Mitt Romney speaks at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. (Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer )
Reporting from Rock Hill, S.C. — Mitt Romney softened his attack on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a second rally Wednesday at Winthrop University. He chided the former House speaker for criticizing his private-sector experience, but omitted his charge from earlier in the day that Gingrich had exaggerated his record on job creation.
Still, for the second time Wednesday, Romney pivoted from criticism of President Obama, who he said wanted to “replace ambition with envy” and “cause class warfare,” to his Republican foe, who is gaining in South Carolina polls.
“I think the president’s attack on free enterprise and capitalism and success is beneath him,” Romney said before a large crowd at Winthrop University. “By the way, I’ve been disappointed that even in our race some Republicans have jumped on that bandwagon. Recognize -- it’s not the way to build a strong economy to tear down fellow Americans or to attack capitalism.
“My goodness, I listened to Speaker Gingrich the other night talking about the enterprises I’ve been associated with,” he added, referring to his experience heading the private equity firm Bain Capital. “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve worked in the private sector, that I’ve achieved success, that we were able to build jobs in America. And I’m going to keep using that experience to make sure we build jobs for the entire country.”