CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Newt Gingrich doesn't think it's funny to kid around about killing members of Congress.
Discussing Republican strategist Karl Rove's suggestion that the Republican Party "sink" a Senate candidate whose comments about "legitimate rape" have offended almost everyone in America, Gingrich pointed to the attempted assassination of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"In the age of Gabby Giffords, it is not a joke to say that a congressman ought to get murdered," Gingrich said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Rove had joked at a private fundraiser about killing Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who was forced to apologize for saying women can't get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
"We should sink Todd Akin," Rove said. "If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts!”
Rove later apologized to Akin, who is running for Senate in Missouri against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Gingrich supports Akin. "Todd Akin made a mistake," the former House speaker said last week. "He's an honorable guy, he's a sincere guy. He said something stupid."