Gingrich ad rails against Romney's integrity
January 27th, 2012
03:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich ad rails against Romney's integrity

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich's campaign released a new television ad in Florida Friday, questioning Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney's character over statements he made in Thursday's CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate.

In the ad, "What kind of man?", the campaign paints the former Massachusetts governor as an untrustworthy, flip-flopping politician, just four days before the Sunshine State's critical primary.

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The spot starts with a clip from a Mike Huckabee attack ad against Romney in 2007, in which the former Arkansas governor said about his opponent, "If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job."

In a statement shortly after the ad emerged, Huckabee objected to the use of his old campaign ad for Gingrich's purposes.

"Any use of an out of context quote from the Republican Presidential primary 4 years ago in a political ad to advocate for the election or defeat of another candidate is not authorized, approved, or known in advance by me," Huckabee said, adding that he will not make an endorsement in the Republican primary.

This was the second time in less than two weeks that Huckabee has come out against the use of his words in a campaign ad. On January 16, the former governor released a similar statement against a Romney ad that included audio of Huckabee defending the candidate's corporate career.

Despite Huckabee's protestations, Gingrich's press secretary R.C. Hammond stood by the new ad, noting it was not implying an endorsement.

In the Gingrich ad against Romney, the ad focused on the "dishonesty" theme.

"What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?" the narrator says. "This man would be Mitt Romney."

The ad also goes after Romney's voting record. While the former Massachusetts governor said at the debate Thursday he had only voted for Democrats if there were no Republicans on the ballot, the commercial points to the 1992 presidential primary, in which Romney voted for Democrat Paul Tsongas. Republicans George H. W. Bush and Pat Buchanan also appeared on the Massachusetts ballot.

Romney previously defended his vote, saying in a 2007 ABC News interview that because "there was no real contest in the Republican primary," he voted in the Democratic primary for who he thought "would be the weakest opponent for a Republican."

The new 60-second spot also highlights a moment in Thursday's CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate when Romney denied that he knew about a misleading ad against Gingrich put out by his campaign.

The Spanish-language radio ad in question accused Gingrich of calling Spanish "the language of the ghetto." Gingrich's comment came in a 2007 speech on bilingual education, and while he never mentioned the word Spanish, he came under fire at the time for presumably referring to the language.

Days later, Gingrich puts out a web video in Spanish saying his previous words "were not the best."

But Team Gingrich wasted no time in producing the new commercial Friday, attacking the former Massachusetts governor for not knowing about an ad coming from his own campaign.

"If we can't trust Romney in a debate, how can we trust him in the White House?" the narrator says at the end of the spot.

Romney's campaign responded to the new commercial, saying Gingrich is "desperate to distract from his record" and is trying to "prop up his sinking campaign."

"Newt Gingrich's desperate smears have already been called 'inflammatory' by Marco Rubio and 'ridiculous' by Jeb Bush. It is laughable to see lectures on honesty coming from a paid influence peddler who suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party," Andrea Saul, Romney spokesperson, said in a statement.

– CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Analysis: When disclosure is so simple it's complicated

Romney campaign will amend disclosure forms

Jeb bush offers no endorsement, but a warning


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Evidently Mittens does know what it means when he says, "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message."

    January 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I'm beginning to think that they only kept clueless Mittens around Bain just for a good laugh.

    January 27, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Too Funny

    Newt Gingrich's campaign talking about honesty wow.

    January 27, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. A Southern Lady

    The very idea that Newt Gingrich could rail against Romney's or anybody's intergirty is impossible to believe! The man has no shame!

    January 27, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Biggge

    These two are only good at mud sling, did not hear much substain from either one in the debate last night...

    January 27, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. HunterPSU

    Newt is floundering.

    January 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Egads Newt... Questioning the integrity and trust of others after all the stuff in YOUR past??? I must admit, you do have a VERY large set of brass ones!!! I think you just pulled the pin on a grenade and forgot to throw it. I think this one will come back to bite you.

    January 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    Newt is getting desperate. . . Everyone pay attention, because this is when he usually goes off. He didn't do so well in last night's debate, so he will have to try and make up for it in nastiness. I am an Obama supporter and I didn't see anyone on the stage last night that could stand up against him, but we all know how desperate Newt is to get this nomination. Even though he knows he can't beat the President in a national vote, and even at the expsense of his own Party, he will do and say anything to get this nomination. Poor, pathetic man!

