorability, Gingrich encouraged Romney to play aggressively on the debate stage. The most recent CNN/ORC International Poll of likely voters, conducted earlier this month after the conclusion of both conventions, showed Obama with a 9 point advantage over Romney in their respective favorability ratings.

"He's in a competition to be capable," Gingrich said. "We need somebody who can turn America around. We need him to convince us that a Romney recovery is better than an Obama stagnation. Unless he can do that, I don't care how much effort they spend trying to make him likeable - it won't work.

Appearing separately on the program, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley argued that Obama has produced more than stagnation.

"I think the polls show overwhelmingly that most of us understand that the wrecking of our economy was the result of policies that were inflicted upon us during the Bush years," he said. "We've now had 30 months in a row of positive private sector job growth. Foreclosures are now lower than they were before President Obama took office. And while we still have a lot of work to do, we are headed in a much better direction than we were the day he took that oath."

In the interview, Gingrich also responded an apparent contrast between Romney's comments that he had not - and would be disqualified from the presidency if - he paid more in his taxes than he owed, and his campaign's acknowledgement that he could have paid less had he reported all of his charitable giving.

"I don't pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due, I don't think I'd be qualified to become president," Romney said in a July interview. "I'd think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires."

But documents released Friday showed the Republican presidential nominee reported on his 2011 tax return that approximately 16% of his income went to charity, while his campaign said the actual amount was 30%.

Gingrich initially laughed and took a swipe at Vice President Joe Biden, charging that the vice president ought to then "resign this evening because he has said enough different goofy things over time that you couldn't possibly remain vice president."

Then, Gingrich described Romney's charitable giving as a credit to the GOP candidate.

"I think it is a good thing for Romney," Gingrich said. "Apparently he's done this his whole life, to have a very substantial donation process for charities, for his church, and for things he wants to do voluntarily as a citizen. That's also a kind of self-tax to keep civilized society moving."

Also see:

- Rubio tweets his airline woes

- Ryan 'very comfortable' as Romney's V.P. candidate

- Litigating Capitol Hill recess in weekly addresses

- Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me

- Biden: Romney tape, demeanor shows he 'does not understand' middle class

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

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. JPX

    That's right, Mitt, be a bully because that's such an appealing quality. The reason that the republicans are failing are because they are currently made up of bloated, angry, bullies.

    September 22, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. DC

    @ 1:26 does anyone notice the girl sniffing her armpits?

    September 22, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. jon

    Romney donates his money to his church, and then afterwards has the church give most of it back under the table. It is a great cover up.

    September 22, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. jake

    " Do to President Obama what you did to me" Well Newt, it is easy to make a fool look like a fool, but when Mittens goes up against President Obama He won'thave a chance.

    September 22, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Charlie from the North

    Here is the problem Newt. In the end the contest between you and Romney was between two deeply unlikable characters. You Newt went on and on about morality with your background and Romney goes around disrespecting the "lazy people" who don't pay taxes while hiding his $$$ in the Cayman Island. Mitt's problem is two fold: The people who believe the crazy crap he says do not like it. and the people who like the crazy crap he says don't believe him. Now Ryan and the convention has convinced most skeptics that he really does means the crazy crap he says. But he will have to now convince the independents that it is not crazy crap. No amount of "Obama bashing" will help there.

    September 22, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Ed

    Well, this is where the rubber meets the road boy and girls, libs and cons, commies and socialists. When Romney hits the debate stage with Obama the party will be over for our current president. He has no record to run on, no private sector experience, has never had a real job and has no clue on foreign policy other than to apologize. You know, if we just talk nice they will eventually come around. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO............ we did that in the late 30's then we closed the doors and those policies cost the lives of 96,000,000 people give or take. We're going to do it again but this time the stakes are much high. 96,000,000 would be a mere fraction of what could be gone and in 4 seconds, not 4 years. Obama knew nothing about foreign policy when he took office, all he know how to do was say he was sorry. So what makes Romney so dumb on FP? According to the Obmamites he knows exactly what Obama knew when they voted for him. The only problem is Obama still doesn't know anything about it!

    September 22, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. rupert

    You say, Clarke, "there is nothing more that can be said" in this election? Wait till Mitt next opens his mouth to unleash another gaffe.

    September 22, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Rosslaw

    This piece of work is approaching the Donald level of buffonery, with the exception that he's more willing to get Americans killed in pursuing whatever illusion occupies the Gingrich's mind that day. In terms of moronic comments, I seem to recall the Gingrich pontificating at one point during the republican cattle call that he had the nomination wrapped up.

