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. billy davis

    Newt, It was very easy ripping you apart. Being a lying multiple Philanderer that still thinks it's 1981 was child's play.

    September 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. ali

    what is wrong with u republican's if you dont make$250.000 mitt calls u the 47 victim

    September 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    Oh, sorry. I get it.

    He was telling the TRUTH about newt!!

    September 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Skeptic

    Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me. Stab him on the back.

    September 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. JOE

    anyone s better off distancing themseves from Newt.

    September 22, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Miss Macy

    This is priceless. Mittwitt didn't "do" anything to GIngrich ... Gingrich did to to himself. He was a lying, immoral POS candidate with zero chance of winning ANYTHING. Obama has this election locked up (thank God).

    September 22, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Tina

    Why on earth would anyone listen to this idiot?

    September 22, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Something Wrong Here

    According to a poll released by Gallup on Friday, a vast majority of Americans do not trust the so-called "mainstream media," known here as the "Democrat-media complex."

    Gallup said that distrust of the media hit an all-time high this year, "with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly."

    According to the poll, negativity toward the media "is at an all-time high for a presidential election year," and is driven largely by Republicans and independents.

    September 22, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Ann

    Gingrich has the smarts and the savvy. He can debate anyone and win hands over. Like him or not, he is SMART.
    He's got statistics, facts, figures, dates and events that Obama hasn't and will never even learn about.
    Go Romney... Obama is bowing to Islam after they tortured and killed our Ambassador. How sickening of Hillary and Oblama to apologize when they maimed an innocent man. Get Obama out of here before we end up like Greece. BANKRUPT. And when Romney wins –put in Gingrich as Sec. of State. Best move to do. Hillary is spinning like a top wondering what Monica is going to say in her 'tell all book' which I am glad she is doing.

    September 22, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. hiruu

    They are starting to realize that this guy is slipping out of reach, and will continue to do so. MY gut tells me it won't be a close election at all...

    September 22, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. fekt

    and here i thought gingrich lost because party leaders made a concerted effort to throw him under the bus due largely to the fact he was unelectable. his adultery, questionable statements on many topics and his inbability to get donors was the reason i thought his campaign tanked. i really don't recall romney being much of a debater at any point in time. as i remember the debates it was romney would lose. strangely the guy who beat him would be attacked by the media afterwards as reward for beating him until they were forced out. it seemed a bipartisan effort as i recall foxnews was more than eager to help. did romney's debating skills beat cain? or did cain start pulling ahead of him and suddenly we got news about his past via fox?

    September 22, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. clarke

    I will be sooooooooooooooo glad when this election is over. It is so over done, there is nothing more that can be said or done by anyone.

    September 22, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. America1st

    Romney needs to do to Obama what he did to Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Cain, Bachmann, Palin, McCain, Santorum. It goes like this – spend a fortune in order to slander, lie, deceive, and paint his opponenets as commie loving, anti-americans even their own mothers would disown.

    September 22, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. JimM

    Memo to Newt: You had no money. That is why Romney crushed you. Obama has money, so Romney has to rely on his agenda or lack there of.

    September 22, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Sue

    I think you were on the outs WAY before the debate. No one liked you anyway.

    September 22, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. JimM

    Ann

    Gingrich has the smarts and the savvy. He can debate anyone and win hands over. Like him or not, he is SMART.
    He's got statistics, facts, figures, dates and events that Obama hasn't and will never even learn about.
    Go Romney... Obama is bowing to Islam after they tortured and killed our Ambassador. How sickening of Hillary and Oblama to apologize when they maimed an innocent man. Get Obama out of here before we end up like Greece. BANKRUPT. And when Romney wins –put in Gingrich as Sec. of State. Best move to do. Hillary is spinning like a top wondering what Monica is going to say in her 'tell all book' which I am glad she is doing

    ------–

    Is that you Mrs Romney?

    September 22, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. bigfanofpeople

    I have a great deal of money and I am interested in keeping it. That is why I want Romney to win the election. If you were too unmotivated or lazy to make your own money than you sllep in the bed you made.

    September 22, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Tim

    What he meant was that Romney was actually horrifying in the debates (even the Grinch might have beaten him), but Romney buried the Grinch nonetheless under a gigantic pile of money.

    September 22, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Tee Darling77

    Is Gingrich retarded? I bet he is for giving Rob-Me this kind of advice. This Rob-Me guy is as fake as the word fake itself. All his advertisement about President Obama are full of lies. Obama 2012!!!

    September 22, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. bigfanofpeople

    Newt would lose a debate if he was the only person on stage. His opponent need not say a word to make him look like a chump.

    September 22, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. checi

    Oh wow! Look at Romney! He washed off all that tan makeup he wore at the 'Latino rally' and now he's white again.

    September 22, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Sinator

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

    Well, telling the truth about Gingrich did seem to work, so let's see if Romney has any more truth left in him, as unlikely as that seems.

    September 22, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. GoodyGoody

    Seriously? Is Romney even still running? These republicans are just pathetic. They allowed this guy who has displayed for all to see that he is a mean-spirited jerk at heart who does not genuinely care about the vast majority of people in this country (that, by the way, was the problem with his 47% comment, not an issue of statistics). He HIMSELF stated repeatedly in the past that he was a moderate, but now claims to be "severely conservative." He alters his position on issues depending on the crowd he's talking to. He has no moral compass. At least with Obama you know what you're getting – he may not be perfect, but things are certainly not worse than they were 4 years ago, whatever these republicans would have you believe. Nor will allowing Romney to increase the causes of the economic trouble in this country – unfunded wars, terrible regulation of the financial sector, the lowest taxes on the wealthy since the 1920's, and thousands of people dying every single year due to lack of health care – fix the recession.

    To be clear, I'm not even a democrat – I'd happily vote libertarian, actually. I'd even vote for a REAL fiscal conservative republican with common sense ideas – like Buddy Roemer. But it has been absolutely shocking to watch supposed "conservatives" rally around this guy who has no moral spine whatsoever and whose irresponsible economic plans would only wreck the middle class even more. We already have the biggest gap between rich and poor that we've seen in about 70 years. We should increase that? Here's an idea – how about if Mittens and the rest of these taxcutting millionaires go live in the country they really want to live in – Russia. Because that's what they're trying to turn us into – an oppressive oligarchy controlled, essentially, by organized crime, where a tiny minority is fabulously wealthy, and everyone else is scraping by on trash. Dasvidania, Mittens! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. jk

    "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."

    Well, most of us are idiots. But for those of us who are actually informed, we know the wrecking of the economy was a collaboration between Democrats and Republicans and is directly due to deregulation approved by Bill Clinton. The two-party system is nothing but a cute pro-wrestling show to distract us while we slave for our rich masters of both parties.

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Steven B

    Billy Davis said it best already in this thread.

    September 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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