ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Newt Gingrich is urging supporters and staff to refrain from attacks on his Republican presidential rivals.

Gingrich’s campaign released a letter Tuesday in which he pledges to run a positive campaign free of negative advertising. But the former House speaker also said he reserves the right to respond when his record has been distorted

As an example, he noted a “frank exchange” with rival Mitt Romney at last weekend’s debate, when the two sparred over their private sector records.

Gingrich asks supporters in the letter not to contribute to any super PAC that runs negative ads against any other Republican contender.

He said it’s critical that the GOP nominee emerge from the primary “unbloodied” and able to make the case against President Obama from a position of strength.

A new nationwide Gallup poll shows Gingrich opening a 37 to 22 percent lead over Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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