Gingrich did not exactly recant, but did acknowledge the ineffectiveness of one attack he used on Romney – the private equity firm Bain Capital. When Gingrich accused Romney and Bain of taking over companies and downsizing them at the expense of workers, he was widely condemned by fellow Republicans and eventually backed off.

This week the Obama campaign released an ad along those same lines. Gingrich said his experience should be a lesson to Obama: “that dog won’t hunt.”

Gingrich said the attack will not resonate in voters’ minds as they think: “You want me to be mad because in one company somewhere Romney may have in fact been involved in someone losing their job while you as president have been involved in millions of people losing their jobs?”

A test for the Romney campaign will be to not only get votes from Republicans’ activist core but also their energy and money.