September 26th, 2012
05:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich hits Romney in frank assessment

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's former rival Newt Gingrich issued a harsh assessment of the GOP nominee's campaign strategy Wednesday, saying Romney's presidential bid was struggling in key battlegrounds against President Barack Obama because of a messaging failure.

"The Romney campaign has yet to find a thematic way of explaining itself and laying out in a clear, crisp way the difference between Romney and Obama. And I think that frankly is a problem," Gingrich said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

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The former House speaker's remarks came after a question about why polls show Romney struggling in key electoral battlegrounds like Florida and Ohio. The latest CNN Poll of Polls in Florida shows Romney trailing Obama, 50%-45%, while in Ohio the president is up by seven, 51%-44%.

Gingrich also attributed the president's lead in some states to a massive spending push on the part of the Obama campaign, which he said allowed Democrats to define Romney at an early stage in the campaign.

Not embracing the records of Republican governors like John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida is also a mistake, Gingrich said, since those states have economies that appear to be rebounding. In publically hailing the two states' economies, however, Romney runs the risk of appearing to praise Obama for his own policies, like bailing out to auto industry, that have played a part in stemming job losses in each state.

The conundrum, Gingrich said, was not being met with the proper flexibility by Romney's campaign.

"The campaign doesn't seem to be able to pivot and say, you know, John Kasich's doing the right stuff here in Ohio and I want to take John Kasich's model to Washington because Kasich is for a smaller government, less regulation, more American energy, pro-jobs."

"They seem to have this overly methodical model where they go out and keep saying the same thing, and the world's too fluid," Gingrich said. "The world's too sophisticated for that."

"There's plenty of ammunition," he concluded, adding he thought "a campaign which made that case clearly enough would carry Ohio and Florida by big margins."

Gingrich, who at one point was Romney's top rival for the GOP presidential nomination, also took issue with the latest ad from Romney's campaign, in which the candidate looks directly into the camera to deliver an assessment of the economy.

In the ad, Romney acknowledges that "President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families," but goes on to suggest the president's policies have made it harder for Americans to find work and rely less on the federal government for assistance.

Gingrich said he was "frankly startled" by Romney's acknowledgment of Obama's compassion for the middle class.

"I don't know why he's saying that," he said. If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. Fred Evil

    "Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser?"
    Nope, but I'll RE-HIRE him as President!

    September 27, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Wake up People I hear you my friend. Thanks.

    September 27, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. judy

    stupid question asked. Would I hire president Obama as my finiancial advisor. Of course I would. Romney is such a lier I think he would screw me out of a big commission and pocket my money. The guy is a tax evading unpatriotic creep. Mitt just borrowed money to finance his campaign. What does that tell you? NOw he is talking up romneycare. The guy has no clue and neither does the repo party. Forward 2012

    September 27, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. i_know_everything

    they going after each other now, pass me the popcorn

    September 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Meka

    Sorry Newt, it's not romneys message...ACTIONS OF OUTSOURCING JOBS, and HIS PERSONAL MONEY!

    September 27, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don't believe me? Here's Norquist at CPAC earlier this year listing his "qualifications" for president:

    "We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

    "Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."

    They want Mittens because, like GW Bush, he'll do as he's told by the REAL power behind the presidency.
    Completely true which is another reason why they WON'T let Dubya come up for air. They will keep him and Cheney deeply submerged wherever they're stashed until AFTER this election. They cannot run the risk of having those that still suffer from GOP induced amnesia wake the hell up and REMEMBER!.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    September 27, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. ghostriter

    danita, everyone with sense admitted that the GM bailout saved jobs.

    Let's put it another way. How much is it worth to not have those folks unemployed? See, if they are not working, they are not paying taxes. More than likely, they are drawing either welfare or unemployment. So not only are they not contributing, but they are taking away from the economy. Do the numbers and I'll bet you it suddenly makes fiscal sense.

    September 27, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. norker

    "If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"
    because the price of gasoline is set by market factors of supply and demand, not the President. duh, Newt, you should know that one.

    September 27, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Luke Brown

    Romney has enough problems without taking campaign advice from Newt.

    Mitt, remember Newt lost. He also gave Clinton an edge in 1996 through his arrogance and lying, and then managed to squander his credibility as Speaker of the House to the point that his own Republican Caucus gave him the boot.

