Yesterday, Newt Gingrich said
the one percent want him to shut up about Mitt Romney. Is he?
(Original photos: Mike Segar, Lucas Jackson and Chris Keane/Reuters)
So Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich released a statement
on his website calling on his Super PAC to correct inaccuracies in its King of Bain advertising and video campaign or to remove the ads and videos altogether. Gingrich cited the Washington Post
's Glenn Kessler as his source
for the inaccuracies.
At first glance you'd think this is the sound of Newt crying uncle, giving in to the Republican establishment figures who clearly want him to shut up about Mitt Romney. But in his statement, he continues to criticize Romney's jobs record—both in terms of claims he's made about jobs created at Bain and in terms of his record in Massachusetts.
Governor Romney is running as someone who knows how to create jobs. In fact, he has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain Capital. However, numerous analyses have said that figure is as inaccurate as President Obama’s claim to have “saved or created” millions of jobs.
Furthermore, Governor Romney’s experience as a portfolio manager did not help him create an environment in Massachusetts that was friendly to job creation. As Governor, Mitt Romney raised $700 million in taxes and fees, despite a campaign pledge not to, and Massachusetts ranked 4th worst in job creation under his leadership.
These are just some of the facts which President Obama would use to undercut Governor Romney’s claims to be a job creator if he is the Republican nominee. Given these facts, it is entirely appropriate for Republican Primary voters to ask questions to determine whether Governor Romney is presenting himself in an accurate light.
But note that while Gingrich says it's "appropriate ... to ask questions" about Mitt Romney's job's record, he doesn't make any of the types of arguments specifically about Bain and vulture capitalism that he's been making over the past few days. And during an appearance earlier today in Florida, Gingrich appeared to hold his fire on Bain, although he did he laugh at the fact that Romney is now claiming to have created fewer jobs than he claimed just a few days ago.
So is Newt throwing in the towel on the Bain attack, confident that his Super PAC will pull the plug on its $3.4 million campaign? Or is he just trying to position himself for the higher moral ground during Monday's debate, knowing that his calls for restraint will be ignored? Or, perhaps, he believes the damage against Romney has been done, and he thinks changing topics now will give him a better chance to win South Carolina?
I honestly have no idea what the answer is, but I'm looking forward to next week's debates, during which we will surely learn the answer.