Election 2012: Mitt Romney Attacked by Newt Gingrich for speaking French

Candidate Mitt Romney has been made fun in a new political attack advertisement. This time – for speaking French.

It is not the first time when Newt Gingrich came up with brutal attacks on his main Republican rival Mitt Romney, but this must be his most outrageous one. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

It is not the first time when Newt Gingrich came up with brutal attacks on his main Republican rival Mitt Romney, but this must be his most outrageous one. The former House Speaker’s declares in his new video: “Just like John Kerry, he speaks French too”.

Mr Gingrich tried to draw a parallel with another Massachusetts politician, John Kerry, the Democrat who lost to George W Bush in 2004. “The French Connection” described Mr Romney as another tax-raising, moderate, elitist who will “say anything” to get elected – “anything.” The ad is circulating on the Internet now.

“Bonjour, je m’appelle Mitt Romney,” the former Massachussets governor is shown saying, in footage from a promotional video Romney made when he was chief executive of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, RTE News said.

By the way, English and French are the official languages of the Olympics. According to BBC, accompanied by a French soundtrack, the ad says Mr Romney is a “Massachusetts moderate who ran away from Ronald Reagan.”

French topic is not the best one in the White House. Many conservatives have not forgiven France for opposing the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, when a torrent of public vitriol was unleashed against the French, and French fries were renamed Freedom Fries.

Francophobic attacks on John Kerry worked in 2004 when feelings about French opposition to the Iraq war were running high. That time Republicans said Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry “looks French”.

Kerry, who failed to replace George W Bush in 2004 and is married to a Portuguese-born Heinz ketchup heiress, is part French.

He speaks fluent French and adored France, and together with his somewhat aloof style, his love of windsurfing – a sport for rich people- and his patrician family, it was all used to make him seem out of touch and arrogant, says Channel 4 News.

“Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney – he’ll say anything to win. Anything,” says the narrator.

Actually, Mr Romney has spent about two years in Paris and Bordeaux in the 1960s being a Mormon missionary before returning home to begin a career in business and politics.

However, Gingrich also speaks French, having spent several years in Orleans, northern France, in his youth. Once he told a biographer he knew “enough French to survive”.

What is more, it seems like an irony that Mr Gingrich has a post-doctorate dissertation in European history. His 1971 dissertation, Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960, provides various sources in French in its bibliography. And in 2009, Mr. Gingrich compared himself to Charles de Gaulle.

Candidate Romney has won the first two states in Iowa and New Hampshire, and could have the nomination sealed if he wins South Carolina on Jan 21 and the next batch of states.

As for Mr Gingrich, he has shown worse results and continues smarting from a line of negative ads released against him in Iowa by Romney supporters, which claimed him to have ‘more baggage than the airlines’. He has been married three times and was fined by Congress for ethics violations in the 1990s.

Comedian and South Carolina native Stephen Colbert announced that he might launch a spoof campaign for president after one poll showed him ahead of Jon Huntsman, the Mandarin-speaking former Utah governor, reports the Telegraph.

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