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. Marie MD

    The twit has a lot of messages. The problem is that the message is one thing one day and another tomorrow.
    Just this past Sunday this what he said about healthcare and the 50 million Americans with no health care insurance . There are ambulances and they can go to the emergency room and different states have different ways of dealing with it. Turn back the page and what he said in March 3, 2010 that it makes no sense to have millions and millions of people with no health insurance who can get entirely free health care for which they have no responsibility. Now let's go further back to November 14, 2007 when he said that when these same millions go to the hospital they get free care paid for by him and others and that is socialism. This guy is an I d I o t!!!!!

    September 26, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. Name Penguin

    Gingrich is even dumber than Romney. And Romney has not offered anything to bring back the economy except lower taxes on the rich and decrease regulations. Just what regulations does he plan to scrap and what is his plan to bring in revenue?

    September 26, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Name

    Said the man who Romney beat

    September 26, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. pensacola fl

    it isn't a messaging problem. the obama campaign is already doing the job newt is prescribing – distinguishing the choices. the problem with romney is that no one is buying his idea.

    September 26, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. PTBarnumboy

    "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 didn't blame GWB when gas went over $4.00 a gallon I wonder why he's now blaming BHO?? Someone needs a refresher course in economics.

    September 26, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Slightly Left of Center

    saying Romney's presidential bid was struggling in key battlegrounds against President Barack Obama because of a messaging failure...

    It's not a messaging failure. It's a Mitten failure. He can't help it if he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

    September 26, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. jefflz

    If Gingrich is dissing Romney then the campaign is certainly over.

    September 26, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. sly

    Next up please, "yes, you the pedophile Catholic priest"

    Gotta love morality in this country.

    Thank you Newt ... you are actually more disgusting than Mitt. Mitt's not disgusting, just vanilla plain bland mixed with a touch of temper ... both of which are dangerous given his lack of brains.

    Mitt... see the Wizard, get some brains, then try again sometime

    September 26, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    Newt we supported you establishment nominated Romney we will stay home Nov 6 2012

    September 26, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. Boisepoet

    Oh no Mr Gingrich, it's not the message, it's the man and what he truly believes in. He's been exposed for what he is, (someone only concerned with the richest Republicans), and that is what is bringing his numbers down.

    My hope is that Obama is re-elected in a landslide, because that will bring me hope that not all American elections can be bought.

    September 26, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Cy Phy

    "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?"
    Ummm...because the Republican monopolists who set the price of gasoline increased the price.
    That's one for the "Duh" files, Newt.

    September 26, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. maas

    Who wants to listen to newt, why he is making noice agian, expecting any more free stuff?

    September 26, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Ken

    I think that Romney was the Trojan Horse given as a gift to the Republicans by the Democrats!!

    September 26, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. iaguy

    I think it's becoming clear that those who want a place in the GOP going forward don't want to be part of Mitt Romney's thing. If Newt thought there was any chance that Romney was going to be president, he wouldn't be saying this.

    September 26, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. CitizenAJ

    The gas prices went to an all time high Newt because the oil companies are greedy. Ask yourselves this, my fellow Americans, has anyone explained why oil prices went up? Turmoil in the middle east? Most oil from the middle east comes from countries that are not in turmoil. It is a roost people. The biggest backers of Romney are oil barons. Suprise, suprise!

    September 26, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. judith

    As truly awful as Romney is, did Newt think he would be doing any better? Not likely. The right-wing capacity for absolute denial is getting deeper every day. If Mitt was the cream of the crop, the GOP is becoming the Know-Nothing Party of the 21st Century.

    September 26, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Jim Keating

    Vote the patheic, braindead radical right wing cracked teanuts OUT.
    The congress had a 23% approval rating before the right wing radical cracked teanut dopes were elected. Now it is about 11%, the lowest in history.
    The first two thing these repuke freaks did when in congress was to try to get two bills passed making Creationism the equal science of evolution and abortion banned. Nothing about jobs.

    September 26, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  18. ed

    This is just Gingrich drinking sour grape juice and stabbing a middle finger in Romney's eye because he can. We knew it would happen, I just thought he'd wait for Romney to finish losing first. Maybe he's trying to get out in front of the narrative so he can say that the crazy guy didn't sell because he wasn't crazy enough before anyone has a chance to call a shrink. The only story here is the timing.

    September 26, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. Teeaitch

    I'm still curious as to how Gingrich thought he could lower gas prices, short of nationalizing the oil industry. Gas prices are controlled by market forces, which is what I thought Republicans get all gooey over. In my state, there's about 49 cents/gallon tax, of which only 18 cents is federal. I suppose the president could ask Congress to completely eliminate federal gas tax, but even if, the price at my local pump would still be $3.85 right now. Gingrich talks big, and is a legend in his own mind. I also doubt that his Rx for the Romney campaign is right. I think that people are thinking that the economy sucks, Obama's tried but failed to fix it in four years, but there's no way on earth they'd consider electing the imperious, condescending, arrogant Romney.

    September 26, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Michael Hobart

    I'm afraid that relying on failed Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for advice is not a sound strategy. Gingrich continues to act as if his intelligence is as large as his ego. There are so many reasons to dislike Gingrich.... He is correct that Romney's campaign has certain proved to be inept at best.

    September 26, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Ummm, the price of gas went to an all time high because you rethugs refuse to allow regulation of any industry. That's why. If Obama had tried to force the prices down, you'd have had a hissy fit.

    September 26, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. helenecha

    I think that Romney can defeat Obama, for American people are lucky and the members of Republican Party are not the over-thinking.

    September 26, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. beau

    Republicans are going to settle on an east coast, elite, millionaire from an aristocratic family? What is his experience that will make him a successful Conservative President?
    1. He fires people, lays off employees, and outsources jobs while pocketing the pension funds of those same employees.
    2. He is comfortable in an upper class setting. After all, America IS the upper class, isn't it? The little people, like you and I, are not really very important. People of Romney's class and background see us as livestock that can understand English.
    3. He does not care if Americans suffer. He has made lots of them suffer so far in his life. He's made of tough stuff. No weepy compassion will ever cloud his judgment.
    4. He knows how to destroy corporations and sell off their assets. He could use those skills to destroy the federal government, a stated goal of Conservatism
    5. After the Romney Administration is over in 2016 or 2018, Conservatives will say, "Hey, you can't blame us for the disastrous Romney Administration. He wasn't a TRUE Conservative. What we need is a TRUE Conservative like Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum … or maybe govornor Palin."So the

    September 26, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. jingreet

    No, the difference is quite clear. And it says a lot about America that the country is standing up to the immoral, ideology-based extremism that has taken the Republican party hostage over the last decade.

    September 26, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. Ray

    Republicans dont Know what to do to increase they access to the common citizens,lost ground and at this time we Think that Obama's victory is going to happen on November .....

    September 26, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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