Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich released a new ad Friday accusing rival Mitt Romney of peddling falsehoods in Florida’s primary contest, warning that that kind of dishonesty is why the former Massachusetts governor will lose in an general-election match-up against President Obama.
The “What Kind of Man?” ad (http://www.newt.org/news/newt-2012-releases-new-ad-what-kind-man) challenges five statements Mr. Romney made during the debate Thursday in Jacksonville, where he was generally thought to have gotten the better of the exchanges between the race’s two front-runners.
The minute-long spot opens with an old clip of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warning, “If a man’s dishonest to get a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job.”
A narrator charges Mr. Romney with misleading voters by saying that he always voted for a Republican when he had the opportunity; that all his investments in bailed-out finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were made through a blind trust; and that he was unaware of a campaign attack ad claiming the former House speaker called Spanish “the language of the ghetto.”
“What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?” the narrator says. “This man would. Mitt Romney. Romney said he has always voted Republican when he had the opportunity. But in the 1992 Massachusetts primary, Romney had the chance to vote for George H.W. Bush or Pat Buchanan, but he voted for a liberal Democrat instead.”
The narrator highlights a National Journal report that says Mr. Romney earned tens of thousands of dollars from Freddie and Fannie investments that were not held in a blind trust. The ad also contends that, while Mr. Romney denied seeing a “false ad” his campaign used to attack the Georgia Republican, CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer told him in the debate, Mr. Romney’s own voice is heard in the spot approving its content.
“If we can’t trust what Mitt Romney says about his own record, how can we trust him on anything?” the ad says at one point.
The spot closes with a black-and-white picture of Mr. Romney in profile and the warning “And that’s why he’ll lose to Obama” scrawled across the screen.
The Romney camp responded to its own web video, post a statement from Mr. Huckabee’s political action committee, Huck Pac, in which the former Arkansas governor rejects any attempt by GOP candidates to use his words to attack another.
“Any use of an out-of-context quote from the Republican presidential primary four years ago in a political ad to advocate for the election or defeat of another candidate is not authorized, approved, or known in advance by me,” Mr. Huckabee said in the post. “I have made it clear that I have not and do not anticipate making an endorsement in the GOP primary, but will support the nominee. My hope is to defeat Barack Obama and win majorities in both the House and Senate, not to attack any of the presidential candidates who might be our nominee.”