Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News Thursday morning he was shocked at the GOP presidential field's attacks on Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital.
"I'm outraged about what [Newt Gingrich] and Rick [Perry] -- who is a very close friend of mine -- I'm shocked at what they're doing," Giuliani said on "Fox and Friends." "I'm going to say it's ignorant, dumb. It is building something we should be fighting in America: ignorance of the American economic system. Playing on the dumbest, most ridiculous ideas about how you grow jobs."
Former House Speaker Gingrich (R-Ga.) recently accused former Massachusetts Gov. Romney of "looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods" with the work he did at Bain. Texas Gov. Perry has also criticized Romney for saying that he liked firing people: "Now, I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out."
Giuliani said that if he were to call up Gingrich to give him advice, he would say, "What the hell are you doing, Newt?"
"I expect this from Saul Alinsky, Newt," Giuliani said on Fox. "This is what Saul Alinsky taught Barack Obama, and the stuff you're saying is one of the reasons we're in the trouble we're in right now. This total, ignorant, populist view of the economy that was proven to be incorrect with the Soviet Union, with Chinese communism. I was in China two months ago with Bill Clinton, and Bill Clinton and I had the same observation: These people are real capitalists. They should be teaching capitalism 101 to the American Congress."
Gingrich has also received scorn from right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, who said that he "sounds like Elizabeth Warren" -- a low blow in conservative circles, to be sure, associating him with the Democratic senate candidate for Massachusetts. The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal also said Gingrich and Perry were putting out "crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism."
Gingrich was on Fox News earlier Thursday morning and asked whether he was backing off his attacks on Romney. He didn't reply directly, but did say that while he believes Romney's record at Bain is fair game, he won't be focusing on it in South Carolina:
Look, let me point out -- Romney ran on the grounds that at a time when we really need jobs that he has this great jobs record. Now, The Washington Post came out yesterday and gave him three pinocchios and said, you know, when you get down to it, he didn't create 100,000 jobs. He didn't come close to creating 100,000 jobs. When he ran for the Senate in 1994, he claimed to have created 10,000 jobs, and he had left Bain Capital. ...
So you can't run saying I have two great credentials -- my governorship that you're not [allowed] to talk about because it's pretty liberal, and the work at Bain Capital that you're not allowed to talk about because...that's an attack on free enterprise. That's baloney. There are specific cases that Wall Street Journal has reported where companies that they invested in went bankrupt for unusual circumstances.
I just think he owes it to the country to hold a press conference and walk the country through these. This is his record that he has been campaigning on, but I'm not focusing on that in South Carolina.
Giuliani has previously praised Gingrich. During a Dec. 12 CNN interview, he said the former House Speaker was "able to talk to people."
"He comes from a poor family and understands poverty from that point of view," Giuliani said. "He doesn't come from the American elite, so it's going to be hard to paint him that way."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is backing Romney, was also on Fox News Thursday morning, and added, "One of the upside[s] of capitalism is success, and that Adam Smith and all of that is a reason why America is still the strongest nation in the world."
"There are tragedies and sad stories associated with capitalism," McCain said. "Do you want to do what Bain Capital did, or do you want to give a half billion dollars to Solyndra while they build [these] palatial quarters and go under, or do you want to be like the Soviet Union? They propped up every industry in the entire country. This is a fundamental philosophical difference about the role of government and the role of the free enterprise system."