MADISON, N.H. - Mitt Romney critiqued GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich's off the cuff style today as an unlikely way to win the White House, suggesting that unfiltered remarks may make the former speaker a weaker candidate.
"I know that among some folks just saying outrageous and incendiary things will get you kudos and drive your number up, but it's not going to win you the White House and it's not going to win us the respect of people on the other side of the aisle that we have to bring together to overcome the extraordinary challenges we have," said Romney, addressing the media after taking a tour and speaking to employees of the Madison Lumber Mill in northern New Hampshire.
"My own view is you take it to President Obama by describing his failures, not by saying things that people who voted for him in the past that we need to vote for us now, will find offensive," said Romney.
Asked whether he agrees that negative advertisements can make a candidate seem "desperate," an characterization that has been made by Gingrich's campaign, Romney shot back: "There's no whining in politics."
"We aren't running any negative ads at this point, but we may," Romney said. "This is, after all, politics. There is no whining in politics. You get in a political process and you fight hard and describe the differences between yourself and the other candidates. But at this stage all of our ads have been I believe positive."
Romney also questioned whether Gingrich understands how the economy works when asked about the former speaker's suggestion earlier today that Romney give money back to businesses he's profited from that have then gone bankrupt.
"Doesn't he understand how the economy works? In the real economy, some businesses succeed and some fail," said Romney. "That's how that works and you try and encourage the more successful and fortunately for many people, tens of thousands of jobs, actually over a hundred thousands of jobs were created by the investments that we were able to help make. "
"There's a big difference between working in the private economy and working on K Street and working as a lobbyist or working as a legislator or working to connect businesses with government," said Romney. K Street is the location of major Washington lobbyists.
"If he was working as a spokesman for Fannie Mae - excuse me, Freddie Mac - if he was there because of his political connections - and then if Freddie Mac fails, I think a fair question is asked, why did he profit as Freddie Mac failed?"
Holding his second press conference in as many days, and having amped up his media appearances in recent weeks, Romney declined to say whether his rise in accessibility was due to concern over his drop in the polls.
"We just felt people are going to get real tired of me if I was here saying hello to everyone everyday on the TV from January of this year all the way through to January of next year," said Romney. "We said the time to get more visible is toward the end when people are really listening to my message, when people really pay attention to a political process."
"So you're seeing our ads go up now and you're seeing me more available to the media," he said. "I'll be on the various talk shows, Sunday shows. This is the time I want people to know what I stand for and get their support because we're heading into the time when they're going to make their decision."