Romney a grinch? Gingrich bemoans attacks during Christmas
December 15th, 2011
10:42 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney a grinch? Gingrich bemoans attacks during Christmas

(CNN) - The avalanche of negative campaign ads from Mitt Romney is wearing on rival Newt Gingrich, but he said Thursday he won't break his pledge to stay positive.

Speaking to Iowa Public Television, the former House speaker said the onslaught of vitriol coming from Romney headquarters jarred with the spirit of the holidays.

"I think it's counterintuitive," Gingrich said. "We have an ad that will come up next week where Callista and I are wishing people a Merry Christmas, and we're talking in a totally positive way. I think if these guys keep up this kind of negative junk, it's so discordant with the spirit of Christmas."

Gingrich said his guarantee to remain positive was uncharted territory for presidential politics, and couldn't say for sure if his strategy would be successful.

"This is a real experiment," Gingrich said. "I can't tell you today, given the millions of dollars being spent on advertising, telephone calls, direct mail, all of it negative, I don't know at the end of the day if I'll be the frontrunner in Iowa, because there is a combined weight of negativity that weighs you down."

Political professionals are advising him to go negative, Gingrich said, but support from Iowa voters has convinced him to avoid attacks on his opponents.

"I'm getting two kinds of advice," Gingrich said. "The traditional consultants are all saying 'you have to hit back.' Citizens are walking up to me saying stay positive, have faith the people of Iowa will see through this."

Gingrich's comments to Iowa Public Television came the same day he released a television ad in Iowa touting his positive campaign.

"These are challenging and important times for America," Gingrich said in the spot. "We want and deserve solutions. Others seem to be more focused on attacks rather than moving the country forward. That's up to them."

Gingrich said in the interview fundraising comparisons between his campaign and Romney's would also be skewed in his rival's favor.

"I'll never have as much money as Mitt Romney can raise," Gingrich said. "That's a fact, and you have to start the campaign understanding that. On the other hand we run a campaign that's a lot less expensive, so there's a certain balance in that."

Gingrich asserted that Romney's White House bid will end if the former Massachusetts governor can't win New Hampshire.

"If he can't carry New Hampshire, the race is over, in terms of his candidacy," Gingrich said.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Emps

    Ron Paul. The rest of the GOP field and even Obama are political puppets. Ron Paul predicted 9/11 and the current economic conditions amoungst other things and no one would listen to him. He is the only politician I can think of that has had an unchanging view his political career. He is very smart, but people just don't do their own research to know what he's talking about.

    December 15, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. jay

    Gingrinch and Flip flop romney are the worst. OBAMA 2012!!

    December 15, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    Newt's insincere play acting is transparent. We know him too well. Being insincere is a lie, which is what we are used to from him. Also, insincerety is harder to swallow than "negative" ads that are stating the truth.

    December 15, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Dixie AZ

    But what Romney says is true, eh, Newt? Newt is trying hard to make himself the good guy. Please don't fall for it.

    December 15, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Shannon

    typical Republican, always the victim!

    December 15, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Mike

    Gingrich – 84 ethics violations in 6 years
    Ron Paul – 0 ethics violations in 30 years

    December 15, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. petena

    I hope the Grinch gets the nomination. Then he can shut up. It will be a show in for Obama.

    December 16, 2011 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  8. mfx3

    Now that he's topping the GOP polls, Gingrich can't take the criticism? lol need a thicker skin than that

    December 16, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  9. independent


    Please. Give me Obama/Biden.

    December 16, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  10. Norm

    Awww poor Newty....
    He's a victim.
    Let's use Christmas as a way of making Romney look bad for exposing his lifetime of evil.

    December 16, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  11. rafael

    It's clear Gingrich doesn't care about winning the nomination, he cares about making money. The best way to do that is to garner attention by creatinig an image of himself as a statesman who is above the fray. He will stay positive all the way to the bank.

    December 16, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  12. Tex71

    This from the man who wants to bring back the days of street urchins polishing boots and sweeping chimneys all covered in soot and coughing up ashes? For shame, GinGRINCH, for shame – but you have none at all.

    December 16, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Buster Bloodvessel

    "Liberals are seeing a moral reflection of themselves in newt and they so hate what they are seeing they are getting religion- asking questions about marital sacredness. It is a master stroke by conservatives; this unorthodox move of getting behind newt. It will win them the presidency." That is so incredibly deluded. You act as if voters who prefer more government services at the cost of higher taxes are also immoral, as if the two things are somehow connected. And how do you figure that this 'moral reflection' is going to make all the liberals decide to vote for Newt? Really, it seems you are trying to convince the GOP voters that Newt's immorality is not such a bad thing.

    December 16, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. zip

    During the debate, Gingrich managed to have affairs with two different women.

    December 16, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Stop the Charade

    Its so refreshing to see Gingrich take the high road. Since it is such new territory for him, I hope he takes along his GPS.

    December 16, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. a in austin

    Newt has so many skeletons in his closet he is just trying to keep the other candidates from slamming his morality, etc. Wants to play nice BUT he can drop an insult quickly. A Merry Christmas ad? Really? Calista is still not First Lady material no matter how you spin it.

    December 16, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. McShannon

    Newt might PETER out but some think he’s good at coming from BEHIND. The truth is there is no truth if deception has been the vehicle to move forward regardless of who’s under the wheels and that perceived ruthlessness describes Mr. Gingrich without impunity.

    December 16, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Ray E. (Georgia)

    We have had Santa Clause. He left us with a 15 Trillion Dollar Debt. Catching on? Now we need Scrouge. We need the Grinch. Catching on? Newt and Mitt will make a good Ticket. But don't expect anything but Coal in your Stocking. You voted for it, Remember?

    December 16, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    newt ~ just your being on the planet is a negative attack ad on humanity.

    December 16, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Martin

    Apparently Newt has no concept of political correctness, or has signed up as a warrior for FOX News' "War on Christmas".

    Wishing people a "Merry Christmas" instead of a "Happy Holidays" risks alienating the entire non Christian vote.

    Good for you, Newt. I'm happy that you think you're so far ahead you can take such a risk with potential voters.

    December 16, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. JustMe

    OMG, is he really serious? Trying to act like he cares more about Christmas than he does about himself? Cry me a river, why don't you Newt? Then maybe it'll carry you and Callista far, far away (sorry, but I dislike her almost as much as I dislike him. I mean she not only has an affair with a married man, but said affair was with Newt, so not only does she clearly not have any morals, she also doesn't have any taste)!

    December 16, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Larry, Curly, or Moe for GOP Nomination

    OK, "teacher Gingrich." If we can compare Romney as a grinch, your photo on the cover of Time magazine is far too similar to photos of Benito Musolini the Italian dictator of the facist Italian government of the 1930s and 40s. If you are truly an American patriot, you will get out of the nomination process and commit yourself to helping the other jokers make up their minds to get out.

    December 16, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. HolyChrist

    I've yet to actually meet someone who is for or excited about Newt, Romney, Bachmann, Perry, or Huntsman. The only one I actually see FAR more support then critique is Ron Paul. People actually get excited about Ron Paul. How can the Republican party and the media dismiss him so? Seems like a lost opportunity. I'd love to see Ron Paul as Speaker of the House. Him and Obama could do some great things. THEY would compromise. THEY would actually think and act in reality. The current idea of stonewall politics is hurting America.

    December 16, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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