Gingrich demands TV stations drop attack ad

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign stop with Asian-American leaders at the Korea Times, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Newt Gingrich is asking television stations in his home state of Georgia not to air an ad by a pro-Romney PAC, Restore Our Future.

An attorney representing the former House Speaker, according to Gingrich's website, sent letters to Georgia-based television stations saying the ad is "NOT TRUE" (Gingrich's emphasis, not ours).

Attorney Patrick Millsaps wrote that the ad is "defamatory" and could expose the television station to "civil liability" if the station airs it.

The letter says the ad connects Gingrich with Democrat Nancy Pelosi, saying they co-sponsored a bill to provide "$60 million a year to a United Nation's program supporting China's brutal one-child policy."

The letter says the claim tying Gingrich to China's policy is "patently false, misleading and defamatory," and that the legislation, H.R. 1078 prohibited funding for the U.N. population and poverty program being used for China's policy. 

The letter does not take issue over the part of the ad about Gingrich sponsoring a global warming prevention bill with Nancy Pelosi. That is true. (Watch the ad here.)

Millsaps' letter said the Gingrich campaign "demand(s)" the network "refuse" to play the ad and "cease" doing so immediately if it has already begun.

It's unclear if the above ad is the exact one Gingrich's attorney is referrencing, but the pro-Romney PAC ran a similar ad in Florida to hit Gingrich hard after his win in the South Carolina primary. Romney is campaigning for a win in Gingrich's home state of Georgia to deal another huge blow to the former House Speaker.

A pro-Gingrich third party group, Winning our Future, has run negative ads against Romney, but their war chest is much smaller than the well-funded, well-resourced former governor.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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