Gingrich: Romney won't get GOP nomination

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands at campaign town meeting in Salem, N.H. Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands at campaign town meeting in Salem, N.H., Jan. 6, 2012.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

SALEM, N.H. -- Newt Gingrich on Friday continued his offensive against Mitt Romney by saying his rival "ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren" and predicting that Romney won't receive the GOP nomination.

Appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews," Gingrich repeated his complaint about negative ads run by supporters of Romney's that saw the former House speaker's lead atop Iowa polls vanish by the time of this week's caucuses there.

"He has grandchildren," Gingrich said. "He ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren. He ought to take those ads home and show them to his grandchildren ... `Grandpa did this, what do you think of this kind of trash on television -- someone being beaten up like this on television?' We should run campaigns worthy of our best, not campaigns that demean us to our worst."

Gingrich also said of Romney, "He's not going to be the nominee," citing the former Massachusetts governor's moderate political record. "Name one conservative accomplishment or public policy of Romney's," he said.

At the same time, Gingrich sought to clarify some of his earlier criticism of Rick Santorum, whom he had dismissed as "a junior partner" in the Republican congressional battles of the 1990s.

"I wasn't trying to knock [Santorum]. He's a good guy ... He did some very significant things," Gingrich said. "He was key to passing welfare reform."

At a subsequent rally on Friday in Salem, Gingrich sought to draw a sharp distinction between New Hampshire and neighboring Massachusetts, pointing to differences between the two that he said worked to the Granite State's advantage.

"On one side, more taxes and bigger government. On the other side, lower taxes and less bureaucracy," he said. "But they're really different psychological mind sets."

He then asked the crowd of more than 300 people how many of them had moved to the state; dozens of hands shot up. "The only reason I raise that is I think there's a remarkable difference between a Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate," he said.

But he also acknowledged that he lacks Romney's overwhelming financial advantages and said he would refrain from the kind of vituperative behavior that he was accused of earlier.

"I don't have the money and I will not engage in the kind of vicious negativity that, frankly, drove me down in Iowa," he said. "I am prepared to stand and fight. I'm going to fight honestly on the facts and draw the contrasts ... I think in four days, we can shock everybody."

  • Sarah Huisenga On Twitter»

    Sarah Huisenga is covering the Mitt Romney campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

Comments