Gingrich calls Clinton convention speech "eerily anti-Obama"

WASHINGTON Sun Sep 9, 2012 12:27pm EDT

U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Tom Gannam

U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri April 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tom Gannam

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday tried to turn Bill Clinton's rousing Democratic convention speech into a liability for President Barack Obama, calling it "eerily anti-Obama."

Gingrich, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination that went to Mitt Romney, argued that Clinton's efforts to remind voters about the economic heyday of his two terms in office could be seen to undermine Obama, who is struggling to reignite the economy and job growth.

"I actually thought parts of the Clinton speech were eerily anti-Obama, if you just listened to the subtext. I mean, here is Clinton saying, 'I reformed welfare because I worked with the Republicans, you didn't, Mr. Obama.' He didn't say it that way, but think about it," Gingrich told CNN's "State of the Union."

"'I had the longest period of economic growth in history, you didn't, Mr. Obama. I got to four balanced budgets by working with Republicans, you didn't, Mr. Obama,'" Gingrich added.

Gingrich, who was a sharp critic of Clinton during his presidency, added: "I think what it does is it actually shrinks Obama. I mean, you have a real president and then you have this guy who is a pretender."

Clinton representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Clinton jumped to Obama's defense at their party's convention in Charlotte, North Carolina last week with a widely praised speech that endorsed Obama's policies as the path to a vibrant economy and job growth.

Obama delivered his own speech a day after Clinton, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Saturday showed the president widening his lead over Romney to 4 percentage points.

Gingrich attributed 80 percent of the Obama "bounce" to Clinton's speech. The election is November 6.

(Editing by Will Dunham)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (10)
USAPragmatist wrote:
Me thinks someone needs a reality check.

Sep 09, 2012 12:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
powerwhip wrote:
Newt, your a moron. Enjoy what little time you have left in the sun riding somebody elses coat tails.

Sep 09, 2012 12:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kuji wrote:
Who left the mic on for this guy?

Sep 09, 2012 12:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.