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. BWooster

    Oh, I think Rmoney's message is as clear as can be: Paul Ryan 2016. If that doesn't depress you, you need to get to one of the RNC's trusty ERs as fast as your little feet can take you.

    September 27, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  2. Majav

    Why is his input any good? He couldn't make the grade so now he sits in judgment? I'd rather listen to Rosanne Barr- at least she is funny and not pathetic.

    September 27, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  3. kateslate

    Yes, Newt. (Snicker) We're all dying to hear your assessment (snicker) of the Romney campaign from the moon! (Guffaw!)

    September 27, 2012 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Do nyone of these republicans not get it!? romneys or rther the republican message or policies are clear
    1) Be more war like see every foreign states actions as threat to US national security and Obam as a failure = Egypt, Syria, Libya Lebanon policy on Israel.
    2) QED solution republican ideas a) increase defense spendinf unspecified how to pay for reasonably b) in effect boots on the ground or intensive bombing of Libya and Syria and importantly Iran then more nation building $$trillion wars Most of us do not want that. OOOps oil = national security according to both sides we might be self sufficient 2020 2035. Meantime the price of oil is now and will then be fixed by commodoities market and more important the futures markets in the US and Europe and the middle east not by any us president including Mitt Romney. American so called independence comes from gas Not oil based gasoline which is what we buy at the pump
    3)Give the millionaires tax breaks again( they dont need) but Ah yes we'll give Middle class tax breaks as well, trouble with the middle class part is that according to the taxpolicy centre Ryan ideas cost the middle class not a tax break, and Romneys plans too unspecific to be evaluated. Ooops we don t believe independent bodies or fact checkers we just continue our ideoloical view ( polite) or lies.
    Every poll I've seen still favors the Obama income tax version and cancelling corporate tax breaks and loopholes
    Oooops again enter Grover Norquist. No way tax increase our way or the highway and never mind the debt, we'll make the middle class bear the brunt of that with cuts to education, research , government agencies and departments, no investment in infrastructure, see the Ryan budget . he claims it balances by 2020 ( via republican economic think tank) the CBO ( a bi partisan agency) says no way much, much later. Ho Ho its Romney hood again we believe our economic think tank this Bi partisan CBO is BS. grow up
    Newt be quiet the message is clear you just cannot acceot the growing reality that we are not going to vote for those policies and message. I could go on into other areas Like womens votes/protections gay rights, Immigration.

    September 27, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  5. Nikki J

    Newt is clearly taking a cheap shot at Mitt. Frankly, he has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to Florida. The truth is most Floridians, especially government workers, teachers, and African-Americans hate Rick Scott. If you want to have absolutely no chance in Florida, take Newt's advice and adopt the message of Rick Scott in Florida. This just proves that research and demographics are a miss in this critique of Romney. The worst thing about this "advice" is that Romney is so unstable, he may take it and be burned at the stake.

    September 27, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  6. DocReality

    It has nothing to do w/malice. I think we're going to see a very different animal next week in the debate. At least, I hope so.

    September 27, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  7. Ryan/Romney Kill Medicare Team 2012

    Mitt Romney hates 47% of America and Paul Ryan's Budget hates America. These two fools were made for each other.

    September 27, 2012 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  8. swipedcard

    When is that shuttle taking Newt to Mars?

    September 27, 2012 03:27 am at 3:27 am |

    Romney wants to become president so he can pardon himself. He belongs in the jailhouse, not the white house.

    September 27, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  10. Cathy

    Romney's message is failing because it's got Romney attached to it.

    September 27, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  11. woodin

    Folks like Palin and now Newt offering advice ......can they and the GOP get any more ridiculous?

    September 27, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  12. cincinnatidavid

    Newt is wrong as s usual. It's not a problem with messaging. The problem is the message itself that is as empty as the man.

    September 27, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  13. Artie

    Im bout as middle class as it gets.30 to 36K a year. Ive found that you can raise a family on that...Barely. The economy will take maybe 10 years to fix at the quickest. Bush slowly ran things into ravine and Obama has only had 4 yrs to fix it. Obama is doing what he thinks is best. Romney has no.plan or he would have laid it out by now. A pyramid is nothing if the bottom does not support the top. The bottom does not need the top as the top needs the base.

    September 27, 2012 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  14. GrampaSez

    CNN getting NEWT to explain to us what ROMNEY should do?

    How about we get Lieberman to explain strategy to OBAMA?

    September 27, 2012 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  15. Pizza

    . . . . says the candidate Mitt beat. Newt REALLY likes to hear himself talk, and talk, and talk.

    September 27, 2012 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  16. rick

    One of the few things on which I agree with Romney is that this man should be ignored.

    September 27, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  17. smithdp

    Yes, Newt should be giving campaign advice. He should run for President sometime in fact. What's that? Oh.

    September 27, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  18. vidal808

    Newt is a looser and he knows it too....

    September 27, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  19. JimfromBham

    Republicans who blame Obama for everything wrong give Obama too much credit for what seems to be an upcoming win for the Democrats. This election was winnable for the Republicans – awful economy, problems abroad, trouble at home, etc. I cannot recall an election where the conditions were more ripe for getting rid of an incumbent President. In general terms, (1) Romney was too aloof to connect with the average voter and (2) he catered too much to the extreme right fringe of his party instead of moving more to the center and marginalizing Obama as a leftist.

    September 27, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  20. awasis

    "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?"

    Well Newt, that's a lie. Gas was $4.21 under Bush. Plus it's called a WORLD MARKET for oil and no president has control over that. Sit down and shut up.

    September 27, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  21. NHop

    Pay-back time. Newt was infuriated by Romney's attacks on him and his character during the primaries; but he felt that, as a good Republican, he had to support his party's nominee. Now Romney's staggering and inept campaign have given Newt a way to blast Romney while seeming to remain a loyal party man. I love it.

    September 27, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  22. Karina

    Since I have seen the Howard Stern interviews with Obama supporters I am no longer surprised by these silly and illiterate comments.
    Quite frankly you deserve another 4 years of Obama.

    September 27, 2012 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  23. Obama 2012

    Neuter Dimwit is blaming President Obama for the rise in fuel prices? Shows you how stupid the Pillsbury Doughboy really is. Oil prices fluctuate from several factors-supply and demand, investor speculation, and the Middle East crisis. Neuter's obese body may be on earth but clearly his brain is on the moon.

    September 27, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  24. Tom Joad

    The halfwits in his own party clearly don't like him, why should the rest of the country support Romney? With the cast of characters the GOP offered up during the primaries, Mitt looked like the Captain on a ship of fools. Now he looks like just another shipmate.

    September 27, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  25. TJeff1776

    Barring some miracle, Romney can't win at this late point. Too far behind. He's locked into his own mode of early propaganda. For example, he should have embraced his own health plan. BUT then, had he done that, then he never would have survived the Repub primaries because the health industry would have rejected him. And replacing Obamacare with vouchers is a cockeyed idea that few believe. Truth is, the Republican Party is filled with so much GREED that the whole thing is verging collapse. Next up>>>>a third party filled with disgruntled
    Repubs and Demos. Just might succeed.

    September 27, 2012 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
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