The Mitt Romney campaign has so far refrained from attacking Newt Gingrich too aggressively, choosing to let the new frontrunner trip over himself.
They also recognize that there will be some assistance from the other Republican candidates who feel just as entitled to the anyone-but-Mitt status that former House Speaker Gingrich currently holds. Sure enough, on Tuesday morning Ron Paul's campaign put up a new one-minute ad accusing Gingrich of serial hypocrisy on everything from housing policy to the individual mandate.
The Paul campaign told ABC that the spot would go up on Fox News in Iowa starting Wednesday and run for five days.
Paul's attack ad comes the same morning that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) accused Gingrich, specifically, of being a "frugal socialist" during an interview with Glenn Beck. It stands to reason that other second-tier candidates will find it advantageous to pile on further -- perhaps thinking that Gingrich is both an easier target and, still, less likely to be the nominee.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that Romney can or will keep the gloves off. Surrogates for the former Massachusetts governor have been hinting that Romney will adopt a more aggressive posture towards Gingrich in the weeks ahead. And the D.C. Republican establishment is already starting to frame the election in his favor. Appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning, longtime strategist Karl Rove set the bar impossibly high for the Gingrich campaign.
"If in the polls Newt is leading by ten or 11 or 12 points going into the Iowa caucuses and doesn't win by that margin than people are going to say, well he didn't meet his mark," Rove said.