Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks
December 13th, 2011
10:48 AM ET
2 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. mmichelle79

    He says stay positive. I'm thiking that he means no more mud slinging with the other candidates.

    I'll never understand why everyone is so protective of Obama. How has your life changed that you'd like to keep him office? Please tell me, because my life has been unaffected. I see no change, and hear only excuses coming from Mr. President. He promised the world on during his campaign, but then he says he needs more time, meaning, "re-elect me". Why didn't you say so in the first place? Oh, that's right, you had no idea what you were talking about.

    Now that you no longer have Bush to blame, you are just blaming Republicans, period. I really hope that the people who actually go out and vote this time don't fall for his pep rally antics again.

    December 13, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Bigwilliestyles

    @ Ron: I asked Bozo would he accept the republican nomination if asked. His reply: "what do I look like, some kind of clown?"

    December 13, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. mmichelle79

    Kevin O, so you want someone with no experience as opposed to someone with large amounts of experience? You say you want a "president", but unfortunately, being able to lead a country comes with experience.

    December 13, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Dave

    Is he going to sign another "pledge" ? What is it with the GOP and their constant throwing around of "pledges"? Whether they're pledging alligance to Grover Norquist or signing useless "marriage" purity vows one thing's for sure- the GOP's thinks these meaningless gestures will actually fool people. It certainly worked when John Bohener promised his "laser-focus" on jobs in his Bee Ess lobbyist written "contract". What a CROCK that was.

    December 13, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Alva Puddin

    It is one thing to 'stay positive' but healthy debate of issues and disagreements on how best to solve problems is the cornerstone of our democracy. If any of these debates had any substance on how the candidates differ on the issues, that would be a novelty. Please tell me – as specifically as possible – how you plan to deal with the economy, create new jobs, while dealing with health care and education issues. Don't just chant the GOP mantra about tax cuts for the wealthiest. We have tried it that way and look where it got us. Instead of 'staying positive' about one another, how about illustrating the differences and promoting your own platforms.

    December 13, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Observer

    Why would anyone believe the world-class hypocrite who preached about "family values" and the "Moral Majority'?

    December 13, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    mmichelle79, frankly, my life is better than it was 3 years ago. Frankly, you should not be looking to the president to make your life better. What you need to ask is, what is the opposition offering that makes them worthy of your vote? FYI, he has been obstructed by the GOP at every turn, so its fair for him to blame the GOP.

    December 13, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Mike Brooks

    Well, the economy is heading for another collapse. Private economic experts are predicting a 3% contraction next year and a 0.6% contraction, to go along with last quarter's 0.8% contraction. There is no avoiding this and unemployment WILL increase. Given his abysmal approval ratings, Obama is toast. So, those Republican debates, boys and girls, they are choosing the next President of the United States. Now, that can be a President Gingrich (yuk, but better than Obama), President Romney (okay, but on par with a leisurely bath), or President Ron Paul (likely the best President this country has had since Theodore Roosevelt). Any way you look at it, the blathering about Obama vs anything, including a carrot, is a complete waste of time. Register as a Republican and pick your next leader.

    December 13, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. ztank

    How much do you want to bet that this completely changes once the Republican is heads up versus Obama? I would guarantee negative ads will be not only promoted but actively funded by Gingrich.

    Then again, when it comes to ammunition for negative ads I guess Gingrich has no equal...so maybe he wants to paint negative ads differently this time around.

    December 13, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. johndp3

    When Newt says he's "keeping it positive", he means he is going to throw insults, half truths, and outright lies with a smile on his face and a soft, lively sound to his voice.

    December 13, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. JT

    This is such crap, Gingrich slams Romney over Bain Capitol, then in the next moment he states he's staying positive. O.K. next thing you know he's going to fidelity vow (wait a minute he already has?).

    December 13, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. mmichelle79

    The Real Tom Paine- I'm not looking for the President to change my life- he said he would. Sorry. Remember the mantra,"Hope and change, Yes we can, blah blah blah blah". Do you remember that one? And now he needs "more time". He did over promise and he even went back on promises. And stop with the GOP did this and that. Obama had what, two years before he started blaming the Republicans for everything. And now it's been one year that it is a Republican dominated congress and he can't blame enough on them. How would you address a worker who blamed all of their failures on their co-workers?

    BTW, Clinton also worked with a Republican dominated congress during both of his presidency terms but he still did a great job.

    December 13, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. AmericanSam

    This sounds a little contrived. "Now that I'm in the lead, don't attack me and let me win."

    December 13, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. mmichelle79

    Real Tom Paine- forgot to ask again, how is your life better, huh? How was this administration part of it? Have you talked to the unemployed lately, heard from them if their lives are better? I was looking for specifics, and you did not give any.

    December 13, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I couldn't stand Newt from the first time I ever saw him....he DID remind me of Sydney Greenstreet......As time went on and I learned more about him ...my dislike became solid and now that I see he's got the nerve to be running for president, I just wish that you voters who would vote for him would wise up and not waste it .This man has not the honor,dignity,decency nor integrity to be dog catcher... He certainly would ruin what's left of a great country!!!!

    December 13, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Rajiv Shaw

    He has to. I'm sure he realizes what an idiot he is.

    December 13, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Jed Rothwell

    The headline said that Newt made a "surprising pledge." I thought you meant his pledge not to commit adultery . . . again.

    December 13, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Newt 2012

    I read this comments and all I see is scared liberals!

    December 13, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Clwyd

    Bring it on Newt! You will be torn to pieces if you get the nomination for ethic violations, infidelity and greed! You are a disgrace!

    December 13, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. mmichelle79

    Clwyd, did you consider Clinton a disgrace? He had a 68% approval rating after Republicans tried to impeach him.

    December 13, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Seanomatic

    And as dumb as the Repubs are, they would listen to Newty and let him skate into the general election. Newty really think that he is the smartest clown in the room! But knowing the rest of the GOP field, he might be right!

    December 13, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Bob

    "Now that I'm the frontrunner let's all stop attacking the frontrunner"

    December 13, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. FlopFlipper

    Newt's just afraid that if anyone starts digging into HIS past, they are going to find a whole lot to criticize.

    December 13, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Ol' Yeller

    Newt 2012... previously McCain 2008, previously GHB 1996... is a retard.

    December 13, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. sean

    I did not take such an oath and i declare an all out media war on Newt Gingrich and I will do everything in my power to reveal his greed, corruption and narcissistic lust for power, the same characteristics that got him kicked out of not only the HoR, but the position of Speaker and then fined $3000,000. This guy is an intellectual fraud whose greed and lust for power know no bounds.

    December 13, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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