Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), whose strong showing in the early days of the GOP primary was due in large part to his debate performances, displayed his skill Sunday at taking down an opponent — in this case, President Obama, who officially launched his reelection bid Saturday with the theme “Forward.”
“You know, they wanted to use ‘Forward’ as their slogan,” Gingrich said of the Obama campaign during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “They should be using ‘Downward,’ because that’s been the trend for the economy, for take-home pay, for people being able to afford gasoline. In every case, it’s been downward under Obama.”
The remark came during one of two interviews Gingrich gave days after dropping his own unsuccessful White House bid.
Gingrich continued to make clear Sunday that he supports former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for president — if only for the reason that Romney is not Obama.
“Let me ask you, is there anything that Mitt Romney could do for you that would make you support him publicly more wholesomely?” CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Gingrich on “State of the Union.”
“Well, I thought the other day when I gave my speech suspending the campaign I was pretty clear,” Gingrich said.
“But you said he’s better than the president,” responded Crowley.
“But that’s the first thing you want to say to people is, look, this is not some magic show,” Gingrich said. “You’re either going to get Barack Obama or you’re going to get Mitt Romney. Now, I don’t see how any conservative, given that choice, could end up favoring Barack Obama, and that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
Among the “many strong things” that Romney has going for him, Gingrich said, is the fact that he has, well, won the GOP nomination.
“You know, I didn’t win,” Gingrich said. “Rick Perry didn’t win. Michele Bachmann didn’t win. Rick Santorum didn’t win. You have to have some respect for a guy who spent six years of his life, put together a serious national campaign, made the case.”
He added that Romney “has earned the right to represent the Republican Party, and he’s earned it the hard way.”
As Romney begins in earnest his search for a running mate, Gingrich said that he “can’t imagine” that the former Massachusetts governor would pick him for the No. 2 spot.
Instead, he argued, Romney will likely “look for somebody who is younger” — someone along the lines of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gingrich said.
Asked again on “Face the Nation,” Gingrich again dodged the question of whether he’d serve as Romney’s running mate.
“Bob, you’ve known me a long time. Would you pick me to be vice presidential nominee? I mean, I am so much my own agent, it would be — it’s inconceivable,” he told host Bob Schieffer.