After an hour and 20 minutes of largely steering clear of criticizing Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich (finally) offered up a slight--albeit an oblique one--against the former Bay State governor.
"I sometimes get accused of using language that is too strong. So I’ve been standing here editing. I’m very concerned about not appearing zany," he said, to an uproar of laughter from the audience.
That was a reference to a Romney interview with The New York Times from Wednesday, in which the former governor said, "Zany is great in a campaign. It’s great on talk radio. It’s great in print, it makes for fun reading. But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together.”
Thursday night's performances from Romney and Gingrich represented something of a cease-fire after several days on the campaign trail in which the two sides have been launching barbs against one another; Romney, in particular, has significantly ramped up his criticism of Gingrich in the media, doing national interviews rife with criticisms directed at the former House speaker. On Thursday night, however, barbs between the two candidates were hard to come by.