Elections 2012: Facing Florida Defeat, Newt Gingrich Unleashes Wild Attacks on Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney eclipsed his rival Newt Gingrich in Florida Republican primary that has caused a new wave of attacks against the winner.

The Gingrich campaign said it wasn’t worrying after Gingrich won the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary in a landslide. Moreover, it pointed to national polls showing Gingrich ahead of the former Massachusetts governor. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

“Newt Gingrich has established himself as the only conservative capable of defeating President Obama in the 2012 general election,” said Martin Baker, the Gingrich campaign’s national political director. He singled out that nominating contests over the next few months will give Gingrich “a distinct advantage,” and he asserted that even in Florida the margin could narrow before today, as Tucson Citizen noted.

“Continuing a trend we first noticed in New Hampshire and South Carolina, there is anemic grassroots enthusiasm for Mitt Romney while Newt Gingrich draws enthusiastic crowds in the thousands,” Baker wrote. “All of the money in the world can’t buy excitement or intensity.”

However, the tension between the candidates continues to grow. Romney’s voice was hoarse as he spoke at his last of three events, in front of a few thousand people at The Villages, a massive retirement community 90 minutes northeast of Tampa. Romney led the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful,” a tune he has mentioned on the campaign trail all month without breaking into song, says the Huff Post.

Well, Gingrich immediately paid Romney back, accusing the rival of being a liberal and linking him to Obama: “The fact is I don’t believe the Republican party is going to nominate a liberal who is pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro tax increase, pro-gay rights, and I don’t think Romney can raise enough money to sustain the falsehoods that are the base of his campaign.”

Gingrich kept on talking and called Romney a liar: “The reason I seemed flat in the second debate in Florida, I have never seen a candidate for president that methodically dishonest. I stood there thinking, how can you say these things you know are falsehoods? That’s why I was quiet, because there was no civil way to call him out on a series of falsehoods that were astonishing.”

Besides, the former Speaker called Romney “pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase” on Sunday, on Monday he added the title “pro-gay rights”. He rewound his last few days of attacks into a string of remarkable assaults on Romney.

“The conservative movement is not going to sit back and say, ‘Oh yes, let’s let Wall Street and Mitt Romney buy the election,'” Gingrich said. “So you’re going to see a real grassroots fight. It will be people power vs. Goldman Sachs and Mitt Romney.”

Romney, in his turn, described Gingrich’s behavior as desperate one. “I know the speaker’s not real happy, Speaker Gingrich,” Romney told a crowd in Dunedin.

“He’s not feeling very excited these days. I know, it’s sad, right? He’s flailing around trying to go after me for one thing or the other and you just watch it and you shake your head.”

The candidate also tried to fight off the impression he was headed for a drubbing Tuesday. “The polls are all over the place. We just got word of a brand new poll that came out about an hour ago that says we’re now tied 35-35,” he added.

However, the problem is that the results of the poll were released just a week ago. Every other poll during the last week has shown Romney far ahead of Gingrich, many by double-digits.

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