HIAWATHA, Iowa - Newt Gingrich was very critical of his GOP rivals Monday as he is continuing to get hounded with negative ads in the Hawkeye State and is asking Iowans to help put a stop to it.
“If they run into one of these candidates, tell them they ought to be ashamed of themselves,” Gingrich said before roughly 150 people just outside of Cedar Rapids. “They ought to take this junk off the air.”
And it is these negative attacks that are perhaps causing the recent drop in polls.
“Watch TV here for 2 days. You had all sorts of people, all sorts of these Super PACs who have been consistently running negative ads,” Gingrich admitted to a couple hundred people early Tuesday at an event in Davenport.
The former House Speaker has vowed to run a positive campaign and not attack his rivals even when they hit him… most of the time.
"Every once in a while I slip when they get my goat and I can't quite help myself,” he admitted inside Level 10, an apparel manufacturer. “But I think I’ve done a pretty good job at staying focused on issues.”
Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all have TV ads and campaign mailers attacking Speaker Gingrich on a variety of issues, such as being a “flip-flopper” and not being a “consistent conservative.”
“I am not going to comment on the people who are suggesting I am not a consistent conservative although one wonders how they would know one if they saw it,” Gingrich said.
But the campaign, as the Speaker pointed out himself, is still organizing itself and having to play catch up with just 15 days until the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
“We are still putting our campaign together. It is wild. It is amazing,” he said.
Gingrich, who is scrambling to get his name on the ballot in Virginia for the primary, told reporters in Davenport, “Some candidates have been running for five or six years and raised millions and millions of dollars. They're better organized than I am.”
But in the end, Gingrich said, it’s up to Iowans first and foremost to decide which type of campaign strategy should be rewarded.
“When you get ready to vote in 2 weeks ask yourself, do you really want to reward politics as usual, negativity as usual, attack as usual, consultants as usual, fundraising from Wall Street fundraising as usual,” Gingrich asked. “Or do you want to vote for the only person who has consistently, steadily been positive for the entire campaign.”
The Speaker continues with four campaign stops in Eastern Iowa Tuesday.