The Washington Times - December 21, 2011, 10:24PM

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke to supporters at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday evening. 

Armed with candidate signature sheets, Gingrich campaign volunteers roamed the hotel’s Potomac ballroom. 
Mr. Gingrich is currently scrambling to get himself on to the ballot in Virginia and assured attendees that by the time he held his rally in Richmond on Thursday, he would have enough signatures to get his name on the Virginia ballot. 


“We’re going to challenge our friends, take down the negative ads, follow the Ronald Reagan 11th commandment, and let’s spend the last days in Iowa on a positive message,” Gingrich told his supporters. “If you have a super PAC in your name, you are morally responsible for it.”

Gingrich who is critical of Governor Romney’s ad campaign in Iowa reamed the Massachusetts Republican for at least not “disowning” the super PAC that is funding the attack ads on behalf of the former governor against the former speaker of the House.

Mr. Romney has said that he cannot control what the pro - Romney super PAC “Restore Our Future” does. The PAC, according to reports, is run, however, by former Romney political operatives and funded by individuals who continue to work at Romney’s former investment firm, Bain Capital. 

Gingrich responded to Romney on Wednesday night saying, “There’s an old-fashioned American term for that. Not the one you’re thinking of. The one my grandmother would have used is ‘baloney.’” 

The Georgia Republican then reiterated his challenge to Governor Romney for a one on one debate in Iowa. 

“I’ve challenged Gov. Romney to meet me for 90 minutes in Iowa. Anywhere. Any time. Timekeeper. No moderator. And we’ll bring all of his negative ads, and show them for free, and have him explain them. We’ll have him explain whether he likes the heat, and wants to stay in the kitchen.”

Mr. Gingrich, however, has been attacked on Iowa’s airwaves by Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign. In fact, the Paul campaign ads can be considered just as harsh as Mitt Romney’s campaign and super Pac ads against Mr. Gingrich. 

Furthermore, according to polls out of Iowa, particularly the latest Rasmussen poll, Paul is in second and barely ahead of Gingrich by 3 points, while Romney is leading both Paul and Gingrich with 25 percent. Both Paul and Romney are considered to be Gingrich’s biggest threats support wise in Iowa right now. 

I spoke with Mr. Gingrich on Wednesday night at the rally in Arlington and asked why he is not challenging Rep. Paul to the same type of debate that he is challenging Governor Romney to.

“The primary difference right now is that Mr. Romney, yesterday, made comments that implied that somehow he was magically absolved from his own PAC and I thought that was so absurd,” Gingrich said. 

He explained, “Mr. Paul hasn’t suggested any of that. I certainly wouldn’t have any problem with Mr. Paul wanting to do something like (a debate), but my primary focus is Governor Romney’s PAC, which is much bigger and has been more relentlessly negative.”

Apparently, Mr. Gingrich is using the Romney debate challenge as leverage to make the governor not only criticize his own super PAC but also make Mr. Romney admit that he is wrong on the issue of candidates and their control of their super PAC campaign ads. Also, Gingrich may be skeptical about Rep. Paul’s campaign viability past Iowa as opposed to Governor Romney’s.