Romney defends negative ads
December 21st, 2011
09:17 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney defends negative ads

Keene, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney defended the use of negative TV advertisements in the GOP primary campaign, saying they would prepare Republicans to face President Obama in the fall.

"If you can't stand the relatively modest heat in the kitchen right now, wait until Obama's Hell's Kitchen shows up," Romney said Wednesday at a campaign stop in Keene, New Hampshire. "Obama's putting together a billion dollars. He's going to be attacking us day and night."

Romney has come under a steady drum beat of criticism from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich over negative advertising run of behalf of Romney's campaign. A political action committee supportive of Romney's candidacy unleashed a blitz of advertising attacking Gingrich in Iowa, where Gingrich has recently fallen in state polls.

On Tuesday, Gingrich called on Romney to send a message to his super PAC, Restore Our Future, by publicly renouncing attack ads. (Link:

Super PACs cannot coordinate strategy with campaigns.

Romney pointed to that campaign finance rule in the interview Wednesday, then went a step further in refusing to renounce negative advertising.

He said it was better for Republican primary voters to learn about a candidate's weaknesses before they chose a nominee to face off against Obama.

"It's probably a good time for people to see these things to make up their minds," he said.

His campaign took another swat at Gingrich that morning by releasing the names of seven former Iowa and New Hampshire state House speakers who had endorsed Romney.

Gingrich will campaign Wednesday in Manchester accompanied by the current Iowa and New Hampshire state House speakers.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says

Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle

Gingrich: Super PAC hypocrisy

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Ted van Tol

    I can not wailt till Obama comes in the ring. He need no negative ads at all!
    Hope the American people understand the difference between wright and wrong.

    Obama/Clinton 2012

    December 21, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Publius Novus

    Mr. Mittens, I know you spent your youth at the country clubs rather than the playgrounds. But on the playgrounds, we had a couple of pertinent sayings: What goes around comes around, and The faster they come in, the harder they go out.

    December 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. American

    Spoken like a same ol' politician. How unauthentic Romney...

    December 21, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. It is Against Ronald Reagan Rule for Myth Romney and his Super PACs Thug to Attack Fellow GOPers

    Myth Romney has borrowed the whole pages out of Karl Rove's playbook of dirty politics....unleashing his Super PACs thugs & kitchen sink at his political enemies!!!

    Nobody likes you Myth....GO HOME!!!

    December 21, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. FIELD1stSGT

    How can he defend an negative AD when he is totally negative. SARAH PALIN FOR PRESIDENT 2012. Obama the lying fraud must go. Fast & furious we patriots must act to rid this cancer.

    December 21, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. tigerakabj

    Mittens, like everything else, will change his tune once the negative ads are turned on him. He's still acting like this thing is sown up for him.

    I live here in Georgia (that Obama lost by only 52-47), in a redder than red county (at least it was back in 2008), and these people are NOT voting for him. The only political stickers I do see are Obama 2008/2012 stickers, not ones for Romney. The religious right and other conservatives are not tatooing his name or putting down markers in their yard for him.

    He says he knows the economy and has business experience. What he means is that he knows the economy still favors too much the 1% over the 99% and that happens b/c of loopholes for shipping jobs overseas, higher taxes for billionaires than their secretaries, corporate personhood, rising cost of education, subsidies for mature industries (i.e., oil), etc. And he likes that and wants to triple down on it (his work at Bain Capital proves that).

    He's also right about another thing: President Obama will unleash he// on whoever is nominated by the GOP. But President Obama won't give them he//, he'll just tell the truth and the GOP will think it's he//.

    Obama/Biden/E.Warren 2012

    December 21, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. realitybites

    "How can he defend an negative AD when he is totally negative. SARAH PALIN FOR PRESIDENT 2012. Obama the lying fraud must go. Fast & furious we patriots must act to rid this cancer."

    Uh, you do realize that Sarah Sellout left the building a long time ago, righ? Just after she finished using you to promote herself, make her millions off of super pacs, and keep her job w/ Fox. Get out much?

    December 21, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. dan

    One can only hope that Mitt is ready to tell the real story about his many positions, and about the many workers that his Bain operation terminated. His own glass house is nno less vulnerable than any other candidate's. But, we can expect the spin to be nothing by positive. None of the GOP candidates are impressive, other than Huntsman. The rest are mostly GOP gas.

    December 21, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Gurgi

    Enough with the moderate and left leadership of the past few decades. We need at least one term of a real conservative to fix this country. Perhaps Condi Rice if she could be persuaded to run. Though I would like a bit more public info on her thoughts/ideas.

    December 21, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Dave

    I love how this pompous clown is using Obama – who hasn't run an ad yet – as the excuse for dirty campaigning by his surrogates. Give me a break. All Romney seems capable of is flip-flopping, lying, running his gigantic mouth, ducking responsibility, and taking credit for things he has nothing to do with. I realize that this sounds like a typical Republican and that's exactly what he is.

    Bring it on, Mittens. Obama is going to mop the floor with you.

    December 21, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. realitybites

    Dan, I agree.

    Huntsman, unfortunately, is too logical and a Mormon so SNOWBALL'S CHANCE.

    December 21, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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