In Miami, Gingrich calls for ‘Cuban spring,’ renews criticism of Romney on jobsby George Bennett | January 13th, 2012
MIAMI — Newt Gingrich visited the heart of Miami’s Cuban-American community this morning and said that as president he’d like to create a “Cuban spring that is even more exciting than the Arab spring” on the communist island.
Gingrich has faced harsh criticism from many conservatives this week for accusing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney of profiting by “looting” other businesses and laying off workers when Romney headed the private equity firm Bain Capital.
Gingrich sought to regain the offensive on the issue this morning, saying he’s merely questioning Romney’s claim that companies Bain invested in created more than 100,000 jobs.
“I’ve gotten huge pushback. Some of you have seen this on television. So let me be clear, to question a presidential candidate’s claims to have created jobs is not to attack capitalism, it’s to question a candidate. The idea that some candidate can make a claim and then yell foul when you ask him to prove it is just silly. If he can’t stand up today and defend his claim, how’s he going to stand up to Obama in the fall,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich is heading to Orlando to open a campaign headquarters, then plans to return to South Carolina, where he’s hoping to win the state’s Jan. 21 primary and derail Romney’s momentum before Florida’s Jan. 31 primary. Polls show Romney with a big lead in Florida now, but current polls and past history suggest Sunshine State primary voters are influenced by results in earlier states.
“We’re going to win in South Carolina. When we win in South Carolina we’re going to come here and we’re going to campaign everywhere and I need your help to do that,” Gingrich told a packed room full of supporters and the media.
Romney campaigned in West Palm Beach Thursday and raised more than $1 million at a Palm Beach fundraiser on Thursday night. His campaign quickly fired back at Gingrich on the Bain issue.
Said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams: “It’s not surprising that a career Washington politician like Speaker Gingrich is resorting to desperate attacks on a subject he doesn’t understand. We expect attacks on free enterprise from President Obama and his allies on the left – not from self-described ‘fiscal conservatives.’ Speaker Gingrich seems to think that parroting dishonest liberal talking points and running against the private sector is the only way to revive his floundering campaign. Governor Romney will continue talking about his experience in the real economy, his vision for getting America back to work, and how important it is that we defeat President Obama in November.”