UPDATED at 8 p.m. ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--As Newt Gingrich criticized Mitt Romney on Tuesday for hiring many of ex-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's staffers, his campaign announced it had reached a $2 million fundraising goal with the help of an online "money bomb" effort.
Crist was once a popular politician in the Sunshine State, earning endorsements from Gingrich and numerous other Republicans. But he lost his political luster after deciding to run as an independent in the 2010 general election for the U.S. Senate, only to lose to Republican Marco Rubio, now a darling of the right.
"We discovered last night that Mitt Romney has picked up Charlie Crist's campaign team," Gingrich told the crowd at the Tick Tock Restaurant to a smattering of boos. "I thought that tells you everything you need to know about this primary."Continue »
Media Relations Director Susan Meyers said the document will be made public "this evening," though she declined to say specifically whether it would be in advance of the NBC/National Journal/Tampa Bay Times at 9 p.m. in Tampa, Fla.Continue »
TAMPA, Fla. - Newt Gingrich on Monday shrugged off Mitt Romney's attacks on his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and other controversies, telling an audience here: "If you've been campaigning for six years and you begin to see it slip away, you get desperate."
"It used to be pious baloney, but now it's just desperate baloney," Gingrich added, joking that soon he would be able to open a delicatessen.
The former House speaker also predicted that his rival would make such attacks a central feature of Monday night's NBC/National Journal debate and would "probably stretch the barrier" at some point. "I've been memorizing phrases like 'There you go again,'" Gingrich said, invoking President Reagan's famous debate riposte.Continue »
Romney avoided a potentially uncomfortable situation with Gingrich on Saturday morning by showing up earlier than expected at Tommy's Country Ham House in Greenville. The two campaigns had accidentally booked simultaneous events there at the same time on Friday night, leading to a brief media and Twitter frenzy about whether a porky showdown was in the offing.
Romney arrived at Tommy's at 10 a.m., after stopping at his campaign headquarters. His campaign had said he would arrive either at 10:30 or 11, but an aide insisted that the decision to stop earlier had nothing to do with avoiding his bitter rival. "We see Newt all the time; we don't get to see the voters of South Carolina every day," the aide said.
Updated 5:31 p.m. Eastern Time
Newt Gingrich's campaign says a press release that appears to come the campaign "regarding reports that he forced ex-wife Marianne Gingrich to terminate a pregnancy" is a fake.
The fake press release, which you can see above, came from an email address in which the "1" in 2012 is replaced by what appears to be a lower-case "L." A search of an online web registry shows that someone registered "newt20l2.org" (with the lowercase L) today. Their name was withheld.
The fake release, in which Gingrich is quoted as saying "I have made mistakes in my life. This was one of them," comes on the heels of a fake CNN Breaking News alert sent overnight to Republicans in South Carolina, which holds its primary tomorrow. The false email claimed that "[a] source close to Marianne Gingrich tells CNN that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich forced her to abort a pregnancy conceived during the affair that preceeded her marriage to Gingrich."Continue »
With friends like these, Newt Gingrich should probably follow President Harry Truman's advice and get a dog.
Former Rep. Bob Livingston, of Louisiana, addressed a small crowd in Charleston on Friday, acting as a surrogate and supporter of the former House speaker. Livingston was gently breaking the news that Gingrich would not be speaking to the group after all. Asked by reporters why Gingrich was a no-show, Livingston was surprisingly candid.
"Newt is volatile, to say the least," he said -- not the optimal endorsement for a presidential candidate who has been assailed by his Republican rivals as a chaotic and disorganized leader.Continue »
BEAUFORT, S.C. - Fresh from receiving the endorsement of presidential dropout Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich said Thursday he would not call on former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to leave the race, despite the former House speaker's belief that he is the only candidate who can prevent Mitt Romney from getting the GOP nomination.
"Santorum has got to do what he wants to do," Gingrich told reporters in Beaufort. "You all said I was dead in June and July. I didn't get out of the race. No reason he should do anything he doesn't want to do."Continue »
Newt Gingrich's campaign on Wednesday released a letter from his daughters to ABC News executives seeking to blunt the perceived damage from an interview the network reportedly plans to air with the former House speaker's ex-wife.
The letter came after news outlets reported that ABC was debating whether to air the interview with Marianne Gingrich, who was married to Gingrich for 18 years. After their divorce, Gingrich married his third wife, Callista, with whom he has acknowledged having an affair while he was married.
