GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took a subtle swipe at the field's front-runner, Mitt Romney, on Tuesday for not signing an anti-abortion pledge.
Gingrich (R-Ga.), a former House Speaker, said that Romney had made "excuses" for not signing the pledge, which was circulated to candidates by the anti-abortion-rights group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List.
Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) are 2012 candidates who have signed the pledge.
But that did not stop the group and his fellow presidential contenders from questioning his conservative credentials on abortion.
"It is distressing that Governor Romney refuses to sign the SBA Pledge, even while claiming to be pro-life," said Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann's presidential campaign. "The excuses for not signing clearly continue the doubts about his leadership and commitment to ending the practice of abortion — particularly for a candidate who ran as pro-choice for the Senate and governorship of Massachusetts."
Santorum said Romney's decision was "incredibly disappointing."