“Speaker Gingrich is a good man, but he and I have very different backgrounds,” Romney said. “He spent his last 30 or 40 years in Washington. I spent my career in the private sector. I think that’s what the country needs right now.”
“He is a lifelong politician,” Romney described Gingrich. “I think you have to have the credibility of understanding how the economy works. I do and that’s why I’m in this race.”
Romney’s whacking at Gingrich can be a sign of something more to come. The former Massachusetts governor has been running as if he is already the Republican presidential nominee.
“It’s all over except for the cussing and fighting,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry. “I think Mitt Romney’s the nominee.”
Moreover, when the conversation with Gingrich is concerned, the Romney campaign wants to draw attention on the point of whether Gingrich would be as effective as Romney in a general election match-up with Obama.
“Barack Obama is going to attempt to raise a billion dollars. And you can see what he’s going to do with the cash. He’s going to try to tear down his opponent,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
“And Mitt Romney is the one candidate – the one candidate – that can put together the organization, the ground troops and the financial wherewithal to be able to compete and get our message out. The fact is that Mitt is ready to win in November.”
Karl Rove, the former Bush White House adviser did not mention Romney when asked to name the strongest Obama’s opponents.
“I don’t think we know just yet,” Rove told reporters. “Four years ago the candidate who looked like he was in the best position for the general election and the primaries was Rudy Giuliani, whose hopes didn’t survive the first cold night in Iowa on Jan. 3.”
Gingrich’s raised success over the past two weeks indicates that Romney have to earn the nomination. The party, especially its conservative side, can nominate him in the end, but not without making him work for it.
Mr Romney’s campaign refused to comment on this point.
Iowa can become a crucial battle in the next month which will lead to the caucuses on Jan. 3. If Gingrich wins the Hawkeye state, he might give Romney a real run for his money. In case Romney wins Iowa, he could take the driver’s seat heading into New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.
“I suspect in the next 30 some-odd days left before the vote in Iowa we’re going to learn a lot about the capacity of these people to run a strong, effective campaign,” Rove told reporters.
“The anti-Romney sentiment is stronger than I can ever remember it being in Iowa. Most of that is of Romney’s own doing. His hands-off approach to Iowa has inflicted unnecessary damage to his campaign,” political blogger Craig Robinson said.
Robinson added that “Romney also seems to be stuck in neutral as the race enters its final phase before the Iowa caucuses.”
“As we saw four years ago, Romney was unable to slow down the momentum that Mike Huckabee and John McCain were able to generate. Both passed Romney like he was standing still,” he said. “It seems as if that’s about to happen again.”
State Rep. Erik Helland, said that “people who write off Romney” are underestimated his chances.
“I think he’s got a lot of potential in the state,” Helland said. “I see a lot of people that a year ago said anybody but Romney, and now they’re saying, ‘Well, I think I kind of like him.’ They have a reluctant acceptance of him.”
Helland added: “Also a lot of people are flocking to Newt. The interesting thing is it’s people that you never saw coming, like the Christian conservatives.” [Via Huff Post]