Romney calls Gingrich out by name: ‘Don’t attack profit’

Paul Conner Executive Editor
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Mitt Romney called out Newt Gingrich by name at a campaign stop on Wednesday, saying he is “disappointed” with the recent attacks on his career at Bain Capital.

“That’s not the role of the Republican Party,” he said to a crowd of a several hundred on the campus of Wofford College. “That makes us sad.”

Former Speaker of the House Gingrich has doubled down on his attacks on former Massachusetts Gov. Romney’s time at Bain Capital in recent days, calling the private equity firm “exploitive” on Tuesday in Columbia.

“Free enterprise is under attack from the right and from the left,” Romney told the crowd. “We’ve got to stop it and stand up for American freedom everywhere we see it.”

Romney’s rebuttal is a sign the campaign fears that Gingrich’s attacks may be taking hold just days before Saturday’s South Carolina primary. Romney further went after Gingrich’s statement that he helped created millions of jobs while working with the Reagan administration.

“Government doesn’t create jobs. It’s the private sector that creates jobs,” he explained. “Congressmen taking credit for creating jobs is like Al Gore taking credit for creating the Internet.”

He then parlayed his knock on Gingrich into an attack on President Barack Obama, although he seemed to be addressing both men.

“This president has it entirely wrong when he attacks the private sector,” Romney said. “Don’t attack the private sector. Don’t attack risk-takers. Don’t attack those who are trying to create a brighter future for others. Don’t attack profit. Profit, by the way, is what allows people to hire people and grow.”

Romney and his wife, Ann, showed up about half an hour late because the press bus broke down. Some onlookers were concerned that Romney’s 45-foot bus would not be able to make the tight 45-degree turn into the parking lot.

“I may just be a country boy from South Carolina, but how in the hell are they going to make that turn?” asked an aide to a prominent South Carolina Republican who has endorsed the governor.

The bus made the turn just fine.

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