Sunday, January 29, 2012

Romney Hopes to Deliver Knockout Punch to Gingrich

At LAT, "Romney keeps pressure on Gingrich as Florida primary nears":

Reporting from Naples, Fla.  —

Seeking to deliver a knockout punch to Newt Gingrich in Tuesday’s Florida primary, Mitt Romney and his surrogates continued their heavy assault on the former House speaker’s record, urging voters to study his temperment, his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and the ethics investigation into his fundraising in the 1990s.

As a Romney rally got started before a crowd of several thousand outside a theater in downtown Naples on Sunday, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV contrasted Gingrich’s “very checkered past when it comes to ethics and honesty” with that of Romney, whom Mack said has lived his life “honestly, with integrity and character.”

Echoing that line a few minutes later, Mack’s father, former Florida Sen. Connie Mack III, called Mitt and Ann Romney “role models for all Americans” and said the former Massachusetts governor has “presidential temperament.”

“A lot of people say he looks presidential. And you do!” the former senator said. “But the important thing is, he acts like a president. Under fire, under attack, under challenge. He responds as a cool, calm and collected man, a person that we need in the White House.”

For his part, Romney keyed off his strong performances in two recent debates, as well as an NBC/Marist preference poll released Sunday morning that showed him leading Gingrich by 15 percentage points in Florida. He accused Gingrich of “making excuses” for his sliding poll numbers during the Sunday morning talk shows.

“He’s on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he’s had difficulty here in Florida,” Romney said, “but you know, we’ve got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over; it’s time to produce.”

“If we failed somewhere, if we failed the debate, if we failed to get the support of people, it’s time to look in the mirror,” Romney said. “My own view is the reason that Speaker Gingrich has been having a hard time in Florida is that people of Florida have watched the debates, have listened to the speaker, have listened to the other candidates and have said, ‘You know what, Mitt Romney’s the guy we’re going to support.’ ”
And see "Polls see Mitt Romney cruising to Florida victory."