Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks
December 13th, 2011
10:48 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich called on his supporters and staff Tuesday to "stay positive" and avoid attacking fellow Republican presidential candidates, the day after he engaged in a verbal back-and-forth with Mitt Romney.

In an email, the former House speaker said he would refrain from attacking other candidates so the GOP nominee emerges from the primary season "un-bloodied," and encouraged his backers and other Republican contenders to do the same.

"I am instructing all members of my campaign staff and respectfully urge anyone acting as a surrogate for our campaign to avoid initiating attacks on other Republican candidates," Gingrich wrote. "It is my hope that my Republican opponents will join me in this commitment."

On Monday, Gingrich and rival candidate Romney sniped at each other over their records in the private sector. In Tuesday's letter, Gingrich categorized the comments from both camps as "a frank exchange," saying he "reserved the right to respond when my record has been distorted."

But, echoing similar sentiments from Romney, Gingrich said he hopes the candidates will run a solutions-based campaign to ensure President Barack Obama is not elected to a second term.

"So let us hope that from this point forward we can devote our energies to real issues, such as discussing our plans for our nation's economic recovery and helping to create millions of new jobs for the American people," Gingrich wrote.

The letter comes amid heightened attacks against Gingrich from Romney, his closest competitor for the 2012 GOP nomination. The former Massachusetts governor launched a full-scale assault on Gingrich's record, including calling on the former speaker to return the millions of dollars he earned consulting for Freddie Mac.

Gingrich responded by calling on Romney to return the money he earned during his tenure at Bain Capital, saying Romney was responsible for "bankrupting companies and laying off employees."

Gingrich's letter Tuesday mirrors sentiments he made at a town hall in New Hampshire Monday, when he told voters he saw the race going in a direction that could damage a potential 2012 GOP nominee.

"In the last week or so, as I've gotten to be more of a frontrunner, the campaign has begun for the first time to really degenerate in terms of some of the ads, particularly in Iowa," Gingrich said in Windham, New Hampshire. "I appreciate Governor Romney taking that position, and I agree with him, I think what we're about is too important to weaken anybody who might defeat Barack Obama and to give Barack Obama any ammunition that he shouldn't have."

At the event, Gingrich vowed to disassociate himself with any independent political groups that run negative ads against other candidates, and advised the crowd not to donate to any Super PAC that produces negative advertising.

"The choice of the president of the United States, at a time of genuine troubles, is not a game," Gingrich said. "It isn't who can hire the meanest, nastiest, or most creative consultant. It is a fundamental choice about who we think can provide the solutions that bring us together as a nation."

Also see:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. AlaskaPalin

    Newt will beat obama! They way he hit romney after he was asked to return the money he earned from 'lobbying' was a political classic. The man is razor sharp and witty. He knows the facts! what liberals have problems with is his conservative analysis of the facts. In any debate between obama and newt- obama will be seen as a 'note pad' while Newt will be seen as an 'encyclopedia'!

    December 13, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    mmichelle70... I could make a quick little list:
    more jobs in private sector created under Obama in 3 years than bush in 8. even with a record number of republican filibusters in an effort to stop this.
    He got Osama.
    He kepot us safe.
    He got a buttload of other Al Quaida leaders.
    Universal Healthcare, not perfect but a start.
    Our reputation in the world has vastly improved.
    Nuclear treaty with Russia- down to the number of Nukes Reagan had 'dreamed of'.
    He got Osama.
    He got Gadaffi without having to invade a country.
    He kept us safe.
    He continues to fight against the party of the rich.
    He kept us a safe.
    Did I mention he got Osama.

    December 13, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Max

    Covering his b*tt

    Gingrich is simply trying to cover his butt. He knows there's a bag of worms somewhere about him that will certainly be opened up and will be quite revealing. It's going to be opened anyway, so might as well he be on guard to defend if that will help.

    December 13, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. Debby

    Please NO GingRICH. Talk about a man who is out of touch with Americans. He is a pompus idiot!!!!

    December 13, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    Oh my goodness... Mike Brooks has spoken and it is so. We must all go out and vote for Ron Paul because we obviously only have 3 choices (all republicants).
    Ron Paul has about as much chance of winning as I do. You don't win a presidential election by winning IOwa (which he hasn't even done that yet). I will agree he is the preferable of the other two mentioned (a bit less crazy than newt and whole lot more likable. And beats Romeny in the personality department, but then again, so does a refrigerator magnet).
    Obama 2012... if America doesn't want to start up the middle east crusades again and spend all our money on contractors and graft.

