Everybody knows Mitt Romney is inevitable, right? So why is his campaign releasing a new web ad and hosting a new conference call bashing Newt Gingrich in harsh, personal terms?
Mitt Romney seems worried he didn't complete nuke Newt Gingrich the first time around
Unless Romney's campaign is going on the attack for the sheer sport of it, they must not be as convinced as everybody else that his nomination is in the bag. The question is: what has them so worried? From an outsider's perspective, they should be flying high: finally Romney has broken through his polling ceiling and established a significant lead over his rivals. So why are they risking going negative now?
Perhaps they are seeing evidence of a late-breaking surge for Newt Gingrich in South Carolina? Or maybe they are just trying to stamp out media analysis suggesting that a surge is possible?
The only sort of scenario that I could see seriously challenging Romney's inevitability would be if the Iowa Republican Party's final certification of their caucus results (due by Friday) shows Rick Santorum actually won and if Newt Gingrich manages to pull off a miracle victory in South Carolina. That would turn the Romney trifecta narrative (wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina) on its head (suddenly he'd be one for three, winning only in his backyard of New Hampshire). But even if that happens he still would have Florida as a backstop, right? Other than Romney, no other Republican campaign can afford to compete there, right?
And that brings me back to the question I'd like answered: why is the Romney campaign suddenly freaking out about Newt Gingrich?