Right: Nancy Reagan in 1995 says Reagan 'passed torch' to Newt Gingrich
The thing that makes these attacks so absurd is that they are being made on behalf of Mitt Romney, who wasn't a Republican when Ronald Reagan was president and specifically said in his 1994 U.S. Senate campaign that he was not seeking public office to support either Reagan or George H.W. Bush. Romney ended up getting trounced by 17 points.
Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, was busy leading Republicans to their first victory in forty years in the House. And the following year, Nancy Reagan credited him with taking up the mantle of conservatism, saying Barry Goldwater had passed it to Ronald Reagan, and that Ronald Reagan had passed it to Newt Gingrich.
I don't say any of this to defend Newt. Rather, I'm pointing it out as an illustration of the pathetic absurdity of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.