Gingrich: Debate With Romney Should Focus on Misleading Ads

Thursday, 22 Dec 2011 05:49 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night the reason he had challenged rival Republican contender Mitt Romney to a one-on-one debate earlier in the day was to show the former Massachusetts governor he can “take the heat.”

“Well, the governor suggested, when I indicated that I thought his false and misleading ads ought to be taken down — and that his excuses that his staff and his donors were beyond his control were silly — he said, if I can’t take the heat, I could get out of the kitchen,” Gingrich said. “So I said: I’m pretty happy taking the heat. Why doesn’t he join me in the kitchen? Let’s just do one on one for 90 minutes with a timekeeper and no moderator. He can bring his ads.
“And you know, one of his ads this morning got four ‘Pinocchios’ from the fact checker at The Washington Post — it’s very hard to get four Pinocchios in a 30-second ad — it means virtually nothing was true,” Gingrich said. “So I was simply suggesting to the governor: If he wants to talk about heat and kitchens, I’d be pretty happy to get in the kitchen with him.

“Let’s talk about the ads that his people have been running that are clearly false and misleading — that ought to be taken down,” he continued. “They’re planning to spend $1.4 million in Iowa next week running attack ads against me — I just want 90 minutes to be able to indicate what’s true and what’s not true.”

Gingrich said he has tried to focus on being positive and the only one who benefits from Republicans attacking each other — and from negative ads — is Obama.

“I think these ads are destructive and they’re dishonest — the governor ought to take responsibility,” Gingrich said.  “It’s his former staff and his millionaire friends who are running these ads. He clearly could publicly direct them to go positive, and they would go positive.”

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