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What happened to Newt Gingrich's promise to take the high road?
January 10th, 2012
03:49 PM ET

What happened to Newt Gingrich's promise to take the high road?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican."

That was President Reagan's 11th commandment and a mantra for the Republican Party. These days, not so much.

For a while there, Newt Gingrich was all about running a positive campaign. Back in Iowa, he called on his supporters to stay positive and avoid attacking fellow Republican candidates.

The former House speaker said he would refrain from such attacks so the eventual nominee could emerge from the primary to face President Obama "unbloodied." The plan was to devote his energies to "real issues," like the economy and unemployment.

That lofty rhetoric matched his onetime lofty standings in the polls. When his numbers started to drop, so did his civility. Eventually, Gingrich imploded in Iowa and finished a distant fourth in the caucuses.

Flash ahead to New Hampshire, and guess what? The old Newt is back, snarky and snarly as ever, spewing personal attacks on a near-daily basis.

Gingrich has called Romney a "liar" and full of "pious baloney."

He's also described Romney as unconservative and "a relatively timid Massachusetts moderate."

It's the same old story with these guys. They all say going negative is not their "first preference." Newt says he needs to defend himself.

But at what cost to the party? Pat Buchanan writes that the "bad blood" between several of the Republican candidates could wind up damaging the eventual nominee. He likens the Republican primary process to a circular firing squad.

Buchanan suggests that the candidates' attacking each others' character could play right into the Democrats' hands, saying, "such wounds take time to heal. Some never do, and some will not be closed before the Republican convention."

Here’s my question to you: What happened to Newt Gingrich’s promise to take the high road?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    He is still on the HIGH road, Jack. It's just that the other candidates are on roads so LOW that they are taking the subway.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  2. TomInRochNY

    Newt "The Bull" Gingrich cashed a political reality check in his own china shop. Anyone who knows anything about politics (except for Newt anyway) knew that wasn't going to happen.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  3. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,I am not speaking for the right or left.I am reporting to you that old Washington Newt is not the future of this
    country.He lost his luster long ago through no fault but HIS OWN.Newt takes the high road,low road any road to get
    where he imagines he wants to get.
    David

    January 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  4. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Promise keeping is an area in which Newt has always found himself challenged. He isn't anything, if not inconsistent.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: Poor Old Newt got hammered in Iowa by Romney's Pack buddies; therefore, Poor Old Newt reached out an got some money to buy negative ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina. In addition, Poor Old Newt had some of his favorites packs help him with negative ads about Romney, and Ron Paul is taking shots at Mit Romney. The media loves it becuase they make alot of money out of all this negative attack ads. People get sick and tired of all the negative ads, but experts say the ads get votes.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  6. komatsola

    The High Road is only reserved for those who have the character and self discipline to take it. Karl from Lagos, Nigeria.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  7. Elizabeth From Toronto

    He is a human being!

    January 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  8. Jk from Minnesota

    No one should really be surprised that a politician didn't keep a promise Jack. I was surprised he waited so long to change his mind.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  9. Karl in Flint

    Well, as always, he has been as good as his word as he every was. Like his his first wife, the Contract With America... you get my drift.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Chris

    Newt cannot take the high road when people are spoending miilions in the media slamming him. I wonder of CNN has taken any money from any of those ad buys? We all know that the message which is loudest resonates perhaps in the most influential way with voters. Newt is right to take the high road and it is VERY telling that Romney went straight to street fighting.....Does that tell us how he would handle Foreign relations? Domestic relations with Democrats? He has to approve these meaages even if tacitly......

    January 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Michael Kerr (Memphis Tennessee)

    You would think that the Newt would have some fight in him if he aspires to be the commander in Chief. He would be in charge of the elite US Navy Seals, the elite US Marines Force Recon,Delta Force,the Green Berets and the elite US Army Rangers. If he cant attack when he is being attacked and be in possession of the launch codes we would be better served having him continue to write books about war than leading our armed forces.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Jim in Michigan

    It was the promise of a politician. What did you expect?

    January 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  13. Conor in Chicago

    What happened? Gingrich happened. He's not sane. I don't mean that as an insult. I mean that as a categorical observation. How many times did he switch his position on Libya? How many "Islamicst Gay Fascist Agenda" comments has he made with a straight face? Remember when he said Obama had a "Socialist, Kenyan, Anti-Colonial world view"? Hell, that's just the last year or so. I'm not even going to bring up the 1990's.

    Gingrich is an actor trying to secure his next role. That role will be writing a book about how he would have done everything better than Romney. In order to do that he has to tear him down in the public square.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  14. Missy Spears

    No surprise! He's not notorious for keeping promises, oaths, vows, etc. ~ Pikeville, KY

    January 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  15. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Gingrich has a split personality made up of good Gingrich and bad Gingrich. After driving on the high road and being run over by Romney's super pack which Romney knows nothing about, bad Gingrich decided to turn the car around and head for the lower road where Romney and Gingrich meant in the head on collision. It was inevitable that bad Gingrich would eventually show up but not too many people thought it would be this fast.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  16. Peg from NY

    Newt couldn't find a high road if his life depended on it.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  17. Jerry Driskell

    "Sometimes I think I understand everything, and then I regain consciousness"...........Author Unknown but it was prpbably a politician.
    Jerry
    Blairsville, GA

    January 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Steve

    I remember when Gingrich became speaker, he was still attacking George McGovern, his "high road" is a much different world from ours.

