September 26th, 2012
05:13 PM ET
9 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. Jess Sayin

    Republicans will eat their own.

    September 26, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Romney is not My Hero

    I'm sorry to see that Gangrene made it back unscathed from his trip to the moon. That said, I think he's not right at all in his assessment. It's abundantly clear how different Romney is from our dear President. Horse-Mitt only wants to be president because he will have power, attention and it's "his turn". PRESIDENT Obama wants to actually make a positive difference in this nation. He is for the 100% not the 53%.

    September 26, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This is Romney's campaign. He sets the tone for it, and decides what direction it is going to go. In light of the haphazard, fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants,insensitive,and fact-challenged way that he has run his presidential campaign I am hardpressed to understand why anyone, other than those who have vested interests, would allow this nincompoop anywhere near the Oval Office to make decisions that would affect the entire country, and the world at large.

    McCain, even with Palin in tow, had more sense and was a more deserving candidate than Romney. Romney is a complete sell-out, who wants the presidency like a child wants the only toy he doesn't have. He has compromised his principles and submitted himself to the mandates of those that stand to make billions if he succeeds in his quest.
    But it is not Romney that scares me as much as those that knowing this shell of a man still would vote for him.
    Now that's frightening.
    Obama 2012.

    September 26, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. 200 TON HAMMER

    wow newt you are super bipolar has been old fat guy who is more flip flop then romney on a bad and confused day

    September 26, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Tripartisan

    The problem with the campaign and the republican agenda has nothing to do with trying to distance themselves from Obama. The die-hard base has NO CHOICE but to vote for Romney under ANY circumstances. Had the republicans actually chose a moderate platform that wasn't filled with class warfare, anti-Obama rants, and slight hints of racism. This election would be a landslide victory for The GOP grabbing normal working & struggling folks in the center and left.

    September 26, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. scott

    OR? Maybe the majority of poeple just dont like romney
    I mean i love these pundits who imply that romney is really popular but just not saying it right or not spending the right money etc
    Maybe ah its simple.... most poeple dont think romney would make a good president no matter how much he spends or what he says

    September 26, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. youngbchat

    Wonder is Newt were president if he could bring the gas prices down to $189.00?? He is so full of himself! By the way, how come there was not equal time given for someone telling the truth? Isn't it always supposed to be like the split screen with Mary Matlin

    September 26, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Marto

    GOP is full of political myopias and caricatures who have no visibility of time and space. No wonder some want a Mars colony!!

    September 26, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Nboy

    Romney will go down as the worst loser in US history. Americans deserve the best.

    September 26, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |

    Frankly, I for one, would like to never hear from Newt again. The fact that Romney beat him quite handily should give Newt a clue as to what the American people think of him. As a politician and a human being he comes up short. Apparently Newt just doesn't get that voters want a President who works for ALL the people. Romney has shown us how he really feels and what his motives are along with the fact that he has no plan to take the country forward. We know the real Romney and all the campaign pivots and lies bashing Obama will not put this elitest buffoon in the White House. Mitt Romney is totally inept and uncaring. Too little, too late, Mitt.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 26, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. jondavis

    Maxx wrote

    "Why is it that people say Newt is so smart?"

    Because to stupid people this is what smart looks like

    September 26, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Bob

    Newt Gingrich.... a stupid mans idea of a smart man.

    September 26, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    Newt called Mitt Romney a LIAR in the primaries and that has stuck throughout the general so far. I think part of Romney's problem is contrary to what Newt claims....I think more people ARE getting his message and they don't like what they hear.

    September 26, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Not embracing the records of Republican governors like John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida is also a mistake,are you kidding governor scott is full of hot air he is killing us in florida

    September 26, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. Reggie

    Someone please tell Newt it is not the packaging it's the PACKAGE!!

    September 26, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Andrew

    Newt said, "If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?"
    Gas price is high because Obama doesn't care about the middle class...

    What kind of brain dead logic is that?

    September 26, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Gingrich is like Obama... a political hack who should have stayed in academia. Fortunately the Republican voters have nominated Mitt Romney who is not all about politics but is fully capable of doing the job America needs now much better than both Obama and Gingrich.

    September 26, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. florida mom

    Not embracing the records of Republican governors like Rick Scott in Florida is also a mistake,embrace why?????rick scott is full of hot air all the elderly believed his bs he is awful

    September 26, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. rs

    yeah, gas prices, funny enough I think we say that is "Capitalism in action". Now that so-called American oil companies are shipping oil and finished oil products abroad, we won't likely ever see much relief in prices. Produce more? Sure, if we wish to see it go to other countries.

    September 26, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. Ricardo

    How In world u want to be president of the United States when u r not honest in ur tax return. That's Romney big problem

    September 26, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Tomas

    I honestly had nooooo idea the president had control of OPEC!

    September 26, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Wisconsin Voter

    Newt hit the nail on the head when he stated "If President Obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an all-time high?" Obama only cares about bailing out Wall Street, rather than help Main st. Obama is a one term president, regardless of what polls that have 15% more democrats being polled "claim". In fact, Obama has quite some ground to cover.
    His speeches and Al Green covers do NOT make good policy.

    September 26, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. jinx88

    Newt, Romney has no message you are just figuring this out? Romney only message is to stop regulation on wall street and give more tax breaks for the rich. America has tried tax breaks for corporations, it doesnt create jobs, they tried it under Bush.

    September 26, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    It is Romney's arrogance that prevents his knowing what to say to those voters for whom he has contempt. He actually believes that the 47% are incapable of discerning that he lies.
    Romney needs to be told by Judge Judy, "when your lips are moving."

    September 26, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. chill485

    And yet Newt, he beat you. And the problem isn't that the voting public doesn't get a clear idea of a Romney presidency. The problem is that they do understand what they'd have in store. Only have to look back four years for that.

    September 26, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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