early and often

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich Now Engaged in All-Out Class Warfare

DES MOINES, IA - DECEMBER 10: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, speak during the ABC News GOP Presidential debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. Rivals were expected to target front runner Gingrich in the debate hosted by ABC News, Yahoo News, WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa GOP. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
How much did your haircut cost, Moneybags? Photo: Kevork Djansezian/2011 Getty Images

The Occupy Wall Street protest may have petered out, but its antagonism against the nation’s wealthiest one percent lives on in the unlikeliest of places: a GOP primary race between two multi-millionaires. As Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich duke it out in the weeks leading up to the first primary contests, their attacks on each other are increasingly focused on one another’s vast wealth. It all started on Monday, after Romney called on Gingrich to return the money he’d earned from Freddie Mac, for his work as a, um, historian. Not because earning money is inherently bad, but because of where it came from — an organization that conservatives blame for the economic meltdown.

Gingrich responded by attacking Romney’s time at investment firm Bain Capital, while also mocking his tin-eared $10,000 bet during Saturday’s debate:

If Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him,” Gingrich told reporters after a town hall, referring to the company Romney ran. “And I’ll bet you 10 dollars, not 10 thousand that he won’t take the offer.”

Gingrich’s condemnation of Romney’s private-sector experience didn’t sit well with a lot of conservative observers. On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer said it was a line you might expect to hear “from a socialist.” The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg called it “petulant, leftwing, bunk.” Indeed, there’s nothing conservatives hate more than when liberals engage in so-called class warfare against the wealthy, something Obama is accused of on practically a daily basis. So Romney’s rejoinder today, provided to CBS News between trademark fits of fake laughter/panting sounds, probably won’t make the GOP establishment any happier:

He’s a wealthy man, a very wealthy man. If you have a half a million dollar purchase from Tiffany’s, you’re not a middle class American.”

Isn’t there a drum circle somewhere you two could join?

Romney, Gingrich Criticize Each Other’s Wealth