Gingrich Romney Battle Really Heats Up
It’s getting hot now in the battle between the former presumptive front-runner for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and the current front-runner who shows signs of not going anywhere and quite possibily going all the way to the Republican nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Today they engaged in an exchange that could portend a)how the rest of their battle will go b)how it’ll play out if one of them — Gingrich in particular — is the nominee and runs against President Barack Obama.
Asked this morning if Newt Gingrich “should give that [Freddie Mac] money back,” on Fox and Friends, Mitt Romney said he thought Gingrich should.
“I sure do,” Romney responded. “He was on a debate saying that politicians who took money from Freddie and Fannie should go to jail, which is outrageous in itself. But, look, he says he was in the consulting business. That’s very different than the consulting business other people have been in. He was in the business of connecting folks with government. He was on K street. … It’s very different than the private sector.”
A knock out punch? If so, Gingrich delivered his own:
In Monday Londonderry press availability, former Speaker responds to Romney’s demand he return Freddic Mac cash by invoking Bay Stater’s Bain windfall.
Gingrich: “If Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to then listen to him. And I will bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won’t take the offer.”
The big difference between the two: to Romney, this kind of thing seems more like a chore, a necessary evil. To Gingrich, he’s been used to swinging back hard for years and it’s part of the politics he loves. And usually in politics, the “Happy Warrior” has the advantage (no matter how scathing his words).
But, wait. The Page informs us there is yet more:
Romney campaign hits back at Newt, trots out Staples shogun Tom Stemberg as Bain success story.
Stemberg: “If Newt Gingrich is our party’s nominee, the choice in next year’s election will be between two professional politicians, two Washington insiders, two people with no experience in the real world of job creation.”‘
Time’s Mark Halperin calls this “Ping Pong Ping.”
But it also seems to be a crap game.
FOOTNOTE: And to those who continue to believe the conventional wisdom that Gingrich a)can’t get the nomination and b)can’t win then THINK AGAIN.