House Speaker Newt Gingrich, reacting sharply to recent intraparty sniping, says that Republican malcontents should redirect their fire at President Clinton.
"My advice to everybody who is anxiety-ridden is to go out and do something for the party," he said in an interview published in Thursday's Washington Times. "Go out and raise your own money."Naming names, he specifically responded to recent remarks by former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and various GOP state chairmen - some of them critical, at least by implication, of Gingrich's leadership tactics and image and others worried about what they perceive as the lackluster campaign style of Sen. Bob Dole.
Instead of complaining, he said Republican critics should "focus their criticism on the liberals, the unions and the trial lawyers who are trying to buy this election."
"My point to party members is simple. You have an opponent - it's called Bill Clinton. You have an opposition group. It's the trial lawyers and labor leaders. We ought to keep our attacks, our critical comments focused on the people who are on the other team."
Gingrich stuck to that battle plan Thursday morning, telling ABC that Clinton's call for a moratorium on presidential politicking Wednesday was "such phony posturing you get sick of all of us."
In the interview, Gin-grich told the Times he is tired of fielding complaints from state chairmen who want the party to raise more money for televisions ads to counter the Democrats' offensive.
"I would say to the state chairman and to anyone who is frustrated, why don't you go out and raise the money to match the unions," he said.
On D'Amato: "It would be more useful if he focused on the White-water committee and on doing his job."
On Bennett: "If he thinks the party needs excitement and passion, then Bennett should go out and be exciting and passionate."