Mitt Romney dispatched his surrogates Thursday to criticize Newt Gingrich’s leadership ability and commitment to conservative principles, the start of an aggressive effort to derail his chief rival.


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“He’s not a reliable and trusted conservative leader,” former Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri, a Romney backer, said during a conference call. Talent said Gingrich “says outrageous things that come from nowhere, and he has a tendency to say them at a time when they most undermine the conservative agenda.”

Gingrich “is more concerned about Newt Gingrich than he is about conservative principle,” said former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu.

As an example, Talent and Sununu held up a comment Gingrich made about Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to balance the federal budget. The plan, popular among fiscal conservatives, would make significant changes to Medicare.

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said of Ryan’s plan during a May interview. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

 Read More at Official Wire By Kasie Hunt, AP and OfficialWire



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