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.
“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.”
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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