Former Speaker Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE (R) on Tuesday said Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveKarl Rove says Trump is 'behind' in presidential race Karl Rove: The days of 'lock 'em up and throw away the key' are long gone Longtime GOP Rep. Steve King defeated in Iowa primary MORE should quit talking about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE's health. 


Gingrich said he was "totally opposed and deeply offended" by Rove's suggestion that Clinton could have brain damage, comparing it to similar criticism aimed at Ronald Reagan when he ran for president in the 1980s. 

"I have many policy disagreements with Hillary but this kind of personal charge is exactly what’s wrong with American politics," Gingrich said on Facebook. "He should apologize and stop discussing her health. I was angry when people did this to Reagan in 1980 and I am angry when they do it to her today."

Later on CNN — the network where he co-hosts "Crossfire" — Gingrich described Rove's insinuation as the "worst kind of Republican consultant behavior.” He advised other Republicans not to “touch it, don't get near it."

Gingrich, who ran for the White House in 2012, said Clinton would have to battle the charges the same way Reagan did. Doing interviews, giving speeches and maintaining a hearty campaign schedule will eventually dispel the health question, Gingrich said.  

Clinton was hospitalized in late December 2012 after doctors found a blood clot between her skull and brain. It was the result of a concussion she suffered earlier in the month when she fainted due to a stomach virus. 

During a speech last week, Rove brought up Clinton's health a number of times, saying, “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Rove defended himself Tuesday, saying he never actually said she had brain damage. He said it would be an issue in 2016 whether Clinton likes it or not.  

Clinton's camp blasted Rove on Tuesday for attempting to plug the issue into the "echo chamber," and said Clinton is 100 percent. 

White House press secretary Jay Carney also jabbed at Rove's judgment Tuesday, noting he "might have been the last person in America on Election Night to recognize and acknowledge that the president had won reelection."