- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who ended his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination just last week, tried out a dramatically different role Sunday, transforming himself from Mitt Romney’s biggest critic to the former Massachusetts governor’s most vocal supporter.

“This is not some magic show,” Mr. Gingrich told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You’re either going to get Barak Obama or Mitt Romney … I believe Mitt Romney will be a dramatically better president for the United States than Barack Obama.”

Mr. Gingrich also took a few shots at President Obama.

“(Romney) needs to draw the contrast with Barack Obama,” he said. “This is a president that talked about hope and change. What are the changes?”

“More Americans lost their jobs since the Great Depression,” he added. “What Obama has succeeded in doing is actually driving people out of the workforce. There is no recovery since World War II that is as weak and lacking in jobs as this one.”

Mr. Gingrich also deflected speculation about him campaigning to be Romney’s vice president.

“I can’t imagine,” he said. “I think Romney’s going to look for somebody who’s younger. We have a big, deep bench now.”

Mr. Gingrich pointed to Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, as one of the younger potential running mates that he expects Mr. Romney would be interested in.

But Mr. Rubio, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” would not comment on his interest in serving as Mr. Romney’s vice president.

He did, however, answer questions as to whether he is too young to serve as vice president.

“What I’ve learned about Washington is that sometimes if you’re there too long, you start to become like the president has become,” Mr. Rubio said.

He continued his attack on President Obama: “He doesn’t want to run on his record, so instead they are constantly in search of something that can divide America.”

“It’s very sad, very sad to watch,” he added.