POLITICS

Mitt Romney Won't Tell Super PAC To Stop Negative Ads: 'This Is Politics'

12/21/2011 11:20 am ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011

Just one day after declaring that he can't tell the super PAC supporting him to stop running negative advertisements, Mitt Romney declared that he could publicly tell the super PAC to stop, but he won't because, "this is politics."

Appearing on Fox News Wednesday morning, Romney responded to a question about whether he could publicly condemn the negative advertising run by Restore Our Future, a super PAC run by some of his former aides. Romney responded, "Obviously, there are these coordination rules, you're not allowed to coordinate, but I'm sure I could go out and say, 'Hey please don't do anything negative.' But you know, this is politics, and if you can't stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until the Obama's Hell's Kitchen turns up the heat."

"Look, this is a time when we have to be able to stand up, defend ourselves," he continued. "I've done the hard work of raising money for ads, and the speaker came after me pretty aggressively in his attacks. We're going to respond, and we've got an ad campaign in my campaign that's positive, but this super PAC that's been organized, it has to do what it does on an un-coordinated basis."

On Tuesday, Romney stated on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he could not tell Restore Our Future to stop running the advertisements attacking his opponent Newt Gingrich because it would be illegal for his campaign to coordinate with the super PAC. "Super PACs have to be entirely separate from a campaign and a candidate," he said. "I'm not allowed to communicate with a super PAC in any way, shape or form. ... If we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house."

Restore Our Future is currently pummeling Gingrich with negative ads across Iowa and in Florida. The group has already reported spending $2.51 million to attack Gingrich and estimated on Dec. 8 that they would spend up to $3.1 million in Iowa.

As HuffPost reported on Tuesday, Romney has taken different positions on Restore Our Future. After offering words of support and appearing at a donor event for the group earlier in the year, Romney declared on Tuesday, "We really ought to let campaigns raise the money they need and just get rid of these super PACs."

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