With three days to go before South Carolina’s ‘First In South’ primary, Newt Gingrich appears to be mounting an eleventh-hour comeback.
A new CNN/Time poll released today shows Gingrich is rapidly gaining ground on frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Palmetto State. While Romney remains in first with 33% support, Gingrich now follows with 23% — a significant improvement from the 19-point lead Romney held over him just two weeks ago.
But Romney is clearly determined to nip any Newtmentum in the bud. His campaign launched a full-on assault against Gingrich today, unleashing Romney’s attack surrogates to slam the former House Speaker as “outrageous” and “undisciplined.”
In a coordinated blitz this morning, the Romney camp released two scathing videos that recall Gingrich’s embarrassing ouster from the Republican leadership in the 1990s and basically blame him for Bill Clinton’s re-election.
To hammer home the point, the stars of the video, former Sen. Jim Talent and former Rep. Susan Molinari, reprised the attacks on a conference call with reporters later this morning, calling Gingrich a “very powerful negative force in the Republican party” who is unfit to go up against Barack Obama in 2012.
Although the Romney campaign won’t admit it, today’s offensive is clearly a sign that the race is tightening in South Carolina, and that they believe Gingrich is the only guy with any staying power in the race.
As the clock ticks down to Election Day, it now appears the Romney team is trying to repeat the negative strategy that helped quash the former House Speaker in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses. The only difference is that, this time, Newt is fighting back.
Watch Romney’s new videos below.