Dueling ads: Helping Democrats

posted at 11:45 am on January 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’re coming down to the wire in South Carolina, which means that it’s time for the negative ads to hit the media markets in the Palmetto State. In this corner, we have a new ad from Mitt Romney’s campaign called “Undisciplined,” which attacks Newt Gingrich in a direct manner as an erratic Republican leader in the mid-1990s as Speaker of the House. Rep. Susan Molinari offers her own assessment from personal experience in this 30-second spot, arguing that Gingrich’s performance ended up helping Democrats:

And in the opposite corner, the super-PAC Winning Our Future backing Gingrich has a new 60-second spot that imagines a debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Did I say debate? I meant a love fest, which WOF claims will help Democrats:

The second ad will get laughs, but it’s making a pretty good prediction about the strategy Obama would likely employ in a debate against Romney. However, the same strategy works with Gingrich as well, who backed individual mandates for health-care reform for years, as late as 2008, and was defending RomneyCare’s “tremendous potential” as late as 2006.  Gingrich was hardly alone in this on the Right; at one point, the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation backed an individual mandate, although Heritage changed its mind years before ObamaCare, a fact that Obama has cited on more than one occasion while defending ObamaCare.  This may well explain why the other candidates on stage have hardly mentioned RomneyCare in debates for the last few events.

I give the edge in Round One to Romney’s ad, but neither side has landed a tough blow.  The haymakers probably won’t appear until tomorrow or Friday.


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