    IL

    January 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  19. Bill of New Mexico

    When Romney's ads tumbled Newt's polls into the basement,

    Newt forgot the high road.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. robert goodman

    It went out the window along with the 11th republican commandment.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  21. Jayne in NH

    The Republican high road is not very high.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  22. Doug Ericson

    Newt flipped when he got clocked by Mitts negative ads in Iowa. So now he has flopped in the other direction, because Newt is hopping mad. Newt is so good at getting nasty, so now the Republican Establishment is going to slap him down again. Newt will be back on the book tour after the South Carolina Primary. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  23. K. Williams. from da Bronx

    Well jack, since when in the last 25 yrs has anyone believed anything newt has said ?

    January 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  24. Kellie, Philadelphia, PA

    Under the bus!

    January 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  25. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Did anyone think that the born again Catholic grandfather would not return to the trough with all the other political swine that is so natural for him?

    The only intelligent thing Rick Perry has said is when he said about Newt: "if you cheat on your wife you'll cheat on your business partners", he could have gone one step further, you'll also cheat on your virtues and integrity.

    Soowie

    January 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  26. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The same thing that happened to his promises to his first two wives.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  27. Pete from Florida

    Are you kidding? What happens to every politician's promises? They're meaningless, forgotten as soon as they're given. The sad part is, voters never seem to learn that politicians will say ANYTHING they think will get them another vote, and they don't mean ANY of it. You want to know what a politician will REALLY do? Turn off the sound and just look at their hsitory, their record, their financial backers, and their character – that'll tell you everything you need to know.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  28. Kenneth in California

    I guess with Newt it is, what goes up will come down.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  29. Dave - Phx

    There is no high road for a politician. They are the most corrupt and evil people on the planet. Hilarious to watch Democrats and Republicans criticize each other when they are the problem with America. All of you, not just those who run.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  30. MNResident

    The is an old expression, "You are so low, you have to crawl up to see the gutter". I guess Newt's "high road" led him to the gutter, which shows where he was to begin with.........

    January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  31. Andre R. Newcomb

    There were more people there just like him.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  32. Richard Texas

    Newt would never take the high road unless it was of some benefit to himself and since in this case it was not to his benefit he is going to sling as much mud as he can until he uses up every penny donated to his campaign. He can not stand for any other politician to benefit from it if he can't. Newts next trick will be to abandon his sinking political ship while stepping on and over women and children to get the best seat in the rescue boat

    January 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  33. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Zebras don't change their stripes, same with politicians. "New leaf Newt" is obviously from the same toxic tree. Is anyone surprised? He's been that way all his life. Rarely is there a substantial change in peoples persona after about age 30, I suspect it was a lot sooner for Newt.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  34. Matt

    Just like every poltician's promise – it took the road to never never land

    Matt
    Rockford

    January 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  35. Pete/Ark

    It went the same way as his marriage vows and oathes of office. What else did anyone expect ?

    January 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  36. Brad, Portland, OR

    He probably remembered what happened to John Kerry when he also chose to take the high road when he was being Swift Boated with lies from his opponent.

    He lost.

    If you don't address negative things your opponent is saying about you, then people believe it's true.

    If you don't "fight fire with fire" when an opponent is saying negative things about you, people just hear negative things about you but not about your opponent, and think that your opponent has less dirty laundry and so is the better candidate.

    Taking the high road is a losing strategy unless your opponent also does it.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  37. Curtis in Philadelphia

    I don't know Jack, what happened to Newt's promise to love, honor and obey his first wife and his second wife. Oh that's right, promises are made to be broken.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  38. bonnie from NJ

    They are in a black hole somewhere in space along with every other politician's promises. Needless to say, it is a very BIG hole.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  39. NHG CC TX

    I guess taking the high road did not work out the way Gingrich thought it would. I have to wonder how he will come back and endorse Romney when it is time. Why would you endorse a man who you have called a liar. I guess it will be his turn to be the lliar cause after all Newt does want the Republicans to win! Can't wait to hear that speech.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  40. Jeanne

    While he was on that high road there suddenly appeared potholes-his record, his finances, his marriages, his Washington insider money stream-then he got a flat tire and it let out all of his principles.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Gary H. Boyd

    REALITY Jack. American politics is simply an extension of American society as a whole and that society has been in decline for decades. Politicians, like the rest of us, bear all the knicks and scrapes accumulated along the way. Gingrich's claim to take the high road was hollow from the beginning because he's a political animal. And any animal, when corned, will fight back with whatever it takes. That's reality Jack.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  42. Loren

    Hard to take the high road when everyone is dragging you down. He tried, he failed, time to try something else. Singing, "you take the high road, and I'll take the low road, and I'll get there before you." Read my lips, "ain't gonna happen." Any way you look at it, it was foolish to try. Even if he won the nomination that way, all bets would have been off post-convention. Better off we know whether he's got knockout power now.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  43. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Self defense. If you're the only one playing bythe rules you're going to lose. It's as simple as that.