    September 27, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Romney's publically held100 million IRA , how did that get so large !!!

    If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"Someone needs to remind Newt that NO potus has an effect on gas prices no more than I do........

    September 27, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So far President Obama's lead in the swing states are beginning to widen as Independents and Republicans are starting to realize that the empty-chair party has nothing to offer them but old rhetoric and empty promises. Lat night I called up my cousin Fleetwood Mack and said how you doing sis? She replied...LANDSLIDE! Hehe!

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    September 27, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Janet

    Pretty drastic when your own party throws you under the bus. But, then again, that is a pretty accurate assessment.
    Vote Obama-2012

    September 27, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. columbus

    Remember the year Ross Perot ran for office? He wrote a book, America We Stand, that gave his plan to save this country. It was there in fair detail for all to see and criticize, but there was no mistake where he was headed and he stuck with it. Unfortunately the oligarchs didn't want him in office and they made him look like a nut, but there are ways to get a clear message out there and to give people confidence you know what you're talking about. I think it's far to late in the game for Romney, he's been campaigning for over a year and he still can't get his message out????!!!!!

    September 27, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Eddie The Barber

    The problem Nute is that Romney continues to back track and lie. And who are you Nute to be giving advice on how to run a presidential campaign. I beleive you won but one state in the primaries. Again – The problem Nute is that Romney continues to back tract and lie. You can't predict where he will be tomorrow on any given issue from what he said yesterday or today.

    September 27, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. ghostriter

    What Newt, Mitt and republicans overall fail to realize is that the people are listening. The message is getting thru load and clear. People just aren't buying it. Now you can blame the media, money spent by Obama teams, liberal bias or whatever else you wish to, but you cannot edit what you all have already said and done.

    The message is that Mitt is saying whatever he has to at this point to get elected. Republicans are attempting to band together and it's hard to behind this kind of candidate. The politicians are doing it, though. A number have come out in support of Todd Akin. Doesn't that tell you all you need to know? Their reason: Anything to get Obama out. Even if it means supporting someone like Akin.

    September 27, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. John

    Newt's just a sore loser. Always has been (and is a has been)

    September 27, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. SoSad

    Dems don't be complacent, "kick him when he's up, kick him when's he's down". Send a strong message to that idiot Norquist! I forgot to quote the song writer for the above.

    September 27, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    Know it all Newt, What happened to your campaign?. Keep quiet you fat hypocrite. Romney keeps putting foot in mouth and I love it. The cream will rise to the top, and it won't be Mitt. He will be exposed at the debates for the air head that he is. Obama 2012!!!

    September 27, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. ART

    Right Newt you know everything, you sit there and spew your racist biggoted inuendo, your vile attacks and then go home to your stepford looking wife/concubine. Why don't you do the country a favor and shut up.

    September 27, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. M

    So Newt doesn't think we have a clear idea of who Romney is or what kind of policies he wants to implement? Well, no, Romney hasn't told us, but I think we've been able to piece it together pretty well.

    As for whether I'd want to hire President Obama as my financial adviser, I'd sure hire him over Romney. I'm afraid Mitt would steal my money and hide it away in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, or wherever it is that he keeps his cash. Mitt Romney only cares about himself. In fact, I doubt I have enough money for him to even be able to see me if I was standing right in front of him.

    September 27, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Vince

    Hey it's the moon guy!

    September 27, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. indyreader

    The reason the campaign can't get a message together is because Mitt doesn't have a single, clear message, and THAT's because he doesn't have a single clear position on ANY issue. You need only look back a decade to find him supporting either diametrically opposed stance a large number of issues – whichever claim served him best at the time.
    It's funny that Republicans, who often throw the accusation of "no principles" against those whose principles they simply refuse to understand, are themselves fielding a chump who, as demonstrated by more than ample data, has never stood on any principle other than what's going to get himself the most money.

    September 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. manhandler

    Really? We're supposed to listen to a man who says Obama is responsible for high gas prices? The man is a dolt. All you have to do is look at his sorry campaign to completely disegard his advice. How about sending him to that colony on the moon he's talking about.

    September 27, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. NYbywayofTexas

    Wow!!!! The Repugnicans are throwing each other under the bus and eat the road-kill!!!! Newt giving advice? An oxymoron if ever there was one. I happen to agree with him!!! Wow, the cosmos are aligned. I agree with Newt?!

    September 27, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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