In for a penny, in for...a few hundred million bucks. Newt Gingrich is refusing to bow to pressure to lay off criticisms of Romney's wealth and is continuing his Obama-inspired assault on his rival.
Newt Gingrich, intensifying his efforts to frame the Republican presidential race as a showdown between his populist insurgency and Mitt Romney's establishment-backed campaign, sharpened his criticisms Friday of Romney's wealth and corporate resume.
Campaigning before about 100 people inside Stoney's Rockin' Country, a half-full honky tonk off Las Vegas Boulevard, Gingrich repeatedly veered into the class warfare rhetoric he often decries on the campaign trail.
"This is a campaign of people power versus money power," the former House speaker declared.
Seizing on Romney's comment this week that he is "not concerned" about the poor, Gingrich called the former Massachusetts governor a "rich guy" incapable of connecting with working class Americans.
Gingrich said the "poor" comment, from which Romney later backtracked, was "not a very clever thing for somebody who is very wealthy to say."
"I think we want a candidate who represents Americans who work, pay taxes and believe in the Declaration of Independence, not somebody who is clearly against the American ideal," Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Las Vegas on Friday.
Nice of Newt to field test some Obama attack lines against Romney. I'm sure the president appreciates it and will thank the former speaker at an appropriate time.
There are 10,000 other things to criticize about Mitt Romney - that's about the number of flip flops he's had in the last year. Toss in the idea that he has the charisma of a wax dummy and is as animated on the hustings as a tree stump, and Newt would look like a pretty good alternative to the patrician Romney.
Alas, Newt prefers to easy way - the class warfare way of Obama and the media. And what makes this critique ring so hollow is that Newt himself is no working class warrior. He got fabulously wealthy lobbying for the likes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, not to mention his numerous other projects that have paid off handsomely. Because of the vague requirements regarding the reporting of a candidate's net worth, Gingrich can get away with saying that he's worth "only" $6.7 million. But that's the least he is worth. The high end of his wealth according to his own reporting could be $30 million.
So much for the "populist" Gingrich.