Marshalltown, Iowa (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he feels "Romney-boated" by the barrage of negative ads run against the former House speaker by a super PAC that supports rival candidate Mitt Romney.
"For a state this size, to spend that number of dollars in negative ads aimed at one candidate is pretty amazing," Gingrich said Sunday at a press availability in Marshalltown, Iowa.
When asked if he feels "swift boated," a reference to the negative ads that partially derailed John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004, Gingrich responded, "No, I feel 'Romney-boated.'"
If he could redo his strategy surrounding the ads, Gingrich said he should have responded "faster and more aggressively" to the attacks. "Restore Our Future" spent $800,000 in Iowa through last week to go after Gingrich, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, while Gingrich vowed to refrain from negative advertising.
"If I could have done anything differently I would have pulled the plug on Romney's PAC," Gingrich said.
Gingrich also said he's committed to campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds the second contest in the primary and caucus calendar. It's Jan. 10 primary comes one week after Iowa's caucuses.
The former Georgia congressman said he would not bypass the Granite State for South Carolina, which holds the third contest, 11 days after New Hampshire.
"New Hampshire's the perfect state to have a debate over 'Romneycare,'" Gingrich told reporters.
"Romneycare" is the term for the health care law that then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. The program, which includes an individual mandate, is blamed by many Republicans as the model or inspiration for the 2010 national health care law, which was passed by a Democratic controlled Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.