Former presidential hopeful Herman Cain today described the battle of attack ads between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as a political “food fight.”
Speaking on Fox News, Cain blamed Romney supporters for forcing Gingrich to respond to an estimated $2 million in largely negative advertising against him in Iowa.
“This is like being in the middle of a food fight,” said Cain, who has not yet endorsed a candidate. “I believe he was pushed into it. If you look at the amount of money that was spent in Iowa against Newt, he had no choice other than to try and retaliate with something like this. I know it’s ugly. I know it’s dirty.”
Gingrich supporters are planning to hit back with more than $3 million in advertising during the upcoming South Carolina primary, according to Fox. Those ads, funded by a super PAC, are expected to target Romney’s record as a job creator with Bain Capital.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola today called the pro-Gingrich ads targeting Romney’s record with Bain “disgusting.”
Former Gingrich aide Rick Tyler, who plays a prominent advisory role in Winning The Future, one of the super PACs supporting Gingrich, told Fox News that the ads are meant to target Romney’s record with Bain and not capitalism, as some analysts have charged.
“This is baloney. No one is arguing over free enterprise. I’m for free enterprise. This is a free enterprise system,” Tyler insisted, drawing a distinction between Romney “who went in like the vulture” and entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, whose inventions may unintentionally cause other businesses to close their doors.
“The market allows that. It’s not illegal. In some cases, some of the practices I would consider unethical or immoral, but that’s what he did,” Tyler said about Romney on Fox. “Don’t tell me you’re Steve Jobs on the creative side when actually you have a pattern on the destruction side where people lose jobs. He says, ‘I created 100,000 jobs.’ He forgot to mention they were in Mexico or Southeast Asia.”
Brad Woodhouse, Democratic National Committee communications director, welcomed the attack ads on Romney and said they help make the case that Democrats have been trying to make against the former Massachusetts governor.
“You know, we’ve been trying to make this case for a while, and now it seems to have bipartisan support,” he said, responding to Tyler’s comments on Fox. “The case about Mitt Romney’s time in the private sector as a corporate raider — where he broke down companies, laid off people and walked away with millions of dollars — it’s not just us saying it now. All of his Republican rivals are saying it. So it’s pretty good for us that we have that amplification of what we’ve been trying to say.”
Campaigning in New Hampshire today, Gingrich called on Romney to explain his tenure with Bain. Gingrich said that in three or four instances, Romney’s team did not appear to be operating like capitalists.
“They look like rich guys looting,” Gingrich said.
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