Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks
December 13th, 2011
10:48 AM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich called on his supporters and staff Tuesday to "stay positive" and avoid attacking fellow Republican presidential candidates, the day after he engaged in a verbal back-and-forth with Mitt Romney.

In an email, the former House speaker said he would refrain from attacking other candidates so the GOP nominee emerges from the primary season "un-bloodied," and encouraged his backers and other Republican contenders to do the same.

"I am instructing all members of my campaign staff and respectfully urge anyone acting as a surrogate for our campaign to avoid initiating attacks on other Republican candidates," Gingrich wrote. "It is my hope that my Republican opponents will join me in this commitment."

On Monday, Gingrich and rival candidate Romney sniped at each other over their records in the private sector. In Tuesday's letter, Gingrich categorized the comments from both camps as "a frank exchange," saying he "reserved the right to respond when my record has been distorted."

But, echoing similar sentiments from Romney, Gingrich said he hopes the candidates will run a solutions-based campaign to ensure President Barack Obama is not elected to a second term.

"So let us hope that from this point forward we can devote our energies to real issues, such as discussing our plans for our nation's economic recovery and helping to create millions of new jobs for the American people," Gingrich wrote.

The letter comes amid heightened attacks against Gingrich from Romney, his closest competitor for the 2012 GOP nomination. The former Massachusetts governor launched a full-scale assault on Gingrich's record, including calling on the former speaker to return the millions of dollars he earned consulting for Freddie Mac.

Gingrich responded by calling on Romney to return the money he earned during his tenure at Bain Capital, saying Romney was responsible for "bankrupting companies and laying off employees."

Gingrich's letter Tuesday mirrors sentiments he made at a town hall in New Hampshire Monday, when he told voters he saw the race going in a direction that could damage a potential 2012 GOP nominee.

"In the last week or so, as I've gotten to be more of a frontrunner, the campaign has begun for the first time to really degenerate in terms of some of the ads, particularly in Iowa," Gingrich said in Windham, New Hampshire. "I appreciate Governor Romney taking that position, and I agree with him, I think what we're about is too important to weaken anybody who might defeat Barack Obama and to give Barack Obama any ammunition that he shouldn't have."

At the event, Gingrich vowed to disassociate himself with any independent political groups that run negative ads against other candidates, and advised the crowd not to donate to any Super PAC that produces negative advertising.

"The choice of the president of the United States, at a time of genuine troubles, is not a game," Gingrich said. "It isn't who can hire the meanest, nastiest, or most creative consultant. It is a fundamental choice about who we think can provide the solutions that bring us together as a nation."

Also see:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Rob1961

    Of course he will avoid negative campaigning. He has too many "skeletons" in his own closet that he could never explain.

    December 13, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Is this like the vow he made to his first two wives TO GOD?

    December 13, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Jake

    Yeah. Good ol' Newt. He should be nominated for sainthood.
    Don't people remember what a disaster he was as Speaker? Oh, wait–that was before he got religion. What a joke!

    December 13, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Squigman

    It matters not. I'm still not voting for the pig.

    December 13, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Pat in IL

    Just another example of his ridiculous passive/agressive rhetoric and behavior. He just wants to shut everybody up who wants to bring up his own very tainted record. Most people are not paying any attention to him any more, because he is becoming more and more of a fool.

    December 13, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Maybe Newty's already getting a little on the side and doesn't want to be exposed....

    December 13, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Mike from Calgary

    Romney has been campaigning since 2007 (lost in 2008) and he is fading with his moribund campaign. The more "Pretty Boy" speaks, the better Goingrich fares. The writing is on the wall (many call it the "Ceiling", the 24% ceiling that Romney can not exceed). Romney has had prior runs at federal office and has failed. His small-minded petulant remarks make clear why he has been repeatedly rejected. Pretty as he may be, he is over his head in a contest with Gingrich or Obama.

    December 13, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Kimo

    Gingrich stays positive? Since when? Newt is largely responsible for the present bickering in Washington. When he was in the house his strategy was to demonize his opposition and make liberal a dirty word. His specialty is sarcasm and making fun of other people as though he were one of the giant intellects of the century instead of the political hack he is.