    The Supreme Court Ruling on pacs has created groups a cannibals who wil stop at nothing to destroy the 'enemy'. I don;t think we've seen anything yet. Just wait for the general election.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  44. s in fl

    Too easy, Jack. He's behind in the polls again.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  45. Larry in Houston

    'ol Newter is forgetting about the "high road" thing. He's probably thinking : "I've got an election to Win" "no matter what I have to do, to get it done"

    He's a Washington Insider, Jack, always have been. IF the "Newter" gets the nod, and defeats Obama, it will be the same 'ol, same 'ol – in Washington. Then who is to blame ? (The dumb american voter) which will say : "wish I would have voted differently"

    Jack – I've heard from many people, saying that this is going to be the most brutal election in U.S. history, some saying that "it's going to get really ugly out there" and some people saying : "it's going to get Very Nasty this time"

    IF you ask My Opinion, Jack – I Think It's Going To Be Downright "Bombastic" (forget about the ugly & nasty thing)

    Larry in Houston

    January 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  46. Barbara Leavitt

    It seems that Super PAC they wanted so badly is backfiring on him. NOW he's not happy with it. I love it myself. Be careful what you wish for people! Corporations are NOT people regardless of how the Republicans spin it. Just due.
    Henderson NV

    January 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  47. Annie, Atlanta

    He got attacked by Romney PACs, and obviously didn't care for it. He's one of the more divisive politicians in recent history, save for Sarah Palin, and found himself reaping what he's sown. Interesting how that works.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  48. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    The key word here is, promise. Politicians will promise anything to anybody, and if you are gullible enough, and narrow-minded enough, then you deserve what you get with them. Truth be told, the vast majority of Americans are so ill-informed and gullible, professional con-men like Gingrich are not only able to thrive, but they end up in powerful posistions where they wreak havoc on everything they touch.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  49. Ed from California

    He is on the high road....on the high road of self-destruction. If he can't be president...."The Mitt" sure as hell won't! Keep it up Newt! We are counting on you to destroy the entire self-centered Kochplican party.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  50. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    In my humble opinion it all boils down to money. He didn't have it to go negative in Iowa but the non-Romney conservatives are giving Newt the money now to try and destroy the front runner at all costs.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  51. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    It goes against his nature. Newt Gingrich is strictly a low road kind of guy.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  52. jen - seattle

    his inner circle is used to the low road..the more beaten path of what is the problem in our 2 party monopoly ,where a casino mogul can fuel the ridiculous negativity as if that is the answer to our economic woes.. PRoof Gingrich is bad for presidency is his way of making money and who he does political favors for..

    January 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  53. David of Alexandria, VA

    On his climb up to the high road, he kept getting nosebleeds and headaches. He decided to drop back to a more comfortable altitude for him.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  54. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Three and a half million dollars of negative advertising was dumped on him, while a rich friend funded his Super PAC, which technically Gingrich does not control – although he seems to have seen the storyboard for the new infomercial.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  55. Sylvia from San Diego

    Dirty politics and the ignorant voters who cannot see it for what it is. Newt still gets my vote!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  56. Raj

    It is laughable Jack, he continues to attack Republicans and Independents that support Ron Paul. He is so clueless, his supporters want the greatest amount of civil liberties which are guaranteed by the constitution. Does he realize that the George Washington grew drugs. I digress, liberty is not a pick and choice concept, if you believe in it (which is Americana), then how is this principle dangerous. What is dangerous is this concept that capitalism is against America, its corporatism. The historian seems to not know anything about anything.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Cathy

    As with Newt, they went by the wayside

    January 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  58. Jenna Roseville CA

    What happened to Newt Gingrich’s promise to take the high road?

    It's easy to demand the 'high road' when you have no money Jack. But now he has a sponsor who gave him millions so now he is showing his true colors and giving a bit of payback.

    I for one never vote for those who run a dirty campaign.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  59. Sandra Jordan

    Jack,
    Newt made the decision to stay positive before the 5 million dollar donation to his super pac.
    The donation must have occured about the same time he quit worrying about what his grandkids would think.

    Sandra Jordan
    Bonham, Tx

    January 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  60. Rex in Portland, ORrrd

    Newt's intentions were good, he just couldn't find the high road.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  61. Adam from Pennsylvania

    He has cheated on two of his wives, dodged Vietnam, committed many ethics violations as House Speaker, supported the bailouts as well as profiting from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Does this really sound like someone who would take the high road? I highly doubt it.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  62. Sandstone.

