Duncan, S.C. - Newt Gingrich says his questions about Mitt Romney's Bain Capital experience have nothing to do with his attack on bank bailouts, but that hasn't stopped him from making populist parallels.
Gingrich suggested Romney, who supported TARP, would be just as lax as President Obama has been on Wall Street in investigating the financial collapse because his campaign is financed by the same cronies.
"Look I think it's fascinating, they were [Obama's] largest backers, they're now Romney's largest backers."
Raising questions about the number of people in the federal government who worked at Goldman Sachs during the time the company received billions of dollars in rescue money, the former House speaker called for a "clear and complete audit of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury of where all the money went and a publication of the decision documents for 2008, 2009 and 2010 so that every American could learn who is bailed out and why, when did they make the decisions, who was in the room cutting the deal."
Gingrich argued that the financial collapse has revealed "more secrecy" in Washington "than any time I can remember in American history" and suggested Mitt Romney has been demonstrating a similar kind of secrecy about his record at Bain Capital.
"In Washington the fix seems to be in, and nobody wants to hold the kind of hearings or demand the kind of information that would allow the American people to know what was done to them, and who did it," Gingrich said, later adding "Once we have the data, we'll see what it teaches, we don't know today. It's a little bit like the Bain story: we don't know, these things are all private and then they say to us trust us. Well I got to tell you, after the last three years, I'm not in the mood to trust anybody who has power with anything."
After calling for the pro-Gingrich SuperPAC to edit or remove inaccurate ads about Mitt Romney's Bain Capital record, he continued to hammer the former Massachusetts Governor for taking credit for creating 100,000 jobs without showing the evidence for it.
"My only challenge to the Governor is show us. I mean, if you've got some data, put it up. If you don't have any data -- he can't defend his governor's record, it is too liberal for South Carolina and he doesn't want to explain his jobs record except for a commercial."
The commercial remark, of course, was in reference to Romney's newest television ad being broadcast in South Carolina which defends his record at Bain. "Mitt Romney helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, grew new ones, and rebuilt old ones, creating thousands of jobs," the narrator says in the ad. "Those are the facts. We expected the Obama administration to put free markets on trial, but as The Wall Street Journal said, ‘Mr. Romney's GOP opponents are embarrassing themselves by taking the Obama line.'"
Gingrich was quick to note Friday that Romney's ad said he'd created "thousands of jobs," not the "hundred thousand" he had previously taken credit for on the campaign trail. He also had a different interpretation of his job creation record versus that of Romney.
"It's clear in public policy that that two times I was engaged in creating jobs -- first with Reagan which lead to 16 million new jobs and then as Speaker with Bill Clinton which led to 11 million new jobs -- the scale of job creation dwarfs his record in Massachusetts where his tax increases and his regulatory approaches actually led them to rank 47th - that is 4th from the bottom in job creation at a public level," he said.