On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich lowered the boom on Mitt Romney in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. Gingrich criticized his GOP rival as a "Massachusetts moderate" while touting himself as a "Southern conservative." Asked if he ought to be responding more aggressively to attacks from Romney and the other Republican candidates, Gingrich said he would need to fight back, as some aides have reportedly been urging him to do.
"I would have been perfectly happy to run an entirely positive campaign," Gingrich told Morgan. "[Romney's] made that impossible."
Gingrich used much of the interview to admonish Romney and his surrogates for the wave of negative ads aimed against the former House speaker in the last few weeks across Iowa. Morgan played a portion of this ad from Restore our Freedom PAC, which is airing in Iowa, and Gingrich dismissed its negativity. He also denounced, in a style reminiscent of his hit on Romney's Bain Capital career last month, the ad's sponsoring PAC, which is unofficially linked to Romney.
"It is Romney’s staff using money from Romney’s millionaire friends," Gingrich said. "This is from a PAC run by his former staff, paid for by his millionaire friends."
Gingrich suggested that Romney's failure to run such ads with own campaign's imprimatur showed the former governor of Massachusetts was not being honest with voters. "If he can’t level with the American people about these ads, why should we expect he could level with them on anything if he’s president?" Gingrich said.
Gingrich also told Morgan that he could not predict the results of Tuesday's caucuses but ventured a guess of his own placement. "I think I’ll come somewhere between first and fourth," he said. "I honestly have no idea where we’ll be on that list." Gingrich had said earlier on Monday that he did not think he would win in Iowa.