Former House Speaker and White House hopeful Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he is not sure if the public feuding between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is real or staged by their campaign consultants.
The two men have had some very public spats over immigration and other issues that has become more personal than typically happens in presidential campaigns.
Last week,because in 2006 he hired a landscaping company that relied heavily on Guatemalan gardeners who were not authorized to work in the U.S.
Romney said he did not know the workers' status and promptly fired the landscaping firm when it was brought to his attention, and Perry then accused Romney of not telling the truth.
"I don't know how much of that is their consultants advising them and how much of that is real," Gingrich said on CBS' "The Early Show on Wednesday.
"You have to have some sense of maturity and some sense of seriousness at a time when we have massive unemployment, huge deficits, serious foreign policy and national security problems, and I felt it hurt everybody to have bickering the way that was going on in that particular debate," Gingrich said, adding that he hopes it does not happen again.
The former speaker said his approach is to disagree on policy without being "disagreeable."
"I think people are pretty sick of the lack of civility not just in the debates but they watch Washington and watch gridlock and a president who is more comfortable (on The Tonight Show with Jay) Leno than he is in trying to govern the country and I think people are looking for mature leadership that will help some of these problems," Gingrich said.
However, Gingrich has also been accused of making some controversial statements of his own when on attack against Democrats. In the debate two weeks ago,as he expressed some empathy for the Wall Street protestors.
"If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is (Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben) Bernanke, who is a disastrous chairman of the Federal Reserve, the second person to fire is (Treasury Secretary Timothy) Geithner," Gingrich said in the October 11 Republican debate.
"If you want to put people in jail, I want to second what (Minnesota Rep.) Michele (Bachmann) said. You ought to start with (Massachusetts Rep.) Barney Frank and (former Connecticut Sen.) Chris Dodd," Gingrich said, referring to the pair of Democrats who authored last year's rewrite of Wall Street rules, known as Dodd-Frank.