At the NBC debate, Newt Gingrich responded forcefully to Mitt Romney’s attacks on his record as Speaker, and the circumstances under which he was reprimanded by the House, and under which he resigned after the the 1998 elections.
“He said at least four things that are false,” he said of one Romney answer. “I don’t want to waste the time on it.” Instead, he pointed viewers to his website, Newt.org, where comprehensive answers would be posted.
After Romney repeated his charges that Republicans had voted to reprimand Gingrich on ethics charges, Gingrich fired back. “First of all, he may have been a good financier. He’s a terrible historian.”
Gingrich said he had personally directed Republicans to vote for the reprimand, in order to put the Democratic-mounted ethics charges behind them — which Gingrich said were the result of Democrats being “very bitter” at his having led Republicans into their first majority in 40 years. “See, you have all this stuff jumbled up, apparently consultants aren’t very good historians. And you ought to look at the facts.”
He then compared his electoral record in 1998, when he resigned — “we had won the house in 1998, but the margin wasn’t big enough” — to Romney’s electoral record: “In the years when you were head of the Republican Governors Association, we lost governorships. And when you were Governor of Massachusetts, we lost seats in the legislature.”