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Gingrich: Going Negative Not The First Preference

By Shannon McCaffrey, Associated Press
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MANCHESTER, NH - JANUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks to members of the media after a town hall meeting at Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) on January 9, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Gingrich and the rest of the Republican field have taken aim with sharp attacks at front runner Mitt Romney with the New Hampshire primary only one day away. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, NH – JANUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks to members of the media after a town hall meeting at Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) on January 9, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Gingrich and the rest of the Republican field have taken aim with sharp attacks at front runner Mitt Romney with the New Hampshire primary only one day away. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he’s reneging on a pledge to run a positive, issue-oriented campaign because he has to defend himself against negative attacks.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.

An independent group backing rival Mitt Romney spent millions of dollars on television ads in Iowa criticizing Gingrich. The attacks contributed to Gingrich’s fourth-place finish in the caucuses last week.

Officials say a similar pro-Gingrich group is prepared to spend millions on ads in South Carolina that are expected to assail Romney.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

Gingrich said he doesn’t believe in backing down when an opponent strikes hard.

The former House speaker spoke Monday in Dover, N.H., on the eve of that state’s presidential primary. South Carolina holds its primary Jan. 21.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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