    "Whispers and lack of sleep, can set the mind astray, especially if you feel things are getting too personal. He has to learn to keep his cool, or they (media) will do it all the more. "

    January 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  63. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Poor Newt. He was all for that Citizens United decision until it jumped up and bit him! Now he's doing President Obama's work for him by calling Romney out as a job killer. It might just work, though, as Mitt is just not mean enough for the modern Republican party. Now please pass the popcorn.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Fay in Abilene Tx

    I guess his first two wives could have told us Newt's promises aren't worth much.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  65. Pete in Georgia

    In reality Newt is only responding to situations exactly like this question, a question on a national media show which is designed to submarine him, that is to create a negative image of who and what he actually is. It's become the American way in politics.
    Demonize and destroy.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  66. Patsy, Texas

    What happened was, apparently, Newt's old buddy Sheldon Adelson donated $5M to his PAC and promised
    $15M more. Newt's whining never was legitimate. His true colors are always on display.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  67. Ann from Charleston SC

    The way I see it, Newt couldn't handle the negative super pac ads from Romney supporters, so he reverted back to the old Newt Gingrich.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  68. Larry -Denver

    Let's try the first ten and see how many of those politicians keep. The 11th goes by the boards just like campaign finances. What a system and what a world we live in today. Its the emperors new clothes, tell people enough things enough times, they start to believe. Newt? next pres?

    January 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  69. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, Newt intended to follow Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment but thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case this is the era of Super-sized Super Pac money in politics. That means the last man standing will be in control of many hundreds of millions of dollars. Thus the Supreme Court’s Commandment; Nice guys finish last!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  70. Paul From Austin Texas

    Mud just makes more noise and gets more press that's why.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  71. Dan5404

    No one can promise to take the high road in this race. If you're in a no-holds-barred mud wrestling contest and want to win, you have to get dirty. Fortunately, they are just providing ammo for the president.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  72. Billy

    If you want to become the most powerful person in the world then you must play hardball to get there. You must let everyone know that you are a man not a mouse. And I'm very tired of these GOP candidates using Reagan's name in vein, they are not Reagan, they are their individual selves with their own individual agenda. Too bad Reagan isn't here to tell them the same.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  73. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    The problem with 'negative' marketing is that with sufficient force, it works! It doesn't even have to be true ... just repeated ... again and again! Our Supreme Court screwed the American people out of a chance for a process of sensible dialogue!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  74. calaurore9

    He got invaded by aliens from planet OWS. An exorcism is in order.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    January 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  75. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-Greensburg,IN

    When your 'down' and almost out but your have ( some fight left in you ) you take whatever road will get you there and if someone else is leaning on you-you knock them off the road. Nothing to loose-everything to gain. Newt is not a quieter, he'll fight til there is no reason left too-you got to give him that! If it pulls him up in the polls, GREAT! if it doesn't at least he's done his best as a 'good republicaian' to put someone down that shouldn't win the nomination. Now who he endorses when he's out is questionable, but unlike who "The Donald does" it will carry some clout. Newt is one of those guys you either love or hate but you know when he says it he means it.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  76. Dave, Orlando, FL

    In case you haven’t noticed, he’s a politician. Politicians lie for a living at our expense. But the bottom line is; I don’t care that he lied. I’m so tired of it all.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  77. Robby Barbarian

    What's good goose is good for the Newt!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  78. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He got money from a rich donor. Nobody believes he WANTED to take the high road. He just couldn't afford the low road.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  79. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    Just Newt being what he is... a typical politician. The guy has the ethical and moral fiber of an ameoba.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  80. Eve Lemon

    Newt reflected on how nasty he'd treated his colleaues in the past and anticipated the hellish payback he had coming. If he thought this positive persona would be taken seriously was poor judgement, gross stupidity, too many smokes of his favorite weed, or all of the previous options. Go play with the other newts, Newt. Eve of Texas

    January 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  81. Jerry A (Toronto)

    Politics is a dirty business Jack, and Newt got a bloody nose. When he tried to turn the other cheek, he got that slapped as well. Now he’s mad hell and wants revenge, pure and simple. So in the world of politics, it’s business as usual. Apple pie, anyone?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  82. Paul - North Carolina

    Did nayone really expect Newt to stay on the high road? Most candidates say they will do so until they discover that their opponents have lined that road with IED's. Then they get down in the trenches and start lobbing mortar rounds like everyone else. With his experience Newt's lobs are more accurate than most. His statement's about Romney in particular have been right on target. One can only hope that this warfare continues until every one of these presidential wannabees is so badly damaged that the eventual survivor is unfit to wage a general election battle.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  83. Bob from Bellmore, New York

    You can't keep an old attack dog down.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  84. David Doherty

    Nothing has happened to his promise. It's just like every promise you hear from every politician out there, there only good until the reverberations die out, then it's whatever suits me at the moment.
    Dave from NH.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  85. marybeth, massachusetts

    There's a high road in politics? Since when?

    I don't remember there ever being a high road in politics, although in the past republicans usually backed republicans. I remember the mud-slinging and nastiness in the 1988 general election, and I remember Bush I getting nasty when he was competing with Dole for the republican nomination, but not at the level I see today. There's more money in politics, but what hasn't changed is that candidates will lie, will tell you whatever they think you want to hear in order to get your vote and more money. Broken campaign promises are nothing new either....remember Bush I's "read my lips, no new taxes" promise?

