On the campaign trail the former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich is making much of his connections to Ronald Reagan as he battles Mitt Romney in polls.

But Gingrich's golden recollections of working under Reagan in the 1980s have been unceremoniously dismissed by a White House colleague who claims he was constantly critical of the former president.

According to a report in the Daily Mail this week, Elliott Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state, said that rather than working side by side with Reagan, Gingrich was in fact often scathing about his plans to defeat Communism and often refused to support his decisions.

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Gingrich repeatedly insulted and disagreed with President Reagan, especially over his policy towards Soviet Russia, Abrams revealed.

Abrams added that when Gingrich was first elected to Congress in 1978, he chose to attack Reagan as often as he voted for him.

Writing in the National Review, Abrams recalls a statement made by Gingrich on March 21, 1986, at the height of the Nicaraguan contras funding debate.

'Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire's challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail... President Reagan is clearly failing,' Gingrich said, according to the report. 'The burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on Ronald Reagan.'

In another scathing attack, filled with an unmistakable contempt for Reagan's leadership, Gingrich called Reagan's meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev 'the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.'

Gingrich also frequently criticized Reagan's delivery in speeches and claimed his policies towards the USSR were 'pathetic' and 'incompetent.'