Newt Gingrich is going out of his way to be seen as running a positive campaign, "Every once in a while, I slip, when they get my goat and I can't quite help myself, but overall I think I've done a pretty good job of staying focused on issues," the former House Speaker said Tuesday in Iowa.
To that end, last week at the FOX News debate in Sioux City, Iowa Gingrich told moderator Neil Cavuto that he was standing up there "editing [him]self."
Staying positive in a presidential campaign is a difficult proposition. While Newt Gingrich was greeting potential caucus voters at a Hy-Vee grocery in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa on Tuesday his spokesman R.C. Hammond was off to the side talking to Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Weisman.
What happened next is a classic example of sharp elbowed presidential campaign trail politics. The two were talking about a cable interview Mitt Romney had done Tuesday morning in which the former Massachusetts governor said he didn't have influence over the Super PACs producing attack ads against Gingrich, even if one of the groups is led by a former Romney staffer.
Weisman took the choice words to the Twitter-verse, tweeting that Hammond said Romney was "either a lying politician or a piece of sh-t." Hammond tells FOX News he thought the conversation was off the record, however he also did apologize for making the harsh remarks.
"The words got caught up in my throat out of the sheer frustration over the millions of dollars being spent against us in negative ads," Hammond later explained to FOX News.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.