It’s on in South Carolina.
Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting former House speaker Newt Gingrich, is putting $3.4 million into ads in the Palmetto State attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s record running the investment firm Bain Capital.
The pro-Gingrich ads will draw from a documentary made by the group that depicts Romney as an unscrupulous corporate raider who got rich by buying struggling companies and laying off tens of thousands of workers.
“A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney more ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town,” the narrator says.
“I feel that this is the man that destroyed us,” says one woman interviewed.
This line of attack puts Gingrich in an unusual place — aligned with Democrats. The Democratic National Committee has hammered Romney’s jobs record and plans to only increase those attacks in the general election, should the former Massachusetts governor win the nomination.
The Democratic committee just released its own Bain Web video, called “Mitt’s Bogus Math.” DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is holding a press conference in Boston on Monday afternoon with a former Romney colleague who says the firm was not creating jobs.
When Gingrich criticized Bain Capital in Saturday night’s ABC News debate, Romney said he was “a little surprised” to see a fellow Republican “put free enterprise on trial.”
Gingrich, who has repeatedly criticized negative super PAC ads, said Sunday that he hoped the super PAC would be honest.
“I can say, publicly, I hope that the super PAC runs an accurate movie about Bain,” he said. “It’ll be based on establishment newspapers, like The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Barron’s, Bloomberg News, and I hope it is totally accurate.”
The Wall Street Journal analyzed Bain’s record on Monday and found “fodder for both critics and supporters of Mr. Romney.” Reuters also reported on a steel mill bought out by Bain that closed 10 years later, with workers denied the benefits they were promised.
Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson just gave $5 million to the super PAC. A person close to Adelson said that he might give more if Gingrich does well in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Romney, is plunking down $2.3 million for its own ads in South Carolina.