After a day in which he was blind-sided by multiple attacks and suggestions that he was never quite the Reagan disciple he has intimated during the campaign, Newt Gingrich fired back hard in the Jacksonville debate, blaming rival Mitt Romney for the broadside.
"It's increasingly interesting to watch the Romney attack machine coordinate things," said the former Speaker. "All of a sudden today there are four different articles by four different people that show up" questioning his Reagan credentials.
Perhaps the most biting article was written by former Reagan assistant secretary of state Elliott Abrams, who said the young Gingrich "often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides and his policies to defeat Communism." He quoted Gingrich in 1985 calling Reagan's Cold War policies "pathetically incompetent."