The PJ Tatler

The Methods to Mitt's Madness

Part of Romney’s closing argument in Florida centers on a pair of TV ads about Newt Gingrich’s House ethics reprimand. One of the ads uses newscast footage of NBC’s Tom Brokaw reporting on the charge at the time. NBC wants the Brokaw footage removed from the ad. This ad follows the ad featuring Pelosi’s threat to “out” some hideous Gingrich secret, also from the days of his House reprimand. Pelosi’s staff have admitted that she doesn’t actually know anything, which may be true or may be cover for the time when whatever she might know does come out in a way that’s difficult to tie to her.

But set Pelosi’s threat aside for second. Romney has two ads up in Florida that remind voters there of Newt’s reprimand. The substance of the reprimand is less than meets the eye according to Byron York. One of the ads has started a donnybrook between the Romney campaign and NBC. Gingrich has publicly and successfully battled with ABC of late, and now here’s Romney battling with NBC. The other ad takes advantage of Pelosi’s threat to show footage of that notorious ad that Gingrich did with her on the couch to tout government solutions to global warming. That ad was, by Gingrich’s own admission, one of the most foolish moments of his political life, but nevertheless, he did the ad and using it against him is fair game. Both ads together bring up the ethics charge one more time, and remind voters of one of Gingrich’s questionable reliability.

Romney is reportedly outspending Gingrich five to one on TV and 15 to 1 overall in Florida. There are no debates between now and Tuesday’s primary. Gingrich won’t be able to mount an effective counter to these ads.