This article presents an unbiased comparison of the policies and positions of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential election.

Mitt Romney was the early frontrunner in the Republican race and has, at various phases, lost that status to other contenders like Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

Comparison chart

Mitt Romney versus Newt Gingrich comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMitt RomneyNewt Gingrich
  • current rating is 3.41/5
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(10331 ratings)
  • current rating is 3.26/5
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(57 ratings)
Mitt RomneyNewt Gingrich
Political Party Republican Republican
Position on Healthcare Created similar legislation in Mass. but believes it's not appropriate for all of USA and wants to repeal. Proposes encouraging individuals to purchase their own health insurance rather than via employers, and allowing insurance across state lines. Would repeal Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare overhaul and offer in its place tax benefits to encourage the purchase of private health insurance. Called Paul Ryan's Medicare overhaul plan "right wing social engineering"
Position on Immigration Would make English the official language of the US and "turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally". In favor of promoting legal immigration. Would make English the official language of the US and favours "100% control" of the US-Mexico border
Alma Mater Stanford University, Brigham Young University (BA), Harvard University (MBA, JD) Emory University (B.A.), Tulane University (M.A./PhD)
Full name Willard Mitt Romney Newton Leroy Gingrich
Profession Businessman, politician, author Politician, author, lobbyist, Assistant Professor
Website http://www.mittromney.com newt.org
Place of Birth Detroit, Michigan Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Religion Christian (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a.k.a. Mormon) Roman Catholic (formerly Baptist)
Children Tagg (b. 1970), Matt (b. 1971), Josh (b. 1975), Ben (b. 1978), Craig (b. 1981) Kathy Gingrich Lubbers, Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Spouse(s) Ann Romney (m. 1969–present) Jackie Battley (1962–1981), Marianne Ginther (1981–2000), Callista Gingrich (2000–present)
Date of Birth March 12, 1947 June 17, 1943
Residence Belmont, Massachusetts Carrollton, Georgia (1979–1993, while in office), Marietta, Georgia (1993–1999, while in office), McLean, Virginia (1999–present)

Career

Gingrich has had a long political career in Washington. His most notable stint was as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1994 to 1998. He was credited with the Republican success in the 1994 elections that won the party a majority in the House. He was also responsible for the shutdown of the federal government in 1995 and 1996. At the time, Gingrich was lampooned for implying that the government shutdown was a result of his personal grievances (being snubbed by President Clinton).[1]

Romney began his career as a consultant with BCG (Boston Consulting Group) and later with Bain & Company. He then moved to Bain Capital, a venture fund and was involved in leveraged buyouts, where the hedge fund uses debt to finance the takeover of an underperforming company , turns the company around by cutting costs or improving efficiencies, and later sells the company for a profit. In 1994, Romney ran for senate against Ted Kennedy and lost in a close race. From 2003-2007 he was Governor of Massachusetts. In 2008 he ran for President but failed to secure the Republican nomination and lost to Barack Obama vs John McCain.

Comparison of economic policy

There are major similarities in their economic policy positions. Both have adopted conservative positions on keeping the Bush tax cuts in place, repealing Obama's health-care reforms, eliminating the estate tax. Regardless of these similarities and differences, voters must remember that it is ultimately Congress that negotiates on such legislation and passes the bills that determine economic policy. The President can propose legislation but has little direct say in what gets drafted.

Taxes

Gingrich has promised larger tax cuts, notably for businesses and wealthy Americans. He proposes reducing the income-tax rate to zero on capital-gains and dividend income. Romney would also exempt such investment income from taxes, but only for households with incomes of $200,000 or less. For corporate income tax, Gingrich favors a reduction to 12.5% whereas Romney favors reducing it to 25% from the current rate of 35%.

Gingrich criticized Romney for paying a low federal tax rate when his own tax plan would lower that rate to nearly zero.

Social Security

Gingrich has said workers should have an option to invest in personal plans and opt out of Social Security. Romney has said Social Security reforms should include raising the retirement age or changing the way benefits are inflation-adjusted for high-income retirees.

