Newt Gingrich Wants ‘You’ to Stop the Negative Ads

HAIWATHA, Iowa - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich put out a call to all Iowans tonight to stop the negative campaigning by asking candidates to stop running ads.

After saying at an earlier campaign stop in Davenport that the candidates running attack ads were "reprehensible" and "helping Obama," Gingrich told people to approach a candidate they know is running negative ads, ask them to stop and tell them "they ought to be ashamed of themselves."

"Next time you see one of the candidates who's running the negative ads, ask them to take it off the air," Gingrich said. "Just say to them, it demeans America."

Gingrich said he's felt the "weight" of the negative campaign against him by people "who have nothing positive to offer." Gingrich said the ads have been "saddening but not shocking."

In an obvious swipe at Mitt Romney, who has pulled even with Gingrich in latest Gallup poll, the former House speaker asked the audience whom they want to reward in the Iowa caucus.

"I'll tell the people of Iowa, when you get ready to vote, do you really want to reward politics as usual, negativity as usual, attack as usual, consultant as usual, fundraising from Wall Street millionaires as usual?" he said.

Gingrich admitted he hasn't stayed above the fray in the campaign.

"Every once in a while I slip, when they 'get my goat' and I can't quite help myself, but overall I've done a pretty good job of staying focused on issues," he said.

At the town hall meeting during the question and answer time, one citizen asked Gingrich, "Who is 'Restore Our Future?' We're being bombarded almost daily by them!"

Gingrich told the man he did not know.

"Now I'm curious," Gingrich said. "R.C.?"

His spokesman, R.C. Hammond yelled from the crowd that the group is the Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney.

"Oh, OK, well that makes my point, if you see Mitt Romney ask him to take it off the air," Gingrich said. "It would be nice if candidates were responsible for things being done by the people who know them personally, by the people who help them get elected. My plea for the next 14 days across this state, when you see one of these guys, ask them 'How can they keep running this negative stuff?'"

Gingrich finished the speech by telling the citizens to get to the caucus for him and tell the candidates "take the junk off the air."

"Don't hide behind some baloney about some Super PAC that 'I have no control over that happens to be run by five of my former staff,'" Gingrich said. "That's just baloney."

Gingrich will start his 44-city bus tour across Iowa on Dec. 27.