Gibbs: Romney is like the weather - he'll change

Last Updated 2:04 p.m. ET

Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary and a top campaign adviser to President Obama, argued Sunday that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney hasn't "caught fire" with GOP voters because "he will say virtually anything to get elected."

"He's a political gymnast of the highest order," Gibbs said during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation." "He will say virtually anything to get elected to any office."

"If you don't like where Mitt Romney is today, just wait until tomorrow," Gibbs added. "It's a little bit like the weather."

A new poll by the Des Moines Register puts Romney in just third place among likely Iowa Republican voters - behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and longtime Texas congressman Ron Paul.

The poll does not reflect yesterday's biggest political news - the departure of one-time frontrunner Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who ended his campaign yesterday, blaming the "continued distraction, the continued hurt" brougght about by allegations of sexual harrassment and a long-time affair.

Gibbs said that there's "skepticism" surrounding Gingrich, but allowed that his recent surge in popularity appears to indicate that his candidacy is "for real."

"I think a lot of people inside the Beltway and outside the Beltway woke up today to a very different political environment - and one in which Newt Gingrich is very much for real," Gibbs told CBS' Bob Schieffer.

Like many of Romney's opponents, Gibbs targeted the former Massachusetts governor for having changed his positions on several key issues over the course of his political career.

"Just last night he was in New York... disavowing climate change and...the Environmental Protection Agency despite the fact that just a few years ago he was bragging in Massachusetts about all the steps they were taking to combat climate change," Gibbs said.

"The one thing that is certain in this Republican primary: If you don't like where Mitt Romney is today, just wait until tomorrow."

When asked who he would like to see as the Republican nominee, Gibbs said, "Romney provides a lot of material for people like me on any given day."

But, he said, "each one of these candidates brings very different strengths."

"I think Newt Gingrich is, look, somebody who has been a party favorite of the Republican Party going back to the mid-'90s when, you know, when he wanted to do certain things like have Medicare wither on the vine and provide tax cuts for the wealthy."

The former White House spokesman hammered Republicans for espousing what he described as a philosophy that favors the wealthy over the middle class.

"What's interesting is when you boil this down, you have one different... you have a very different political philosophy," he said. "You have a philosophy that says, let's let the well-to-do continue not to pay their fair share. And for middle class America, well, we're just going to close the door to greater and greater opportunity.

"I think that's the defining debate in our country right now," Gibbs said.

In response to Gibbs' appearance on "Face the Nation," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul issued a statement: "President Obama has presided over an unprecedented 34 straight months of 8 percent or higher unemployment, so it's no wonder his campaign is desperate to distract from his failed economic record.

"It is clear the White House does not want to face Mitt Romney and be forced to defend three years of high unemployment and runaway spending. Rather than focusing on job creation and helping the middle class, President Obama and his campaign are focused on attacking Mitt Romney," said Saul.