After front-runner Mitt Romney got off relatively unscathed in Saturday night’s GOP presidential debate, Sunday morning’s rematch in New Hampshire was another story entirely. Romney out of the gate was treated like a piñata by his rivals, who questioned everything from his record to his integrity.
The key to the pile-on was, unsurprisingly, Newt Gingrich, who was asked by moderator David Gregory whether Romney was electable and should be the nominee. Gingrich, who has been nursing a grudge since a pro-Romney super PAC splattered his name all across Iowa, called Romney a “timid Massachusetts moderate.”
Gingrich said he, as a true “Reagan conservative,” would stand up better against President Obama’s mighty reelection machine than Romney.
Prompted by Gregory, Gingrich said, “I think he would have a very hard time getting elected.”
The NBC News/Facebook debate, held in Concord, N.H., was the second in about 12 hours, and came just 48 hours before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary.
Romney said he was “very proud of the record I have. People saw I was a solid conservative and I brought important change to Massachusetts” by cutting taxes and balancing the budget.