RENO, NV -- Newt Gingrich seized Wednesday on a Mitt Romney gaffe, suggesting that the former Massachusetts governor had acted divisively by saying he was not concerned about very poor people.
Gingrich, who finished a distant second behind Romney in yesterday's Florida Republican primary, wasted no time at his first event in Nevada before going after Romney for the remark, which has replayed on cable news channels all day since the comments were first made this morning.
"I want to start with something the governor said today because it gives you a perfect distinction in our two approaches," Gingrich told supporters inside Great Basin Brewery. "Now, let me just say something here. I am fed up with politicians in either party pitting Americans against each other. I am running to be the president of all the American people, I am concerned about all the American people."
The former House speaker said that while all Republicans are committed to defeating Obama, a “real debate is starting in our own party about what is the best way to defeat Barack Obama." This is evident by the varying winners of the early nominating states. Money, Gingrich argues, is not the answer.
“I don’t believe that Gov. Romney can afford to outspend us 5-to-1 every place in the country. And I guarantee you that’s not a formula for him to defeat Obama because he’s sure not going to outspend Obama. I believe ideas matter. I believe people matter,” the speaker said.
Coming off a double-digit loss in Florida, Gingrich also faces an uphill battle in Nevada -- a caucus state that many predict Romney will also carry.
The speaker, who acknowledged Romney’s advantage in the state, vowed to still compete here as he spoke to reporters this afternoon.
“We are here to campaign. We are competing across the whole state. We want to compete in every single caucus meeting that occurs and I thought frankly this was a pretty good starting point for that,” he said and noted his campaign is adding more events to their schedule for the week ahead.
Gingrich only has private meetings in Las Vegas for the remainder of the day.