Apparently realizing he may have gone too far, Newt Gingrich started backing off his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain at a book-signing yesterday. And on Fox News this morning he defended himself from charges that he’s anti-capitalist:
A defensive Newt Gingrich, under fire from all sides for his attacks against Mitt Romney’s experience at Bain Capital, shot back at his critics Thursday morning, insisting that he was going after a “very specific case” involving his rival — not capitalism in general.
“It’s legitimate to ask the question — and this is the whole Wall Street problem — how come the big boys made a lot of money and [others] went broke?” Gingrich said on Fox News. “And that’s not an attack on capitalism. That’s not an issue about the whole capitalist system. That is a question about a very particular style of activity involving a very particular person.”
Gingrich won’t come right out and say the attacks were wrong. But it’s hard to believe he will keep up his Bain criticism at the same pace after the massive blowback he’s received from conservatives. Politico reports the newest commercial from the pro-Gingrich Super PAC is actually a positive ad, which seems to suggest the group is dropping the Bain attacks, at least for now.
But then again, Gingrich has no incentive to necessarily stand by and support the 27-minute attack on Bain Capital released by the pro-Gingrich Super PAC. The film is already out, voters are already viewing it, the media’s already covering it, and any damage it will cause Romney is already well on its way. That’s not to mention the spectacular footage of Gingrich and Rick Perry slamming Romney for destructive business practices and “vulture capitalism” that are sure to feature prominently in Obama campaign ads if Romney gets the nomination.
If Gingrich had started to back away from the attacks before the film was released, the media would have probably pressed him on whether he would ask the Super PAC to stop it from going public. Now, Gingrich doesn’t have to worry about that. By distancing himself from the Bain hit film now, he’s hoping he can have it both ways.