Newt Gingrich Hits Mitt Romney For Efforts To 'Distort And Deceive' In New Web Video
Gingrich's team used several of Romney's comments from Thursday night's Republican presidential debate as fodder for the ad, which claims Romney has told several fibs to win over voters.
The video shoots down Romney's claim that he has always voted Republican with reference to the 1992 Massachusetts primary, when Romney voted for a "liberal Democrat" instead of Pat Buchanan or George H.W. Bush. The spot also fact-checks Romney's claim that his investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were part of a blind trust.
"If we can't trust what Mitt Romney says about his own record, how can we trust him on anything?" the video says.
Romney's campaign released a statement condemning the ad, saying "Gingrich's desperate smears have already been called 'inflammatory' by Marco Rubio and 'ridiculous' by Jeb Bush."
"It is laughable to see lectures on honesty coming from a paid influence peddler who suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party," the statement said. "Speaker Gingrich is desperate to distract from his record of failed and unreliable leadership in an attempt to try and prop up his sinking campaign."
Another Republican featured in the ad is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is shown saying if a man is "dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job." Huckabee released the following statement on his appearance in the spot:
Any use of an out of context quote from the Republican Presidential primary 4 years ago in a political ad to advocate for the election or defeat of another candidate is not authorized, approved, or known in advance by me. I have made it clear that I have not and do not anticipate making an endorsement in the GOP primary, but will support the nominee. My hope is to defeat Barack Obama and win majorities in both the House and Senate, not to attack any of the Presidential candidates who might be our nominee.
HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal points out that the video lacks the "I approve this message" disclosure that is required by federal law for television advertising paid for by federal campaigns, meaning it is unlikely to appear anywhere but the web:
So at very least, the new attack ad posted to YouTube cannot appear in its current form as a paid advertisement, and the relatively small amount spent by the Gingrich campaign on broadcast advertising suggests that few Floridians would see it, even if aired.
Watch the video above.
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