    December 13, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Red State Mike

    Translation: "Guys? Look. I know I attacked a couple of you in the last debate, and I know I'm slightly ahead of most of you right now in the polls, and I also know that you all really haven't taken the gloves off and pummeled me for my being hauled up on charges by an ethics committee, my crazy outbursts, my earlier campaign staff all quitting on me, and my being on my.... what marriage is this now (but I promise I won't cheat on and then divorce my *current* wife while she's in the hospital with cancer). But I'm not a crook or a dirty, lying politician! Honest! So could you not call me out on my lies and hypocrisy so I can lose to Obama in 2012? Kthx!"


    December 13, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. jaimeh

    IF THAT IS ALL THAT THE GOP HAS TO "OFFER" TO US AMERICANS, OBAMA WILL WIN, HANDS DOWN. That shows how BAD the Republicans are misguided, specially with the Tea Partiers,that they only think of politics as a "party", and nothing else.

    December 13, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. urthat

    %positive%: 1) Positively wrong; 2) Positively Delusional; 3) Positively a boost to President Obama's reelection; 4) Positively pompous; 5) Positively cartoon-like; 6) Positively Negative; 7) Positive he will knock down every possible republican nominee including himself; 8) Positively Iconic; 9) Positively Plump; 10) Positively Pernicious ...

    December 13, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. peckbag

    I'm staying positive, too... positive that I won't vote for Gingrich.

    December 13, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. El Flaco

    Newt 2012 wrote "I read this comments and all I see is scared liberals!"

    I am one scared Liberal. If any of the Republican lunatics end up in the White House, God only knows how much damage he (or Michelle) will do to my country! You Conservatives are some very scary folks.

    December 13, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Newt 2012

    I read this comments and all I see is scared liberals!

    I'm not a liberal (Democrat) or conservative (Republican) but if the best the republican party has to offer is Romney or Newt, then I believe the liberals are going to be feeling like 2012 will be like christmas the entire year. So far the republican party hasn't offered any solutions other than the George W. Bush ideas of cutting taxes so the rich can create jobs. It just doesn't appear that many republicans posting on this site understand that Not many people expected whomever got elected in 2008 to fix in one term what it took Bush to break in 2 terms. Unlike many republicans who were apparently in comas during the bush policies, we independents remember very well what brought us to this point. So You republicans better hope someone new comes along late in the game with new ideas or the GOP will have a rough 2012.

    December 13, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. jboHDrider

    AND I promise not to mess around on my third wife, I have family values now!

    December 13, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. KM

    Funny how I continue to hear people say that Gingrich should not be taken seriously, but everyone is attacking him. Somehow the actions of such individuals do not match their rhetoric. Truth of the matter is, if you haven't figured out by now, he should be taken seriously. He does nothing without having motive for doing so. Don't let the disarming demeanor fool you, Newt is one smart cookie and cold hearted, calculating political assasin who will kill his opponents with kindness.

    December 13, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. evensteven

    Newt has stated one of the most positive things I've heard from anyone in the Republican party for years. I hope he and his fellow Republicans can keep it up. However, I'll still be voting for Obama in 2012 . . . .

    December 13, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Mike

    Newt will be our next president because his name sounds more American than Barack. That's all that matters folks, and it will be the deciding factor.

    December 13, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Gingrich vows to stay positive amid negative attacks◄
    Because he ONLY ATTACKED just to get voters behind his back
    Now that he THINKS he's got the nominee down pack
    He wants to clean it all up in HOPES more supporters he'll attract

    He's a manipulating stool who thinks all those around him are fools
    The other candidates are late catching on so now they'll resort to being cruel
    They will continue to go negative in order to disrupt the ginGRINCH machine
    And to the far-RIGHT ginGRINCH’s flavor would still be "Cookies and Cream"

    President Obama will CRUSH ginCRUST in 2012 because HE CAN!!!

    December 13, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. HereInMichigan

    He has cheated on two of his wives. Now he takes a fidelity pledge. What were his marriage vows? Then there is the ethics violations that cost him his position as Speaker of the House. Now after spouting off himself, he wants everyone to play nice. Sure Newt, just touch the tree and yell "Ali ali all free!"

    December 13, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
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