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Newt Gingrich: Nancy Pelosi Climate Change Ad Is 'Dumbest Thing I've Done In The Last 4 Years'

First Posted: 12/27/2011 3:40 pm Updated: 12/27/2011 6:24 pm

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was pressed again Tuesday on one of the ghosts of his political past, when a notorious advertisement on climate change featuring him alongside then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was brought up on the campaign trail.

"The dumbest thing I've done in the last four years was sit on a couch with Nancy Pelosi," Gingrich said, according to The Hill's Mike O'Brien. "I can't defend it."

In the ad, Gingrich and Pelosi share a seat on a sofa in front of the Capitol and declare that "the country must take action to address climate change."

Gingrich has made similar comments about the spot before, though he has, in the past, been quick to temper his admissions of fault with clarifications about his position on climate change.

In November, Gingrich also claimed the commercial was the "dumbest single thing" he'd done in the past years, but quickly explained that he was against cap-and-trade. He later went on to urge conservatives "to be in the middle of the debate over the environment."

Gingrich also made another concession over the summer, admitting that he regretted making the ad. He followed up, saying that his participation in the ad had been "misconstrued," and that he "was trying to make a point that [Republicans] shouldn't be afraid to debate the left, even on the environment."

Gingrich's primary rivals continue to batter him over the decision, despite his repeated attempts to brush away the imagery of appearing in an ad campaign spearheaded by Al Gore and co-starring a vocal Democrat who was, at the time, preparing to push a cap-and-trade agenda.

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney's press secretary, Andrea Saul, appeared on MSNBC and referred to the ad while slamming Gingrich as a "desperate candidate trying to revive his failing campaign."

Earlier this month, Romney also used the commercial as evidence that Gingrich was an "extraordinarily unreliable leader in the conservative world."

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Filed by Nick Wing  |