The Washington Times - December 12, 2011, 09:43AM

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign unveiled a new website Monday that aims to cast Newt Gingrich as an erratic leader and a clone of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, attacking the candidate as “Newt Nancy.”

The first post on the “Unreliable Leader” website is tagged “With Friends Like Newt Nancy” and a line is drawn through the former House speaker’s first name, leaving the impression to two ex-speakers are interchangeable when it comes to pushing Democratic causes. The website highlights Mr. Gingrich’s early criticism of the proposed Medicare overhaul that House GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan rolled out earlier this year and the commercial he cut with Mrs. Pelosi in 2008, where the two advocated for global warming awareness.


Gail Glitcho, communications director for Mr. Romney, said that over the three decades Mr. Gingrich has spent in Washington, he has been an “unreliable leader” — picking up on a message that the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign started driving home last week.

“When conservatives applauded Paul Ryan for proposing bold new ideas to solve the budget crisis, Speaker Gingrich attacked his plan and threw him under the bus,” she said. “And while conservatives were fighting job-killing cap-and-trade schemes, Speaker Gingrich shared a loveseat with Nancy Pelosi and lent his name to Al Gore’s environmental agenda. Conservatives are looking for a reliable leader who they can count on to stand by their side.”

Mr. Gingrich has bolted past Mr. Romney in national and state polls, including in Iowa where the Jan. 3 caucuses start the GOP nomination race. His rise in the polls has coincided with an increasing amount of attacks from his GOP rivals, who hope to slow his momentum.

In the debate Saturday, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann also hit Mr. Gingrich for supporting the cap-and-trade plan in the past — a charge that he said is simply untrue. “I opposed cap-and-trade,” Mr. Ginrgich said.

But independent researchers have questioned that claim. Though Mr. Gingrich never supported the Democrats’ cap-and-trade plan, he did voice support for such a program during a 2007 interview with PBS, when asked for his thoughts on then-candidate George W. Bush’s support of mandatory carbon caps during his presidential bid in 2000.

“I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’ s a package there that’s very, very good,” Mr. Gingrich said. “And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”