Gingrich campaign aims to rebut attacks
November 18th, 2011
10:32 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich campaign aims to rebut attacks

Washington (CNN) – Newt Gingrich's campaign is going on the attack against its attackers.

On Friday the campaign set up a new part of his website called "Answering the Attacks," saying it will enable it to "tell the truth about Newt and set the record straight about Newt's positions on the issues as well as his record in public life and as a private citizen."

The web page tries to defuse such past controversies as whether the former House Speaker supports Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal. Last May he called the proposal "right wing social engineering" but then apologized for that remark. On the site it states: "Newt agrees wholeheartedly with Rep. Ryan that we must give our seniors more choices than the current one-size-fits-all Medicare model."

The topics that could gain the most notice are the ones dealing with his controversial personal history: pointing out 83 of the 84 ethics charges filed against him during his tenure as speaker were dropped. The other charge dealt with what it calls contradictory documents prepared by Gingrich's lawyer. The site does point out Gingrich did end up reimbursing the campaign for the cost of its investigation.

The website also addresses his three marriages and extramarital affair, saying, "Newt has been honest and forthright about the fact that he has had moments in his life that he regrets, that he has had to seek reconciliation, and go to God for forgiveness."

On the affair Gingrich had during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, the page says, "Opponents often try to delegitimize Newt Gingrich by pointing out that he had admitted to having an extramarital affair during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. What these accusers are ignoring is that the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton were due to the fact that the president committed perjury in front of a sitting federal judge, which is a felony. As the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt felt that he had a duty to uphold the rule of law by pursuing impeachment. He stands by that decision today."

Taking on what it calls a "completely false" story claiming that Gingrich asked his wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital dying of cancer, the campaign calls it "a vicious lie." The site highlights a recent column by his daughter which stated her mother had requested the divorce and it was months before the hospital visit that has been cited.

Concerning his relationship with mortgage giant Freddie Mac, the website repeats what Gingrich has said: he offered "strategic advice" to the organization as part of his firm, the Gingrich Group, but states, "At no time did Gingrich lobby for Freddie Mac, or any other client, and neither did anyone in Gingrich's firm."

As to the possible release of more details of the contract with Freddie Mac, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond tells CNN, "we'd like to see it," and that Gingrich has asked the firm to research the information and release it.

Gingrich's campaign has seen a continuing financial windfall as he has risen in the polls. Hammond confirms the campaign has raised $4 million since October 1. But now that it is doing well, the campaign will wait to release figures until it has to report them to the Federal Election Commission to avoid tipping off competitors.

Asked whether the cash infusion has allowed the campaign to pay off the more than $1 million it owes to creditors, Hammond was coy but said "we're working towards paying off the debts."

Saying it has set up the page to arm supporters with information, the campaign is also using it to solicit ideas to help improve Gingrich's ability to counter various charges.

"See an attack that is not answered? Let us know here. This page will grow as we receive more feedback to help you answer the attacks."

- Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    If Gingrich was elected President, we would have a lying thief for a President and a First Lady that has very few morals.

    November 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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