Laura Ingraham: Can a GOP Candidate Win the Nomination Without Going Negative?
By: StaffDecember 22, 2011
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By Laura Ingraham

Since former Speaker Gingrich's campaign rose from the dead late last month, he has been targeted by his opponents in a brutal ad war.

And as the Speaker conceded last night in his appearance on THE FACTOR, the barrage has taken a toll. And consider this latest salvo from a pro-Romney super PAC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what makes Barack Obama happy? Newt Gingrich's baggage. Newt has more baggage than the airlines. Freddie Mac helped cause the economic collapse but Gingrich cashed in. Freddie Mac paid Newt $30,000 an hour; $1.6 million. Gingrich not only teamed up with Nancy Pelosi on global warming but together they co-sponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a UN program supporting China's brutal one-child policy.

As Speaker, Gingrich even supported taxpayer funding of some abortions. And Newt is the only Speaker in history to be reprimanded. He was fined $300,000 for ethics violations by a Republican Congress.


INGRAHAM: Today the "The Washington Post" fact checker gave that ad four Pinocchio's. It concluded that on multiple fronts it distorts the former Speaker's record.

Now for his part Romney said that he doesn't personally coordinate any super PAC activities to which Gingrich replies.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His comments today are palpably misleading, clearly false, and politics in its worse form.


INGRAHAM: Also on my radio show today Gingrich accused Romney of, quote, "defending the right to lie".

Now, while Newt's frustration may be justified and as much as people say they don't like negative ads. Let's face it, they work. Check this out. In a Rasmussen poll released today, Gingrich comes in, in third place in Iowa behind Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Another poll, kind of an outlier, has him in fourth place and Rick Perry is ahead of him. But as he continues to slide, Gingrich reiterated his pledge not to go negative. He also challenged Romney to call off the dogs and released this Christmas-themed ad in Iowa.


C. GINGRICH: Is there anything more inspiring than American towns and neighborhoods brightly lit for the holidays?

N. GINGRICH: We take it as a sign of great optimism. It reminds us of the fire of freedom that burns bright in the America we love and a prayer that the goodness of our nation will be rewarded with peace and brotherhood.


INGRAHAM: Peace and brotherhood. Well it's a beautiful message but not exactly a campaign barn-burner. Does Newt Gingrich want to be remembered as the guy who was almost always positive or the guy who won the nomination? His campaign is getting drowned out in part because he failed to respond convincingly to the substantive attacks against him. He doesn't have a lot of money either.

But attacks on Freddie Mac, cap-and-trade and of course on his leadership style. If history is a guide, calling out the media and other candidates for going negative isn't a winning campaign strategy. And it's not enough to have the right ideas or interesting theories. Success in politics requires that you throw some elbows when necessary.

And Gingrich showed these skills, of course, when he led the GOP to capture the House in 1994. So to save his campaign now maybe, just maybe he needs to go back to the future.

And that's "The Memo."

— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on Send your comments to:

Transcript Date: 
Wed, 12/21/2011
Transcript Show Name: 
O'Reilly Factor
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