January 26th, 2012
02:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Dole assails Gingrich in plea to conservatives

(CNN) - Bob Dole, a Mitt Romney supporter and former Republican presidential nominee, issued a scathing statement Thursday blasting Newt Gingrich for being a "one-man-band who rarely took advice."

In an open letter to conservatives distributed by Romney's campaign, Dole said he personally took steps to assist the former House speaker pay off a penalty levied by the House Ethics Committee.

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"In 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as Speaker," Dole wrote. "But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when the writing was on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources."

Gingrich has characterized the penalty from the ethics panel as reimbursement for their investigation, which centered on a college course he taught that was misclassified as tax-exempt.

Dole drew on his own experience with the former House speaker to paint the candidate as lethal for the Republican Party.

"If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices," Dole said. "Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway."

Dole, who served in the U.S. Senate when Gingrich was House speaker, harkened back to Gingrich's style during his time in Congress.

"Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall," Dole said. "He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998."

Dole endorsed Romney in December, and made calls to allies in Iowa urging them to support Romney ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Dole won Iowa in 1996, but ultimately lost the general election to Bill Clinton.

In his letter, Dole placed a measure of blame on Gingrich for the loss.

"In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year."

Dole pointed to a particular eccentricity of Gingrich's, saying the former speaker's style was as puzzling as it was harmful.

"Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty ice-bucket in his hand-that was a symbol of some sort for him-and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it," Dole wrote.

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Filed under: 2012 • Bob Dole • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. HorseHead InYourBed

    Dole and McCain? Why bring out losers? Do you see Obama asking Kerry or Gore what they think?

    January 26, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "He's has a proven track record of success and accomplishment."

    You keep repeating that nonsense like some wind-up doll. R-Money had his "success" and "accomplishment" as a vulture capitalist, ripping apart companies (not always "failing" companies as you repeatedly lie), laid off workers and then drained corporate assets to his predatory elitist buddies while sticking the taxpayers with the pension liabilities. Please show how that is the kind of "success" and "accomplishment" we want in a president. You too, Jariv the Groupie.

    If you're going to claim "success" and "accomplishment" as a vulture capitalist qualifies one for president perhaps you should also run a serial killer for office because of his "success" and "accomplishment" as a serial killer.

    January 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Dutra

    Dole is just another version of McCain.

    January 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Those ads with Dole are STILL a drag on Gingrich. Dole was the worst Republican candidate in my lifetime. That Dole blames others for his "let's go back to the 50's" campaign failing is beyond ridicule.

    January 26, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. tim

    the establishment doesn't lke Newt. Go Newt!

    January 26, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    If you Google "tax collector for the welfare state", it brings up pages about Bob Dole. Newt hung that epithet on Dole, and one thing Bob Dole knows is how to hold a grudge.

    January 26, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Bilbo Baggins

    Bob Dole was the worst republican candidate ever. No wonder he's going for Romney. All the retreads McCain, Dole etc. their for Romney.

    January 26, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Apachecav

    Who listens to Bob Dole anyway... Actually the more they push against Newt the More I will only vote for him... Bagage and all!.. It is about time soemone took on the Dems, the Repubs and th media.. The only thing that would make Newt a bigger sucess is if he came out at the next debate , walked up to the moderator without saying a word and Tazed the guy were he stood.

    January 26, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. VillageViking

    Honestly, I have never known anyone who knows Newt, I mean really knows Newt, say anything positive or complimentary about him. It's only a matter of time before Calista "Stepford Wife" Gingrich moves on and sells her book about being married to a whale named Newt...

    January 26, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. trailblazer

    Well if this isn't the best endorsement FOR Newt, I do not know what is: ""If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices". Current get-along "Republican/so-called Conservatives" A&^holes in Congress and State should be thrown out on their ears!! Bring on the NEWT!!

    January 26, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Barry bin Inhalin

    The great barometer of conservatism, Bob Dole, disses Newt? Now I've seen it all.

    January 26, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Bryan

    "Bob Dole, a Mitt Romney supporter and former Republican presidential nominee, issued a scathing statement Thursday blasting Newt Gingrich for being a "one-man-band who rarely took advice.""

    Oh really, Bob? Should Mitt be taking advice from others like Obama? You know, like from Saul Alinksy, Rev .Wright, Bill Ayres, etc? Grow a brain, ya moron...

    January 26, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Joe Doakes

    Dear Establishment,

    Your panic is as obvious as a divorced women looking for a bit of action. What will you do if Gingrich wins Florida? Jump? Maybe you can have President Obama install some diving boards on the bridges he is not fixing to make it a bit easier on all of you?


    January 26, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. 44guyton

    From one loser, Bob Dole to Newt. "Get in line". Right. Bob Dole is the same old , same old; get along to go along. Bob Dole proved conclusively that DIDN"T WORK. How that moderate stuff work Bob??? Growing the welfare state and losing the Presidential election..........................LOSER!!!!!

    January 26, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Jeanette

    So McCain and Dole both back Romney? Hmmm....I'm starting to like Newt for his enemies – who, by the way, are both losers.

    January 26, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. juanmex

    Another piece of xcrement thrown to the rodeo!!!!

    January 26, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. clarinet

    Take it from a fellow Kansan, Bob Dole's brain is the size of a speck of dust.

    January 26, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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