Nomination Battle: Romney Is Getting Harsh With Newt Gingrich

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Ever wondered what a greatest hits compilation of Newt Gingrich attacks would look like? Check out this new ad from the Romney campaign, which covers everything from Freddie Mac to ethics violations to electability.

It starts with a bad memory for Floridians: the housing crisis. The ad ties the crash to Freddie Mac, and then ties Gingrich to Freddie. It also casts doubts about the nature of Gingrich’s relationship with the agency.

“A historian? Really?”, the voiceover asks. Ouch.

Newt has denied that he was ever a lobbyist, a claim that the Romney campaign is pushing hard to counteract. In a conference call with reporters today, Talking Points Memo reports, Romney-endorser Tim Pawlenty said “to say that he wasn’t a lobbyist is incredible hairsplitting.”

Next the ad gives a history lesson of its own. Hey, it asks, remember when Gingrich got kicked out of the House of Representatives? “Sactioned for ethics violations, Gingrich resigned in disgrace, and then cashed in as a DC Insider,” the voiceover says.

And don’t forget, we’re reminded, Gingrich can’t beat Barack Obama. “If Newt wins, this guy [Obama] will be very happy,” says the voiceover.

This is the Romney campaign’s first negative ad in Florida, and the first ad aimed specifically at Gingrich in a while. A barrage of attack ads crushed Gingrich in Iowa, and it looks like Romney thinks that strategy can be effective again in the Sunshine State, where he badly needs to win.