Newt Gingrich: Romney backers trying to ‘brainwash’ voters

With his presidential candidacy newly invigorated by donations from a casino billionaire, Newt Gingrich accused Mitt Romney’s Wall Street supporters on Wednesday of trying to “brainwash” voters into backing the former Massachusetts governor.

“It’s just Wall Street pouring money in to try to buy the election,” Gingrich told a few hundred supporters Wednesday evening at a rally here in northern Georgia.

“In fact, I think eight of his top 10 sources are people who got money out of the U.S.  taxpayer. So in a sense, the next time you see a negative ad, you’re watching your money come back to brainwash you on behalf of the people that took your money in order to stay rich.”

Like Romney, Gingrich supports repeal of the Dodd-Frank law that Congress passed in an effort to prevent the sort of Wall Street abuses that were at the root of the economic troubles of the last five years.


For his part, the former House speaker has relied on more than $10 million in donations by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife to a “super PAC” supporting Gingrich’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Adelson has given a substantial new sum in recent days, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Gingrich’s use of the word “brainwash” carries special resonance for Romney. In 1967, his father, George Romney, damaged his campaign for president by  saying that on a visit to Vietnam, he had undergone a “brainwashing” by U.S. officials about the war there.

Responding to Gingrich’s remarks, Mitt Romney’s spokesman Ryan Williams said, “When typical Washington politicians like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich get desperate, they resort to false and dishonest attacks like these.”

Gingrich went after Santorum, too, at the Gainesville rally.


“We have two fine candidates who aren’t visionaries,” he said of both Romney and Santorum. “One of them runs around saying he’s a manager. And the other goes around saying he’s essentially a very fine traditional big-government union conservative, who voted against right-to-work, and voted for every single minimum-wage increase the unions wanted. But neither of them offers bold changes.”

Santorum spokesman J. Hogan Gidley said, “Gingrich’s ‘bold changes’ sure weren’t conservative considering he supported healthcare mandates, the big bank bailout, cap and tax legislation and amnesty for illegals.”