In an interview Friday on CNN, Gingrich cited the change in Romney's fortunes in the Florida primary -- when Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, was tied with Romney in the polls but lost by 14 percentage points in the primary after Romney savaged him in two debates.
Gingrich said Romney is "not in a competition to be likable."
"When he walks in to debate Obama, he's got to be as tough with Obama as he was with me in Florida," Gingrich said.
Gingrich said Romney has to convince voters he can do something about the economy.
"He's in a competition to be capable," Gingrich said. "We need somebody who can turn America around. We need him to convince us that a Romney recovery is better than an Obama stagnation. Unless he can do that, I don't care how much effort they spend trying to make him likeable -- it won't work."
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