When renowned investor George Soros referred to Newt Gingrich as an “extremist conservative” last week, he didn’t mean it as a compliment. But that hasn’t stopped Gingrich from wearing it as a mark of honor.

In an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros told Reuters Digital Editor Chrystia Freeland that in his view there wouldn’t be “all that much difference” between President Obama and a President Romney. But an “extremist conservative” like Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum, he said, “would make a big difference.”

Gingrich, fighting to close the gap with frontrunner Mitt Romney a day ahead of the Florida primary, seized on his words, starting with an appearance on Good Morning America. Gingrich told host George Stephanopoulos that Soros “said publicly, in a Reuters interview on video, that he’s perfectly happy with either Obama or Romney, that they’re the same people. Minor differences. He said, ‘Gingrich, now, that would be real change.’”

“There are a lot of parallels between these two guys. Romneycare and Obamacare are essentially the same,” Gingrich said. “In the long run, the Republican Party is not going to nominate the founder of Romneycare, a liberal Republican who is pro-abortion, pro-gun control, and pro-tax increases. It ain’t gonna happen.”

Gingrich repeated the point at campaign events throughout the day, first in Jacksonville: “George Soros in Europe yesterday said it makes no difference to us whether it’s Romney or Obama, we can live with either one. But not Gingrich, that would be a real threat,’” Gingrich said. “It’s so perfect you’d think we made it up.’’