Economic Plan

Highlights of the economic plan proposed by the Gingrich campaign include eliminating the National Labor Relations Board, replacing the Environmental Protection Agency, repealing "ObamaCare" and cutting regulations on banks and financial institutions. He also proposed limiting unemployment benefits to a maximum of four weeks. Gingrich's remarks about President Obama being a "food stamp president" and that poor kids have no work ethic play on ancient racial stereotypes.[2]

Romney laid out his jobs plan in a "Day one, job one" speech and highlights of his plan include repealing "Obamacare", cutting red tape, increasing domestic energy production through a rapid issuance of drilling permits, sanctions against China for unfair trade practices (currency manipulation) and imposing duties on Chinese imports.

Healthcare

Both candidates oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often called "Obamacare"). Gingrich organized an online petition that secured over 100,000 signatures to support its repeal in the House of Representatives. The federal law was in many ways similar to the Massachusetts health care reform passed during Romney's term as governor. So Romney has faced criticism for flip-flopping on the issue.

Gingrich has also faced criticism for his 1990s support for the "individual mandate" i.e. a law requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. Gingrich also criticized Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare, for which he received flak from conservatives.

Position on social issues

Immigration

Gingrich has been generally opposed to the mass deportation of illegal immigrants, but he has also decried complete amnesty, calling instead for "a humanitarian period of transition as we replace an illegal channel of immigration with a legal one." For example, he advocates using different rules for immigrants who came to the United States as children than those who came as adults. During the CNN debate on November 22, 2011 he said: "I don't see how the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century." He also said: "And I'm prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families." Gingrich supports an expanded temporary worker program, with a special open-ended visa for high value workers. He believes workers who immigrated illegally but have family and a clean criminal record should have first opportunity to get temporary worker visas, but they should be required to return to their country of origin to get the visa.

Romney favors increased immigration to the United States and opposes illegal immigration. Romney is against amnesty for illegal aliens, but also said, "I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country." He would like to see illegal immigrants register with the government, pay taxes, and apply for citizenship, but that they should not be given any priority or special treatment over immigrants who have applied for citizenship legally. While Governor, he opposed granting in-state tuition and driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. In his last month as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed an executive order that would have allowed state police officers to make arrests for immigration violations.

Watch the debate video from Florida where Romney and Gingrich have an exchange over immigration.

Abortion

The current position of both candidates on the abortion issue is fairly similar - they are both pro-life and want to make abortions illegal except in cases of incest, rape and when the mother's life is in danger.

Romney was pro-choice when running against Ted Kennedy in 1994 and during his gubernatorial campaign in 2003. He has since changed is position to be pro-life and called for the repeal of Roe v. Wade. He has not stated his position on "personhood legislation", which would declare legal personhood to begin at fertilization. Romney declined to sign a pro-life pledge for 2012 presidential candidates sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List.

Gingrich, on the other hand, did sign the Susan B. Anthony list. His campaign website states he wants to end taxpayer subsidies for abortion by repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reinstating the 'Mexico City Policy' which banned funding to organizations that promote and/or perform abortions overseas. In an interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News in late 2011, Gingrich stated that he believed life began at "implantation". He was criticized by socially conservative Republican presidential primary opponents Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann for not consistently supporting the doctrine that life begins at conception. He later changed his "implantation" position and stated that he believes life begins at conception.[3]

Embryonic stem cell research

Gingrich called for banning all embryonic stem cell research, which he once supported.[4]

LGBT issues

Both candidates oppose same-sex marriage and support "Don't ask, don't tell", a policy that does not allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Gingrich supports the Defense of Marriage Act, a position for which he has been criticized because he has been divorced twice and married three times.

Romney has stated his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions, though he supports some domestic partnership benefits and (at the state level) supports anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians in the workplace.

Campaign highlights

Controversies

Gingrich is the more controversial candidate of the two. Early on in his campaign, in the summer of 2011, Gingrich's campaign manager, his press secretary, and senior aides in early primary states resigned from his campaign en masse.

He has also been criticized for being unfaithful to both his ex-wives. A few days before the South Carolina primary, his second ex-wife said in an interview with ABC News that he had asked her for an "open marriage".

