By Justin Sink
Newt Gingrich has called on the super-PAC funding a series of ads critical of Mitt Romney's job-creation record at Bain Capital to fix inaccuracies in the ads or remove them from the air.
“I am calling for the Winning Our Future Super-PAC supporting me to either edit its 'King of Bain' advertisement and movie to remove its inaccuracies, or to pull it off the air and off the internet entirely," Gingrich said in a statement released Friday.
Gingrich hopes that the call will help him regain the high road in what has become a blistering battle in South Carolina — and preempt a set of looming attack ads from pro-Romney groups upset by the Speaker's criticism of the presumptive Republican front-runner.
Romney's campaign, meanwhile, said that the former Governor had already repudiated any incorrect statements made by his supporters when pressed on the issue during last weekend's Republican debate.
" I can’t direct their ads. If there’s anything in them that’s wrong, I hope they take it out. I hope everything that’s wrong is taken out," Romney said.
Gingrich has come under fire for supporting the criticism of Romney's jobs record, which some conservatives have characterized as an attack on the free market. But in his press release, Gingrich maintained that it was fair to examine Romney's time leading the venture capital firm — as long as it was done so truthfully.
"The American people have a right to know the facts about the records of the men and women who are asking them for their vote," Gingrich said. “Governor Romney is running as someone who knows how to create jobs. In fact, he has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain Capital. However, numerous analyses have said that figure is as inaccurate as President Obama’s claim to have 'saved or created' millions of jobs."
An examination by The Washington Post questioned Romney's claim in a Time magazine interview in December that he had created 100,000 jobs during his time at the company, concluding that it was "an untenable figure." Earlier Friday, Gingrich mocked Romney for "changing his claim" on the number of jobs he created, noting that the latest ad from the Massachusetts governor only refers to "thousands of jobs" rather than the 100,000 number that Romney had previously claimed.
"He's still not prepared to release any documents from Bain to prove anything," Gingrich said while campaigning earlier Friday in Florida, according to CNN.
Gingrich is also concerned about an ad funded by a pro-Romney group that charges he was fined $300,000 as part of an ethics investigation during his time in Congress. Reports surfaced Thursday that Gingrich's campaign sent a letter to television stations in South Carolina and Florida warning them that they could be sued for airing the ad. Gingrich maintains that he paid the sanction to reimburse the House Ethics Committee for the cost of the inquiry, and not as a "fine" or an admission of any wrongdoing.
In an interview last week, Gingrich called Romney's ads “trash” and said the former Massachusetts governor lacked the “guts” to take credit for them.
“I took Romney head-on about this, because it’s all baloney, it’s his staff from the last campaign with his millionaire friends paying for it,” Gingrich said. “Those are his ads, he just didn’t have the guts to admit it.
“He has grandchildren. He ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren. He ought to take these ads home and show them to his grandchildren and say, ‘Grandpa did this. What do you think about this kind of trash on television? What do you think about someone being beat up like this on television?’ We should run campaigns worthy of our best, not campaigns that demean us to our worst.”