After Mitt Romney made fun of some of Newt Gingrich's more outlandish policy ideas, dredging up his proposal to place a permanent colony on the moon, the former speaker of the House hit back, arguing the only reason Romney wasn't a career politician was because he couldn't win an election.
"The only reason you didn't become a career politician is because you lost to Teddy Kennedy in '94," Gingrich said to audience boos at Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Iowa.
Gingrich's opponents have sought to label him as an establishmentarian, arguing he's been inside the Washington beltway too long. If his time in Washington taught him anything, it's how to spin a supposed weakness in his favor.
Romney sought to defend himself by highlighting the value of his business prowess.
"I spent my life in the private sector," Romney said. "Losing to Teddy Kennedy was the best thing I could have done for preparing me for the job I'm seeking, because it put me back in the private sector. I worked in the private sector. I learned lessons there. However, we don't need people who are lifetime Washington people. ... We need people from outside Washington, outside K Street."