    I fully expect all politicians to break each and every single promise they make to the votes. I fully expect all politicians to keep each and every single promise they make to their corporate masters.

    With Newt, I figured it was drama and pandering that led him to make that promise to take the high road. He's a career politician, and well-known for being nasty, underhanded, and meaner than a junkyard dog. His stooping to Romney's level was only a matter of time.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  86. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I followed the career of Mr. Reagan. I feel that I knew Mr. Reagan. " Newt Ginrich your're no Mr. Reagan". As far as promises....how about marriage vows????

    January 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  87. Robby Barbarian

    What's good for the goose is good for the Newt! Can't take the heat stay out of the pot.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  88. Joe tyrrell

    Newt's announced intent towage a positive campaign. Excessively negative campaigns are rightly decried but it is not unreasonable to point out flip flops, errors, ad inconsistenceis of opponents. This needs to be mixed with primary emphasis on the issues. Of course, outright lies should be fully publicized by the media.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  89. reneg28

    It's not in Newt's genetics to take the high road. Even if he was elected he couldn't change his ways.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  90. Wes

    Sadly Mr. Cafferty the only promise that seems to be consistent of the politics of the past twenty + odd years (if not longer) is that the politicians will not uphold their promises. I wanted to respect Newt for trying as I feel the mudslinging in elections overshadows who can actually do what for our country but I didn't have hope that he could keep it up. Right now the one who seems to be the less mud slingy is Huntsman but you can bet if he does well today and then gets knocked down like the rest of them have he'll start getting dirty with the rest of them.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  91. Don from Detroit

    Oh Jack!

    You can take the high road and I'll take the low road, but I'll be in Scotland before you!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  92. Renee Peoria,Ill

    I think you nailed it; the high road went right along with his ratings. You didn't really believe him in the first place did you?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  93. T. Beeth

    Newt is a serial rationalizer. He will say anything anytime , and watch when he takes a U-turn.

    He is a hypocrite.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  94. June

    Gingrich is incapable of not going negative. It is in his blood and who he is.
    June
    NY

    January 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  95. Jon from Tempe, Az

    Newt Gingrich's recent use of negative campaigning was a matter of necessity and a matter of defending himself. Romney used his 3 billion dollar super pac to destroy him in Iowa. Unfortunately for Newt he did not catch on until now that this was a credible tactict being used against him to destroy him. He will now try to defend himself by returning the favor but unfortunately for him it is probably too late as he seems to be down in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Let the Romney Republican coronation begin!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  96. Chris in Cleveland

    It's just like the Newtster's promises to his first two wives – out the window. Should we expect anything else?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  97. Martha Campbell

    Leopards can't change their spots. They can hide them for a while, but eventually, they come back out. Hence Newt is back to his same old self. It was just a matter of waiting out his Mr. nice guy personna.

    Jamestown, PA

    January 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  98. Terry

    As a liberal, I have to say I'm amused by the recent infighting in the Republican party. However, I'm going to defend Newt here, and say that staying positive only works if everyone is doing it. It's just like nuclear disarmament. If everyone gets rid of their weapons it works wonderfully. If it doesn't...well, I think everyone would agree that would be a very one sided contest.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  99. Dwight Burdette

    Maybe Newt Gingrich remembered that Reagan challenged the incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford in 1976 and did not do so by refraining from criticizing Ford. Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment" is not one Reagan actually followed.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  100. Andrew Brooks

    Jack, listen to your own words. :) Newt Gingrich started to LOSE. As a result, he has nothing to LOSE, so he's doing what any cornered animal would do: Show his fangs and claws and start fighting. It's politics, will continue to be politics, and always will be politics.

    -Andrew, Carson, CA

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  101. Chuck from Florida

    Just goes to prove that Newt is a liar.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  102. Lynn

    If anyone is surprised by this they don't know Newt. He is surly and arrogant and he WROTE THE BOOK on being full of baloney. :-)

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  103. Barbara in Sherman Oaks, CA

    I'd say it was kind of a choice to either: a) keep whining about all the "negative campaigning" being done/run by the Romney campaign (seriously, listen to any speech GIngrich gave after Iowa; there was not one word of what he and his campaign might have done differently or what the people of Iowa were looking for. No, Newt did nothing but slam the other candidates' advertising as being his undoing in that state); or, b) go aggressive himself against the others, despite the edict of their supposed hero, Ronald Reagan. Guess it's true in the end game that any animal, even a newt, will attack when cornered.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  104. Sean in Phoenix, AZ

    High road? Newt Gingrich wouldn't know what the high road was if it hit him in the face. Gingrich is unethical, undependable and would do anything to retain the spotlight and political power. I'm surprised he even made any "high road" promise... then again, he also promised his previous three wives he wouldn't cheat on them.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  105. frank dileo

    Ill tell you what happened. Everybody has these lofty goals and ethics until something is really at stake then the real character of the person emerges. Which tells us what? Deep down inside they are all liars and will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Didnt George Washington warn us of this in his farewell address?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  106. R Leslie

