Mitt Romney backer and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's comments this morning that Newt Gingrich "embarrassed" the Republican Party has the formerr House Speaker's Florida campaign co-chairman, Alan Levine, fuming.
"Far be it from me to tell the governor of New Jersey to focus on his own state, but this isn't a way to begin a campaign in Florida. It's disappointing," said Levine, a former healthcare chief under Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal who is new a private-sector hospital executive.
"I haven't heard Chuck Norris, Todd Palin, Michael Reagan or any other of Newts supporters attack Governor Romney this way, so it seems Governor Romney's surrogates ought to leave their antagonistic and nasty campaign tactics in the northeast where they belong," Levine said. "Floridians want a mature debate and a nominee with big ideas, so let's have a grown-up discussion about our future."
Levine said Gingrich has asked his campaign staff to focus on pushing his ideas; any criticisms of Romney or the other candidates are reserved for Gingrich. By contrast, Levine said, Romney appears to have surrogates do the attacking.
Said Levine: "I think we need to head what Jeb said last night: Stop the circular firing squad."
That's easy to say when your candidatehas just one South Carolina by a crushing 12-point margin. Let's see how positive Gingrich's campaign stays when Romney really starts hitting back.
Said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams: “Speaker Gingrich has a history of attacking other Republicans and undermining conservatives. Mr. Gingrich damaged the conservative movement when he viciously smeared Congressman Paul Ryan by calling his fiscally responsible budget “right wing social engineering.” And the irrational behavior and unreliable leadership he demonstrated during his time as Speaker embarrassed the Republican Party and forced him to resign from office in disgrace.”