Other controversies surrounding Gingrich include his time as a lobbyist in Washington for Freddie Mac and his exit in 1997 as Speaker of the House, which his opponents say was disgraceful.

Controversies dogging the Romney campaign include calls for him to release his tax returns and his career at Bain Capital where some companies he invested in went out of business or laid off people while others succeeded. He is also accused of flip-flopping on issues such as abortion and healthcare.

In the ABC News / Yahoo! debate on January 7, 2011, Gingrich asked Romney to "drop the pious baloney". Here is the video:

Endorsements

Romney has received endorsements from former Utah governor and Presidential contender Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, senators Kelly Ayotte, Roy Blunt, Scott Brown, NJ governor Chris Christie and the National Review publication, among others.

Endorsements for Gingrich include governors Nathan Deal and Rick Perry and the New Hampshire Union Leader. As of December 10, 2011, no senators or other governors had endorsed Gingrich. Opponents say this is a worrying signal for him given his long career in Washington. In late January 2012, Gingrich won the endorsement of Herman Cain.

Debate Videos

Here's a video of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sparring over the fact that Gingrich tried to take credit for creating an environment in which Romney could succeed.


The debate in Florida on Jan 23, 2012 was arguably the first debate in which Gingrich and Romney were neck and neck instead of Romney being the frontrunner. Romney attacked Gingrich's record as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac and healthcare companies, as well his tenure as Speaker where he was ousted by Republicans.[5] Here is a video of the exchange:


Here is an exchange between Romney and Gingrich about Gingrich's allegation that Romney is "anti-immigrant". The exchange occurred on January 26, 2012 at the CNN debate in Florida:

Primary Results

Image:Primaries-gingrich-vs-romney.png

Recent News about Romney and Gingrich

Chances of winning

Gingrich vs Romney in prediction markets

Mitt Romney has had a consistent lead over Newt Gingrich in the Intrade prediction market. However, in November 2011 the margin of this lead reduced dramatically as Gingrich surged in opinion polls.

Romney's chances on Intrade Gingrich's chances on Intrade

Ranking in opinion polls

Romney has had a consistent support of about 23% but support for Gingrich surged in November 2011 after Herman Cain's campaign was rocked by scandals. The following polls are focused mostly on Republicans and Republican-leaning voters.

