Mitt Romney said Monday he would consider pulling a TV campaign ad produced completely from old NBC Nightly News footage after the ad caused outrage from the network and its former evening news anchor, Tom Brokaw.
The commercial features a 1997 segment of NBC Nightly News in which Brokaw announced the House Ethics Committee's decision to penalize then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich — now one of Romney's top competitors for the Republication presidential nomination.
"We'll sit down with the lawyers, talk to the folks at NBC, and make a decision on that front," Romney said on NBC's Today. "Obviously, this was not something taken from hidden files. This was on the evening news. So it should hardly come as a revealing piece for people who watch it."
Romney further defended the ad, which he said was made after to loss to Gingrich in the South Carolina primary. "We were being whaled on by Speaker Gingrich and didn't respond well in South Carolina," Romney said. "So we decided to respond. We made it clear if people want change in Washington you have to bring in someone from outside Washington. Both the change in tactic as well as the message have had a real impact in Florida."
Romney's campaign initially defended the ad, which began airing Friday, saying they believe the commercial "falls within fair use." However, NBC's legal department sent a letter to Romney's campaign requesting that all the network's material be removed from campaign ads. Brokaw also released a statement saying he was "extremely uncomfortable" with his involvement. "I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign," he said.
Watch the ad in question below:
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