    December 13, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Pete

    I think Newt realizes he has more skeletons in the closet than Romney so he wants to wave a white flag in hopes that stuff won't come out. Too bad, it will, this is politics, not educated, rational discussion of ideas. If it were, Ron Paul would be leading.

    December 13, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. SPQR

    Newt Gingrich will say anything he has to say.

    Scammers or Schwindlers will always use some truth to their scams for them to work.

    How many times did he promised wife # 1 to stay faithfull until she had enough ?

    Currently married to Callista Bisek, Newt Gingrich has been married three times. His two previous marriages ended in divorce after he had affairs with younger women and when his wives were seriously ill. Here is information about Newt Gingrich's three marriage relationships.

    December 13, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. sunsohot

    Nice words, but when they come out of the mouth of such a sleaze, they are tainted and certainly don't ring true.

    December 13, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Matthew

    Of course he wants others to stay positive and leave the GOP nominee unbloodied. It is not hard to go negative with him. There are so many opportunities and reasons to question multiple aspects of his career and character. He doesn't want anyone to start punching, because he has a glass chin.

    December 13, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Dennis

    This is clearly a political move on his part. Gingrich, I don't like you... and I'm a conservative.

    December 13, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. SPQR

    Newt Gingrich is like a Chinese fortune cookie. He always says things we want to hear.

    December 13, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    @ Mike from Calgary

    Well said. I could not agree more.

    December 13, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    He makes my skin crawl ........................................

    December 13, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Lee

    Me thinks the Newt has something he is hiding that he is afraid will soon be exposed.

    December 13, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Mark from Canada

    In other words he is saying – hang low until I get elected, then we can start saying what we really mean.

    December 13, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Face it libtards, Newt's just too dang smart to play into the Democrat's and Obama's hands. Any attacks need to be focused on the failure in the Whitehouse, not each other.

    December 13, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. junior

    Newt’s 21 Century Contract with America is very focused on returning to job creation and a leader that can articulate that goal better than anyone else on the list of Republican contenders deserves to win. Full energy independence for the USA by focusing on oil, natural gas and transitioning to other means solar/wind should be priority one for Obama. However, it is not and he will pay for it by getting kicked out in 2012.

    December 13, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. B.Bear1

    Newt's call is totally consistent with his words of last week, "I am the future." He almost added, "I am the way and the light", but Callista stopped him.

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. detada

    Note to Newt; Even if you didn't day another word, your history gives President Obama all the ammunition he will ever need.

    December 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Jaywing

    Really Newt? So, you're negative, negative, negative in your attacks and talk about nothing other than how everyone else running is messed up, lost in the woods, deluded clowns, until you're the front runner, then it's "oh. let's be positive and talk about the issues and not say nasty things about each other" Sorry Newter - but I really don't think anyone is going to buy your obvious devious BS or your pledges to this or that, let alone vote for you. You're a twisted politician with a career full of lies, deceit, and flip-flopping to suit your personal goals. Get real, your GOP colleages cesured, then tossed you out of Congress back in the 90s, and you haven't changed. You're still a slimeball - only older and, apparently, even more out of touch with reality.

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Common Sense

    Are the Republicans so hungry after power that they are willing to let some of the most off beat politician fight it out for the party nomination? The players that have been fielded is mostly running gags! The Obama bashers are hating so much that they overlook that the man inherited a house on fire and has been trying to put it out as best he can but no matter his efforts nothing is ever good enough. You had as one write stated Twiddle Dee & Twiddle Dumb in the White House for eight years and true there were incidents that no one could have foreseen (9-11, & Katrina) but look at the decisions that were made. Instead of trying to heal our own country those two geniuses got us involved in wars on two fronts that have lasted for 10 years! Iraq was unncessary and Afghanistan should have only last long enough to oust the Taliban, repair damage done and then gotten the out! So before you lash out at the current President take a long hard look at his opponents and see if any is truly the on eyou want to see in office. As the saying goes it's better to deal with the devil you know then the one you don't!

    December 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Riley

    Obama does NOT deserve a second term, BUT Mitt is the man to defeat him NOT Newt.

    December 13, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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