One day Newt Gingrich is going to learn that when you spend too much time sitting on the fence, soon or later you’re going to get a sore butt. For the better part of the past week the former speaker of the house has been attacking Mitt Romney from the left declaring that during his term as CEO of Bain Capital he fired lots of people. Fellow GOP candidate Rick Perry joined in, with Perry calling Romney’s tenure at Bain”predatory capitalism.” Gingrich who already has issues with conservative voters was immediately attacked by those on the right, many of whom are anti-Romney, but who justifiably saw the Gingrich attack as one against the free enterprise system which made America great.
Even worse, it gave the reelection campaign of Barack Obama a new weapon his effort to brand conservatives as grandma-killing, poor-hating 1 percenters. In fact if you listened closely, each time a Republican candidate attacked Mitt Romney as being a corporate raider, ” you could hear the laughter coming out of Chicago as the Obama campaign began filming another class-warfare commercial, this time featuring these three stooges, Gingrich, Santorum and Perry making anti-free enterprise stump speeches.
After days of feeling the heat, today Newt Gingrich attempted to dig out of the hole he put himself in by saying he “went over the line,” which was done for appearance sake only.
“I’m here to implore one thing of you. I think you’ve missed the target on the way you’re addressing Romney’s weaknesses. I want to beg you to redirect and go after his obvious disingenuousness about his conservatism and lay off the corporatist versus the free market. I think it’s nuanced,” said Dean Glossop, an Army Reservist from Inman, S.C.
“I agree with you,” Gingrich said. “It’s an impossible theme to talk about with Obama in the background. Obama just makes it impossible to talk rationally in that area because he is so deeply into class warfare that automatically you get an echo effect. … I agree with you entirely.”
That was follow up with his campaign backing away from his backing away comment. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond issued a statement from the campaign Wednesday afternoon that pushed back on the reports of Gingrich moving away from his criticism of Bain.
“This issue at hand is neither about Bain Capital, private equity firms, nor about capitalism. It is about Mitt Romney’s judgment and character,” Hammond’s statement read. “It was Governor Romney’s decision to base his candidacy, in large part, on his background as a portfolio manager. Thus, it is entirely legitimate to ask questions about whether he is accurately presenting how he conducted himself during that career.”
If Gingrich truly meant what he said he would have called on his “super PAC” to stop criticizing Romney regarding his free market tenure and even ask them not to release the 28 minute film trashing Romney’s Bain experience. By law he is not allowed to “coordinate” efforts with the super PAC but he is allowed to ask them to stop. That did not happen because the former speaker is trying to have it both ways; on one hand backing away from his attacks on Romney while making no attempt to stop his supporters. Besides if you really believe that there is no clandestine coordination going on between any of these candidates an their super funds then you probably also believe that Ron Paul had no idea what was in those newsletters.
The bottom line is that Newt Gingrich is being a typical politician on this issue, and the worst kind, a politician who will do or say anything just to get elected.