- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, responding Sunday to criticism from 1996 GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, said that a “moderate” like Mr. Dole can’t beat President Obama next fall.

“We tried a moderate in 1996, and he couldn’t debate Bill Clinton effectively,” Mr. Gingrich, a former House speaker, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Dole said last week that Mr. Gingrich hurt Republicans in the 1996 presidential and congressional elections and told CBS News that he doesn’t want to see Mr. Gingrich in the White House.

Mr. Gingrich also took a swipe at the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, who has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in this year’s race.

“We tried a moderate in 2008. He couldn’t debate Barack Obama effectively and lost,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Gingrich, who is now running behind Mr. Romney in the polls leading up to Florida’s Republican primary on Tuesday, has cast himself as the “outsider” candidate and Mr. Romney as the “establishment” candidate in this year’s contest.

“I think Sen. Dole is a quintessential part of the establishment,” Mr. Gingrich said.

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