WASHINGTON -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he thinks the real story out of Iowa is that three-fourths of the state Republican caucus-goers "repudiated Mitt Romney."
The former congressman says "we got diverted" by negative advertisements, saying he has to figure out a better way to run in such an environment.
Gingrich says Romney hasn't been truthful about his record and he again raises complaints about negative ads an independent group ran against him.
Interviewed on MSNBC Wednesday morning from New Hampshire, Gingrich congratulated former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on his near-miss loss to Romney in Iowa. Gingrich said, "I think what is really striking about last night is that three out of four Republicans repudiated Mitt Romney. How can you take seriously somebody after that kind of campaign."
Gingrich dismissed that Citizens United, the conservative group that was the plantiff in the 2010 Supreme Court case that changed the campaign finance landscape, was responsible for the negative ads against him. "I'm not the victim of that. I'm the victim of one particular person, Mitt Romney, whose staff went out and decided to run a deliberately negative and dishonest campaign," he said, adding that 527 groups -- one well-known example being Swiftboat Veterans For Truth that attacked Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 -- already existed.
Gingrich collaborated with Citizens United on several projects. The conservative group, in turn, aired ads promoting a documentary on Ronald Reagan featuring Gingrich.