Newt Gingrich stepped up his attacks on Mitt Romney’s wealth and foreign bank accounts Thursday, but he told “The Kudlow Report” that didn’t mean he was against free market capitalism.
“I am very pro free market, I am very pro capitalism,” Gingrich said, “but I am also for people running for president being held accountable to a very tough standard.”
“The idea that to criticize and ask a question about several business deals means you are anti-capitalist is nonsense,” he told Larry Kudlow. “The fact is there are several deals that Bain did that they took an enormous amount of money out of companies which shortly thereafter went broke.”
Gingrich has been very critical of Romney's role in the private equity firm Bain Capital, which had a mixed record of job creation at the companies it restructured in the 1980s and 1990s. That criticism angered some conservatives, but Gingrich insisted he was not giving up on his principals.
Suggesting Romney was out of touch, Gingrich said Romney “doesn’t go out and work for” his $20 million a year income. Gingrich also went after his rival’s Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts.
“I have no idea why he [Romney] had a Swiss bank account or why he had Cayman Islands accounts,” Gingrich said, “but if you are running for president you better be prepared to explain it.”
Romney’s wealth is also the reason the race in Florida is now close, he said.
“We had a big surge. We gained a lot of points literally overnight,” Gingrich said. “You had a little bit of subsiding and frankly, Romney has vastly more money. He’s running negative ads, many of them false.”
A new Rasmussen pollreleased Thursday shows Romney is now leading in Florida, with 39 percent support to Gingrich’s 31 percent.
Watch Larry Kudlow's complete interview with Gingrich on "The Kudlow Report" at 7 p.m. ET.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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