Gingrich ad rails against Romney's integrity
January 27th, 2012
03:54 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich ad rails against Romney's integrity

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich's campaign released a new television ad in Florida Friday, questioning Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney's character over statements he made in Thursday's CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate.

In the ad, "What kind of man?", the campaign paints the former Massachusetts governor as an untrustworthy, flip-flopping politician, just four days before the Sunshine State's critical primary.

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The spot starts with a clip from a Mike Huckabee attack ad against Romney in 2007, in which the former Arkansas governor said about his opponent, "If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job."

In a statement shortly after the ad emerged, Huckabee objected to the use of his old campaign ad for Gingrich's purposes.

"Any use of an out of context quote from the Republican Presidential primary 4 years ago in a political ad to advocate for the election or defeat of another candidate is not authorized, approved, or known in advance by me," Huckabee said, adding that he will not make an endorsement in the Republican primary.

This was the second time in less than two weeks that Huckabee has come out against the use of his words in a campaign ad. On January 16, the former governor released a similar statement against a Romney ad that included audio of Huckabee defending the candidate's corporate career.

Despite Huckabee's protestations, Gingrich's press secretary R.C. Hammond stood by the new ad, noting it was not implying an endorsement.

In the Gingrich ad against Romney, the ad focused on the "dishonesty" theme.

"What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?" the narrator says. "This man would be Mitt Romney."

The ad also goes after Romney's voting record. While the former Massachusetts governor said at the debate Thursday he had only voted for Democrats if there were no Republicans on the ballot, the commercial points to the 1992 presidential primary, in which Romney voted for Democrat Paul Tsongas. Republicans George H. W. Bush and Pat Buchanan also appeared on the Massachusetts ballot.

Romney previously defended his vote, saying in a 2007 ABC News interview that because "there was no real contest in the Republican primary," he voted in the Democratic primary for who he thought "would be the weakest opponent for a Republican."

The new 60-second spot also highlights a moment in Thursday's CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate when Romney denied that he knew about a misleading ad against Gingrich put out by his campaign.

The Spanish-language radio ad in question accused Gingrich of calling Spanish "the language of the ghetto." Gingrich's comment came in a 2007 speech on bilingual education, and while he never mentioned the word Spanish, he came under fire at the time for presumably referring to the language.

Days later, Gingrich puts out a web video in Spanish saying his previous words "were not the best."

But Team Gingrich wasted no time in producing the new commercial Friday, attacking the former Massachusetts governor for not knowing about an ad coming from his own campaign.

"If we can't trust Romney in a debate, how can we trust him in the White House?" the narrator says at the end of the spot.

Romney's campaign responded to the new commercial, saying Gingrich is "desperate to distract from his record" and is trying to "prop up his sinking campaign."

"Newt Gingrich's desperate smears have already been called 'inflammatory' by Marco Rubio and 'ridiculous' by Jeb Bush. It is laughable to see lectures on honesty coming from a paid influence peddler who suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party," Andrea Saul, Romney spokesperson, said in a statement.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Analysis: When disclosure is so simple it's complicated

Romney campaign will amend disclosure forms

Jeb bush offers no endorsement, but a warning

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    And the old, lying, cheating, "catholic" adulterer thinks he would do better???

    January 27, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Stephen in VA

    I bet Obama has himself a good laugh whenever he thinks of the coming general election.

    January 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Huckabee Supporter and Follower

    Mr Huckabee's ad NEVER mentioned Mitt Romney – was not aimed at Mitt Romney – and Mr Huckabee went on TV today to state just that. GOngrich distorts reality – he made this up while working at his moon colony

    Mr Gingrich is comtemptible and is a downright LIAR. There is ZERO chance Newt will win the nominee and if he did, the GOP base would NOT support him – they would rather have Obama -and that speaks volumes

    January 27, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Mike from Calgary

    Mitt "I like to fire people and shut down their factories to get fees and dividends and tax credits" showed what a HYPOCRITE he is regarding blind trusts. Is there no limit to what he will say or do to to skim money off for his Swiss Banks and his Mormon Temple.
    Now were finally learning more about his Governing experience in Massachussetts – where he could not run for relection. Massachussetts voters made clear that "WE WON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN!"
    Democrats would have a field day with Romney!

    January 27, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Larry L

    Vote for Newt! So what if he's a dishonest horn-dog? He's not a Mormon and not Black! Isn't that the real issue? Besides... he said he found Jesus. Newt wouldn't lie...

    January 27, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Mike from Calgary

    With Mitt "I like to fire people and shut down their factories to get fees and dividends and tax credits" Romney, the REPUBLICANS DON'T HAVE A PRAYER!

    January 27, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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