I’m not a political campaign manager. I am not a paid political consultant. In fact, the greatest role I’ve ever had in a political campaign was as a (paid) telephone operator in the 1982 Irving, Texas “Liquor-by-the-Drink” campaign. As such I am 1-0, and we won BIG too.
Now I’d like to offer some unpaid and unsolicited advice to Newt Gingrich.
Newt should apologize to Mitt Romney for his comments about Romney’s work at Bain Capital. Here’s what Newt said:
“I would just say that if Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain Capital, that I would be glad to listen to him.”
That is not a fair criticism. It is not consistent with Newt’s professed politcal philosophy, nor is it consistent with Newt’s own past operations as independent consultant.
Rather, these are angry and petulant remarks made in the heat of campaign battle and have become the subject of numerous news and opinion articles.
Newt will certainly be asked about them in the Sioux City debate tonight. Here’s what I think Newt should say:
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I spoke in anger in response to remarks which were unfair to me. As a businessman Mitt Romney should be free to conduct his business in a way he best sees fit. His tenure at Bain Capital included both successes and a few failures. All businesses do, mine included.”
“This campaign should be about substance, about issues and about concrete actions to be taken upon inauguration in January. I intend to stay on that path from here forward.”
Let’s see if Newt takes my advice tonight. An apology would suit him well. It might even distinguish him.