During the Meet the Press debate Sunday morning, the Republican frontrunner said his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, had advised him to "never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay the mortgage." Romney was defending himself against Gingrich’s charge that it was "pious baloney" to say Romney wasn’t a career politician.
Romney continued his defense by saying he challenged Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat because he knew he didn't have a "ghost of a chance" to beat him, but felt he had a "responsibility" not to let the Democrat run unopposed.
"I was happy that [Kennedy] had to take a mortgage out on his house to ultimately defeat me," Romney said.
Gingrich was courting Hispanic voters at Don Quixote’s restaurant in Manchester when he attacked Romney for saying politics was only fit for the financially elite.
"When Governor Romney made the comment that you shouldn't run if you have to win in order to pay your mortgage, I thought that that was very much the opposite of the American tradition historically," Gingrich said during an afternoon town hall. "We want every day, normal people to be able to run for office, not just millionaires."
The former House Speaker continued to portray the frontrunner as out-of-touch at a press avail, citing a Reuters report that under Romney, Bain Capital acquired an old steel mill and ended up profiting millions by closing it down.
"Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that in fact the whole goal of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation would find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out pretty clever ways to loot a company," Gingrich said.
Starting Wednesday, the day after the New Hampshire primary, pro-Gingrich SuperPAC Winning Our Future will begin airing $1 million dollars worth of radio and tv ads in South Carolina featuring interviews with people who lost jobs at companies bought and sold by Bain Capital. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has donated $5 million dollars to the SuperPAC. Asked about the SuperPAC ads, which by law his campaign cannot directly coordinate with, Gingrich said he was making the "public request" that they be "factually correct."
Meanwhile, the Gingrich campaign hasn’t announced any big-money ad purchases but continues to try and put pressure on Mitt Romney; on Monday the team will roll out a YouTube video detailing the tax raises Romney proposed as Massachusetts Governor.