For Newt Gingrich, the most devastating attack ad against his campaign is self-inflicted: a 2006 PSA for climate change that he cut with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At the time Republicans from President Bush on down were moving to the center on the issue, but in recent years the GOP has purged virtually all pro-environment sentiment among its members. Now Gingrich is trying to catch up with the times by disavowing his old ad.
“I was trying to make a point that we shouldn’t be afraid to have a debate with the left, even on the environment,” Gingrich told WGIR radio on Tuesday. “Obviously it was misconstrued, and it’s probably one of those things I wouldn’t do again.”
Gingrich probably would not be welcome back for another ad: he has repeatedly called for an end to the Environmental Protection Agency in recent months. As for whether he was misunderstood, you can watch the ad below:
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.