Romney's Plan: Make Newt Mad

Mitt went on the offensive after loss in South Carolina, devastating Gingrich
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2012 1:58 PM CST
Romney's Plan: Make Newt Mad
In this Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney talk during a commercial break at the GOP presidential debate in Jacksonville, Fla.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

After getting his hat handed to him in South Carolina, Mitt Romney did not tuck tail and wait to see if Florida would continue the GOP's dalliance with Newt Gingrich or finally cement him as the "inevitable" candidate. Rather, the New York Times reports that he turned to the well-oiled Team Romney he'd spent years putting together and hammered out a battle plan: Make Gingrich mad, and cut the above-the-fray grandfatherly act and get down and dirty. “There is a little humility in getting your butt kicked in South Carolina, and all of the sudden it’s a wake-up call," says one adviser.

Romney dialed up the heat to blistering in the Sunshine State, blasting Gingrich in debates, funding mailings and ads, and even stocking Gingrich campaign events with his own mocking minions, notes the Times. Backed by a crack team of opposition researchers, Romney himself went on the attack in Florida's final debate—a debate in which Gingrich needed a strong showing, and which instead left him largely flailing. The result has been a tidal wave of negativity that's devastated the Gingrich campaign. Click for the Times' full piece. (More Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)

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