Mitt Romney’s negative ads are not only upsetting Newt Gingrich’s campaign, but they are also hurting Gingrich himself.
On New Year’s Day, Gingrich told a group of reporters in Marshalltown, Iowa, that he felt “Romney-boated” by all of the negative ad campaigns by Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Reporters had asked him if he was “swift-boated” referring to The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Vietnam Veterans who by criticizing Kerry’s service record, helped destroy his 2004 presidential bid.
Gingrich said Romney “didn't get rid of me, he just slowed me down,” to reporters, according to msnbc.com.
Just weeks ago, Gingrich was leading in the polls and his popularity has fallen in Iowa since the ads began. BusinessWeek reports that 45 percent of the ads being shown in Iowa criticized Gingrich for shifting policy positions on Freddie Mac and other groups regarding the home loan crisis after his 1999 resignation from the House. Most of the negative ads which amounted to approximately $3.7 million were directed at Gingrich and funded by GOP candidates Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Perry.
Gingrich has implied that Romney is buying the elections as he has spent millions on the derisive ads. “He would buy an election if he could,” Gingrich said to NBC News, “Well I don't know, $3.5 million in negative ads, you tell me,” Gingrich added not saying directly that Romney is buying the election.
But Romney fired back while campaigning in Atlantic, Iowa, according to msnbc.com, saying, “Speaker Gingrich I think announced that he raised $10 million this quarter and he ought to be proud of that. We’re working hard to raise funds, as well, this is an election.”
“However, that’s not being driven by money raised, it’s being driven by message connection with the voters, debate and experience and I think that those are the features that are driving the campaign so far and I think they probably will be through the entire process,” he added.
When asked about his weakness, Gingrich turned to his wife Callista and smiled, causing a stir in the crowd who thought he would mention his infidelities. Instead, he said that his weakness has been being too “reasonable” and not responding to the ads which have hurt his campaign in Iowa.