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Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 12/01/2011

Why Mitt Romney should attack Newt Gingrich

There are two recent developments that suggest Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls continues. The first is a recent Rassmussen poll that shows, for the first time, Gingrich beating President Obama in a general election. If this single poll is confirmed by others, then it undermines Mitt Romney's sole claim on the electability argument.

It seems the Romney camp isn't waiting to find out whether the poll is a blip or a trend. For the first time, Romney went on the attack against Gingrich yesterday. The attack was lame. Romney tried to paint the choice as between his real-world experience and Gingrich's political careerism, which is laughable for someone who has run for or held office for the past 20 years and who was once in such political heat he couldn't decide which of three states to run in. But, nonetheless, the attack is significant because it shows the Gingrich surge is real and worrisome to Romney.

Presumably, the Romney team has better arrows in their Gingrich quiver than the one fired yesterday. Newt certainly presents what consultants call a "target-rich" opportunity. My guess is Romney's attacks, if better executed, could do double-duty: hurt Newt and help Mitt by making him look tougher. Mitt not only has to survive to win, he has to beat somebody. Get ready, Newt.

By  |  11:58 AM ET, 12/01/2011

 
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