Newt Gingrich is instructing his staff and supporters to “run a positive campaign.”
On Tuesday the Gingrich campaign released a letter addressed to “supporters and staff” which instructed them to “avoid initiating attacks on other Republican candidates. It is my hope that my Republican opponents will join me in this commitment.”
Gingrich has recently been trading barbs with his rival Mitt Romney who called on the former House Speaker to return the $1.6 million he earned as a consultant to Freddie Mac and Fannie May.
Gingrich fired back by saying if Romney would return all the money he earned “bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him.”
Mitt Romney has made no promise to stay positive and his campaign has the money to soak the airwaves in the early states with negative television ads whenever they’re ready.
Gingrich seems to be making an early play to poison the water for such attacks. “We will not be running any negative advertising,” said Gingrich in the statement. “With Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment in mind, we will ask our supporters not to contribute to any so-called SuperPAC that runs negative ads against any other Republican contender and we will discourage ad hominem attacks on our fellow Republicans.”
Here is the text of the Gingrich letter in its entirety:
Dear supporters and staff, Since I announced my candidacy for President of the United States, I have made it clear that I intended to run a positive, solutions-based campaign. There is not doubt, these are difficult times for our country.
The American people deserve a respectful and constructive campaign that focuses on a vision for rebuilding the country we love. It is critical the Republican nominee emerge from this primary campaign un-bloodied, so that he or she can make the case against President Obama from a position of strength.
For these reasons I have refrained from launching attacks on my Republican opponents, though I have reserved the right to respond when my record has been distorted. On Monday this occurred when Governor Romney and I engaged in what in diplomatic circles is called “a frank exchange” over our respective records in the private sector.
That same day, however, Mr. Romney announced, “I’m not going to say outrageous things that can be used to hang [a GOP opponent] down the road.”
I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. So let us hope that from this point forward we can devote our energies to real issues, such as discussing our plans for our nation’s economic recovery and helping to create millions of new jobs for the American people.
I also want to reiterate to each of you what I have said from the beginning of our campaign, and most recently last Saturday in Iowa: We will run a positive campaign focused on our country’s future. We will not be running any negative advertising. With Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment in mind, we will ask our supporters not to contribute to any so-called SuperPAC that runs negative ads against any other Republican contender and we will discourage ad hominem attacks on our fellow Republicans.
Therefore, I am instructing all members of my campaign staff and respectfully urge anyone acting as a surrogate for our campaign to avoid initiating attacks on other Republican candidates.
It is my hope that my Republican opponents will join me in this commitment. Running a positive solutions-based campaign is the only way to guarantee President Obama is not reelected. Thank you as always for your support and enthusiasm.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.