New GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich, anticipating an attack from fellow contender Mitt Romney, has instructed his campaign staff and advisers not to respond in kind to the former Massachusetts governor, RCP has learned.
According to Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond, “In response to the dynamics over the last 24 hours about the attacks coming our way, his instructions to us were to not say anything bad about Mitt Romney.”
Hammond explained that the campaign has received inquiries about how it will respond to attacks on Gingrich, given the searing Web ad Ron Paul’s operation has released and a reading of the “tea leaves” regarding Romney. And so, in the course of the campaign’s regular morning conference call Thursday, Gingrich told his staff and advisers to keep the focus on a forward-looking campaign and President Obama.
In essence, that means Gingrich will be stealing from longtime putative front-runner Romney’s own playbook: Act like the nominee for the general election; don’t engage intraparty rivals; and prepare to be seen as the next president.
As one informal adviser familiar with the call put it, “Newt instructed his team . . . to remain focused on what obviously has resonated: Voters want a nominee who can go toe to toe with President Obama on issues and substance. So Newt will continue to talk about how lower taxes, less regulation and pro-growth policies that will permit Americans to create real jobs. Negative attacks on fellow Republicans will not create a single new job or help rebuild America.”
Read More at Real Clear Politics By McPike, RealClearPolitics