ABC's Karl Sees 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Campaign' by GOP Candidates

On Tuesday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl used the phrase "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to label the tendency of Republicans presidential candidates to restrain negative attacks from their own campaigns, while independent groups that support the candidates are running more negative ads. While showing negative ads by supporters of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, Karl declared:

JONATHAN KARL On the airwaves, we're seeing a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde campaign. Dr. Jekyll Romney, for example, plays nice with ads paid for by his own campaign-

MITT ROMNEY IN AD: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.

KARL: -while Mr. Hyde Romney savages Newt Gingrich with ads paid for by the supposedly independent Romney super pac.

CLIP OF AD: Newt has a ton of baggage, like the fact that Gingrich was fined $300,000 for ethics violations.

Below are video and a complete transcript of Karl's report from the Tuesday, December 27, World News on ABC:


DIANE SAWYER: And with Christmas in the rearview mirror, seven days until the first votes are cast, the Republican contenders came out swinging today. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote," and ABC's Jon Karl reports on the candidates and their shadow forces, spending millions on scathing attacks.

JONATHAN KARL: The Christmas truce is over. In New Hampshire today, Mitt Romney said Newt Gingrich needs to get his act together, even comparing him to Lucille Ball, of all people, because he couldn't get enough signatures to get his name on the ballot in Virginia.

MITT ROMNEY: I think he compared that to Pearl Harbor? I think it's more like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory, and so, I mean, you've got to get it organized.

KARL: Gingrich fired up his campaign bus in Iowa today while an outside group supporting his campaign, one of those so-called super pacs, unveiled a new ad hitting his opponents as liberals.

CLIP OF AD: Don't let the liberal Republican establishment pick our candidate.

KARL: On the airwaves, we're seeing a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde campaign. Dr. Jekyll Romney, for example, plays nice with ads paid for by his own campaign-

ROMNEY IN AD: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.

KARL: -while Mr. Hyde Romney savages Newt Gingrich with ads paid for by the supposedly independent Romney super pac.

CLIP OF AD: Newt has a ton of baggage, like the fact that Gingrich was fined $300,000 for ethics violations.


KARL: Any candidate worth his or her salt these days has a split personality. The ads run by the candidates themselves and the almost always nastier ads run by outside groups.

CLIP OF AD: Gingrich and Perry: Too liberal on immigration, too much baggage on ethics.

KARL: The outside groups are flush with cash because, unlike the campaign, there are no limits on how much money people can give them. The pro-Romney super pac has spent almost twice as much on television ads as the Romney campaign. The groups sure don't look independent. Romney's super pac is run by his former top lawyer. Much of the money coming from his colleagues at Bane Capital. Rick Perry's super pac is run by his former chief of staff. Just a short while ago,

Gingrich lashed out at Romney for those ads being run by the pro-Romney super pac, saying it's fine if he wants to run a negative campaign, but, quote, "at least be man enough to own it. That's your staff, your organization and those are your millionaire friends paying for it." Diane, that's coming from the candidate in the race who has promised to run a positive campaign.