Gingrich: Romney should 'own' negative campaign
December 27th, 2011
06:36 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: Romney should 'own' negative campaign

(CNN) - Moments after saying that his campaign would not veer into negative messaging, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich sharply criticized rival Mitt Romney on Tuesday for refusing to condemn television advertising produced by a pro-Romney organization.

"All I'd say, Mitt, if you want to run a negative campaign and attack people, at least be man enough to own it," Gingrich said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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Romney has said speaking publicly about the ads would violate federal law disallowing coordination between candidates, their campaigns, and super PACs. The ads began airing in Florida earlier this month. But Gingrich cried foul Tuesday, saying the organization, Restore Our Future super PAC, is run by former Romney staff and funded by his "millionaire friends."

Gingrich tore into several of the ad's attacks including that he paid to settle a House ethics investigation and personally profited $1.6 million from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. And he called its portrayal of his immigration position a "gross distortion."

He said polling data which showed him leading the GOP field in recent weeks overrated his support, but nonetheless predicted a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses.

"I think there was an initial artificial burst when Herman Cain got out, and people are re-sorting themselves," he said. "None of us expected me to be in the top two at this point, let alone be the front-runner."

But don't expect a first-place Gingrich finish next week, the candidate said. "I think we're going to be in the top three or four. We could end up as number one. It's a very confusing field right now."

Also see:

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Perry touts part-time Congress pitch in new TV ad

CNN Exclusive: Newly recovered court files cast doubt on Gingrich version of first divorce

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. jerwin

    guess what Newt, it's RP or 4 more years of Obama, put that in your big tent and smoke it.

    December 27, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. enough of the wicked "O"

    Newt is out of touch with the conservatives.

    December 27, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Newt, Newt, Newt, you just don't get it, do you? The Romney Robot has been programmed to NOT do the things you think it should do. Take your dispute up with the Robot's puppet-programmer, one Karl Rove.

    December 27, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    â–ºGingrich: Romney should 'own' negative campaign
    Don't hold your breath or pop the champagne
    because it's "working" for Romney and everyone knows
    You would do the same if you only had the dough!!!

    Obama 2012

    December 27, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. NC

    I don't like either of the two. Romney should be a man and do his own attack ads, what a wimp.

    December 27, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Old Newt has so much to avoid! Everybody in the nation knows the dishonest and unethical things he's done. No wonder he doesn't want anybidy to talk about it.

    December 27, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. usualone

    That is Romney's basic problem - He doe not admit to his actions past or present.

    December 27, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Amelia

    I love how Gingrich keeps saying his running a positive campaign, and then rips into the other candidates like this. If he can't take criticism from the super-pac that favors Romney, then how can we expect him to take the heat from Obama's campaign? Sorry, Newt–I can't afford to vote for you!

    December 27, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Thomas

    This just shows that it's time for a new generation of GOP , younger more mature !

    We need a Teenage Reagan not a Tucker Carlson !

    December 27, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |