Bowing to public pressure, incoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave up a $4.5 million book advance, saying Friday he didn't want to give his critics "something to run around and yell about."

Gingrich said he still be believed the book deal with the publishing house of media giant Rupert Murdoch was a "legal and ethical deal," but he didn't want the new Republican-led Congress "to be slowed down or distracted or confused for one second.""You can't just be legal and ethical. I think you have to go beyond that, to do what's good for the country," Gingrich told a news conference at his Marietta office.

The announcement came just one day after Gingrich's counterpart in the Senate, incoming Majority Leader Bob Dole, said the original arrangement "raises questions that need to be addressed."

Dole, R-Kan., said Thursday he "did not want to pass judgment" on the deal disclosed last week or get into a "quarrel with Newt." But, he added, "It's not too popular around people who talk to me. They think it's a lot of money."

He declined to suggest ways the issue could be addressed, saying it "really is a decision Newt has to make." But he offered a candid assessment of the political implications if it's left to fester too long.

"I can already see when you start cutting programs that might affect low-income Americans that becoming an issue," he said.

Appearing in open shirt and blue blazer, Gingrich was relaxed as he read a copy of the letter he plans to send to Republican colleagues explaining his decision.

"We hope this decision to forgo 41/2 million dollars will convince anyone who has been skeptical that we are totally committed to restoring the House and the legislative Branch to a position of unchallenged legitimacy" and to pass the GOP's agenda, Gingrich wrote in the letter.

The "Dear Republican Colleague" letter also disclosed that at least five publishers, including Murdoch's outfit, had made him "multimillion-dollar offers" for his book.

"The project was a real book with a real publisher, and it offered us financial independence for the first time in our lives," he wrote.

Gingrich wrote he will instead take a $1 advance and earn only royalties from sales on the books.

Gingrich said he didn't know what the royalties will be because he hasn't signed the contract, but he believes they'll fall "within the standard market range for a commercial book."

He said he and his wife had already made the decision to forgo the advance and draft the letter before Dole's comments.

In his news conference, Gingrich said he had underestimated the furor caused by the advance and would have done the deal differently.

Before Dole, Republicans were generally silent on the book deal.

Democrats pounced on the revelation that Gingrich, R-Ga., was to receive a $4.5 million advance for writing two books for the publishing house owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

They contended that Gingrich could influence communications legislation that might affect Murdoch.

House Democratic Whip David Bonior, D-Mich., called it a "sweetheart" deal that "proves once again we need an independent, professional nonpartisan outside counsel to investigate the ethical cloud which has settled over the head of Newt Gingrich."

Gingrich already faces an ethics complaint in the House concerning tax-free donations to a college course he taught.