    All that I can say is thank god we found out who the real Gingrich is before the election. He is a slime ball much like John Edwards is. These slick politicians with their full heads of unnatural bouffant hair can be easily spotted. Stay away from them at all costs.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  107. Brad in Brooklyn

    Jack, just like his mutliple wedding vows, his promise to take the high road and not go negative weren't worth the breath wasted to utter them. How can anyone believe anything this pathological liar says?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  108. Roya

    Newt tried to set a positive tone to the republican field, but when all guns came blazing, he almost had no choice but to answer the shots. I think he underestimated his rivals. He did not realize that they are not going to play his game. Now he has been sucked into playing their game. At the end, it is a bad reflection on his integrity and conviction.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  109. Linda in Arizona

    Haha, it seems hell hath no fury like a pundit lied to. As for me, there is nothing I enjoy more than a republican circular firing squad. I hope the damage is deep and permanent. Oh, and btw, you didn't really BELIEVE him, did you? It's newt gingrich, after all, a man who cut his baby teeth on nastiness. Better try to catch up with that turnip truck you must have just fallen off of.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  110. Cy Gardner

    Newt is THE quintessential Republican. He will lie, attack and smear people to get attention or sell books, then he will cry like a baby if anyone tells the truth about him. You can't be a Republican without being a hypocrit and Newt is the biggest, brazenest hypocrit in American political history. He doesn't care that people outside the Fox audience know he's lying, because he's only talking to the people who watch Fox. And they have their own reality. cy from arlington, va

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  111. Chris Staggs

    Ahhh Jack, Newt always keeps his promises, according to Newt. Like the promise Newt made to his 1st Wife, 2nd wife...etc....etc

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  112. Alton

    Who's the liar now!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  113. Sean in Phoenix, AZ

    High road? Newt Gingrich wouldn't know what the high road was if it hit him in the face. Gingrich is unethical, undependable and would do anything to retain the spotlight and political power. I'm surprised he even made any "high road" promise... then again, he also promised his previous wives he wouldn't cheat on them.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Don from Detroit

    You know, those media corporations they buy ad time from could be patriotic Americans and refuse to air negative ads to promote good civil discourse and a healthy democracy.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  115. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    RINO Newt is on His High Road. Lies deciet and deception are his hallmark. Did you catch the comment Saturday Newt "He was not eligible for the Draft Selective Service" I did not qualify was also repeated. The only people ineligible for the draft were females and handicapped. Newt was 1-A and asked for deferment "Hardship with Children" Newt was eligible for deferments and he took them!!!!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  116. Aileen from Louisville, CO

    Clearly, Newt took his "high-road" promise about as seriously as he took his many, many, many wedding vows.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  117. lucy

    Hi Jack

    Let's be honest here, Newt will say or do ANYTHING to get the GOP nomination. Promises aren't real in politics. I cant wait until it gets real personal and it will.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Tina Tx

    Gee Jack I been trying to tell you for awhile that Newt is a liar. He lied to get the job of Speak of the House and I am sitll waiting for term limits. As you know lepoards do not change their spots and Newt is not about to start now. We have not seen anything yet. Wait till he runs the White House. Lord have mercy on the people.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  119. Forsetti

    A high-minded political campaign is an oxymoron. I won't pursue "moron" to its obvious conclusion.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  120. ozzie in Texas

    Why is he even running? He may be the most intelligent and the best debater but he wears his baggage on his sleeve. We can see that he is at conflict with himself. The man will not be the president.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  121. Nancy, Tennessee

    When you hammer someone for long enough, they have to come out swinging. Payback is hell! Mitt better be glad Newt didn't decide to use a sledge hammer instead of a ball peen. Romney is the bully in the room.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  122. Charles - San Antonio

    Two words that go together: Politicians and Promises. If I had a nickle for every promise that was broken by a politcian, I could solve that little debt crises. The only problem with Newt's promise is that he broke it before he was elected. It gives you insight as to whether he will keep all those other promises that he is making

    January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  123. Adele

    Newt is a slick pollitician.....He is upset because the Iowa ads stated his record and he couldn't really deny any of the accusations. He's no gentleman.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  124. Dustin Hughes

    Gingrich wasn't on the high road to begin with. He had to realize that the high road had to start with the heavenly "baloney".

    January 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  125. Jonathan C.

