Gingrich lashes out at moneyed establishment

Romney's leading rival aims to recapture Tea Party spirit after winning backing of Cain and Palin

Winter Park, Florida

Newt Gingrich, who is waning in the polls, yesterday lashed out at the "old establishment" for trying to block his path to the Republican nomination and accused his main rival, Mitt Romney, of using his cash-rich campaign to "carpet bomb" him into oblivion.

Two days before the primary here in Florida, Mr Gingrich is playing scrappy insurgent pitting against the old guard.  It is a strategy that has glaring contradictions – Mr Gingrich as a Washington outsider is a bit absurd – but it taps directly into Mr Romney's weaknesses: that he is still seen by many as a dull, status quo elitist who has more money than empathy.

"Governor Romney has the ability to raise an amazing amount of money out of Wall Street from Goldman Sachs to all the major banks. And he has a basic policy of carpet bombing the opponent," the former House speaker said yesterday.  Mr Romney is outspending him 3-to-1 in TV and radio advertising here.

Mr Gingrich stuck with the theme as he made the ritual tour of Sunday-morning political talk shows.  "I don't know how you debate a person with civility if they're prepared to say things that are just plain factually false," he said during his appearances. "I think the Republican establishment believes it's OK to say and do virtually anything to stop a genuine insurgency from winning because they are very afraid of losing control of the old order."

The Romney-Gingrich fight is creating a class schism within the party that echoes the ascent of the anti-establishment Tea Party two years ago.  While the leadership is not wild about Mr Romney – not one Republican governor came to his aid after he lost South Carolina – the notion of a Gingrich nomination causes instant nausea. 

"I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late," former Senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole wrote in the National Review. "If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices."

But Mr Gingrich has cavalry of his own.  Herman Cain, whose own bid was sunk by womanising allegations, endorsed him on Saturday night.  Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, who built her career tilting at the Republican establishment in Alaska, stopped just short of an endorsement.

"You've got to rage against the machine … to defend our republic and save what is good and secure and prosperous about our nation," Ms Palin said. "We need somebody who is engaged in sudden and relentless reform and is not afraid to shake up the establishment. So, if for no other reason, rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal, vote Newt."

Still, the former speaker looks to be heading for a crash on Tuesday.  A Marist poll gives Mr Romney a 15-point lead with former Senator Rick Santorum and libertarian Ron Paul trailing behind them.  Looking forward, Mr Romney is favoured to gain momentum beginning with a likely win next weekend in Nevada caucuses.

But Mr Gingrich vowed at the weekend to stick with it for the long haul whatever the Florida result. At a rally here in a church in Winter Park, Mr Gingrich won rowdy standing ovations with a succession of rabble-rousing conservative bromides including pledges to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to make English the official language of government and further to challenge the freedom of women to choose. And he vowed to get started even before his inauguration if he is elected president.

"By the time Barack Obama has landed in Chicago we will have deconstructed 40 per cent of his programme," he declared.  That would include an assault on his universal healthcare reforms. "This is the most important election of your lifetime. We have to get it right to defeat President Obama."

Mr Gingrich is also being hurt by the continuing presence in the race of Mr Santorum, who appeals to Christian conservatives especially, and who has seen a small bounce in polling numbers after two debates last week. But the interventions of Ms Palin and Mr Cain might help ahead of Tuesday's contest.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
Passing on: George Washington died alert, aware and in his own bed. This is the kind of of death most people would like to have
Life and Style

Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
i100(More than you think)
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Brendan Rodgers as a manager, writes Paul Scholes
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered

Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Manager - £30,000 - Manchester City Centre

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This forward-thinking agency works with ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales - OTE £30,000

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a rapidly expanding offi...

Recruitment Genius: HVAC Project Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will b...

Recruitment Genius: Key Accounts Administrator - Fixed Term

£13500 - £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game