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Gingrich on super PAC ad war: ‘It’s going to be a mess’

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Newt Gingrich (Evan Vucci/AP)

Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who during the Republican primaries found himself on the blunt end of brutal attack ads paid for by a super PAC supporting his rival Mitt Romney, predicted Thursday that the slew of negative ads from outside groups will be even worse in the general election.

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"You watch this fall: Between the Obama super PACs and the Romney super PACs, the conservative super PACs, the liberal super PACs—it's going to be a mess," Gingrich said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "and people are going to be sick of it and it's really unfortunate. It's not the way a great nation should govern itself."

Gingrich has long been a vocal critic of campaign finance rules that cap the amount of money a candidate is allowed to raise from individual donors, a system, he says, that funnels money to less transparent organizations to pay for political speech. On the campaign trail earlier this year, Gingrich often argued for replacing the current system with rules that allow campaigns to raise unlimited amounts of cash so long as they report their donors online.

[Related: Obama, Romney slam 'hate-filled' super PAC plan]

"These super PACs have huge amounts of money," he said during a stop in New Hampshire in January. "They're totally irresponsible, totally secret, and I think it's a problem."

Outside groups supporting both Republicans and Democrats have flooded the political scene with record amounts of spending this election cycle to pay for television air time, radio ads and mailers meant to influence local and national races. All of the major Republican candidates had a super PAC supporting them, including Gingrich, and the group boosted his candidacy with millions of dollars in support.

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