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Newt Gingrich Spokesman Outs Candidate As Anonymous Source

Newt Media

First Posted: 12/12/11 10:31 AM ET Updated: 12/12/11 03:43 PM ET

The New Hampshire Union Leader recently quoted "a senior aide in the [Newt] Gingrich campaign" pushing hard, and at length, against criticism from former Governor John H. Sununu, an outspoken surrogate for Mitt Romney's campaign.

The aide, it turns out, was as senior as you can get: It was Gingrich himself.

R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign, revealed the source of the comments to The New York Times, telling the paper that the candidate has also been studying Franklin D. Roosevelt press conference transcripts to get some insight into how he handled reporters. The Times noted that "reporters often quoted President Roosevelt without identifying him."

But should the Union Leader grant a candidate anonymity to defend himself? Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid wouldn't say or even confirm the source.

"Don't know about you or the Post or the Times, but the Union Leader does not disclose its sources," McQuaid told The Huffington Post in an email. (McQuaid got testy when Politico's Dylan Byers asked him about the Times story).

Gingrich recently won the Union Leader's endorsement, a sought-after blessing from the state's biggest paper and one that is influential among conservatives.

Although Gingrich only spoke on background for this specific piece, national political reporters should have plenty of opportunities to get Gingrich on the record in the near future.

The Times also revealed that the campaign is planning to include space for media on the campaign bus, "and the joke is that it will be the 'Newt Talk Express' a nod to Senator John McCain’s 2000 Straight Talk Express, on which he often he gabbed for hours with reporters."

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