In 1994 ‘He Was Running to the Left of Teddy Kennedy’

Dec 9, 2011 4:08pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be promising to stay positive amidst the barrage of attacks coming his way from former Governor Mitt Romney and other GOP rivals, but not every utterance out of his mouth is a glowing homage to his opponents.

Case in point, in an interview with journalist Ben Domenech in the podcast Coffee & Markets, one could hear the following exchange:

GINGRICH: The Contract with America was probably the most conservative, successful legislative platform in modern times.

DOMENECH: And, of course, that Contract is one that your primary opponent Mitt Romney did not support. I wanted to ask you a question based on –

GINGRICH: That’s not totally fair. He was running for — He was running to the left of Teddy Kennedy in Massachusetts in 1994. And he said flatly, he wasn’t for the Reagan-Bush policies, he was independent. And he couldn’t possibly have been for the Contract because, how do you run in Massachusetts to the left of Teddy Kennedy favoring a Gingrich Contract?

Romney ran as a liberal Republican in that 1994 Senate race against the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

In a debate at the time, he said his non-endorsement of the Contract with America was less a matter of repudiating its content then a desire to work in a bipartisan way.

In a debate on October 27, 1994, Romney said: “In my view, it is not a good idea to go into a Contract like what was organized by the Republican party in Washington, laying out a whole series of things which the parties said, these are the things we’re going to do. I think that’s a mistake. I think instead, that if you want to get something done in Washington, you don’t end up picking teams with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other, entering into a Contract and saying, ‘Ok we’re all going to do this,’ and then of course if that works, then the other side feels like they’re the loser but if it wins, they feel like the winner. I don’t like winners and losers in Washington. I’d rather say let’s get together and work together.”

-Jake Tapper and Huma Khan

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