Gingrich demands TV stations stop airing negative ad
January 6th, 2012
08:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich demands TV stations stop airing negative ad

(CNN) - Lawyers representing GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich sent a letter to television stations Friday demanding they stop airing an advertisement produced by a group supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

The letter claims spots created and paid for by the super PAC Restore Our Future erroneously suggest Gingrich was fined for ethics violations during his tenure as House speaker, saying, "These statements are NOT TRUE."

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The letter continues, "In fact, ANY statement, suggestion, or innuendo that Speaker Gingrich was assessed a congressional fine for violations of House Ethics Rules is fundamentally false and misleading."

Gingrich's lawyers advise the stations that airing the ad exposes them to potential civil liability.

Restore Our Future, which is supporting Romney's bid for president, produced an ad in late December that asserted Gingrich "has a ton of baggage," making him the preferred candidate for Democrats working to reelect President Barack Obama.

Among the baggage: "The fact that Gingrich was fined $300,000 for ethics violations."

Gingrich's lawyers said Friday that particular allegation was untrue.

"Any statement or suggestion of a 'fine" is false," the letter said. "Even a cursory review of either the Report itself or the Congressional Record associated with its presentation to the body of the House undeniably establish the falsity of this statement."

The letter clarified the Gingrich was asked to "reimburse the House $300,000 to offset some costs of the Committee's investigation."

Charlie Spies, treasurer of Restore Our Future, stood by the ads Friday.

"The ads run by ROF are factually correct and we will strongly defend them," Spies said. "It is understandable that Mr. Gingrich wishes that he was not the only Speaker of the House ever fined for unethical behavior, but that is his baggage and the ad will air."

Gingrich has railed against Romney's super PAC ever since they began airing negative ads leading up to Tuesday's Iowa caucuses. He has called on Romney to ask the organization to stop airing the ad, though Romney claims federal law prevents him or his campaign from coordinating with the third-party group.

Gingrich's campaign, which has said in recent days they would begin airing ads that target Romney, said Friday they are producing a spot that goes after their rival on abortion.

Gingrich Press Secretary R.C. Hammond would not offer specifics on the timing of the ad's release, but did say it would run only in South Carolina.

The ad will claim Romney allowed taxpayer dollars to fund abortions when he was governor of Massachusetts.

The Gingrich campaign's first ad going after Romney – "Bold vs. Timid" – began airing in South Carolina and New Hampshire Friday. On Thursday his campaign said it was a "significant" ad buy. Hammond said they spent $250,000 for the week in South Carolina, and $9,550 in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire ads will air around Saturday's GOP presidential debate.

Also see:

Huntsman hits Romney ahead of N.H. primary

Boston Globe backs Huntsman

FIRST ON CNN: Santorum to make large ad buy in South Carolina

Santorum tangles with Gingrich, same-sex marriage supporters

McCain courting former South Carolina backers for Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. XwifeNewt

    Just put that on my Tiffany's card.....

    January 6, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    What a fat, whining, lying sissy. He's taking a page out of the Herman Cain playbook. Cain called it "severance" instead of "settlement", doughboy calls it "reimbursement" instead of "fine". Too funny.

    January 6, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Stop telling the Truth abbot Newt

    January 6, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Tony Vaughn

    If, and I say if Ron Paul does not get the nomination, I would vote for Newt over the rest of them-except maybe Huntsman.. I would almost have to pick Obama again over Santurom

    January 6, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Ron

    Oh Newt, you're unbelievable. The same person that would "haul judges before congress" because he disagreed with their opinions now wants to sue the media for airing ads by others. This from the same person who invented the gutter political environment we now have. Oh boo friggin' hoo. I hope the media collectively tells you where to shove your complaint. Oh my.....are you gonna sue me now? I can't wait until you and your type disappear back into the woodwork where you belong.

    January 6, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. Emmy Skaddittle

    He wasn't fined because he quit before they could fine him

    January 6, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. Dan5404

    TV stations have no responsibility or right to police what's said in political commercials approved by the candidate unless the language violates FCC rules on certain words they consider unacceptable. PAC commercials are different, but if stations start exercising controls on content of any of them, it will become a lst amendment question. If commercials contain false information, opponents are free to have their own repudiation message.

    January 6, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Samuel Cohen

    Maybe if the negative ads were not true, then removing them would be something that should happen. Newt Gingrich is unreliable, end of story.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 6, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  9. Doctor Cool

    Gingrich wins lawsuit and loses issue , He paid $300,000 for the investigation not a fine? . Just as good as an admission of guilt

    January 6, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. BSimporez

    They would stop gingrich, but thats the free market for you. Your idea is a regulation. So Sorry.

    January 6, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. William dodge

    Crazy repubs

    January 6, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Shelby

    newt gingrich has not changed–he is still a crybaby and a big BULLY. He gets forced out as Speaker of the House in the 90's; now he whines about being vetted–a process that ALL candidates must go through.

    If you can't take the heat, get outta the kitchen, newtie.

    January 6, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. Mercyme

    Kind of splitting hairs here aren't you Newt ? You may not have been fined, but you sure were made to step down for ethics vilations.

    January 6, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. A Southern Lady

    It is laughable that Newt, whose comments on the other Republican presidential candidates and President Obama, are mean, nasty and totally degrading, and he is asking TV stations not to air negative ads agains him. There is no end to the absolute insanity of this man. As I look at him and the other Republican candidates, with the exception of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, there is not one of them qualified to sit in the Oval Office. It is absolutely scarey to think that one of them, somehow, might be the Republican candidate for President. Lord help us!!

    January 6, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  15. sparknut

    Nice to see a Republican suffering from "swiftboating".

    January 6, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. Debbie

    It's called Citizens United and the GOP bought US Chief Justice and Karl Rove (Citizens United) give PACS free speech rights. $$$$ = Free Speech and Rove, Roberts and the GOP got what they paid for.

    January 6, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Pretty rich, coming from Newtsie, a serial liar if there ever was one!

    January 6, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    From John E. Yang's Washington Post article, "House Reprimands, Penalizes Speaker," dated August 5, 1998:

    "Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Gingrich during his term as speaker. After extensive investigation and negotiation by the House Ethics Committee, Gingrich was sanctioned $300,000 by a 395–28 House vote. It was the first time in history a speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing."

    According to Webster's, "sanction" means "to make valid or binding usually by a formal procedure (as ratification)."

    Newtsie is splitting hairs to object to the word "fine." It sounds to me he was made to pay money as a penalty for his ethics violations; close enough to "fine" in my book.

    January 6, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  19. once upon a horse

    right now Mitt is airing quite a few not so nice ads about President Obama....could you imagine how the right would react if Obama DEMANDED that they be stopped? Newt can dish it but can't take it......sounds like a male version of Sarah Palin

    January 6, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. Tough USA

    There's no crying in politics.

    January 6, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Newt Romney

    Can someone please tell the Pillsbury Dough boy that they can air whatever the f$%^ ad they want?

    January 6, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. larry5

    These attack identify Newt as a threat to Mitt's run for the prize.

    January 6, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. SafeJourney

    Give it up Newt, you are done. Pack it up a go home

    January 6, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. MTATL67

    Gingrich is whining more than campaigning.

    January 6, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  25. Ed 1

    Like their are going to turn down ad money.

    January 6, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
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