"ABC News or other campaigns may want to talk about the past, just days before an important primary election," said the letter from Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman, his two daughters from his first marriage.Continue »
Republican presidential candidates quickly lined up in vehement opposition to President Obama's decision on Wednesday to reject the permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline, indicating that the issue will remain one of the front-burner environmental controversies through the fall.
The Republican candidates portrayed the decision largely as a jobs issue, in stark contrast to Democrats who say the pipeline would cause severe environmental risks.
"This is a stunningly stupid thing to do ... These people are so out of touch with reality it's as though they were governing Mars," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said. "Stupidity No. 1, we need the jobs. Maybe when they're unemployed in November they'll figure out jobs matter. "Continue »
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that he will release his 2010 tax returns on Thursday and estimated that he pays an income tax rate of about 31 percent, in contrast to front-runner Mitt Romney's admission that he pays only about 15 percent on his income.
"That's what I actually paid -- 31 percent of my income belonged to the government," Gingrich said when pressed by reporters on the second day of a burgeoning debate over the Republican candidates and their tax returns. "We do know, we've gone through this three times now to make sure we're, that, I paid at a 31 percent rate. We're pulling together the documents."Continue »
COLUMBIA, S.C. - It wasn't an endorsement, but Sarah Palin gave Newt Gingrich the next best thing on Tuesday, saying she would vote for the former speaker -- if she lived in South Carolina.
Speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee declared Gingrich the winner of Monday night's Republican debate, comparing his performance to boxing legend Joe Frazier.
"He came out there swingin', talking about work," Palin said. "Talkin' about jobs and work ethic and how government needs to get out of the way in order for Americans to have a sense of opportunity to work, and I think that's what a lot of voters have been craving to hear."
Asked if she was any closer to giving an endorsement, Palin told the Fox News host that she could only tell him what she'd do if she were a South Carolinian. "If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going, I'd vote for Newt, and I would want this to continue." Such a position indicated her desire for the political vetting to keep unfolding.
"I want to see this thing continue because iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel," she said. "These guys are getting better in their debates, they're getting more concise. They're getting more grounded in what their beliefs are and articulating what their ideas are to get the country back on the right track and get Americans working again."
Palin's husband, Todd, endorsed Gingrich just over a week ago -- a move his wife called "rogue" when asked for her comment.
FLORENCE, S.C. - Injecting a big dose of testosterone into the presidential debate, Republican candidate Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he wants to "knock out" President Obama in the general election in response to a question about whether he wants to bloody his nose.
At a town hall meeting of attended by about 200 people at the Art Trail Gallery, a supporter told Gingrich, "We've got to bloody Obama's nose. You've mentioned challenging him to seven, three-hour debates ... if he doesn't agree to that, how do you plan to aggressively take the gloves off and go after him?" Gingrich responded, "I don't want to argue with you about the analogy. I don't want to bloody his nose, I want to knock him out."
The audience applauded.Continue »
"Why would you want to nominate the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama?" Gingrich asked a lively crowd at the Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse, referring to Romney's loss to eventual nominee John McCain in the 2008 primaries. He said the GOP establishment "can't argue his record in Massachusetts because he's too liberal," so they are making the electability case.Continue »
DUNCAN, S.C. - A Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich is releasing two new ads Sunday in South Carolina - one labeling Mitt Romney a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) who can't beat President Obama, and the other accusing him of misstating the number of jobs he created while heading the investment firm Bain Capital.
The ads from the Winning Our Future PAC, which were screened in advance by a reporter for CBS News and National Journal, follow two other ads attacking Romney for his time at Bain. The first two were excerpted from a 28-minute video, "King of Bain," that the Super PAC has posted online.
The new ads are being released as Gingrich appears to be distancing himself from the activities of Winning Our Future, which is run by his allies and former aides. On Friday, the former House Speaker called on the group to remove inaccuracies from the film, which accuses Romney of sacrificing jobs for profit while at Bain. National Journal analyst Jackie Koszczuk called the film "over the top." The Washington Post Factchecker gave King of Bain its worst rating - four Pinocchios.
Winning Our Future responded on Friday night by issuing an open letter to Romney that challenged him to answer questions about when he specifically left Bain Capital and when he stopped receiving income from the company. If Romney chooses not to respond, the group said it will "continue to stand by the film as presented."Continue »