After a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa, many speculated Newt Gingrich would take off the gloves and strike back at campaign front-runner Mitt Romney for anti-Newt ads sponsored by those who support Romney. And while Gingrich did come out swinging, now those who support the former Speaker are taking the gloves off in an ad, and movie, of their own.
Supplied by a $5 million donation from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a super PAC supporting Gingrich has released a three minute trailer to its 27-minute movie depicting that "When Mitt Romney Came to Town," as CEO of the venture capital firm Bain Capital, he "destroyed" the American dream for "thousands of Americans and their families."
As described in the trailer, the movie will show four businesses that were just some "of Romney's many targets."
"Think you know Mitt? Think again,” the trailer asks.
“Their greed was only matched by their willingness to make millions in profits. Nothing spared, nothing mattered but greed,” the trailer says. “Mitt Romney became CEO the day Bain Capital was formed. His mission? To reap massive rewards for himself and his investors.”
ABC News notes that Gingrich was critical of the super PAC supporting Romney that put out numerous negative ads about him in Iowa, and when asked about the film over the weekend the former speaker of the House said he has not seen it.
While the ad may be effective in tarring Romney, some have criticized Gingrich for shifting the conversation in a way that will ultimately do more good for the Obama campaign.
In a column titled "'Cry Baby' Gingrich might take GOP down with him," Joe Battenfeld of The Boston Herald writes:
"Gingrich, despite sinking in the polls, is going nuclear on the former Massachusetts governor on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, and now it looks personal. Gingrich, dubbed 'Crybaby' by the media for his ego-driven antics as House speaker in 1995, is now performing in 'Crybaby, the Sequel.'
It’s fitting that Gingrich yesterday continued to attack Romney in a Manchester restaurant next door to the Obama campaign headquarters, because right now he’s the president’s best friend. His strategy of taking down Romney is right out of the Ted Kennedy and DNC playbook — casting Romney as a corporate villain who 'looted' companies and laid off workers."
With the Bain blood already in the water thanks to Gingrich, the DNC has moved in launching their first video attacking Romney's alleged job creating past:
Sensing growing suspicions, Romney has tried to explain his venture capital past to New Hampshire voters. POLITICO reports that at a recent event in Rochester, Romney described his story of building businesses from the ground floor up:
"Taking a professorial tone, Romney told the crowd of his early days creating Staples, the big-box office-supply retailer.
'We opened the very first store. I was there the night we opened the first store. We helped stock the shelves,' he said. 'Our office? We were in the back of an old empty shopping mall.'
'And our chairs were naugahyde chairs with an old table that we used as the board table,' he added. 'People were, because it was the private sector we were pulling ourselves up, in some respect, by our bootstraps.'"
“'I’ve learned what its like to sign the front of the paycheck, not just the back of the paycheck and to know how frightening it is to see whether you can make payroll at the end of the week,' he said.
'These are experiences that many of you, that many of you, know. I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.'”
POLITICO reports that Romney has also sought to deflect attention from his questionable CEO past by contrasting it with the administration’s failed investments in such things as the failed energy company Solyndra.
Only time will tell if the growing attacks on Romney's Bain past, from both sides, will work in swaying independents or Republicans looking to unify in defeating President Obama away from the front runner. One the thing now though is clear, the "positive" campaign of Gingrich and the super PAC supporting him has ended.