Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has threatened to sue dozens of television stations if they run a political attack ad that says he supported China’s one-child policy.
The ad, produced by the Restore Our Future Super PAC which supports Mitt Romney, is “fundamentally false and misleading,” according to a letter sent by Atlanta lawyer Patrick Millsaps to stations in Gingrich’s home state of Georgia.
The letter points out that the Tampa Bay Times website, Politifact, had given the ad a “Pants on Fire” rating, something Millsaps described as “a brand of abject falsity.”
In the ad, a voice-over says that Gingrich co-sponsored a bill with former Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi “that would have given $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China’s brutal one-child policy.”
But Millsaps said the bill, introduced in 1989, specifically prohibited funding for “the performance of involuntary sterilization or abortion or to coerce any person to accept family planning.”
“As such, it is inherently false for any advertisement to claim that Speaker Gingrich, Congresswoman Pelosi, or any of the other 142 co-sponsors of H.R. 1078 attempted to give money to a U.N. program supporting forced sterilization or abortion in China,” Millsaps added.
Georgia holds its primary on Super Tuesday, March 6. Similar letters have gone out in other states which are scheduled to vote on that day, said Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond.
Millsaps’ letter threatens television bosses that if they use the Restore Our Future ad without cutting out the reference to China, the decision will “expose your station to potential liability for both libel and false light invasion of privacy.”
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