Poll source Date(s) administered Newt Gingrich Mitt Romney
Gallup Feb 29-Mar 4, 2012 38% 15%
Gallup Feb 28-Mar 3, 2012 38% 17%
Gallup Feb 27-Mar 2, 2012 36% 17%
Gallup Feb 26-Mar 1, 2012 35% 16%
Rasmussen Reports Feb 29, 2012 40% 16%
Gallup Feb 25-29, 2012 35% 15%
Gallup Feb 24-28, 2012 33% 16%
Gallup Feb 23-27, 2012 31% 14%
Gallup Feb 22-26, 2012 32% 14%
Gallup Feb 21-25, 2012 31% 15%
Gallup Feb 20-24, 2012 30% 16%
Gallup Feb 19-23, 2012 27% 16%
Gallup Feb 18-22, 2012 27% 15%
Gallup Feb 17-21, 2012 27% 15%
Gallup Feb 16-20, 2012 26% 14%
Associated Press/GfK Feb 16-20, 2012 32% 15%
Gallup Feb 15-19, 2012 26% 13%
Gallup Feb 14-18, 2012 28% 13%
Gallup Feb 13-17, 2012 29% 13%
Gallup Feb 12-16, 2012 30% 14%
Gallup Feb 11-15, 2012 31% 14%
Rasmussen Reports Feb 14, 2012 27% 15%
Gallup Feb 10-14, 2012 33% 15%
CNN/Opinion Research Feb 10-13, 2012 32% 15%
Gallup Feb 9-13, 2012 32% 16%
CBS News/New York Times Poll Feb 8-13, 2012 27% 10%
Gallup Feb 8-12, 2012 32% 16%
Pew Research Center Feb 8-12, 2012 28% 17%
FDU PublicMind Feb 6-12, 2012 33% 15%
Gallup Feb 7-11, 2012 34% 16%
Public Policy Polling Feb 9-10, 2012 23% 17%
Gallup Feb 4-10, 2012 34% 17%
Anderson Robbins Research/Shaw & Company Research Feb 6-9, 2012 33% 22%
Gallup Feb 3-9, 2012 34% 18%
Gallup Feb 2-8, 2012 36% 20%
Gallup Feb 1-7, 2012 37% 21%
Rasmussen Reports Feb 6, 2012 34% 27%
Reuters/Ipsos (Republicans and Independents) Feb 2-6, 2012 28% 16%
Reuters/Ipsos (Republicans only) Feb 2-6, 2012 29% 19%
Gallup Jan 31 - Feb 6, 2012 37% 22%
Gallup Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2012 35% 24%
Gallup Jan 29-Feb 2, 2012 25% 33%
Gallup Jan 28-Feb 1, 2012 25% 31%
Gallup Jan 27-31, 2012 26% 31%
Gallup Jan 26-30, 2012 28% 27%
Gallup Jan 25-29, 2012 28% 27%
Gallup Jan 24-28, 2012 28% 26%
Gallup Jan 23-27, 2012 32% 26%
Gallup Jan 22-26, 2012 32% 24%
Gallup Jan 21-25, 2012 31% 25%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Jan 22-24, 2012 37% 28%
Gallup Jan 20-24, 2012 31% 28%
Gallup Jan 19-23, 2012 31% 27%
Gallup Jan 18-22, 2012 28% 29%
Gallup Jan 17-21, 2012 25% 30%
Gallup Jan 16-20, 2012 23% 31%
Gallup Jan 15-19, 2012 20% 30%
Gallup Jan 14-18, 2012 17% 33%
Rasmussen Jan 17, 2012 27% 30%
Gallup Jan 13-17, 2012 16% 33%
New York Times/CBS News Jan 12-17, 2012 21% 28%
Gallup Jan 12-16, 2012 15% 34%
Pew Research Jan 11-16, 2012 16% 31%
Washington Times/JZ Analytics Jan 14-15, 2012 17% 32%
Washington Post/ABC News Jan 12-15, 2012 17% 35%
Gallup Jan 11-15, 2012 14% 37%
Fox News/Anderson Robbins/Shaw & Co. Jan 12-14, 2012 14% 40%
Gallup Jan 10-14, 2012 13% 37%
Gallup Jan 9-13, 2012 13% 35%
Gallup Jan 8-12, 2012 15% 34%
Gallup Jan 7-11, 2012 14% 34%
Gallup Jan 6-10, 2012 16% 31%
Gallup Jan 5-9, 2012 18% 30%
Ipsos/Reuters (Republicans and Independents) Jan 5-9, 2012 17% 29%
Ipsos/Reuters (Republicans only) Jan 5-9, 2012 20% 30%
Pew Research Jan 4-8, 2012 16% 27%
CBS News Jan 4-8, 2012 15% 19%
Gallup Jan 3-7, 2012 16% 31%
Gallup Jan 1-6, 2012 17% 29%
Gallup Dec 29, 2011- Jan 5, 2012 19% 27%
Rasmussen Jan 4, 2012 16% 29%
Angus Reid Public Opinion Dec 27-29, 2011 26% 32%
Gallup Dec 23-29, 2011 24% 26%
Gallup Dec 22-28, 2011 23% 27%
Gallup Dec 21-27, 2011 25% 25%
Gallup Dec 20-26, 2011 25% 24%
Gallup Dec 19-23, 2011 26% 23%
Gallup Dec 18-22, 2011 26% 22%
APCO Insight Dec 17-22, 2011 24.8% 30.2%
Gallup Dec 17-21, 2011 27% 21%
The Economist/YouGov Dec 17-20, 2011 27% 21%
Gallup Dec 15-20, 2011 25% 23%
Gallup Dec 14-19, 2011 25% 23%
Public Policy Polling Dec 16-18, 2011 35% 22%
CNN/ORC International Dec 16-18, 2011 28% 28%
