by Paul Stanley
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Newt Gingrich, the one-time front-runner in the 2012 Republican primary, says he forgives the party’s presumptive nominee for running hard-hitting ads against him earlier this year.
“Mitt Romney did what he had to do to become the nominee,” Gingrich told Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Thursday.
“He’s worked at this for six years … when he got to the crunch, he was tough enough and smart enough to beat me in Florida.”
When Matthews asked Gingrich if the accusations Romney aimed at him were true, he said “no.”
“Go back and look at what Obama did to Hillary (Clinton). These are tough fights. You throw the kitchen sink. He (Romney) was in a situation when everything he had ever done was going to disappear if I beat him in Florida. So he said I have two choices. I can throw the kitchen sink at Gingrich or do nothing.”
Gingrich credits Romney for assembling a “smart group of people” and for his work ethic on the campaign trail. He also labeled the former Massachusetts governor as “methodical” and “a successful politician.”
“He is a very methodical person. He is prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country. And I think he might turn out to make a surprisingly good president.”
Matthews also wasted no time in bringing up the fact that Gingrich consistently attacked Romney during the GOP primary for being a wealthy, out-of-touch politician who could not defeat President Obama in November.
“We’re not going to beat Barrack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares in Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a shareholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Gingrich said of Romney in January while campaigning in Florida.
But for all the competitiveness in the GOP primary, Gingrich thinks the Obama campaign team’s attacks on Romney’s wealth and business background will fall flat with the American public.
“Here’s the problem they’ve got,” Gingrich said of the Obama campaign. “It didn’t work. I wouldn’t have won it on that issue. It doesn’t work in general.”
As for possible vice presidential picks for Romney, Gingrich likes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, among others as good additions to the GOP ticket. Gingrich, who served as speaker of the House from 1994 to 1999, will be appearing at a fundraiser for Romney with billionaire investor Donald Trump at Trump Towers on May 29. http://www.newscastmedia.com/gingrich-romney.htm