GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney traded barbs in separate appearances on Monday morning news programs, a day ahead of the Florida primary.
Gingrich accused Romney of being “pro-abortion, pro-tax increase, pro-gun control” in an appearance on CBS This Morning.
“He’s bought an amazing amount of ads to try to pretend he’s somebody he’s not,” the former House speaker said. “He’s, for all practical purposes, a liberal and I’m a conservative.”
Speaking shortly afterwards on Fox & Friends, Romney said that those accusations stemmed from “desperate times, I guess.”
“It really has been very sad and painfully revealing about the speaker to see him railing on like this,” Romney said, adding that he is anti-abortion rights, supports the Second Amendment and is opposed to tax increases.
The former Massachusetts governor said reports that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had asked him to tone down the rhetoric with Gingrich were false.
But he did say in a separate appearance on NBC’s Today that his campaign would consider pulling a recent ad that uses historical footage of NBC anchor Tom Brokaw reporting on Gingrich being asked to step down as House Speaker over ethics charges. NBC requested that the ad be pulled and Brokaw, currently a correspondent for NBC News, released a statement saying he was uncomfortable with the use of his image in the ad out of concern it would compromise his image as a non-partial journalist.
“We'll sit down with the lawyers, talk to the folks at NBC, and make a decision on that front,” Romney said.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story incorrectly named CBS's morning show. It is CBS This Morning.