Gingrich works to cut resurgent Romney’s lead

Newt Gingrich slammed Republican rival Mitt Romney on Sunday for the steady stream of attacks he likened to “carpet-bombing,” trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner’s lead in Florida in the dwindling hours before Tuesday’s pivotal presidential primary.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Newt Gingrich slammed Republican rival Mitt Romney on Sunday for the steady stream of attacks he likened to “carpet-bombing,” trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner’s lead in Florida in the dwindling hours before Tuesday’s pivotal presidential primary.

And despite surging ahead in polls, Romney wasn’t letting up, relentlessly casting Gingrich as an influence peddler with a “record of failed leadership.”

In what has become a wildly unpredictable race, the momentum has swung back to Romney, staggered last weekend by Gingrich’s big upset victory in South Carolina, a major setback in the state-by-state race for enough delegates to lock up the right to challenge President Barack Obama in November. An NBC News/Marist poll published Sunday showed Romney with support from 42 per cent of likely Florida primary voters, compared with 27 per cent for Gingrich.

Romney’s campaign, which has a huge financial advantage, has dogged Gingrich at his own campaign stops, sending surrogates to remind reporters of Gingrich’s ethics probe while he was speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s and other episodes in his career aimed at sowing doubt about his judgment.

Gingrich reacted defensively, accusing the former Massachusetts governor and a political committee that supports him of lying, and the Republican party’s establishment of allowing it.

“I don’t know how you debate a person with civility if they’re prepared to say things that are just plain factually false,” Gingrich said during appearances on Sunday talk shows. “I think the Republican establishment believes it’s OK to say and do virtually anything to stop a genuine insurgency from winning because they are very afraid of losing control of the old order.”

Outside an evangelical Christian church in Lutz, Gingrich said he was the more loyal conservative on key social issues than Romney, attacking him for his shifting positions on key social issues since he served as governor of the Democratic state of Massachusetts.

Romney continued to paint Gingrich as part of the very Washington establishment he condemns and someone who had a role in the nation’s economic problems. Gingrich’s consulting firm was paid more than $1.5 million by a federally-backed mortgage company despised by conservatives after he left Congress in 1999.

The intense effort by Romney to slow Gingrich is comparable to his strategy against Gingrich in the closing month before Iowa’s leadoff caucuses Jan. 3. Gingrich led in Iowa polls, lifted by what were hailed as strong performances in televised debates, only to drop in the face of withering attacks by Romney, aided immensely by ads sponsored by a “super” political action committee run by former Romney aides. But Romney aides say they made the mistake of assuming Gingrich could not rise again as he did in South Carolina. Romney appears determined not to let that happen again.

“His record is one of failed leadership,” Romney told more than 700 people at a rally in Pompano Beach Sunday evening. “We don’t need someone who can speak well perhaps, or can say things we agree with, but does not have the experience of being an effective leader.”

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Most Read