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Gingrich: Romney attacks violate the 'spirit of Christmas'

Bah, Humbug?

Newt Gingrich blasted former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for Scrooge-like behavior Thursday, saying that Romney's recent round of attacks were "discordant with the spirit of Christmas."

"I think it's counterintuitive," Gingrich said during an interview on Iowa Public Television. "We have an ad that will come up next week where Callista and I are wishing people a Merry Christmas, and we're talking in a totally positive way. I just think if these guys keep up this negative junk, it's discordant with the spirit of Christmas."

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Gingrich, who released a separate television commercial earlier Thursday bemoaning attack ads, has seen his poll numbers in Iowa slip since a Romney political action committee and the Ron Paul campaign began airing television ads questioning Gingrich's ties to troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac and the healthcare industry.

But Gingrich has vowed to stay positive, firing a low-level staffer who made comments comparing Mormonism to a cult and warning his affiliated PACs that he would "disown" them if they ran negative advertisements.

"I'm getting two kinds of advice: The traditional consultants are all saying 'you have to hit back,' but citizens are walking up to me saying stay positive, have faith the people of Iowa will see through this," Gingrich said to IPTV.

But the former House Speaker did acknowledge that the negative ads were taking a toll on his campaign.

"I don't know at the end of the day if I'll be the front-runner in Iowa, because there is a combined weight of negativity that weighs you down," Gingrich said.

He also acknowledged that he's hasn't been perfect at holding up a positive campaign, noting a jab he took at Romney in the last debate.

"I've made one or two mistakes and sort of shot back when I shouldn't have," Gingrich said.

Still, he insists that while his strategy is "a great gamble," Iowans “will render judgment against negative ads.”

“I think people are really worried about the country, and they want somebody who’s a mature adult,” Gingrich said. “I think they have a sense that we’ve tried an amateur for the last three years. [President Obama] doesn’t know what he’s doing; it’s obvious he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and [people would prefer] having somebody who is stable, knowledgeable, who’s actually done it before.”