    January 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. packerfans

    Newt lied to you about it. Mitt Romney can beat Obama postives. Go Go Vote for Mitt Romney !!

    January 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. V in Chicago

    "What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?" = Newt Gingrich, that who!

    January 27, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Dan, Tx

    Let me get this straight, New Gingrich is questioning Mitt Romney's integrity? Although I was very impressed with Jon Huntsman, and am conservative in my views in fiscal matters, I certainly think Romney is a better candidate than Gingrich. I am certain to vote for Obama over Romney, but still, Romney is the better candidate and the republicans need to get in line so we can get this over with.

    January 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. gimmesometruth

    Quite apparently Romney will say anything to be President or fire anyone or smear anyone who stands in his way, but other than that he seems like a very decent person who is a excellent free market capitalist. Anyone who thinks the President of the United States of America and a leader of the free world is like the CEO of a fortune 100 company needs a reality check. The election of Obama has unfortunately convinced people that anyone can be President if they are packaged well enough. So sad for America if this continues. Wake up America!

    January 27, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Newt Gingrich being critical of ANYBODY'S character is a comedy in itself. And don't look now Newt but the current polls show not only Mitt but YOU would lose to Obama yourself only difference is you would lose BIG TIME!!

    January 27, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Valentina

    Andrea Saul, Romney spokesperson: "It is laughable to see lectures on honesty coming from a paid influence peddler who suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party." AMEN on each and every count, Andrea!

    Romney 2012!

    January 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Data Driven

    Huckabee has apparently never heard of "Fair Use". Gingrich can use his words in an excerpted form, in or out of context.

    Also: any Romney supporters here buying his story about voting for Tsongas in the hope that Bush Sr would face the weakest Democratic nominee back in 92? Is Romney even capable of telling the truth, even when it's easier to do so?

    January 27, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. comeon

    "What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?"
    Sorry, but than man is Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich. That was show very clearly last night when, not only Mitt, but Wolf and Ron Paul called him out on his ads, claims and statements that have been proven false, skewed or embellished time and time again. Whether it's his claim about 4 years of balanced budgets (he was only the speaker during two of years and they weren't balanced by any means) or claiming that he is the most conservative candidate and supported Goldwater, but clearly he stated he supported Rockefeller during an interview which can been seen if you google "Newt Supports Rockefeller".

    January 27, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Risky

    Donations according to their taxs

    Obama : 14%
    Newt : 3%
    Mitt : 14% (but 10% of that is required to go to the mormon church)

    Obama makes the least amount of money compared to newt and mitt, yet he donates 4x more. Lets pick our leaders wisely.

    January 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney is a front runner in GOP primary

    GOP never like Bill Clinton but Romney voted for Bill Clinton
    GOP wants to change 14th amendment but Romney is Anchor baby
    GOP hate individual mandate but Romney promoted the individual mandate

    Is it called Karma

    January 27, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. tim12

    to me newt is the onewith the integrity probalem, he lies. also when you cheat on your wife you will cheat on other things.

    January 27, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. My name is Jose Jimenez

    It's is becoming abundantly clear none these candidates have any integrity with exception of Ron Paul and that only works for him by ignoring his racists tendencies.

    The GOP = GREEDY OPPOSITION PARTY better have a Plan B because this clown car of cretins just isn't cutting it.

    newt = a low life form frequenting cold, damp, dark places
    surrounded by rocks while avoiding sunlight.
    Santorum = the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of ana l s3x.

    January 27, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Diana

    For Gingrich...

    The Ten Commandments:

    7.“You shall not commit adultery.

    Do Americans want an adulterer for President? Do Americans want an adulteress for First Lady?

    January 27, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Speechless SpeechLess

    GingRich rails against (anybody's ) 'integrity'??????
    Now that is Rich.
    He has no ground to stand on. He has does not know what integrity is.
    He is the unashamed sociopathic politician, who will say anything, as long as he gains even an imagined advantage from it.

    Gingrich is the quintessential no-conscience public figure. He cares not about people, values or the country.
    Gingrich only cares about himself, his pomposity, his ego.

    January 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Watching these two fight is like watching a battle of wits between unarmed opponants.

    January 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. unsub

    newton's problem is that americans cannot envision looking at and listening to him for 4 years!

    January 27, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    talk about character Newt I think that most Americans prefer to have a FIRST lady in the White House not a third one

    January 27, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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