Brutal Gingrich Super PAC ad: Meet the men who gave us ObamaCare
posted at 6:00 pm on January 24, 2012 by Allahpundit
Philip Klein calls it the best anti-RomneyCare ad of the cycle. I agree. And thanks to the largesse of Newt’s billionaire buddy Sheldon Adelson, this one’s going on the air in Florida with a $6 million ad buy — so huge that WaPo political blogger Aaron Blake calls it “game-changing.” In fact, despite Newt’s post-South Carolina windfall of campaign cash, it sounds like his Super PAC will be doing the heavy organizational lifting from now on:
They’re hiring field directors, setting up phone banks, building get-out-the-vote teams and crafting a message strategy worthy of a presidential candidate…
And they are doing what Gingrich’s topsy-turvy campaign hasn’t been able to: raise lots of money quickly and build a campaign infrastructure ready to go up against the massive operation of his leading rival, Mitt Romney. How well they succeed could shape what is now widely seen as a two-man contest — and determine how many weeks, or even months, it will take to decide the race…
Winning Our Future appears to be defining more broadly than anyone what super PACs do. The group is testing the Supreme Court decision by using unlimited donations for such on-the-ground activity as phone-banking that might be construed as going beyond protected speech. And, by setting up a shadow campaign complete with field directors, volunteers, poll workers and drivers, they are testing the law that prohibits any coordination between a super PAC and the campaign it supports…
“It would be virtually impossible for Gingrich to raise the funds he needs for an elaborate ground operation at this very late stage of the game,” said Robert Kelner, another election lawyer with the D.C.-based firm Covington & Burling. “The super PAC can do it easily and quickly. It’s sort of a positive thing; they’re taking us back to an earlier time where it was possible to come in from the blue as a viable candidate late in the game.”
Irony of ironies, after Newt’s endless screeching in December about Romney using his Super PAC to hit Gingrich hard while keeping his fingerprints off the attacks, his own chances in Florida and beyond depend more on his own Super PAC than on his campaign. As for the ad, one question: How come they didn’t play up O-Care’s funding coming at the expense of Medicare? That was a cynical yet highly effective line of attack for the GOP in the midterms, and needless to say, given Florida’s demographics, it’d be pure gold for Newt to toss it at Romney. Maybe, after Newt’s costly tangle with Paul Ryan last summer, the Super PAC wants to tread lightly when protecting the status quo on Medicare. Besides, seniors will probably draw the “more ObamaCare means less Medicare” conclusion on their own.
Update: Ah, right, I forgot: They don’t need to talk about Medicare because Newt’s already positioning himself as the Medicare candidate.