By Alicia M. Cohn - 05/02/12 11:48 AM EDT
President Obama's campaign deployed an unusual surrogate to attack presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a new Web video: Republican Newt Gingrich.
The video released Wednesday, titled "Newt Gingrich: Frankly, not Mitt Romney's biggest supporter," details a long list of attacks by the former House Speaker on Romney's business experience, Swiss bank account, immigration policy and accusations of dishonesty and an inability to rally the party.
The Romney campaign fired back that the Web video as another distraction from economic issues by the Obama campaign, adding, "Americans deserve better."
“President Obama and his campaign will do anything to avoid talking about his record of failure – and they certainly don’t want to talk about his plans to increase taxes on entrepreneurs and small businesses," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "Instead of working to fix the economy, President Obama prefers to point fingers and launch political attacks."
It's not the first time the Obama campaign has used a Republican opponent to hammer Romney, but with most of Romney's competition now out of the race and Romney the almost-certain nominee, it might be the last chance before the general election race formally begins.
Gingrich's campaign announced last week that the former Speaker would drop out this week, and a press conference is set for Wednesday afternoon in northern Virginia to announce the campaign's suspension. Gingrich released a video on Tuesday thanking his supporters and calling his campaign a "grassroots" success.
Gingrich has said in the past that he will support Romney if he becomes the nominee and has resisted calls to drop out of the race.
"If he does get to 1,144 delegates, I'll support him and I'll do everything I can this fall to help him defeat Obama because the primary goal of the entire Republican Party has to be to defeat Barack Obama," Gingrich said earlier this month.
Gingrich has not confirmed that he will endorse Romney on Wednesday, and although Romney is scheduled to be campaigning in Virginia on the same day, he is not expected to appear at the Gingrich event.
— This post was updated at 9:35 a.m.