Gingrich Calls On SuperPAC To Withdraw Anti-Romney Ad

Newt Gingrich’s schizophrenia over the anti-Bain attacks he and the SuperPAC supporting him have made against Mitt Romney continues. Now, he is saying that the SuperPAC, Winning Our Future, should withdraw the ad and remove any incorrect information:

Misleading and exaggerated claims in a film portraying Mitt Romney as a heartless job killer led Newt Gingrich to ask on Friday that the group behind it change or withdraw it, even though Mr. Gingrich is the intended beneficiary of the film.

“I’m calling on them to either edit out every single mistake or to pull the entire film,” Mr. Gingrich said at the opening of a campaign office in Orlando during a swing through the critical primary state of Florida. “They cannot run the film if it has errors in it.”

But the group running the video, the pro-Gingrich “super PAC” Winning Our Future, made no move to alter the work. Late Friday, it released an open letter to Mr. Romney saying it would alter its advertisement only if he would answer a series of questions about “your version of events,” including when he formally relinquished a “controlling interest” in Bain and when he received a final check from Bain relating to any investment in which he had an interest.

The video — parts of which first showed up online last week and on South Carolina television stations on Thursday — is dominating the campaign dialogue as the primary fight intensifies in the state.

By calling for the ads to come down or undergo changes, Mr. Gingrich was potentially getting to have his cake and eat it too, reaping the benefits of attacks that have been nationally branded as false while publicly distancing himself. Yet he also faced the risks of being associated with an attack by a group that has a former close aide, Rick Tyler, as a senior adviser.

The harsh nature of the film’s attacks had led many Republicans to call on Mr. Gingrich to disavow it. First pressed to do so last week, Mr. Gingrich declined, saying the use of the video is fair game, especially after a group supporting Mr. Romney, Restore Our Future, savaged him with ads in Iowa.

But in questioning the advertisements’ accuracy on Friday, Mr. Gingrich was providing an early test of the benefits and risks to political candidates like him who, with little of their own financing, are being sustained by super PACS, which can use unlimited resources to help candidates and attack their opponents as long as the campaigns do not coordinate with them.

So far, these groups are running nearly as many advertisements per day as the candidates themselves, according to an analysis by Kantar Media/CMAG, which reports that they are spending far more than the actual campaigns because they do not get the same discounted rates from stations that candidates get. Winning Our Future is heavily in the mix, having received a $5 million commitment from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Mr. Gingrich’s comments on Friday came after a host of news reports disputed the film’s accuracy, including The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column, which gave it the worst possible rating of “Four Pinocchios.”

Of course, it’s a new day so Gingrich may change his tune yet again.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Does that include the three pinnochios that Romney’s claim about job creation was given or are those pinnochios different?

  2. Fiona says:

    Having unleashed the beast, Gingrich is going to be hard-pressed to rein it back it. I think he wants to have it both ways, especially as it seems to be doing some real damage to Romney.

  3. sam says:

    God bless Citizens United.

  4. To be fair, the whole point of a Super PAC is that the candidate has no control over it, so it’s not really schizophrenic if the two appear to be going in opposite directions.

  5. mantis says:

    To be fair, the whole point of a Super PAC is that the candidate has no control over it, so it’s not really schizophrenic if the two appear to be going in opposite directions.

    First of all, that’s a good joke. Tell another.

    Second of all, the schizophrenia is in the salamander’s response. Every day he takes a different position on the criticisms of Romney over Bain.

  6. mantis says:

    To be fair, the whole point of a Super PAC is that the candidate has no control over it

    I can’t really tell if you’re being sincere or not. Do you really believe that is the point? If that were true, it would be the biggest fail since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that had basically no effect on gun crime.

    Of course, if you even harbor the slightest bit of cynicism or skepticism, you can see that the rules are now structured in such a way that the supposed separation of campaigns and Super PAC’s is a complete joke. That’s the basis of Stephen Colbert’s long running stunt that entered its next stage on Thursday.

  7. DRS says:

    Newt wins both ways; the ad has been out there long enough to inflict damage; he calls for it to be withdrawn; he can shrug his shoulders at the next Republican critic and say “hey, I called for the withdrawal, what more can I do?”.

    He’s an arrogant bag of wind but not a complete dope.

  8. Buffalo Rude says:

    Maybe Newt is taking a breather now that it’s the social conservatives turn to hate on teh ROMNEYBOT12.

  9. Gid says:

    @Fiona:

    Read the title of this blog post.
    That’s the headline he wanted written. He has it both ways.