    September 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Jeffrey Turner

    " you know" the best make~up to wear on a hot day like this is a smile~ it increases your face value! Keep smiling America'

    September 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Unfit Mitt

    Mhitstain lied aggressively and attacked newt relentlessly. Which he is doing agains our President. However, newt can only blame himself for being such an unqualified tool. While mitt could tell lies about newt he had the advantage of being able to also tell substantive truths about how aweful newt is. And then newt himself did most of the damage every time he opened his fat immoral face.

    September 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. PPJr

    The only problem with this advise is that Romney didn't anything to Newt. Newt did ti himself by himself.

    September 22, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. glorydays

    An entire party promoting anger, hate and evil, all in the name of Christianity. Stunning.

    September 22, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Unfit Mitt

    And you twits who think newt is smart – you display your own ignorance like a massive banner. newt is the kind of guy who wil shamelessly say anything, and just flat out make things up that sound kind of plausible to back up what he says. But anyone who knows anything about anything can take his "arguments" apart in seconds.

    September 22, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. shadysider his advice is to hope Obama accuses Mitt of having a stance that Obama holds himself? That won't happen as Romney's strategy has been to take whatever stance is opposite Obama's stance (because he's scared of the right wing conservative base who think he's, let's say 'shifty'.

    September 22, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. keeth

    Funny, they say Obama is a weak president, so why is he beating Romney?

    September 22, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. jon

    Never underestimate Romney in the debate with Obama. He will come out swinging with unemployment numbers, food stamp numbers, and criticize Obamacare. Obama needs to focus on telling the people that tax cuts for the rich increase the deficit and debt, not reduce it. The numbers don't add up for Romney to pay for it. It is irresponsible, it won't help the economy because the rich will just stash it in overseas bank accounts.

    September 22, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. SurRy

    They know they can't win fairly. Why else would so many states now explicitly DISALLOW current valid University-issued student IDs to vote? Where is the outrage over the blatant voter suppression? The proponents of the PA voter suppression (ID) law could not produce ONE piece of evidence that there had ever been voter fraud in the Commonwealth of PA.

    September 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Bob B

    Amazing how out of touch and out-on-the-limb neo conservatives have become. Perhaps instead of watching and listening to far-right propaganda, they should try to connect with the real world – at least occasionally. Rational people are looking for jerks and slogans. They're looking for competent, rational people to inhabit political posts. The type of loud-mouth, mouth-not-connected-to-the-brain idiocythat plays so well to uneducated neo conservatives does not play well to people able to, or at least desiring to be able to, actually think rationally. Conservatives used to be rational, well spoken, thoughtful people with tons of integrity, whie the left used to be sloganeering dopes. The roles have completely inverted.

    September 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. jeremy

    As a Nevada Person who is on Unemployment And a Registered Republican I can tell you why Mitt is not winning, he isn't good enough, a shallow business owner is not a President.

    I will vote Obama again Mainly because he is the lesser of the 2 evils...

    We need a man with the Balls of Reagan and the Swagger of Clinton.. Obama has Swagger.. and medium balls.. Mitt, no Balls and the swagger of a cripple.

    September 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Carolyn

    Ann, you almost sound a little crazy there, calm down. Newt is sneaky and underhanded, ditto for Romney and add a little "no backbone" and you have the making of a mess. As for the torturing of the ambassador, the news reported he died from smoke inhalation. Where can I see the news video or read the story of Obama or Clinton apologizing? It doesn't exist, you are just like your fearless leader Romney "shooting first and aiming second" (loved that quote). My last bit of advise, if you are wrong and you are too big to admit it because your superiority in being a Christian, because your bigotry and hate of Muslim is loud and clear, then you and your fearless leader and his kind don't need to be anywhere near Washington because a majority of the world is not Christian and its about getting along and not judging other people's religion as Christian deem to do to other religions. What makes you so superior Ann? What kind of Christianity do you practice with so much hate? You and your kind are poison to the rest of the world.

    September 22, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. samuel

    We are taking Gingich word ! The GOP is in trouble. And for Mr. Gingrich to actually think people are concerned with him. He need to realize what show is he on...who watches this show !

    September 22, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. M

    One problem – it ain't gonna work Mitt – because your lies don't stand up to facts. You may have fooled the illiterate primary GOPers but the rest of the people check the facts.

    September 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Dan

    Newt was always wrong. He is the more elegant Rush Limbaugh.
    He will always try but he will never get it.

    September 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Soda

    The problem with that advice is Obama isn't Newt, Newt could of won those debates, but faulterd when it was time to attack. Romney has serious problems with his views of the people of the U.S and s problem with his mouth. When push comes to shove, Romney will giggle like he always does when nervous and that will be when Obama crushes him.

    September 22, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. G Smith

    Besides the fact that "cowboy" dead or alive approach to politics is entertaining to some degree, Mitt Romney lacks integrity character.

    People tend to "like" people they can trust...People tend to "not like" Romney because he can't be trusted no matter what he say's or how he delivers it.

    September 22, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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