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Gingrich camp says it raised $9M for quarter

MASON CITY, Iowa — A spokesman for Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign says the Republican has raked in roughly $9 million for the past three months of the year, far more than the House speaker has been able to raise in any of the previous quarters.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told reporters Wednesday night that Mr. Gingrich had paid off some, but not all, of the more than $1 million in campaign debt he had accumulated earlier this year.

Mr. Gingrich has been sliding in new polls with the leadoff Iowa caucuses just six days away. The announcement, coming days before the reporting period ends Dec. 31, seems designed to counter signs that his support was dwindling.

Mr. Hammond says the campaign has shelled out about $500,000 for television ads in Iowa running this week. 

IOWA

Gingrich: Greek cruise gave him time to think

MASON CITY — Newt Gingrich says a luxury cruise he took through the Greek Isles earlier this year that prompted top aides to quit his campaign was designed to show he’s “a different kind of candidate.”

Speaking to reporters after a speech in Mason City on Wednesday, the Republican presidential candidate said the trip had always been planned to give him time to think.

Mr. Gingrich said being in Greece during that country’s financial crisis was helpful and gave him a deeper perspective on the difficult economic struggles ahead.

The former House speaker also distanced himself from a mailer circulating in Iowa and paid for by a political action committee that supports him. The mailer says Republican rival Mitt Romney is the “second most dangerous man in America.”

NEBRASKA

Nelson: Dems shouldn’t concede his Senate seat

OMAHA — Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska says he doesn’t think his decision not to run for a third term will automatically hand the seat over to Republicans.

Mr. Nelson told the Associated Press on Wednesday there’s still plenty of time for the 2012 campaign, so Democrats shouldn’t hesitate to jump in.

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