Gingrich: Romney in White House will be 'very different' than he was in Massachusetts

"He understands this is a big diverse country and I think he understands it better after two presidential campaigns, and I think as a result, you're going to see a desire to liberate the 50 states ... have each of them develop their approaches in ways that fit their economy and their local culture," said Gingrich on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Gingrich, Romney’s former GOP presidential rival, pointed specifically to healthcare legislation passed in Massachusetts that has been seen as a model for President Obama's national healthcare law.

Gingrich argued Romney will allow states to make their own choices on reform, citing the Bay State's liberal constituency and overwhelmingly Democratic legislature are major differences from a national electorate. 

“I know from both campaigning with him, talking with him, in private, he’s not going to try to take a Massachusetts health plan to Texas, or to Idaho, or to Wyoming,” Gingrich said. 

During the GOP primaries, Gingrich sounded a different tone on the impact Romney's Massachusetts healthcare plan would have during a general election.

“RomneyCare is the forerunner to ObamaCare, and the idea that the Republicans are going to try to beat ObamaCare with somebody who authored RomneyCare strikes me in the end as a dead loser,” Gingrich told Fox News in March. 

The president's campaign is shifting focus from Romney's tenure at private-equity firm Bain Capital to his record as governor of Massachusetts with the release of a new Web video, press conference and surrogate television appearances Thursday. 

"He [Romney] sold to the people of Massachusetts, when he was running for governor, the same lines he's trying to sell to the United States, and it just didn't happen that way," said Patrick, who made the media rounds Thursday morning promoting the campaign's new message.

Patrick blasted Romney for what he said were failed campaign promises — from creating jobs to reducing the size of government and imposing fiscal discipline in Massachusetts. 

Gingrich responded to Patrick by touting the state's low unemployment under Romney's governorship, saying the jobless rate stood at 4.7 percent when he left office. 

"Every day that the president gets involved in an economic fight, he's on exactly the turf Romney wants to campaign on," Gingrich added. 

The former House Speaker also reflected on the highly contentious and attack-laden primary campaign, where he and Romney often found themselves at odds. 

"We had a very tough primary season. I threw the kitchen sink at him, he threw a bigger kitchen sink at me. It wasn't fun and some of it was personal, there's no question about it," Gingrich said.

He admitted that Romney might have not been his top choice in a primary, but said his concerns over a second Obama term make it "pretty easy" to be enthusiastic for his party's chosen candidate.

Read more on how Gingrich thinks super-PACs will make the general election a "mess" and why he called MSNBC host Chris Matthews "slightly wacked" on The Hill's GOP12 blog.