    Hey Jack,

    Why don't you and CNN cut the crap and get back to the real issues... Gingrich has been beaten and attacked harder than any other candidate, even more than Barack Obama, by both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. He has the right to defend himself and expose his attackers for the liars they are. The problem in Washington is that we have a clown in office and a circus act going on in Congress. One side is too far on the left and won't compromise and one is too far right and won't comprise. The ringleader (Obama) doesn't seem to be able to handle all the acts and animals. Newt Gingrich is the only candidate that has proven and shown he can work on both sides of the aisle. Why don't you talk about the positives he has done and what he can bring to Washington and cut the Pious Bologna! #Gingrich2012

    Regards,

    Jonathan C.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  126. Boomer in Mo

    No one but a fool would have believed that promise. He does not keep promises. Just ask his two ex-wives.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  127. Jack

    Funny how the press is stating that Gingrich is attacking capitalism by going after Romney on Baine. I don't seem to remember them doing that when Romney attacked Gingrich for being a small business owner and getting the Freddie Mac account. They were not worried that Romney was ruining Gingrich's chances in the General election.
    As for Cafferty's rant about Newt lying about staying positive.... if you were a Gingrich supporter, and you saw how badly the attack ads (filled with misrepresentations of the truth)from Romney had hurt his campaign, wouldn't you tell him to fight back? Obviously, they work, and trying to stick to a positive campaign did not work. I don't believe he wanted to go down this road, but was left with no other choice if he wanted to remain a viable candidate.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Ed in Los Angeles

    What happened to Gingrich? Mitt Romney's Super PAC obliterating Newt's high hopes in Iowa, that's what happened. But did anyone really believe Newt had turned over a new leaf? Come on. This is the real Newt: the frothing at the mouth, the name-calling, the red meat baiting. Mitt Romney may think that he is playing nice by letting his Super PAC do the dirty work, but clearly all they did was wake up a sleeping giant...head.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  129. Mr D

    Newt couldn't find the "high road" even with a GPS. Newt is a "low roader", with many years in politics to polish his credentials in this area. Hang it up, Newt.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Suzanne

    Hey, Jack, define high road when it is applied to politics. Hint: There is no high road in politics.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  131. Bill from Acworth GA

    Gingrich has never taken the high road in his life. That was all just a ploy, hoping that if he promised to do so, the others would quit beating him over the head with his overload of baggage. But, you can't contain an avalanche. He made his bed years ago, and just can't stop sawing the legs off trying to make it balance. Bye, Bye Newt.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  132. Ed Truncale

    Jack,

    Looks to me that he has divorced himself from the "high road". We will just have to wait and see what the next road will be. He has already taken the low road. My guess " hit the road, Jack. and dont you came back no more, no more".

    Ed
    Erial, NJ

    January 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  133. Jack from Wheaton, IL

    It's easy to take the high road when you are riding high, Jack. But now that Gingrich has fallen out of favor, and understands that he will not receive the GOP nomination, he is throwing his support in with the "Anyone but Romney" camp and desperately launching attacks to smear tear Romney down, without regard for the unwanted effects that running a negative campaign will have on his polling numbers. Hypocrisy be damned if it throws Romney off the top.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  134. JB-Sandy OR

    It's obvious. It is the 12%ers (recent favorability poll) against Ron Paul. His most outrageous act of the primaries was to go back to his car because it was unsafe. Watching this garbage explains the 12% figure pretty well yet it is the sustenance of a tabloid press.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  135. Gail, Plano TX.

    Sorry, Jack. This time Newt is right. He was attacked first by the Superpac of Willard Romney(that is his real name), and retaliated. I have no love for Newt, I don't even luke him. But this time he is not at fault. Citizens United should be repealed, don't u think?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  136. solomon

    The GOP never practice what they preach. They all know they have no chance of beating Obama this fall. America is broke, yet mitt and newt want's to bomb iran, God forbid either of them become president.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  137. Cassandra

    Let's not pretend that we were so naive as to not see this coming from Gingrich. It's dirty politics, but that's how it works in this country. Newt only played his "positive campaign" as a disguise for his insufficient funds to run negative ads–and then he later disguised his negative ads as an attempt to "tell the truth". I think what's more appalling is that voters are still influenced by these disgusting ads and campaign tactics. It shows how fickle and easily persuaded the voting base is.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  138. Andrew Burnett

    I was quite impressed with Newt during the debates. His POSITIVE approach impressed me to the point where I considered supporting him. But then the REAL NEWT came out in Iowa. THAT'S THE NEWT I REMEMBER (and can't support...!). I see no advantage for him being Mr. Angry again. Who does it benefit? ~~> Obama !!!

    I am very, very disappointed with Newt. But then you take Perry and Huntsman pulling FIVE WORDS spoken by Romney completely out of context. I have totally pulled all support for Perry and Huntsman based on that incredibly childish attack. At least Santorum did not jump on the Perry / Huntsman childish bandwagon. I complement Santorum for being mature and thinking of the Republican party before going on a useless attack! I support Romney, but first I support unseating Obama! Newt, Perry and Huntsman have no clue and need to go away!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  139. Stan

    If the other guy ( Romney ) plays dirty,why should Gingrich play nice. Especially when first runner – Romney lies about everything.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  140. CHUCK

    Newgt has every right to set the records straight and point out the deceptive nature of the person behind the lies in the advertisements savaging his reputation.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  141. craig in South Carolina

    Newt always tells the truth and keeps his promises as do all the politicians . If you dont believe it,just ask them!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  142. GO OBAMA

    Newt seemed like he wanted to be nice but with all those ads bashing him from Romneys super pac, Newt had to defend himself somehow even if it meant he had to be the mean guy. He seems like a smart man but needs to ignore all the hate and focus on spreading his word rather than trying to bring down Romney. I think hes going to lose the race I guess...according to my government teacher at least. anyways Obama is cooler than all of them.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  143. Ron Smith

