Gingrich to target Romney in N.H. ad
January 3rd, 2012
09:37 PM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich to target Romney in N.H. ad

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Newt Gingrich will hit GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney as a "timid Massachusetts moderate" in a New Hampshire newspaper ad on Wednesday.

The full-page ad, set to run in the influential Union Leader, comes less than one week before the state's first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.

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The Gingrich campaign intends to release television ads in the same vein this week. On Tuesday, Gingrich also said he will run ads in the early primary voting states of South Carolina and Florida, which hold their contests later this month.

Calling himself a "bold Ronald Reagan conservative," Gingrich compared his campaign with Romney's on a number of issues in the newspaper ad. Among other claims, Gingrich argued that Romney raised taxes and expanded abortion services as governor.

Meanwhile, Gingrich highlighted his own 98.6% pro-life rating from the National Right to Life Committee and his efforts fighting tax hikes in the House of Representatives.

The ad also reminds readers that the Union Leader's editorial board endorsed Gingrich, a nod that came in late November when Gingrich had surged to the top of several polls.

Gingrich has signaled for days he intends to shift from what he's called an "experiment"–releasing only positive-message advertisements–to a new strategy of releasing ads that draw a sharper contrast to Romney.

But Gingrich staunchly defended his approach as a positive one, arguing that as long as his claims are factual, then they don't qualify as attacks.

"It can't be seen as a negative campaign to describe accurately somebody's record," Gingrich said Tuesday in Burlington, Iowa. "Otherwise why would you have a campaign?"

The former speaker spent the last week railing Romney for abdicating responsibility of the millions spent by a super PAC supportive of the former Massachusetts governor on attack ads against Gingrich.

Gingrich even characterized Romney as a liar on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Winning Our Future, run by former Gingrich campaign aide Rick Tyler, intends to continue bolstering the former speaker's campaign efforts like they did in Iowa.

The super PAC is legally not allowed to coordinate with the campaign, but Tyler told CNN that, based on Gingrich's public pronouncements, they too will be pivoting to Romney.

"We are currently planning the next phase of our messaging given our new expanded parameters. [Gingrich] is by far the best strategist we have so we listen to him–through the media," Tyler said.

Tyler said they are not announcing any ads yet. The PAC will be "active" in New Hampshire but will focus its resources on South Carolina.

Also see:

Gingrich: Romney is lying

Bachmann looks ahead to South Carolina

Gingrich suggests a Tuesday win

Gingrich strives for 'great upset' in Iowa

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is Reagan really that great of a conservative? He raised taxes and spent more than came in. I guess that they don't think that is a problem or have selective memory.

    January 3, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. gg

    trickle down really worked well lets try it again –no thanks

    January 4, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  3. Amelia

    Does Gingrich really believe people are buying that he is still running a positive campaign? He just wants everyone else to be nice and lay off his baggage. Then when he's not nice, he claims he's just telling the "truth". Give us a break.

    January 4, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  4. queenbee

    Gingrich better be careful. Others can use his ad and simply change the tags to:

    Loyal family oriented and honest man vs lying, cheating, hypocrite and with that contrast all Gingrich's past sins could come home to roost.

    Catch a clue Newt–America has indeed fallen from Grace but still, not as far as the regions you inhabit.

    January 4, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  5. chuckly

    priceless, so his attack ads aren't going to be negative, but everyone else's can't make this stuff up.

    January 4, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  6. m

    What is this Reagan crap? Reagan was the consummate pragmatist. He was always willing to settle for half a loaf. He raised taxes, increased the size of government, worked with the USSR. Common people, he may have been conservative in his speeches, but that was not how he governed. Losers like gingRICH continue to venerate a myth for Reagan would not be electable in today's Republican party.

    January 4, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  7. Woman In California

    Timid describes Willard very well but let me add a few more: sneaky, ignorant, crooked, plastic and most of all manipulative. There are others but for now that will do.

    January 4, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  8. Anonymous

    "It can't be seen as a negative campaign to describe accurately somebody's record,"

    So I guess wives, affairs, and congressional decisions are all fair game then?

    January 4, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  9. Dick Dianmond

    Reagan is the only person they can refer to. What would you do? Remind them of Nixon? Bush I or II? Herbert Hoover? All they can use is Reagan who could not even be nominated by his own part in a convention. Probably as conservative as Clinton was liberal.

    January 4, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  10. Michael

    What exactly is wrong with moderation? Didn't the Federalist Papers argue that good politics required reason and moderation? This Republican movement away from comprise is worrisome, dangerous for the country and will ensure that Obama is re-elected.

    January 4, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  11. jack

    Newt, Newt, Newt, .............right now he is looking like a sore looser. It is obvious he is going to endorse Rick Santorum very soon. To bad it will be short lived in the overall scheme of things. The fact is that if he goes negative after all his so called "positive campaigning" it will only hurt himself and whoever he endorses, likely Santorum. Rick Santorum is a nice guy but even he knows he cannot go the distance. This is quite a Joke from Iowa, A display of voting religion instead of the best candidate. They just can't vote any other way. This in my opinion marginalizes the credibility and importance of the Iowa voters .

    January 4, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  12. politics as usual

    "It can't be seen as a negative campaign to describe accurately somebody's record," Gingrich said.

    Romney has accurately described Gingrich's record so why is Newtin spewtin'?

    January 4, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  13. nhop

    Before the Iowa campaign, I would never have thought Newt Gingrich a victim - of anything or anybody. But the vicious, deceitful, and downright false attack ads run by and for Mitt Romney can only be said to have victimized Newt. Further, they were undignified and decidedly unPresidential.

    January 4, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  14. NoBama 2012

    Newt is toast. Pathetic last attempt to try to convince people he is in the game. Newt, go home to Barbie.

    January 4, 2012 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  15. Josaphat Daniels

    isn't it funny and ironic that someone who was the master of negative ads in the 90s is complaining about how the negative
    ads cost him the iowa caucuses, be a man and suck it up or you get out of the race you old for nothing crybaby.

    January 4, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  16. CyberActivist

    Newt and Mitt better be kind to each other. They need each other and will more so if they get elected as President and Vice President.
    Mitt, being the President because of his money and popularity, will need Newt, who has deep roots on the hill, as his errand boy to run through the halls of Congress making deals. I mean "assisting" the President.

    January 4, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  17. MWM

    Reagan "acted" like a great president. Newt is trying to act like a great pretender.

    January 4, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |