ORLANDO, FLORIDA—Newt Gingrich often rails against the establishment elites who have conspired to sink his campaign. Sometimes it is Mitt Romney; others times he targets the liberals (an unlikely tag-team combination), but there is always someone to blame other than himself. I heard a new formulation of this theory at his "Crossing the Finish Line Rally" in Orlando last night. The event, held on the final eve before the primary, was intended as a pre-victory rally of sorts but took a much more subdued tone, as Gingrich's standing in the polls has evaporated over the past week. But angry Gingrich was in true form, lashing out at his opponent's vast wealth and the conspiracy to prevent Gingrich from gaining power:
Goldman Sachs is a company that has taken billions from the American taxpayer, and they had a handpicked candidate in 2008 named Barack Obama. They have a handpicked candidate this year named Mitt Romney. They want to make sure that they keep the establishment in charge so that when they need our money, they can get it once again. And they are scared of a Gingrich presidency for a practical reason.
Just one example, when they bailed out AIG, $13 billion when from AIG through the backdoor to Goldman Sachs. Now I don't know how many homes in Florida that would have bailed out, but you know, Florida homeowners weren't in the room with [Timothy] Geithner and [Ben] Bernanke and the big boys. So somehow they took our money to take care of the folks who are now sending the money to Romney to run the ads to ensure that their candidate is in charge. And this is the recycling of the establishment that goes on.
In spirit, that's the same kind of populist attack that Gingrich used to propel himself to the top in South Carolina. In the Palmetto State, it was an assault on Bain Capital and concern about what Romney could have been hiding in his then-unreleased tax returns. Florida could have proved prime ground for Gingrich to lay it on thick, pushing a line against Romney as more concerned with his buddies on Wall Street than the mass wave of foreclosures across the state. But, instead, Gingrich got comfortable, looking ahead to his future presidency rather than the campaign still at hand.