You can see the contempt in GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s face. The mere mention of opponent Mitt Romney’s name turns his normally stoic expression into a full-on scowl. Ever since Gingrich lost his front-runner status to Romney in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses, Gingrich has placed his cross-hairs on Campaign Romney, even going so far as to call his opponent “a liar.”
Both Romney and the Republican establishment, hungry for a bona fide front-runner to emerge, believe that Gingrich has crossed the line of good statesmanship. Former Presidential hopeful John McCain, who recently endorsed Romney, went so far as to slam Gingrich on CBS’s “The Early Show.” He said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to call your opponent a liar. That’s something we don’t do in politics unless you certainly have some overwhelming proof.”
After making strides toward a more positive campaign, Gingrich has made an about face for two reasons: He came in fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses after leading the pack for a number of weeks, and a series of harsh attack ads by a Pro-Romney Super PAC dealt him a barrage of politically-damaging blows.
Is Gingrich not playing fair in the often dog-eat-dog world that is presidential politics? Charles Chamberlayne, political analyst, puts it this way: “It’s politics and I think that Newt is just upset because he’s felt attacked recently, so he is just retaliating.”
If you’re wondering why the Obama camp has remained quiet amid the Republican dust-up, wonder no more. Insiders see the internal wrangling as political gold. In fact, the Romney team may have even taken a page from the Obama campaign’s anti-Romney playbook.
“If you’ve been watching these events, you’ll notice that the Democrats have always launched attacks against Romney,” said Chamberlayne.” The DNC portrayed him as a candidate who has shifted positions in its infamous Mitt Vs. Mitt ads.”
Gingrich has followed the same attack techniques. His campaign ads take aim at Romney, calling him a flip-flopper. And the Gingrich campaign launched a full-page ad in New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper claiming that Romney is not a bold Reagan conservative that can defeat President Obama.
It is viewed by some that the fact that there is no definite idea exactly who the Republican nominee will be puts the Obama campaign at a distinct advantage. But there’s still reason to be skeptical. “I think it’s clear to rational minds that there’s a frontrunner. Those who don’t think so are just trying to sustain the news cycle,” said Chamberlayne.
Going into the next heated battle, the New Hampshire primary, Gingrich will continue to turn up the heat on Romney. And you can bet, Obama supporters will be on the sidelines watching all the action unfold.
(Photos: Getty Images)