Bob Dole, Republicans’ 1996 presidential nominee, said Thursday that not only did Newt Gingrich hurt his presidential bid but he also cost Republicans seats in the House that year.
In a letter released by the Romney campaign, Mr. Dole said Mr. Gingrich “will have an adverse impact” on Republicans running for other offices this year — hinting that he could cost the GOP the chance to win the Senate, which appears to be in reach.
“Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself,” said Mr. Dole, who was Senate Republicans’ leader at the time and dealt with Mr. Gingrich regularly. “He was a one-man band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.”
After the 1994 elections that propelled the GOP to majorities in both houses of Congress, the two men clashed over the direction to go.
Mr. Dole’s letter, which goes on to embrace Mr. Romney, underscores the flood of top Republicans in the last few days who have said Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker, would damage the GOP.
Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who served as the whip while Mr. Gingrich was speaker, told “The Michael Berry Show” on Wednesday that he was “erratic” and didn’t fight for conservative principles.
And Elliott Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, said Mr. Gingrich often clashed with the former president on foreign policy, including predicting he would fail to win the struggle with the Soviet Union.