Romney Launches All-Out Attack on Newt

Surrogates slam him as an unreliable leader
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2011 8:32 AM CST
Republican presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich talk with Mitt Romney at a Republican presidential debate in Washington, Nov. 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney has taken the gloves off. Advisers James Talent and John Sununu held a conference call with reporters yesterday to trash Newt Gingrich, with Talent saying he was "not a reliable and trusted leader," and Sununu alleging that he "is more concerned about Newt Gingrich than he is about conservative principle," the Washington Post reports. Their central point: If Gingrich is nominated, the focus will shift from President Obama's record to Gingrich's. And "then the president is going to win," Talent concluded.

The Romney campaign also circulated anti-Gingrich talking points among congressional supporters. One suggested slogan: "Gingrich creates theories. Mitt creates jobs." Romney allies also sought to remind voters of Newt's dismissal of Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher plan as "right-wing social engineering," the Wall Street Journal reports—delighting Obama officials, who said embracing Ryan's controversial plan would be a "huge strategic error" for Romney. And many observers saw Romney's recent ad about his family as a subtle attack on Gingrich's more-spotted personal life. Gingrich took all these attacks in stride. "We are going to take the high road," a spokesman said, "and let our opponents attack us." (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)

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