Gingrich 'editing' his words as campaign acknowledges concern
December 16th, 2011
03:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich 'editing' his words as campaign acknowledges concern

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) – Less than three weeks before the nation’s first presidential contest, the campaign of Newt Gingrich acknowledged a potentially damaging criticism late Thursday: that the Republican presidential candidate’s own words sometimes get him in trouble.

Gingrich appeared with his rivals in the last Republican presidential debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus. The Iowa Republican Party and Fox News sponsored the event.

At one point, Gingrich was asked about the impasse over the payroll tax extension.

“I sometimes get accused of using language that's too strong, so I've been standing here editing,” Gingrich told co-moderator Neil Cavuto, prompting laughter from the crowd.

“I'm very concerned about not appearing to be zany,” Gingrich added, a clear reference to Mitt Romney’s use of that word in a New York Times interview to describe Gingrich.

After the debate, reporters pressed Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond in the “spin room.”

Hammond initially called Gingrich’s comments about editing himself a “pretty funny joke.”

Yet the spokesman did get serious.

“I think what he’s saying to voters is: if this is what you’re worried about, I hear you. If this is your concern going into the caucus - I’m up here being the president now on this stage that I will be in the White House.”

When pressed to explain Gingrich’s repeating the word “zany,” Hammond said, “I think the guy standing next to him got the message.”

– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. clarke

    just say what you mean and mean what you say Newt.

    December 16, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |

    He ducked the question like the Washington insider that he is.

    December 16, 2011 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  3. Jules

    And did he ever really answer the question that he was asked?

    December 16, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  4. Terry

    What we have here "is a failure to communicate".

    December 16, 2011 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gingrich has never really minced words or used much tact. I suspect that this is a lull and will start saying things that are just outrageous in a few weeks. The question is, will it be before the caucuses or after?

    December 16, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. TimeToGetOut

    I wretch in disgust at what the American political scene has become. The nation needs a statesman to lead our country, but we get a bunch of media-darling, egotistical, know-nothing, ideologists. Its all become a reality game show.

    December 16, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  7. organically

    The Tea Party does not compromise and focuses instead on perpetuating mistrust in our government. An aim of the Tea Party is to convince the population that our own democratically elected government cannot do anything right, part of their plot to discredit all government spending. A central goal of the Tea Party is to increase the paranoia that our own government is our greatest enemy and hinders our freedom. The Tea party wants you to believe that our entire government is a complete failure, part of their goal to turn us against our democratically elected officials. A mission of the Tea Party is to make you believe that all government regulations undercut your privacy. The Tea Party wants you to think that government is the main cause of your personal financial problems and that president Obama personally responsible for all of our national economic woes

    December 16, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |