Newt's team comes out swinging


Republican presidential hopeful and former Speaker of the House Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) speaks as his wife Callista Gingrich looks on during an education town hall January 4, 2012 in Concord, New Hampshire.


Alex Wong

WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich came out swinging against Mitt Romney Wednesday, publishing an ad John McCain aired in 2008 to attack Mitt Romney. Just a day after placing fourth in the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich followed up on a concession speech promise to reorient his positive campaign message toward taking down Romney. 

In an email from "Winning Our Future," former Gingrich press secretary Rick Tyler simply included a link to his super PAC "Winning Our Future," with a subject line inviting reporters to take a "video trip down memory lane." The site plays a disparaging attack ad John McCain aired in 2008 when he was locked in a nomination battle with Romney. McCain, who endorsed Romney today in New Hampshire, often accused Mitt Romney of flip-flopping his views on issues such as abortion, gun control, and the Republican Party.

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The ad has clips of Romney's political positions over the years. It begins in 1994 with the then-US Senate candidate saying "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country," then in 2007 "I am pro-life," and even "you can go back to YouTube and look at what what I said in 1994. I never said that I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice."

See the ad here:

McCain's ad goes on to contrast his statements on gun control, and whether he was a Reagan Republican. The ad ends with another voice: "I'm John McCain, and I approve this message."

Gingrich's disappointing fourth place finish in Iowa was attributed in part to the relentless attack ads aired there by Romney-aligned super PACs. One PAC, Restore Our Future, spent $1.2 million attacking him there. “We’re not going to go out and run nasty ads,” Gingrich said in Iowa, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “I do reserve the right to tell the truth. And if the truth seems negative, that may be more a comment on his record than it is on politics.”