If there were ever any warm feelings between former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, they were clearly extinguished in an icy abyss in the late '90s.
In an open letter, Dole, who endorsed Romney right before the Iowa caucuses, accused Gingrich of being a "one-man band" who regularly generated "off the wall" ideas and demanded "his way or the highway."
"In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad," he wrote. Dole, who waged an unsuccessful bid for the presidency against President Clinton and was relentlessly attacked for his association with the former House speaker," Dole continued. "He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year."
The charge flies in the face of Gingrich consistent talking point on the stump that his Republican coattails would be long if he were to secure the nomination.
To convey Gingrich's baffling behavior, Dole said, "Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty ice-bucket in his hand -- that was a symbol of some sort for him -- and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it."
Apparently miffed by the 88-year-old’s scathing words, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond blasted off a tweet that jabbed at the war hero's age and memory: "Hey Bob Dole, remember when they invented the refrigerator?"
Hammond linked his tweet to the C-Span video vault, which shows Gingrich on the House floor in 1996 pointing out that $400,000 was spent every year on ice delivery to the offices in the Capitol when each office already had a refrigerator; by cutting out the ice delivery, Gingrich argued, money was freed up to give citizens a tax relief that Dole was pushing for.
In retirement, Dole became the standard bearer for aging and having fun, re-emerging in the public spotlight after being defeated by Clinton as the poster boy for Viagra. He also left an indelible mark in popular memory when he appeared in a Pepsi-Cola ad with Britney Spears.