ABC News/Washington Post Dec 15-18, 2011 30% 30%
CBS News Dec 14-18, 2011 20% 20%
Gallup Dec 13-18, 2011 26% 24%
Gallup Dec 12-17, 2011 28% 24%
Gallup Dec 11-16, 2011 28% 24%
Gallup Dec 10-14, 2011 29% 24%
Gallup Dec 9-13, 2011 31% 23%
Reason Magazine/Rupe Dec 1-13, 2011 27% 25%
Associated Press-GfK (Republicans and Republican-leaning independents) Dec 8-12, 2011 33% 27%
Reuters/Ipsos Dec 8-12, 2011 28% 18%
Gallup Dec 8-12, 2011 31% 22%
NBC/Wall Street Journal Dec 7-11, 2011 40% 23%
Pew Research Center Dec 7-11, 2011 35% 21%
Gallup Dec 7-11, 2011 33% 23%
Gallup Dec 6-10, 2011 33% 23%
Gallup Dec 5-9, 2011 35% 23%
Gallup Dec 4-8, 2011 37% 23%
Fox News Dec 5-7, 2011 36% 23%
Gallup Dec 3-7, 2011 34% 25%
The Economist/YouGov Dec 3-6, 2011 31% 15%
Gallup Dec 2-6, 2011 36% 23%
Gallup Dec 1-5, 2011 37% 22%
Poll Position Dec 4, 2011 36.6% 23.4%
Fairleigh Dickinson University (Republicans) Nov 29-Dec 5, 2011 37% 25%
Rasmussen Reports Nov 30, 2011 38% 17%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 26-29, 2011 25% 17%
Poll Position Nov 27, 2011 32.1% 23.2%
Poll Position Nov 22, 2011 30.3% 21.4%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 19-22, 2011 31% 20%
CNN/ORC International Nov 18-20, 2011 24% 20%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 18-19, 2011 24% 22%
IBOPE Zogby Nov 15-17, 2011 32% 14%
Quinnipiac University Nov 14-20, 2011 26% 22%
USA Today/Gallup (All Republicans/Republican leaners) Nov 13-17, 2011 19% 20%
Fox News Nov 13-15, 2011 23% 22%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 12-15, 2011 23% 19%
CNN/ORC International Nov 11-13, 2011 22% 24%
Public Policy Polling Nov 10-13, 2011 28% 18%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Nov 10-12, 2011 22% 32%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 10-11, 2011 16% 28%
Pew Research Center Nov 9-14, 2011 16% 23%
McClatchy-Marist Nov 8-10, 2011 19% 23%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 7-8, 2011 16% 26%
CBS News Nov 6-10, 2011 15% 15%
Politico/George Washington University Nov 6-9, 2011 14% 25%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 5-8, 2011 16% 24%
USA Today/Gallup Nov 2-6, 2011 12% 21%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Nov 2-5, 2011 13% 28%
Rasmussen Reports Nov 2, 2011 14% 23%
Washington Post-ABC News Oct 31-Nov 3, 2011 12% 24%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 29-Nov 1, 2011 15% 17%
Reuters/Ipsos Oct 27-28, 2011 11% 29%
Quinnipiac University Oct 25-31, 2011 10% 23%
Fox News Oct 23-25, 2011 12% 20%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 22-25, 2011 7% 24%
CBS News/New York Times Oct 19-24, 2011 10% 21%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 18-21, 2011 12% 19%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 15-18, 2011 11% 21%
CNN/ORC International Oct 14-16, 2011 8% 26%
Associated Press/GfK (General population) Oct 13-17, 2011 5% 21%
Rasmussen Reports Oct 12, 2011 10% 29%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 11-14, 2011 6% 21%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 8-11, 2011 9% 18%
Public Policy Polling Oct 7-10, 2011 15% 22%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Oct 7-10, 2011 8% 23%
Reuters/Ipsos (Republicans and Independents) Oct 6-10, 2011 7% 21%
The Washington Post/Bloomberg News (leaned GOP) Oct 6-9, 2011 3% 24%
Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage Oct 4, 2011 8.5% 24%
Gallup Oct 3-7, 2011 7% 20%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 3-5, 2011 4% 18%

References

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