Gingrich Lambastes Romney for PAC's 'Smear Campaign'

Mitt says he can't control 'independent' group

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2011 7:18 AM CST

(Newser) – Mitt Romney was confronted yesterday over the anti-Gingrich attack ads that a pro-Romney super PAC has been pumping out, prompting him to label the whole concept of super PACs “a disaster”—and insist he couldn’t lawfully intervene. “My goodness, if we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house,” he said. Newt Gingrich read those remarks at a press conference later. “Baloney,” he declared, observing that the PAC was founded by ex-Romney staffers and funded by “his personal friends,” the AP reports.

“Understand, these are his people running his ads, doing his dirty work while he pretends to be above it,” Gingrich said, calling Romney’s statements “palpably misleading, clearly false, and politics in its worst form.” Gingrich also has a PAC run by a former top aide, and said that if it aired “a single negative ad” he would “disown” it. Gingrich blasts Romney’s ads as “lies” and a “negative smear campaign.” In reply, the Romney PAC told the Wall Street Journal simply, "the truth hurts."

Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens to a question during a campaign stop at Al-Jon manufacturing in Ottumwa, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.
Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens to a question during a campaign stop at Al-Jon manufacturing in Ottumwa, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a Hy-Vee store in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.
Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a Hy-Vee store in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks to a group of supporters at a grocery store in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on December 20, 2011.
Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks to a group of supporters at a grocery store in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on December 20, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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