Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., said Sunday that the furor over House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s book contract is continuing to detract from the Republican agenda and suggested that the GOP would be better off if Gingrich abandoned the deal.
Even though Gingrich has voluntarily reduced the proposed book advance from $4.5 million to $1, the controversy has persisted and, as Dole noted, “it does take the focus away from the issues.”
Since Gingrich’s book contract was disclosed, Democrats have seized the issue, questioning the propriety of his entering into an agreement with an international media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, whose companies have business matters before Congress.
On CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Dole said he has heard that House Republicans are fearful that the controversy will fester and continue to disrupt legislative business.
Gingrich “must be” contemplating killing the deal, he added. “It seems to me he can’t avoid it. I mean, you step out, you pick up the paper … you watch television - it’s the book deal.”