    Well Jack, the high road is closed due to the threat of a landslide in November of 2012, so it's the low road or no road.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  144. Larry in Houston

    I hope "the Newter" goes home after South Carolina. I can't be the only one who is getting tired of hearing him say : "as a Reagan Conservative" If the Truth be known, Reagan is probably rolling in his grave by now. Pitiful Jack, it's downright pitiful.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  145. Mary DuCray

    Newt is just proving he is indeed a "serial hypocrite" and a sore loser to boot! He is displaying his true colors which is nasty redux. Thank you Jack for reporting how deep the discrepancy is between Newt's own "pious baloney" rhetoric and his actual scorched earth campaign tactics

    January 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  146. Betty in San Diego

    Jack – take a pill. In politics, you have to fight fire with fire. I personally want a man that is willing to fight it out – dirt and all. I like knowing all the facts – not just the pretty little good things that the press wants to feed me. Put it all on the table. As far as the three marriages, 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce – which means that possibly 50% of the people stating that this is an issue is probably divorced. Really, what does that say about us? I say, you go Newt, give as good as you get and let the best man stand.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  147. Ed from MD

    Politicians have to keep the wind blowing, sooner or later their depth starts to show. Unfortunately Newts showed up sooner.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  148. Joseph Juarez

    Newt Gingrich's campaign is an oxymoron. A positive campaign from a negative, antagonistic, malicious politician.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  149. Cee.La

    Newt saw the "danger ahead" signs......

    January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  150. Pete from Florida

    What happened to a politician's promise? Are you new??? Funny, you don't look that gullible.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  151. Sarah

    However, I must say that I find Wolf Blitzer to be very fair and down the middle – over the weeks I have watched him being one of the few reporters to mention that Newt Gingrich started out being very positive but that the onslaught of over $3 million dollars in negative ads in Iowa kind of forced him to change course because he expected something like this from a Democrat but not from a fellow Republican or one of the organizations supporting him. For days I heard commentary as to why Newt was not responding but eventually he had to respond and then when he did every reporter seems to be jumping on him. Now I keep hearing so much chatter about how Newt and the organization supporting him are being unfair and un-Republican towards Mitt Romney.

    What amazes me is that a few days ago Mitt Romney said to one of the reporters that his wife did very well especially since she did not answer the "hard questions" which he continued on to say was exactly what she was supposed to do. Strangely, no reporter ran with this quote and when Mitt Romney makes a mistake in his speech like "I like firing people" etc. that there is so much chatter explaining how he did not mean that etc. etc.

    And then you have Ron Paul who says that he was not aware of the contents of those Newsletters even when one showed up with his signature on it. No reporter is asking him that if G-d forbid he becomes the President of the USA and someone brings him something to sign or has his name on it will he then still say he was not aware of the contents and G-d help the USA and the world if one of those documents he signed had to do with that "red button" but somehow he just signed it. I could go on and on but enough said.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  152. Dustin Hughes

    Gingrich wasn't on the high road to begin with. Maybe, he realized that the high road begins with heavenly "baloney". Next thing you know, Gingrich and Romney are going to battle in Euthyphro Socratic dialogues, and Romney will force Gingrich to drink Hemlock. Then, Gingrich will become a martyr.

    Sorry, I have a bad habit of posting with out checking. I should have learned the few times.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  153. Kevin in CA

    One man's high road is another man's trench.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  154. Sarah

    One more thing Jack, Newt did not lie – he said what he said at a time when he did not expect the onslaught from fellow Republicans but once that happened all bets were off because unless he did not give back in kind there was absolutely no chance of him making up the substantial ground he lost after those negative ads hit the airwaves.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  155. Robert Wasilla, AK

    Jack, the high road was missed because Newt is focused on the Republican nomination at any cost, and it appears he took the exit to Desperationville. He needs to go away....again.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  156. Jake in NJ

    With the release of King of Bain "When Mitt Romney Came to Town", the gloves are off!

    They are eating there own! Newt the womanizer created this documentary. This was just the trailer•••••the whole 28 minute ad will start to air on South Carolina TV later this week. Talk about scorching the earth•••••Newt just NUKED Mitt!!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  157. LWZRGHT in Austin TX

    Jack,

    Political high road? No such thing. Just more pandering.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  158. Richard Gralnek

    The "high road" is staying honest. I wouldn't fault any candidate fighting against something said about them that wasn't true. The low road is just throwing anything around to see where it will stick. If Newt thought he was being "high road" by not defending himself then he was just stupid.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  159. Stu in Iowa

    It went the way of almost every single pledge ever made by the man, by the wayside. On a side note, a vote for any of these candidates is akin to a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

    Stu, Des Moines, Iowa

    January 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  160. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The same thing that happened to his promise to his first two wives to hold and preserve himself only for them for better or worst

    January 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  161. pad

    Jack he is a crook and tells lies so why are you asking this question?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |