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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. J

    in all due respect Mr. Gingrich, you lost to him. so what does that say about your own message?

    September 26, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Dave in Arizona

    Why are gas prices going up?
    Oh.. maybe because we import oil and are thus susceptible to foreign problems with oil production and refinement.

    Like our economy will react to the global economy.

    We don't live in a snow globe, isolated from the world. Things happening elsewhere affects us and our government can only mitigate that so much.

    September 26, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. Thomas

    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?"


    Newt is an idiot of the first degree.
    Didn't he manage his own campaign ? He dislikes Romney , Newt isn't a guy to let go of anger and shame .

    One word " Tiffanies "

    September 26, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. RT

    I think the problem IS the message–people are beginning to figure out exactly what it means–to average individuals and to our beloved country. No amount of spin will make it anymore appealing–Teapublicans keep on trying to put lipstick on a pig, but it is still just a pig. Their plan is we get the pig and they get the pork.

    September 26, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. gregg

    He says "if Obama cares about the middle class, why are gas prices so high". I dont think anyone believes that the president can control gas prices. He is suggesting that if Obama really cared about the middle class, he would lower gas prices. I thought Gingrich was smarter than that.

    September 26, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. Catmandew

    What a shame OBAMAS tries to destroy our country and Newt is tryin to get cheapshots in!Instead of helpin defeat the loser OBAMA!

    September 26, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. fel121

    Do Republicans all have a complete aversion to the truth, or do they just live in a bubble so tight reality does not leak in?
    The highest price for gas in American history was $4.11 a gallon, now I will leave it to you to go find out when this happened and who was in office.

    September 26, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Brian Smith

    Oh you didn't know? Newt Gingrich is absolutely right. If Obama waved his pen, the cost of gas in the USA would be 1 penny per gallon, TOMORROW. It is just that easy. The President has complete control over prices in the marketplace ogf capitalism for each individual item that is sold.... duh.

    September 26, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Nice. Let the aristocrat twist in the wind, Newt.

    September 26, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. on StreetWise

    Message? I have a message for you Mitt.

    You want to take our country back? Well, our nation began over the issue "Taxation without Representation." Now our working class pay 28-35% in income taxes to the government, and the corporations/lobbyists control the politicians and write all the bills in D.C.... I called that, "Taxation without Representation" to me. The "Trickle Down Economy" over the last 37 years has sold out our citizens and with the Supreme Court decision "Citizens vs United" guaranteed that the corporations, banks and Wall Street will get their "Representation" first, last and always.

    Remember, "A Nation Of, For and By the People" is NOT just a slogan unless we demand it! We need the “Citizens vs United” decision reversed to return a “Representation” government and to have a “Say” in our politics again.

    Romney wants to keep "We the 1%'ers" in charge. We need to put "We the People" back in charge... Obama/Biden 2012 is the only way Forward >>>>>>.

    September 26, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Sid Prejean

    Newt, I'm dying to see the little joystick in the White House Situation Room where the President controls the price of gasoline!

    September 26, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Jeb

    . “The Bain model is to go in at a very low price, borrow an immense amount of money, pay Bain an immense amount of money and leave. I’ll let you decide if that’s really good capitalism. I think that’s exploitation.” — Newt Gingrich [New York Times, 1/17/12]

    September 26, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. B17

    Jealous GOP losers purposely torpedoing Romney. First that womanizer Herman Caín said he would be in much better shape than Romney, and now that home-wrecker Newt chimes in. Rummy really does not need anyone's help shooting himself in the foot , he does it so well himself.

    September 26, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. John M.

    Bus. Here's Romney. Newt's throwing you under it as well. Yikes it's getting ugly and the debates haven't even started yet.

    September 26, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. Voltara

    Romney was chosen because he was unlikely to win. The whole system is backing an Obama victory, including senior members of the GOP.

    September 26, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Tiney

    The Republican has alienate the Blacks, Latino, Women, and seems to be appealing to the Tea party, which is a minority, frankly I'm surprise they are doing so good in the polls.

    September 26, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. ug

    Newt never saif libs think he did...Romney is going to win and you all know it.

    September 26, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. kyphi

    Romney's campaign is in so much trouble that even Newt sees it (from the moon).

    September 26, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. Barry

    I've been saying for so long now that on November 7th, the Republicans would turn on each other for a very entertaining spectacle of bloodletting. Now I see I was very wrong. The bloodletting has already begun. Keep up the great work guys!!

    September 26, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. ED FL

    You do not really believe that any Americans over forty years old know who why and what Newt Gingrich is/was.He the loser who had to give up a high elected position in the house of representative , his personal life is the ideal style to avoid . He alone thinks that he is a specialist on everything about government. His life and achievments are a disaster for anyone who thinks his lifestyles are something to follow.

    September 26, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Mike Friedman

    Romney is a strange combination of Dewey and Dukakis.

    September 26, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. Obamacare = Obama cares about the young, elderly, poor and disabled. Romneycare = "I don't care about the poor"!

    Sure answer for success, when you are losing, take advice from a two time loser.

    Listen to that "deep bench" of presidential advice, Robme, go 'head!

    September 26, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. steve

    Let me see if I understand the correctly. If a state is doing well economically, like Ohio and Florida, it's because of the Republican governor. But, if a state has high unemployment, then it's the president's fault. OK. i get it.

    September 26, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. A dem in PA

    Ok, If you REALLY want to know why Mitt is in trouble, it's because he strayed from his roots of being a moderate republican and fell right in line with the ultra-conservatives of the GOP/Teaparty. The MAIN reason why he was even chosen as the republican nominee is because the GOP felt he would have the best chance to win. They were RIGHT until he started to get away from himself and started to play along with the hard right GOP line. As a democrat, he would have been a VERY viable choice had he not changed his colors and morphed into a tea party candidate. However, the very reason why people thought he COULD win was lost because he became something that he wasn't. Now no one knows who he is or what he stands for.

    September 26, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  25. BobinCO

    A "messaging" problem? I think they've done a good job, increasingly, of getting their message out. Unfortunately, the problem is the message itself. No, thanks.

    September 26, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17