Gingrich won't use surrogates to go negative
December 10th, 2011
09:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich won't use surrogates to go negative

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Hours before Republican presidential candidates face off in Iowa, self-proclaimed positive campaigner Newt Gingrich took a veiled swipe at Mitt Romney, vowing to not use campaign surrogates to attack competitors or endorse third party groups who go negative on a candidate's behalf.

"I want you to know that my campaign will be relentlessly positive. Our advertising will be positive," Gingrich said, speaking to supporters Saturday at the opening of a campaign office in Urbandale Iowa.

Gingrich did not mention the former Massachusetts governor by name. But this week Romney's campaign mounted a coordinated effort with high-profile surrogates going after Gingrich's record.

"I will also tell you none of my surrogates are going to be encouraged to go out and attack anyone," he said, after former New Hampshire governor and Romney supporter John Sununu went personal and called the former House speaker self-serving and self-aggrandizing.

However, the Gingrich campaign is not above using surrogates to hit Romney. On Friday surrogates for Gingrich called those attacks, including a web ad critical of Gingrich's stance on a Republican entitlement reform initiative, a sign of "desperation and panic."

Restore Our Future super PAC, which is independently supporting Romney, produced the negative Gingrich spot, but the web ad was taken down shortly after it was posted on-line.

"There's no problem with people who want to compare records. Comparisons are fair," Gingrich said. "But there's a big difference, and everybody intuitively knows it, between negative attack ads that are deliberately destructive and legitimate comparison ads, and I have no complaint with people who want to compare."

The rising frontrunner said he will not engage in tearing down candidates and vowed he will not support any super PAC that produces negative campaign content on behalf of his campaign.

"If anybody does go out and create a super PAC using my name, if they run any negative ads, we will attack them and we will encourage people to give them no money," he said.

Also see:

Romney jabs Gingrich over space ideas

Santorum predicts last-minute surge

Gingrich, Romney joust via surrogates

Gingrich: Palestinians are an 'invented people'

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I wonder why... Kind of like pis-in' in the wind, eh Newt?

    December 10, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    But newton there is so much to be said about your shady past. Cheater, liar, ethics violations, money under the table, half a million dollar credit at Tifanny's to name a few.
    This guy is so sure he IS the chosen one that he has already started to open mouth to cram big foot into it.
    He is showing everyone who doesn't remember what a gas bag he was what he is really like.

    December 10, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He seems to say that he would do his own dirty work (or words). That sounds nice in principle, but I doubt that will happen.

    December 10, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. TheMendicantBias

    The Ron Paul supporters are always there. In the freezing cold. Ask yourself: what inspires people in such a way? Integrity and hope.

    Ron Paul 2012! LET'S GET IT DONE!

    December 10, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. conandoyle

    Gingrich is incapable of refraining from going negative. His whole political history is summed up in his own words, "Go negative early. Never bother to educate. Demonize the trivial. Never back off."

    December 10, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Pat in IL

    His passive aggressive behavior is very obvious. He will keep this vow as much as he keeps his wedding vows.

    December 10, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. CTTexas

    All republicans go negative. It's in their DNA.

    December 10, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  8. Larry L

    "Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain...".

    December 10, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |

    Mr. Gingrich stated to Romney "...the only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994. It's a bit much. You'd have been a 17-year career politician by now if you'd won." So, yes, he's right: instead of using surrogates to go negative he'll do it himself. Pomposity and vacuous posturing is his forte in my view.

    December 10, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  10. hrs44

    The exchange between Romney and Gingrich on Israel was the best exchange of any of the debates so far, but most of America will miss it because we are so uneducated.

    December 11, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  11. TamarS

    Gingrich is saying he will not "go negative" only because he thinks he can manipulate people into believeing him – and some cowards will believe him. He's a liar and manipulator. If he's the best the republicans have, Obama is a sure re-elect. Thank you! Seoarated at birth: Blagojovich & Gingrich. Both believe their own lies. That doesn't makeit true - just what they believe.

    December 11, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. me2three

    Gingrich is in for rude wakening if he think he can be "relentlessly positive" and win become president. If he goes toe-to-toe with Obama, he better come to fight. You see, Obama has to fight and give it his all, he have no choice! I can see Obama saying "The gloves are coming off, no more Mr. Nice guy... There is too much at stake, American can't wait!" Gingrich being relentlessly positive is like McCain insisting on suing public campaign financing - it's simply not sustainable! Obama is a very positive guy but this time he have to hit hard or loose the election. They think the man is too soft. Gingrich will be left wondering what hit him!

    December 11, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  13. Dave

    I'll believe it when I don't see it.

    December 11, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  14. Lee

    That's because he has no surrogates. Everyone that knew him or worked under him (republicans included) in the House in the 90's hate his guts.

    That being said, Mitt Romney is even worse since he thinks everyone can be bought. Let it be Newt! He embodies the party better. Mitt just represents the wall street wing.

    December 11, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  15. skarphace

    Right now, the Mexican cartels are infiltrating our borders and corrupting our border officials. Our 'Department of Defense', which originally was created to protect our borders is instead protecting the borders of foreign countries.

    We no longer have a choice. We must: End the Police State. End the wars. Bring our troops home and have them secure our borders instead of the borders of foreign countries.

    There is only one candidate that has the guts to get this done. Ron Paul 2012.

    December 11, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  16. Amarq

    Anyone who saw the debate knows who won and it wasn't the Newt, Romney, or Perry. In keeping with tradition, won't mention his name here on CNN.

    December 11, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  17. Blinded by the republucan lie

    He looks genetically evil...Beady eyes and all...Won't vote for him...besides..all his talk can't be trusted either.

    December 11, 2011 03:44 am at 3:44 am |

    Commendable at best. We will see.

    December 11, 2011 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  19. timz

    Newt is just a swollen ego that walks like a man.

    December 11, 2011 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  20. clarke

    I like postive, but is it only for the votes and then what.?

    December 11, 2011 05:57 am at 5:57 am |

    Newt wrote the GOBP dirty tricks playbook so he knows what is coming. The Herb Cain trreatment.

    December 11, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  22. Roger Long

    If Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee it will guarantee Obama a second term. I sure hope people wake up !

    December 11, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  23. Uriah

    Class act. This country will be a better place to live shortly after Gingrich defeats Obama and the clean-out of the Capitol is finished next November.

    December 11, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. FedUp

    I hope he sticks to that. I am sick to death of Romney's people dowgrading the other candidates. My vote may go to Gingrich just because I don't like the negative campaigning. There is one person to beat. That is Obama.

    December 11, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    Is this "vow" anything like that "cleave unto you and forsake all others" vow, you know, the one you have "promised" 3 times???

    Sorry, you slimy salamander, if that is how you treat people you supposedly "love", how the Hell will you treat this faceless "lbtard"(assuming I have a lobotomy) and voted for you in 2012?

    December 11, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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