NBC objects to Mitt Romney’s ‘history lesson’ ad

at 01:44 PM ET, 01/28/2012

A harsh new ad from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney uses news footage from 1997 to remind voters of then-House speaker Newt Gingrich’s ethics violations.

“History Lesson” is unusual in that neither Romney nor Gingrich appears. The entire 30-second spot consists of an NBC News report from Jan. 21, 1997, the day Gingrich was reprimanded by Congress for using tax-exempt money for political purposes and giving the House Ethics Committee false information.

NBC News has asked the Romney campaign to pull the ad off the air.

“I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad,” NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw said in a statement. “I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign.”

NBC News has also objected to the use of its material.

“Good evening,” Brokaw says in the vintage clip. “Newt Gingrich, who came to power, after all, preaching a higher standard in American politics, a man who brought down another speaker on ethics accusations, tonight he has on his own record the judgment of his peers, Democrat and Republican alike. By an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations; they charged him a very large financial penalty, and they raised — several of them — raised serious questions about his future effectiveness.”

With the Florida primary just three days away, Romney is leading in polls and also dramatically out-spending Gingrich on television ads.

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