Politics
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich makes remarks during a campaign stop, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Independence, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich makes remarks during a campaign stop, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Independence, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)  

Gingrich places fourth, slams Romney and praises Santorum

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Without calling him out by name, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stuck a knife in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during his concession speech after the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night.

Gingrich placed fourth, putting him at the top of second tier of Republican candidates. But, during his post-caucuses speech, he took several stabs at Romney for what Gingrich considers attack ads aimed at him — which helped knock Gingrich off the top of the polls after he enjoyed a recent spike.

“We want to thank the people of Iowa,” Gingrich said. “All through being drowned in negativity, everywhere we went people were positive and receptive, willing to ask questions and would listen. They wanted to get to the truth rather than latest 30-second distortion and it really gave us a feeling this process does work.”

Though he didn’t mention Romney by name, Gingrich did congratulate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

“I want to take just a minute and congratulate a good friend of ours, Rick Santorum,” Gingrich said. “He waged a great, positive campaign. And, I admire the courage and way he focused and I admire how positive he was. I wish I could say that for all candidates.”

With Paul, who place third, “had a very good night,” Gingrich said, but that he’s worried about Paul’s views on foreign policy.

“His views on foreign policy, I think, are stunningly dangerous for survival of the United States and I think it’s a very simple question which I would be glad to ask Congressman Paul: if you have a terrorist who’s prepared to put on a bomb and wear it as a vest and walk into a grocery store or a mall or bus and blow themselves up as long as they can kill you, why would you think that if they can get access to a nuclear weapon they wouldn’t use it?” Gingrich said.

Gingrich rounded out his speech with more stabs at Romney.

Do Republicans want “a Reagan conservative who helped change Washington in the 1980s, and helped change Washington in 1990s as Speaker of the House… or do we want a Massachusetts moderate who in fact will be pretty good at managing the decay and has given no evidence in years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government?” he asked.

The former House speaker added that his negative comments directed at Romney aren’t like attack ads — and that he isn’t planning on attacking any candidates with ads.

“Let me be clear, given things done in the state over the last few years we’re not going to go run nasty ads. We’re not,” he said. “But, I do reserve the right to tell the truth. And if it seems negative that may be more a comment on his record.”

Gingrich has already purchased a full-page print advertisement that is expected to run in the Wednesday edition of New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper. The ad rips Romney’s record, alleging he’s not a consistent conservative.

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