GOP rivals blast Obama on Hispanic-centric issues - USATODAY.com
A day after Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich fiercely attacked each other in the GOP presidential debate, they changed their focus Friday and trained their attacks on President Obama during a gathering here of Hispanic leaders.
When talking about his plan for dealing with Cuba, Romney said he wondered how anyone could expect Obama to stand up for the Cuban people when his administration remained largely silent during the Iranian uprisings in 2009.
“We watched across the world as Iran had over a million people take to the streets demonstrating for freedom. This country had nothing to say,” Romney said. “Can you imagine Ronald Reagan having nothing to say in that situation? Even Bill Clinton would’ve said something.”
Gingrich criticized Obama for meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and explained how Obama’s restrictions on producing domestic energy — including his rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Texas — was harming the country’s influence and security abroad.
“I have a very simple goal, which we’ll meet by the end of my first term: to have no American president ever again bow to a Saudi king,” Gingrich said, referring to the gesture Obama made to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during a meeting in 2009 that many interpreted as a bow.
The attacks on Obama during Friday’s Hispanic Leadership Network conference were a sharp contrast to the heated presidential debate on Thursday in Jacksonville, and came just four days ahead of the crucial Florida primary.
Romney opened up a 9-point lead over Gingrich in a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey released Friday, indicating the former House speaker had lost some of his momentum following his win in South Carolina.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, had 38% support from likely GOP voters, compared with 29% for Gingrich. Romney was leading by only 2 points in the Quinnipiac poll earlier in the week.