Well, there you go. Never will you hear the core principle of the Romney campaign stated so succinctly. Just one question: If he’s right that electability matters to the exclusion of all else, shouldn’t he be backing Huntsman?

I’m giving you two clips to whet your appetite for tomorrow night’s feast of acrimony, one of this guy Lambert uttering his shut-up-and-fall-in-line pitch for Romney and the other of Gingrich’s latest media therapy session to work out his rage over Mitt’s Super PAC attack ads. I know you’re bored with him complaining, but trust me and watch. It’s his most entertaining Romney-bashing interview yet, replete with Newt challenging Mitt to show those attack ads to his grandkids, calmly assuring Matthews that Romney won’t be the nominee, and wondering aloud whether anyone can name a single conservative accomplishment from Romney’s tenure in Massachusetts. Even more interesting is the fact that Matthews has dumped on Gingrich publicly for years, occasionally in diabolical terms. Here’s a valentine from “Hardball” in mid-December:

“They are about to begin the nomination for president of a figure who represents the Mephistopheles of what they preach: He is nasty, brutal, ready to fight and kill politically, a man of no discernible commitments or values – who has nothing to offer but a sharp-as-hell intellect and a wicked rapier of words,” Matthews continued, pausing only for air.

“Why are they on the verge of enlisting in the Army of Newt? Because he voices in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt. Because he an opportunist ready to seek any route to his opponent’s heart and thereby kill it,” said Matthews.

Gingrich must have some inkling of Matthews’s contempt for him, even if he’s not watching “Hardball” every day, yet the opportunity for another megaphone through which to hector Romney was apparently irresistible. According to Greta Van Susteren, one of Newt’s lawyers is now sending letters to TV stations warning them not to air certain Romney Super PAC ads which they claim are defamatory. Meanwhile, Newt is set to roll out his own attack ads in South Carolina alleging that RomneyCare provided taxpayer money for abortions in Massachusetts, even though a Massachusetts court decision apparently left Romney with no options on that at the time. Bottom line: Tomorrow’s debate might end up being more hard-hitting than the Lions/Saints game.

By the way, you know all those stories you’ve been reading about how Romney’s preparing for a months-long slog to the nomination? Change of plans. Go read Jay Cost to understand why we’re in this predicament and why we’re likely to end up here again and again and again. Click the image to watch.

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