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Gingrich takes more direct aim at Romney in NH

LACONIA, NH – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spent the day after the Iowa Caucuses holding events in the Granite State and took aim at the frontrunner in the state’s primary next week: Mitt Romney.

“There is an enormous difference between somebody who has spent their entire career as a Reagan conservative and somebody who has spent their entire career as a Massachusetts moderate,” Gingrich said at Belknap Mills Wednesday afternoon. “I think in terms of beating Obama, having a clearly defined conservative is vastly more likely to win than having somebody who’s confused.”

Gingrich finished a distant fourth in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses Tuesday night as Romney squeaked out a win -- just 8 votes -- over the late-surging Rick Santorum. Both Romney and Ron Paul hammered the Speaker in negative advertisements in the state throughout the month of December, causing Gingrich to fall in polls. But Gingrich says the race hasn’t deterred him

“In this campaign so far, I’ve been dead once, resurrected, limping along, the front runner, drowning in a tidal wave of Romney and Ron Paul negative ads, recovered and survived,” he said. “So I don’t worry about much of anything.”

Gingrich said the idea of Romney being “electable is just silly” even though the people of Iowa selected Romney as the winner of its caucus.

The Gingrich campaign started more aggressively targeting the former Massachusetts governor early Wednesday, running a full-page ad in New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper, claiming “Only a Bold Reagan Conservative Can Defeat President Obama” and that is not Romney.

These attacks appear to break Gingrich’s pledge to run a positive-only campaign although the former speaker claims he is just showing contrast, not going negative.

Gingrich chose to start hitting Romney in New Hampshire, a state that borders the one Romney governed and a place where the former governor even owns a house. Gingrich took aim at Romney’s real estate today, as well.

When asked by a man in the crowd if the former speaker would purchase a home here in the Lakes Region, Gingrich responded with a jab at Romney. “No, I can’t afford things like that, I’m not rich,” he said. And even Callista, his wife, chimed in, with a dig at the Romneys, who own three homes. “We have one home,” Callista said.