BEDFORD, Mass. — After boarding his plane here for the flight to South Carolina, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) considered the prospect of a blistering campaign in the state over the next week and a half — and had some tough words for former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Gingrich has been pummeling Romney in recent days over his record at the helm of Bain Capital, arguing that the venture capital firm profited from manipulating the companies in which it invested. A pro-Gingrich super PAC is readying a 28-minute documentary blasting Romney’s tenure at Bain.

It’s unclear whether Gingrich will continue with his assault on Romney’s record at Bain; several conservative groups including Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth have issued warnings to the GOP field to stay clear of such attacks.

Romney, for his part, said Wednesday he believes his campaign will be able to weather such criticism.

“I don’t think that’s going to hurt my purpose,” he told reporters. “Frankly, if I can’t take a few shots coming from my colleagues on the Republican side, I’m not ready for Barack Obama.”