Gingrich: Romney a 'dead loser' because of Mass. healthcare law

Mitt Romney will lose the presidential election if he is the GOP nominee because of his work on healthcare, Newt Gingrich warned Tuesday.

Romney is “a dead loser” because of the Massachusetts healthcare law he ushered in as governor of the Northeastern state, the former House Speaker said in an interview on Fox News.

“As governor, when he signed RomneyCare, who did he say was his No. 1 collaborator? Ted Kennedy,” Gingrich said.

“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,” he continued. "How are you going to distinguish between those two in a debate?”

Romney’s critics have tried to tie him to President Obama’s healthcare law, as they say his state law in Massachusetts served as a model for the president. Rick Santorum, who is vying for the GOP nomination with Romney, Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) have repeatedly criticized Romney's work on the Massachusetts law. 

Romney has argued that his plan did what was best for his constituents at the state level, and that he never would have advocated for it to be implemented nationally. However, last week, in a 2009 op-ed in USA Today, Romney seemed to argue it could be a blueprint for the rest of the country.

“Healthcare is simply too important to the economy, to employment and to America's families to be larded up and rushed through on an artificial deadline,” Romney wrote. “There's a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it.”

Gingrich also continued to lambast Romney as a “weak front-runner,” saying that the only reason he was competitive in the polls in Mississippi and Alabama ahead of Tuesday’s primaries was because of his ability to outspend the other candidates.

“You have to be here to see the sheer weight of his money,” Gingrich said. “When you have as many Wall Street backers and as many billionaires in the super-PAC as he does, you can compete almost anywhere just in terms of robocalls, direct mailings and what have you. But as a front-runner, he’s probably going to get about a third of the delegates tonight, and that’s a pretty weak showing for a front-runner.”

Romney on Monday took a shot at Gingrich, who has finished in third place in most of the primary contests.

“If I’m a weak front-runner, what does that make Newt Gingrich?” Romney said.

Polls show Romney could pull off a surprise victory in either Mississippi or Alabama, where Gingrich and Santorum had been seen as favorites. Voters in those states go to the polls on Tuesday.