- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 22, 2012

A beaming Newt Gingrich, fresh off a 12-point win in South Carolina’s Republican primary on Saturday night, applauded rival Mitt Romney’s decision to release his tax returns, saying the focus in the GOP contest could return to “more important issues.”

“I think that’s a very good thing he’s doing, and I commend him for it,” Mr. Gingrich, a former House speaker, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “As far as I’m concerned, that particular issue is now set to side.”

During the interview, Mr. Gingrich, who won 40 percent of the vote in South Carolina to Mr. Romney’s 28 percent, repeatedly referred to Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and multimillionaire, as the “establishment” Republican candidate.

“As they look at the big boys on Wall Street, they look at the guys in Washington, they know that none of that help got down to average, everyday Floridians,” the former House speaker said. “In Florida, my case is going to be very simple: You have a clear establishment candidate in Mitt Romney.”


Mr. Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman who has made millions himself as a Washington consultant since leaving office, said the Republican establishment opposes his candidacy because he “has no connection to them, no investment in them.”