(CNN) - Mitt Romney said Friday his campaign wasn’t responsible for any negative advertising, but claimed the tactic was an historical part of political contests that candidates should be prepared for.
“Our campaign hasn't put up negative ads at this stage,” Romney said on the Fox News Channel program “On the Record w/ Greta van Susteren.”
Romney’s campaign, while responsible for a series of scathing attacks on rival Newt Gingrich, has yet to purchase television ad time to go after the former House speaker.
The campaign has, however, utilized direct mail flyers to slam Gingrich for aligning himself with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on climate change legislation in 2008. Those advertisements hit Iowa mailboxes Thursday and were the Romney campaign’s first paid media attack against Gingrich.
Romney’s campaign has also produced a series of web ads going after Gingrich for his association with Pelosi, as well as his past criticism of a plan to reform Medicare by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Romney 2012 has also been harshly critical of President Barack Obama in paid television advertising, including a now-infamous ad in which Obama is shown making a statement in 2008 about the economy, when he was actually quoting his competitor, Sen. John McCain.
Romney said on Friday his campaign made it clear through press releases that Obama’s words were being used in a new context.
As for the place of negative ads in political campaigns, Romney said Republican candidates should expect an onslaught from Obama and Democrats in the coming year.
“Let’s not make a big media deal out of it,” Romney said. “I'm a big boy. There are attacks against me. There’ll be attacks against all the candidates. When the Democrats come in with $1 billion, they will be attacking us. If I can't handle the attacks and other guys can't, we can't be ready for Barack Obama. I have broad shoulders.”
When asked if the ads should stop, Romney was clear.
“Of course not,” the White House hopeful said. “Go back to the founding of the country. And look at the campaign, back in the days of Washington and Adams and Jefferson. People are talking about contrasts between one another and the differences. That's the nature of the political process.”
–CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.