Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to drop the “pious baloney” during Sunday’s “Meet the Press” GOP presidential primary debate from New Hampshire.
Romney explained to the New Hampshire audience why he was running for president and how he is business experience made him different from his fellow competitors.
“For me, my career was being in business and starting a business and making it successful. My life’s passion is my family, faith and my country,” Romney said.
“I believe in the experiences by virtue, I have had I am in a good position to make a contribution to Washington. I long for a day instead of people go to Washington for 20 and 30 years, who get elected and then when they lose office, they stay there and make money as lobbyist, or connecting to businesses — I think it stinks. I think people should go to work in Washington and serve Washington and serve as the people of their nation and go home. I would like to see term limits in Washington. As the president of the United States, if I am elected, of course I will fight for a second term. There is a lot of work to be done.”
But that drew an aggressive reaction from Gingrich, who said Romney’s suggestion that he hasn’t repeatedly sought elective office was “pious baloney.”
“I realize the red light doesn’t mean anything to you because you are the front-runner — but could we drop a little bit of the pious baloney?” Gingrich said.
“The fact is you ran in ’94 and lost, and that’s why you were not serving with Rick Santorum. The fact is you had a bad re-election rating. You dropped office. You had been out of state for something like 200 days and preparing to run for president. You didn’t have this interlude of citizenship while you thought about what to do. You were running for president while you were governor. You were going all over the country, and you were out of state consistently. You then promptly re-entered politics and you happened to lose to [John] McCain as you lost to [Ted] Kennedy. Now, you’re back running. You have been running consistently for years and years and years, and the idea that then suddenly citizenship showed up in your mind, and just level with the American people. You have been running since the 1990s.”