DES MOINES, Iowa – The source is unnamed, but Roger Simon at Politico.com this morning lays bare what Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney hopes to gain on Tuesday – and why the surge by Rick Santorum doesn’t bother him a whit:
“Iowa is about eliminating [Newt] Gingrich and [Rick] Perry without us having to spend a lot of money to do so,” the aide said. “Last time, we spent $2 million just on the [Ames] straw poll, $10 million on television and had over 30 paid staffers. This year we’ve been on TV for only a month and have not spent much on ads, we’ve have five paid staffers and we didn’t do the straw poll.”
The Romney aide believes the turning point in the campaign came when Perry toned down or abandoned his attacks on Romney. “They weren’t working, and he realized it,” the aide said. “Romney’s favorables are very high, and why go after a guy with very high favorables?”
On Sunday, Newt Gingrich declared that Mitt Romney “would buy the election if he could” – and said he’d been “Romney-boated” by the former Massachusetts governor and his affiliated Super PAC.
On Monday, with less than 36 hours before the Republican caucuses convene, the former U.S. House speaker expounded on the topic during an address to a farm group in Independence, on the state’s eastern side:
”I wish, frankly, that the people running all these negative ads would adopt a very simple rule: If you won’t show the ad to your grandchildren, don’t run them. If you’re not proud of it, don’t run them. I think you’d see 80 percent of the negativity come off TV. I have no problem with contrast – people just saying, this is where I stand, this is where you stand. That’s fine. But a lot of the negativity is just very clever consultants who are paid a lot of money to be nasty.
“It has nothing to do with governing America, solving our problems. It has everything to do with a very cheap and very destructive model of politics – which is why I think Washington is sick today.
If Gingrich does receive a drubbing at the hands of Iowa voters, this is the ad – which ran non-stop in Iowa over the weekend — that will receive much of the blame. Or credit:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider