It is Newt Gingrich’s version of a negative ad and many may now jump on Newt to claim that he was the one candidate who promised not to go negative. But the truth is that s far as negative ads go, Newt’s new 30 second commercial is hardly an attack ad. It is a comparison of ideological approaches and conservative accomplishments that raises the question, who is more capable of advancing a conservative agenda in government?
Furthermore you will note the ads lack of references to Mitt’s personal life or attempts to characterize Mitt Romney as evil or incompetent. Newt’s ad simply asks Republicans if they want to try to preserve our nation’s future with a timid conservative agenda or proven, bold conservative leadership. In fact, the toughest line of attack that Newt is now using against Romney is his now standard reference to Mitt as a “Massachusetts Moderate”. Gingrich could really bitter and use the “L” word, but he doesn’t. Instead, he wisely combines the words “Massachusetts” and “moderate”, knowing full well that when put together most people automatically think of the “L” word and get the inference to Romney being a liberal, but without ever saying it. Besides, Newt’s decision to use Mitt’s record to paint him as a candidate who is “to the left of most Republicans” seems much more believable and legitimate than trying to argue that Mitt Romney is a liberal. And in the end, if Romney does become the nominee, what’s the worst Newt can be accused of calling Romney………. a “moderate”. In the general election, that will only be to Mitt’s advantage
The promotional piece is actually more of a fair comparison than an attack ad and it presents the case for Newt convincingly and politely.
For me the ad also offers a sense relief.
When it was determined that Newt placed fourth place in the Iowa Caucus, he addressed supporters and showed sign of disappointment and even anger, anger over the more than $8 million dollars in negative ads that saw his one time high of 31% in Iowa fall to slightly more than 13%. His speech also seemed to focus much of that anger on Mitt Romney who along with a pro Romney Super PAC were responsible for most of those attack ads. Newt’s demeanor and words left me fearing that he was about to lose sight of the bigger picture and simply focus on exacting a degree of revenge on Mitt Romney that would end up being mutually detrimental.
But as it turns out, Newt is apparently being true to his word that he will not resort to negative attacks but will offer honest comparisons. And as long as Newt continues to conduct himself in this manner, I am confident that under the current circumstances, the strategy he is moving forward with is the only smart way to go.
Newt could turn his attention to Rick Santorum, the newest Phoenix in the Republican presidential field, but with the limited money Gingrich has available to him and given the unlikely chance of anyone, including Rick Santorum, beating Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, it is only logical that Newt remain focussed on Romney. While Republicans have not yet totally determined who the best alternative to Romney is, it is understood that Romney is the man to beat. So right now the best thing Newt can do is offer evidence of his being a more reliable conservative than Romney and hope that Romney chips away at Rick Santorum in an attempt to prevent him from gaining any more momentum than Santorum already did with the split decision in Iowa.
If that scenario plays out, Newt could survive New Hampshire to a degree that will give him a final chance to prove that he is the conservative with the best chance of beating Romney.
That will leave Republicans with responsibility of having to decide which is more important…….beating Mitt Romney or beating Newt Gingrich.
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