Romney intensifies criticism of Gingrich

December 15, 2011 • National News

FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures during debate in Manchester, N.H. Gingrich is pledging to stay relentlessly positive in his quest for the White House. Except when he’s not. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — His attacks growing ever more personal, Mitt Romney on Wednesday questioned chief rival Newt Gingrich’s temperament, spending habits and allegiance to both the GOP and the middle class while hecklers confronted Gingrich in the lead-off caucus state.

During a series of interviews while fundraising in New York, Romney told one media outlet that “zany is not what we need in a president” and another that Gingrich had “an extraordinary lack of understanding of how the economy works.” To yet another, Romney mocked Gingrich’s past accounts at a tony jeweler, saying: “He’s a wealthy man – a very wealthy man. If you have a half-a-million-dollar purchase from Tiffany’s, you’re not a middle-class American.”

Romney’s campaign also rolled out an Internet video describing Gingrich as an unreliable conservative and using a clip of a climate change ad that the former House speaker filmed with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Gingrich, in turn, sought to stay above the fray.

“They should run their campaign the way they want to and we’re going to run our campaign the way we want to,” Gingrich told reporters after an event at the University of Iowa.

During a speech on brain science research, Gingrich stuck to his usual campaign pitch and made no mention of Romney’s charges. But the thrice-married Gingrich, who has admitted infidelity, faced criticism from his audience.

A handful of protesters drowned him out for at least three minutes, assailing Gingrich for what they called a “callous attitude toward poor people.” He Login to read more

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