Newt Gingrich appears to have an attack dog on his side—whether he wants him or not.
Rudolph Giuliani, the pugnacious former New York mayor and GOP presidential candidate, took to two cable news morning shows Thursday and ended up shredding Mitt Romney’s record and suggesting that Gingrich may be a more formidable candidate against President Obama next year. (Watch video below.)
“There’s something wrong when you’ve been running as long as Mitt has and you’re at 25%…Seventy-five percent of the other Republicans are telling you something about him,” Giuliani said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I ran against him in ’07, ’08, I have never seen a guy -- and I’ve run in a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, opposed them -- never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime. Everything.”
Giuliani then ticked off a few examples, saying Romney had shifted on abortion rights, gun control, the health insurance mandate, and capping greenhouse gas emissions throughout his career. He argued that Obama’s reelection campaign would (as it already has been doing) hammer Romney over the reversals.
On Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Giuliani found fault with Romney “getting so darn negative. I was really offended by his comment that Newt Gingrich is zany. That isn’t the kind of language that should coming from a candidate.”
Like Romney now, Giuliani was considered the man to beat in 2008, but stumbled quickly and was passed by the likes of a resurgent John McCain and Mike Huckabee, so it’s possible he knows a thing or two about the fast fade.
As he asserted earlier this week on CNN, Giuliani suggested Gingrich might do better with so-called “Reagan Democrats,” working-class voters who typically don’t align themselves with conservatives. Why? Because, while Romney may be more in step with those moderates politically, he’s an elitist, Giuliani said—and Gingrich can speak their language.
“Newt knows how to talk to them,” he said.
Giuliani isn’t affiliated with the Gingrich campaign (his dream candidate appears to be Jeb Bush)—so ostensibly that makes him exempt from Gingrich’s recent pledge to refrain from attacks and stay sunshiny. And it’s possible Gingrich may not want Giuliani’s help.
Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s conservative blogger, noted that Giuliani and Gingrich have six marriages between them—and that Giuliani has faced ethical questions of his own. That’s not the kind of combination, Rubin wrote this week, that will appeal to the social conservatives Gingrich needs to win the GOP nomination.
On MSNBC, Giuliani said he was sticking up for Gingrich because he was tired of seeing him attacked by Romney and members of the Washington GOP establishment.
“It’s getting ridiculous now,” he said. “It’s like he’s some kind of monster. He’s not.”
Now that’s a campaign bumper sticker for you.