Mitt Romney, Ron Paul Launch Fresh Attacks On Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich was hit with new criticisms from two of his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), as he continues to enjoy a boost from his widely praised performance in last weekend's debate.
The Romney campaign launched an anti-Gingrich website that is perhaps most notable for its unsubtle web address: unreliableleader.com.
The site shows a picture of Gingrich, the former House Speaker from Georgia, with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), highlighting their joint appearance in an ad supporting legislation to curb carbon emissions and reduce global warming. It also features a research document that reminds readers of Gingrich's criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan to overhaul Medicare.
Gingrich earlier this year called the Ryan plan "right-wing social engineering," before later apologizing for the remark. At issue is whether a voucher or premium support system for Medicare would be optional or mandatory. Ryan's plan made it mandatory, and Gingrich's point was that it should be optional. (It's worth noting that Romney's plan for Medicare has an optional premium support feature.)
Also on Monday, Romney knocked Gingrich's work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Fox News. His campaign sent out a release calling on Gingrich to give back the money he made, which is estimated to be about $1.6 million.
"One of the things that I think that people recognize in Washington is that people go there to serve the people and then they stay there to serve themselves," Romney said.
Romney also implied that Gingrich has been dishonest about the amount of money he was paid.
"By the way, a very different number than he said in the first debate, he said $300,000 and he was there as an historian," Romney said.
But Gingrich never claimed he was paid $300,000. When CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asked him about his work at a Nov. 10 debate in Michigan, she cited the $300,000 figure. Gingrich did not correct her, and Bloomberg News later reported that his compensation over the better part of a decade had been closer to $1.6 million or $1.8 million.
Paul's campaign, meanwhile, launched a nearly two-minute web video Monday morning attacking Gingrich as an "insider" who was "selling access" as an adviser to Freddie Mac.
"If you've been Speaker of the House, you're always an insider," Gingrich is shown saying.
The ad also hits Gingrich for flip-flopping on the 2008 TARP bailout of Wall Street and for his support for a health care mandate.
Watch the ad here: