The “unlike some people” part isn’t stated, merely implied. But c’mon. He’s laying it on with a trowel here.
Less than 12 hours after finishing in fourth place in the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich opened a new, more aggressive chapter in his campaign, taking pointed shots at rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, who both finished ahead of Gingrich. At one point, Gingrich hinted he would make Romney’s personal wealth an issue, telling a reporter “I’m not rich.”…
When asked why he chose to congratulate Santorum and not Romney on his caucus success, the former House speaker said, “I find it amazing the news media continues to say [Romney’s] the most electable Republican when he can’t even break out of his own party.… The fact is, Gov. Romney in the end has a very limited appeal in conservative party.”
Later, in a campaign stop in Laconia, Gingrich’s kept up his attack – and it got personal. Asked by a local reporter if he would buy a home in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, where Romney has a summer home, Gingrich replied, “No, I can’t afford things like that, I’m not rich.” His wife, Callista, added a jab at Romney as well. “We have one home,” she demurred. The Romneys own two summer homes, including one in California.
Surely a man eligible for a six-figure line of credit at Tiffany’s has the means to buy himself a cottage in the sticks. Or maybe more: I’ll bet $1.6 million from Freddie Mac would get you something nice and airy in Hanover. This is the second time that Gingrich has taken a dig at Romney’s wealth, do note, but the first time came with caveats: Romney had already taken a dig at his Freddie earnings in that case, and Gingrich wasn’t sniffing then at the fact that Romney’s rich but rather what he did to become that way. Tonight’s little aside is more of a pure class pander, which is yet more evidence of just how bitter Newt is about that beating he took on the air in Iowa.
Question for commenters: Is Gingrich’s sudden transformation into an anti-Romney terminator a good thing or bad thing? That answer seems obvious for most grassroots conservatives — anything that damages Romney is good — but frequently on Twitter and in our threads I’ll see people mocking Newt for being a sore loser and for behaving as if negative ads were some sort of beyond-the-pale offensive that no one else has ever had to endure. Romney knocked him for that on Hannity’s radio show yesterday, in fact, and not without reason. It’s not helping him either that liberals like Chris Matthews are quick to co-opt Gingrich’s victimhood as an anti-Super-PAC pitch for more campaign finance reform. (A minor complication to that narrative: Gingrich’s own Super PAC is about to start hammering Romney.) And of course Gingrich himself was famous for scorched-earth politics against his opponents on the left before he transformed himself this year for the GOP primary. It’s as if he didn’t think anyone in the field would play hardball with him, even when he soared to 30 percent a month before Iowa. Says Major Garrett, “That Gingrich didn’t try this earlier exposes his fundamental misunderstanding of presidential politics and his own vulnerabilities as a candidate. When Gingrich was surging in early December he had to know – or certainly should have known – he lacked the money and organization to withstand sustained attacks from GOP rivals. When the attacks came, Gingrich either ignored them or danced around the charges.”
Maybe by spending three weeks dumping on Romney he’ll help boost Santorum or Perry to the nomination, or maybe he’ll end up achieving nothing more than adding some new footage to Obama’s own anti-Romney ads to come. I’m not sure Newt cares either way at this point. In fact, click the image and watch this first clip to find him being surprisingly complimentary of Santorum, who’s supposed to be his chief rival for “Not Romney” status at this point. I guess he wasn’t kidding this morning when he said he’d consider an anti-Romney alliance, even though that alliance will surely end up benefiting some candidate not named “Newt Gingrich.” For more on that, via the Daily Caller, listen to Brit Hume below.